Groove: January concert calendar

Major concerts stopping in San Diego this month include Elton John, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Bananarama and A$AP Rocky.

1.1: Michael Franti & Spearhead 

The final night of a three-night stand at the Belly Up, Franti closes down in Solana Beach before his new album, Stay Human Vol. II, drops at the end of the month. Victoria Canal opens the show. 

@ Belly Up,


1.5: Calpurnia 

Finn Wolfhard, best known for his roles in the Netflix series Stranger Things and 2017’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s It, leads this quartet which also features Ayla Tesler-Mabe on guitar, Jack Anderson on bass, and Malcolm Craig on drums. Calpurnia released their debut EP, Scout, last June.

@ House of Blues,

1.9, 10: Melvins 

The Melvins head to the Casbah as part of the iconic venue’s 30th anniversary month of shows. The veteran sludge metal act first played The Casbah in 1989, currently holds the record of playing the club more times than any other band, and now boasts Steve McDonald of Redd Kross and Off! as an official member.


@ Casbah,

1.11: Tony! Toni! Tone! 

The veteran Oakland-based R&B group consists of guitarist D’wayne Wiggins and his cousins, drummer Timothy Christian Riley and vocalist Amar Khalil. The long-running family act returns to Southern California for this sold-out show.

@ Sycuan,

1.11: The Dragons

Another sold-out show, and another one celebrating the Casbah’s 30th anniversary, the local rock and roll legends are fronted by Mario Escovedo and last released an album in 2004.

@ Casbah,


1.12: Amen Dunes 

Amen Dunes (aka Damon McMahon) released his fifth album, Freedom, last March. McMahon followed it by going on tour in support of Fleet Foxes, and heads to San Diego as a headliner for this show in Solana Beach.   

@ Belly Up,

1.13: Young Dolph

After dropping his debut EP, N****s Get Shot Everyday, last February, Memphis rapper Young Dolph (aka Adolph Thornton Jr.) released his fifth full-length studio album, Role Model, last September. It features appearances from Snoop Dogg, Offset, Kash Doll and others.

@ House of Blues,

1.13: Mattson 2 

The local twin sibling duo left San Diego for seven years before moving back recently, and it’s been great having them back. The jazz-rock powerhouses help to celebrate the Casbah’s three-decade milestone with this special show.

@ Casbah,


1.17: Dave East 

The 30-year-old Harlem rapper has released a new mixtape each year since 2015. His fourth, Paranoia 2, dropped at the start of last year and features appearances from Tory Lanez, T.I., Lloyd Banks and more. Could a new one be on the way?


1.19: Nao

London-based electro soul singer Nao (aka Neo Joshua) released her second studio album, Saturn, last October. It’s the follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, For All We Know, which was released in 2016.

@ Observatory North Park,

1.21: Parquet Courts 

After just eight years together, the critically acclaimed New York art-rock quartet released their seventh album, Wide Awake!, early last year. A three-song remix EP followed a few months later.

@ Music Box,

1.21-23: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 

It seems as though Louisiana brass man Troy Andrews and his 10-piece ensemble have given up on the larger venue thing. Like this three-night run, Andrews and his crew would rather do multiple nights getting up close and personal with fans.

@ Belly Up,

1.22: Kris Kristofferson

The Country Music Hall of Famer, Oxford grad, songwriter of Me and Bobby McGee and Golden Globe winner picked up a Grammy Award nomination for his 2016 release, The Cedar Creek Sessions. He returns to San Diego backed by longtime Merle Haggard band, The Strangers.  

@ Balboa Theatre,

1.23: Jacquees

After signing to Cash Money Records in 2014, Jacquees (aka Georgia rapper Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax) spent 2018 dropping his first two full-length studio albums, 4275 and Lost At Sea 2. The former features an impressive guest roster including Young Thug, Chris Brown, Dej Loaf, and more, while the latter is a collaborative album with Cash Money co-founder Birdman.

@ House of Blues,

1.24: Peter Murphy

The “Godfather of Goth” returns to San Diego on a special tour: Peter Murphy – 40 years of Bauhaus, Ruby Celebration featuring (San Diegan) David J. The former band mates will play the iconic goth quartet’s 1980 debut, In The Flat Field, in its entirety, as well as an “extended encore” of favorites. 

@ Observatory North Park,

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy.

(Cihan Unalan)

1.25, 26: Ozomatli 

The long-running bilingual funk collective circles back around for another dual-purpose double-dip. On the 25th, it’s a night of partying for the adults. Then it’s back again on the 26th for a matinee with the kiddos. Kudos to any parent who successfully makes it out to both shows.

@ Music Box,

1.27: Bananarama

The ’80s trio that brought you mega-hits like Cruel Summer and Venus returns to San Diego after releasing its latest album, Live at the London Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, last September.

@ Observatory North Park,

1.28: Bas 

New York rapper Bas (aka Abbas Hamad) is signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records (Interscope) and dropped his third studio album, Milky Way, last August. In addition to Cole, the album features collabs with Ari Lennox, A$AP Ferg and Correy C.


1.29: Elton John 

It’s happening! The Rocket Man is landing at the recently renamed Valley View Casino Center in Point Loma! Sir Elton Hercules John, pop music icon, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and winner of five Grammys, an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Tony, returns to San Diego during his reported farewell tour after last releasing original music in 2016. 

@ Pechanga Arena,

Elton John

Elton John.

(Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP)

1.30: A$AP Rocky 

A$AP Rocky (aka New York rapper Rakim Mayers) hits San Diego as part of his current Injured Generation Tour. His latest album, last year’s Testing, features appearances from Frank Ocean, Moby, T.I. Kid Cudi, Juicy J, FKA Twigs, Skepta and others.

@ Pechanga Arena,

A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky.

(Dexter Navy)

1.31: Three Mile Pilot 

Legendary local rockers Three Mile Pilot return to The Casbah on the last day of the club’s 30th anniversary celebration. Pall Jenkins, Armistead Burwell Smith IV, and Tom Zinser once again reunite for a show from one of San Diego’s most influential acts.

@ Casbah,

Three Mile Pilot

Three Mile Pilot.

(Courtesy photo)

1.31: Robby Krieger 

Robby Krieger, founding guitarist of The Doors, returns to San Diego for a career-spanning set from his more than 50 years in rock and roll.

@ House of Blues,

Robby Krieger

Robby Krieger.

(Jo Lopez)

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