Philadelphia's live music scene rocks. From great halls to intimate one-room venues, shows for every taste take stages indoors and out all across town this month. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
On any given night of the week, there’s no shortage of awesome music rocking stages in our fair city.
We’ve sifted through flyers, calendars and tapped in-the-know friends to bring you the best of what’s going on in Philadelphia, music-wise.
Here’s a look at the shows we’re the most excited about this May, including an arrive with Lady Gaga, Diplo’s first stop in Philly this season and some serious jam band action!
Read on for our picks of the best live shows to take in this month, below.
• Marnie Stern: Friday, May 9, 8 p.m., Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue. Nobody shreds like Marnie Stern. Her blend of technically on-point guitar work and strong, but still totally fun (and awesomely raucous), vocals make her the perfect 2014 poster girl for Kill Rock Stars, the Northwest label whose catalog includes Bikini Kill and Bratmobile.
• Ozomalti: Saturday, May 10, 8 p.m., TLA, 334 South Street. This SoCal jam-fusion outfit has been blending chilled out reggae vibes with danceable funk with a little bit of social justice for nearly 20 years. Although the lineup has changed quite a bit over the years, their latest, Place in the Sun is pure, sun- and ska-soaked good times.
• 7th Annual Radio 104.5 Birthday Show: Sunday, May 11, 2 p.m., Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Bouelvard, Camden, NJ. This all day fest over the river has a little something for everyone — head nodding indie from Foster the People, nineties nostalgia from Third Eye Blind (guaranteed sentimental singalong when they play “How’s it Going to Be”) and maybe the most exciting, the UK import openers, Foals.
• Lady Gaga: Monday, May 12, 7:30 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street. Lady Gaga’s summer tour is being billed as an “art rave.” What’s an art rave? We’re not entirely sure, but if anyone can pull off an a stadium tour that’s equal parts pop and performance art, it’s for sure Gaga.
• Haim: Wednesday, May 14, 8 p.m., Tower Theater, 19 S. 69th Street, Upper Darby. Haim is almost too good to be true. Three gorgeous sister from Los Angeles channeling their inner Stevie Nicks? In the best possible way? Sold. Even if you’ve only heard “The Wire” from their breakout album, Days Are Gone, it’s worth the train trip out to Upper Darby to check out Haim’s infectious show.
• Chromeo: Wednesday, May 14, 8 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street. This dapper duo out of Montreal bills themselves as “the most successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture,” and it’s easy to agree with them. “Jealous”, the first single off the band’s upcoming, White Women is synth-infused and ’80s-inspired, making for an instant dance floor hit. Plus, just the beginning of an album includes a crazy list of guest appearances from Solange Knowles, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and Toro y Moi.
• Tokyo Police Club: Friday, May 16, 8 p.m., TLA, 334 South Street. References to New York garage rock band The Strokes are inevitable when talking about Tokyo Police Club, and it’s easy to see why when you see the group in person. But there’s something else to this Canadian outfit, too, something that speaks a little more to angsty, ’90s-era emo-pop than straight up low fi rock and roll. Unsurprisingly the combination totally works.
More May music picks, below.
• Daniel Avery: Saturday, May 24, 10 p.m., The Dolphin Tavern, 1539 South Broad Street. British dance producer Daniel Avery’s Drone Logic is genius through and through, and his DJ sets are even better. Avery mixes his own tracks (and remixes from the likes of Factory Floor and The Horrors) with shoegaze influences a la My Bloody Valentine.
• Wired Fest: Friday, May 30, 7 p.m., Festival Pier, 601 N. Columbus Boulevard. No need to wait until August’s Mad Decent Block Party in your life. Diplo is heading to Festival Pier along with Scottish collaborator/producer extraordinaire Calvin Harris and New Classics from Aussie import Iggy Azalea. Bring your dancing shoes.
• Roots Picnic: Saturday, May 31, noon, Festival Pier, 601 N. Columbus Boulevard. The big question every year is who Questlove and The Roots crew are going to bring in for the annual picnic. The line up is super-olid this year with Snoop Dog, er, Lion backed up by The Roots, aarabMUZIK and Action Bronson (fingers crossed that he’s bringing his food truck). And file this one under didn’t-see-this-coming-but-totally-cool: The War on Drugs is playing too. Want to score free tickets? Enter daily through Wednesday, May 28 to win two passes to the day-long bash via Philly 360°.