Groove: May concert calendar


Concerts headed to San Diego in May include Passion Pit, Gary Clark Jr., Santigold, Z-Trip and Halsey.

5.1: Passion Pit

After self-releasing his latest album, Tremendous Sea of Love, to YouTube and Twitter in 2017, Passion Pit (aka Michael Angelakos) hits the road to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his band’s breakthrough debut, Manners.

@ Observatory North Park,

5.2: Steel Pulse

Known in the last few decades as a touring act, the Grammy-winning British reggae veterans are set to release their first new album of all original material in 15 years. Written and arranged by founding lead vocalist David Hinds, the 17-track Mass Manipulation drops later this month.

@ Belly Up,

5.2: Freddie Gibbs

The Gary, Indiana-bred rapper released his eponymous fourth album last year and is set to team up with legendary DJ and producer Madlib on their new collaborative album, Bandana, sometime in 2019. Bandana is a follow-up to the pair’s critically acclaimed 2014 album, Piñata.


5.5: Peter Bjorn and John

The Swedish indie pop trio released their eighth album, Darker Days, last year on Ingrid — the record label they helped found with fellow Swede Lykke Li and others. Band member Bjorn Yttling co-produced Neko Case’s seventh solo studio album, Hell-On, last year as well.

@ The Irenic,

5.5: The Faint

At one point boasting Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) as a member, these Nebraska-born indie rockers released their eighth studio album, Egowerk, in March. It’s the band’s first release in five years and the first on their home state’s Saddle Creek label since 2004’s Wet From Birth.

@ Observatory North Park,

5.5: Violent Femmes & X

Still led by founding members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie, veteran Wisconsin-bred indie rockers Violent Femmes return to San Diego for a co-headlining bill with X. That band, the legendary L.A. punkers who also still boast an original lineup, were last here to close out 2018 on a co-headlining bill with Los Lobos.

@ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay,

5.10 Dwight Yoakam

The multiple Grammy-winning, honky-tonk mold-breaker and actor was in San Diego last summer on an incredible bill that also included Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle. He returns for a solo encore performance after last releasing an album in 2016.

@ Casino Pauma,

5.11: EELS

After a four-year hiatus, EELS, aka veteran singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Everett, returned last year with his 12th studio album, The Deconstruction. The 15-track collection is Everett’s first after the birth of his son and after appearing in the Netflix series Love. Read more about Everett’s return here.

@ Observatory North Park,

5.15: Wild Belle

Chicago-bred/L.A.-based indie sibling duo Wild Belle, aka Elliot and Natalie Bergman, released their third full-length studio album, Everybody One of a Kind, in March. The pair has worked with Diplo and their songs have been featured in film and on television.

@ Belly Up,

5.15: Willie Nelson & Family

Man, Willie Nelson sure likes San Diego. And that’s perfect, because San Diego loves some Willie Nelson. The 12-time Grammy Award winner, 9-time CMA Award winner and Kennedy Center Honoree was last here for a sold-out show with 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss. He returns to the exact same venue for another sold-out show with his family band in tow.

@ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay,

5.15: Santigold

After collaborating with Brooklyn DJ and producer Dre Skull on the 2018 mixtape, I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions, Philly singer/producer Santigold (aka Santi White) is hitting the road to celebrate a milestone. On her current 10 Years Golder Tour, White will be performing her 2008 self-titled debut in its entirety each night.

@ House of Blues,

5.18: Z-Trip

Following an appearance in San Diego last year as a special guest on one night of Thievery Corporation’s double dip at the Belly Up, DJ and mash-up master Z-Trip (aka Zach Sciacca) returns to Solana Beach for a headlining show of his own. Adam Deitch (Lettuce/Break Science), Supernatural and DJ Buck Rodgers are also set to perform

@ Belly Up,

5.18: Cowboy Junkies

Going on their 35th year, this Toronto-born Americana quartet still boasts its original lineup and released its 16th studio album, All That Reckoning, last summer. The 11-song collection was the band’s first album of original material since 2012.

@ Observatory North Park,

5.20: Johnny Marr

The one-time Smiths co-songwriter and guitarist has lent his talents to the likes of Modest Mouse, The Pretenders, Electronic, The Healers, Cribs, The The and others over the years, but started making albums of his own in 2013. The latest (and third solo effort overall), 2018’s Call the Comet, was self-produced with band keyboardist James Doviak.

@ House of Blues,

5.21: IDLES

If you slept on getting tickets to critically acclaimed, Bristol-based rockers IDLES, unfortunately you’re too late for this upcoming sold-out show. But you can still listen to their sophomore album, Joy as an Act of Resistance, which was released last year.

@ Belly Up,

5.21: NAV

In March, NAV, aka Canadian rapper/producer Navraj Goraya, released his second studio album, Bad Habits, on The Weeknd’s XO Records. It features appearances from Meek Mill, Young Thug, and Gunna, as well as the XO label founder himself.

@ House of Blues,

5.22: Gary Clark Jr.

Named after his in-your-face take on Woody Guthrie’s classic song, Austin-based guitar slinger Gary Clark Jr. released his third studio album, This Land, in February. It debuted at No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard 200, making it Clark Jr.’s third straight entry in the top 10.

@ Harrah’s,

5.22: Dead Boys

Responsible for the classic punk anthem Sonic Reducer, these veteran Cleveland, Ohio, rockers still feature founding lead guitarist Cheetah Chrome and drummer Johnny Blitz. They released a re-recording of their 1977 debut, Young Loud and Snotty, in 2017.

@ Casbah,

5.23: NKOTB

There are a lot of mixtapes being made these days, but rarely are they actually released on cassette. The current Mixtape Tour from New Kids On The Block isn’t a tape either, but at least it’s rooted in a time where that was a ubiquitous form. Plus, they’re bringing Salt N’ Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson along to help throw it all the way back.

@ Viejas Arena,

5.24: Wisin y Yandel

Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel (aka Juan Luis Morera Luna and Llandel Veguilla Malavé Salazar) have released a handful of solo albums on their own, but last teamed up in 2018 for Los Campeones del Pueblo: The Big Leagues — their 10th album together. It features guest appearances from Bad Bunny, Maluma, Ozuna, Farruko and others.

@ Viejas Arena,

5.26: Jenny Lewis

The singer/songwriter, actress and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman released her fourth solo studio album, On the Line, in March. It cracked the top five on both Billboard’s Top Rock and Top Alternative Albums charts and features contributions from the likes of Ringo Starr, Beck, Ryan Adams and Don Was.

@ House of Blues,

5.26: Sleep

The long-running San Jose-based stoner/doom metal trio has experienced resurgence as of late. Still featuring two founding members, vocalist/bassist Al Cisneros and guitarist Matt Pike, Sleep released their fourth studio album, The Sciences, last year on Jack White’s Third Man Records. It was their first since 1999’s now-classic Dopesmoker.

@ Observatory North Park,

5.29: Elle King

The 29-year-old powerhouse blues/rock singer, songwriter and actress has been the opening act for everyone from Ed Sheeran and Train to Modest Mouse and the Dixie Chicks. King released her second studio album, Shake the Spirit, last year.

@ House of Blues,

5.29: The Hives & Refused

It’s a double dose of Swedish goodness as garage rockers The Hives and post-hardcore punks The Refused join forces on their Scream Team co-headlining tour. L.A. pop punk duo Bleached opens the show.

@ Observatory North Park,

5.31: 93.3 Summer Kick Off w/ Halsey

Is it summer yet? Can’t really tell with the wildly indecisive California weather lately. But if hanging with Halsey, Ellie Goulding, Bebe Rexha and more means it’s time to kick spring to the curb, well then, bring it on.

@ Pechanga Arena,

5.30, 31: The Specials

The 2 Tone/Ska legends hit 40 years together last year and celebrated with a stop at the House of Blues downtown. Still led by founding members Lynval Golding and Horace Panter, as well as original member Terry Hall, the band released their eighth studio album, Encore, in February. It’s their first album of original material since 1998 and their first with Hall since 1981’s classic single, Ghost Town.

@ House of Blues,