Los Angeles is home to a wealth of pop-cultural events, the leader of the pack being concerts. But with so many venues and artists to choose from and so little time, it can be difficult to narrow it down. Here’s a list of the must-hear concerts and must-see venues this fall, for all sorts of tastes.
Indie darlings, mark your calendar. Los Angeles’ leading indie-music festival, FYF Fest, is back Saturday and Sunday — and for the first time, it’s a two-day festival event.
The Los Angeles Historic Park-based musical extravaganza features headliners Beirut, M83, Refused and James Blake as well as smaller acts including AA Bondy, Chairlift, Sleigh Bells, Warpaint and Yeasayer.
The festival also offers a comedy lineup, which includes funnyman David Cross — best known as the infamous Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development — Brendon Walsh, Brent Weinbach and more.
Grab your fedoras and get ready to jam to the next big acts in indie music.
Tickets run for $89 and can be purchased at fyfest.com.
John Williams: Maestro of Movies
Esteemed composer John Williams returns to the Hollywood Bowl on Friday and Saturday to conduct some of his greatest cinematic scores.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic and special guest violinist Gil Shaham will play the legendary composer’s famous hits from notable films, such as Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones and more.
But the music isn’t the only thing that is sure to make this concert spectacular; the Bowl itself is the perfect outdoor summer venue. So pack a picnic, crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy the remaining summer nights, all to the tune of Williams’ hits.
Tickets can be purchased at hollywoodbowl.com; prices vary.
Alternative-indie band Grizzly Bear will make its way to the Greek Theatre on Oct. 10.
The band gained fame for its hit “Two Weeks” and for work on the Blue Valentine soundtrack. It also garnered a reputation for its signature sound: part experimental, part folk and melodic all the way through.
It is fitting, then, for the folk-infused Grizzly Bear to perform at the Greek Theatre, an outdoor arena in Griffith Park surrounded by greenery and a starlit sky.
There’s simply nothing like listening to a band matched perfectly with its venue, which is sure to be the case with Grizzly Bear and the Greek Theatre.
Tickets can be purchased at greektheaterla.com; prices vary.
Southern California has become a hotbed for top electronic dance music talent and equally impressive shows, and Nocturnal Wonderland serves as a perfect example of both.
Part of Insomniac Events’ annual themed festivals (others include Escape From Wonderland and Beyond Wonderland), Nocturnal consistently features some of the world’s best EDM acts: This year’s setlist includes the phenomenal trance group Above & Beyond, acclaimed Norwegian duo Röyksopp, Dash Berlin, Neon Indian and more.
The festival also flaunts six separate themed stages for attendees to check out, with epic light shows and pyrotechnics thrown in for good measure. Insomniac has cultivated a reputation for theatricality, and this show certainly will not be an exception.
One-day passes are $85 and can be purchased at NocturnalWonderland.com.
L.A.’s Jazz Scene
As New York’s legendary jazz scene grew, many top musicians looked to the West Coast as a place to break out of the 52nd Street routine and to find a new audience. Through that migration, Los Angeles became a jazz icon in its own right, playing host to a number of stellar clubs and even better musicians.
Thankfully for Angelenos, that hip scene has hung around. Though the music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, a jazz club can still be an intriguing choice for a date or an after-hours drink with a friend. Little Tokyo’s Blue Whale Bar hosts some of the best up-and-coming jazz groups as well as established pros: Even USC’s esteemed percussion professor Peter Erskine played a set there on Aug. 19.
The intimate space has the feel of an indie art gallery and offers classic drinks as well as a small food menu. And Hollywood’s Catalina Bar and Grill, a famous jazz club with a long tradition of top-notch tunes, also gives audiences a chance to see the best musicians on the West Coast. The club’s popularity makes it slightly pricey, with a two-drink minimum on top of entrance fees, but it’s worth it for a unique night out.