Tonight’s Concert Picks: Field Report at Underground Arts, Esperanza Spalding at The Keswick Theatre, and Ron Gallo at Bourbon and Branch

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Field Report
Field Report | Photo courtesy of the artist

As part of Communion Philly, a monthly series of shows created by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, critically-acclaimed Wisconsin folk band Field Report will be playing Underground Arts tonight. Fronted by Chris Porterfield (who played in DeYarmon Edison with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), as well as multiple members of psych-folk group Megafaun, the band will be bringing their poetic lyricism and beautiful signature melodic-yet-ambient acoustic sound to Philadelphia to headline a night of diverse music with a lineup ranging from alternative rock to swing-hop to, of course, folk. Other groups playing include Portland, Oregon’s Quiet Life, and Philadelphia groups Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night, Weekender, and Marian Hill. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Portland-based jazz bass virtuoso and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, the first jazz musician to ever win the Grammy for “Best New Artist” in 2011, plays the Keswick Theatre tonight at 7:00. Spalding is known for her affinity for fusion music, particularly her blends of jazz and soul, and is considered one of the best modern artists striving to, as she puts it, take jazz from its present place being “co-opted by the seasoned ‘art’ community” and restore its “street value,” recalling when jazz music was the standard at dance clubs and the music of the street. Her desire to create a more modern and accessible spin on modern jazz has resulted in a very smooth and well-composed style notable for its happy, gently-driving bass lines and almost seductive vocalization. Check out “Black Gold” below and get tickets and more info on the show via the XPN Concert Calendar.

Self-described “ever-changing, good spirited, weirdo madman” Ron Gallo, a Philadelphia native and former front-man of local blues-rock band Toy Soldiers, is playing at Bourbon & Branch. His style is unique in that he almost doesn’t have one: as he explains, “sometimes it’s rock n’ roll, sometimes Sunday morning bossa nova, sometimes funtime rap metal about Kurt Vonnegut. Whatevs.” His pseudo-lack of definable genre suits him as he mixes the styles of so many greats before him, creating a sound perhaps most comparable to a Bob Dylan who had experienced 40 more years of music before starting his own career, which is excellently-exemplified below in a live performance of his original song “Expensive Hair.” Definitely not a show to be missed, Gallo will be supported by Happiness and The Bernhardt Family Band. Tickets and info can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Also playing:

Angela Sheik at Tellus360 (8 p.m., free, 21+)

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