When musicians plan out North American tours, the performers — both megastar bands and underground stars — never dare to miss a stop or two in the City of Angels, a lucky decision for audiophiles living in Los Angeles.
In the last year, Angelenos were treated to a slew of high-profile shows ranging from Paul McCartney’s sole California stopover on his supposed final tour to a “secret” performance by The Cure at West Hollywood’s 500-person capacity Troubadour. This fall proves no different.
At first glance Los Angeles’ fall tour schedule looks closer to a rejected Lollapalooza lineup than a contemporary concert calendar, with a handful of seminal alternative rock groups from the ’80s and ’90s blazing through town. But with appearances from some of the music industry’s most mainstream artists to the thriving local scene, this coming fall’s concert lineup is a colorful menagerie that covers all the right musical bases.
To point you in the right direction and help you get your money’s worth, here are some of the most anticipated — and in a few cases, rarest — performances slated to hit Los Angeles this fall.
Nine Inch Nails (SOLD OUT)
Sept. 2 at Hollywood Palladium Sept. 3 at The Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater
Sept. 5 at Wiltern Theatre
Sept. 6 at Echoplex
For what frontman Trent Reznor touts as his influential industrial outlet’s farewell tour, Nine Inch Nails will make the rounds at some of Los Angeles’ most popular venues for their final shows.
From the recently remodeled large-capacity Palladium to the enticingly intimate Echoplex, hardcore NIN fans will find plenty of opportunities to bid their beloved band adieu — that is, of course, these concertgoers were lucky enough to have already purchased tickets during the tour’s fan-only sale.
Ticketless? Be prepared to shell out some major cash. However, considering Reznor’s recent wishy-washiness with his Twitter account, do not expect NIN’s LA performances to be their very last.
FYF Fest (Formerly F Yeah Fest)
Sept. 5 at Los Angeles State Historic Park; $20
Beginning as an ambitious project helmed by a Los Angeles teenager in 2004, the recently rechristened FYF Fest saw phenomenal growth over the last several years as it developed from an Echo Park secret to a nationally recognized festival.
Now in its sixth incarnation, FYF Fest not only delivers its most star-studded roster to date, but also seeks to bring awareness to the rampant budget cuts slated to affect California state parks.
The eclectic lineup promises something for everyone, be they rave-happy electro-kids (Telepathe, Glass Candy, Peanut Butter Wolf), die-hard punk rockers (The Black Lips, Fucked Up, Converge) or Pitchfork aficionados (No Age, Mika Miko, Wavves.)
If you can’t afford a ticket the festival organizers have teamed up with local charities to give those who volunteer 12 hours or more of their time a pair of free tickets.
Sept. 29 at Wiltern Theatre; $28.50
OK, so “youth” seems a tad paradoxical now that all members of Sonic Youth are nearly half a century old. However, if the band’s 16th and latest studio album, The Eternal, proves anything about the groundbreaking experimental post-punk/noise group, it’s that nothing — not even middle age — will slow it down.
Sonic Youth’s classic lineup of husband/wife duo Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, guitarist Lee Ranaldo and drummer Steve Shelley is joined on this tour by former Pavement bassist Mark Ibold — a longtime collaborator and friend of the band.
While Sonic Youth notoriously fills its sets with current songs rather than bits from its more acclaimed albums, hesitant fans should look toward the group’s summer tour setlists, which boast deep cuts such as “Death Valley ’69” and “Tom Violence” mixed in throughout evenings of newer material.
Oct. 13-15 at Hollywood Palladium; $56.50
Bob Dylan does not play guitar anymore — or so say attendees of Dylan’s recent performances. Rather surprisingly, such claims are based in truth. Instead of strumming away at his six-string, the American music master seats himself behind a piano with his back turned toward the audience as he reworks his classic songs into unrecognizable mutilations of their former selves.
But he’s still Bob Dylan — hopelessly iconic to the point of being a clichéd symbol of the reactionary 1960s. Movies have been made about him and people have built careers by imitating him — heck, your roommate probably has a poster of Dylan hanging on his wall. Seeing this legendary songwriter in concert is something you will tell your grandchildren about.
Nov. 4 at Hollywood Palladium; Price TBA
Rumormongers, rejoice. After years of speculation from fans, the Pixies finally return to the United States for the first time since 2005, kicking off their tour this November at the Palladium.
In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of its most celebrated release, Doolittle, the band plans to play the album in its entirety while on its selective jaunt through Europe and the States.
While the retrospective performance might irk diehard fans hoping lead singer Frank Black would deliver on his promise of new material from the seminal alternative band, all ill feelings should subside once the band powers through the album that features some of its most celebrated and recognizable songs, including “Wave of Mutilation” and “Here Comes Your Man.”
Nov. 5 at House of Blues Sunset Strip; $28
Barely able to buy a pack of beers when they scored an unlikely hit with 1987’s “You’re Living All Over Me,” Dinosaur Jr. maintained a heavy presence in the burgeoning alternative scene before the group disbanded in 1997.
More than 10 years later, the original members have reunited, recording two albums and touring the world extensively. Their latest effort, Farm, released this past June, places Dinosaur Jr. back at a creative high point unseen since their celebrated 1987 release.
Unlike former tour mates Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. fills its performances with some of the group’s biggest hits, from “Freak Scene” to “Sludgefeast,” ensuring that longtime supporters of the Amherst, Mass. trio will not be disappointed by the show.