Can it be? A week with fewer than ten concert options? Are we slowing down as the summer wears on? Nah — it’s just a breather, and you should enjoy it, Philly. Here are eight concerts you can see in the next seven days, beginning Thursday with a queen of neo-soul at the Dell and going though Saturday and an acoustic modern rock bill at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club.
Thursday 8/2: Erykah Badu at The Dell Music Center
She’s classic, she’s cosmic, she’s confrontational and sometimes controversial. One state you’ll never find neo-soul trailblazer Erykah Badu in is one of boredom. For over twenty years, she’s been pushing conventional genre boundaries with her trademark honeyed vocal and immersive instrumental soundscapes, and whether we’re talking the flawless Baduizm and Mama’s Gun records, or the socially conscious New AmErykah series of more recent years, she’s always reaching for the stars, and rarely provokes a neutral reaction. This Thursday night she’s back onstage in Philly to headline the Dell in Fairmount Park. // 8 p.m., $35, AA // TIX + INFO – John Vettese
Thursday 8/2: Gender Work at The Pharmacy
Producer and composer Kenny Wittwer is the person behind Gender Work, a Philadelphia electronic pop project that’s been captivating the Bandcamp zone over the past year with gauzy, glitchey soundscapes in the vein of M83. This February, they joined up with the like-minded Marina Murayama Nir on “Summer Rain,” a glorious seasonally affected anthem (a byproduct of making a summertime jam in the winter, I suppose) and Thursday night Gender Work brings its self-styled “experiments for unicorns” to The Pharmacy in South Philly. // 7 p.m., $8, AA // INFO – J.V.
Thursday 8/2: Restorations at Spruce Street Harbor Park
Philly DIY vets Restorations are gearing up to release their fourth album, LP5000, this fall. But before they get in the thick of that, they’re throwing it back to the spring of 2011 and the release of their self-titled debut, which introduced the scene to their expansive songs built around overdriven amps and methodical pacing. They’ll be playing the album in full this Thursday night during a free concert at Spruce Street Harbor Park; I’ll be there jamming along to “Val D’or” and I hope you are too. // 8 p.m., FREE, AA // INFO – J.V.
Thursday 8/2: Rico Nasty at The Foundry of The Fillmore Philadelphia
Rising east coast rapper Rico Nasty is inquisitive and adventurous, the sort of artist who will try anything once, sonically and aesthetically. Rooted in P.G. County, Maryland, she rose to notoriety by flaunting her persona and brand on Instagram in tandem with a wild run of tight mixtapes released on SoundCloud. Her latest, Nasty, is the first since signing to Atlantic Records, and over its 14 songs, she tries on everything from hard-boiled trap to downbeat spacey melodicism to punk rock screams. That chameleonic aspect reminds me of her Bronx peer Princess Nokia, though Rico Nasty’s extensive range falls under the umbrella of a single project. Some might call that weird, I call it compelling. Thursday night she headlines The Foundry of The Fillmore Philly alongside Maliibu Miitch. // 8 p.m., $18, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Friday 8/3: Samara at LAVA Space
Local punk act Samara opens the night Saturday at Lancaster Ave’s Lava Space. The band mixes lyrics in English and Spanish over driving punk rippers. Headlining the evening is Rata Negra, who hail from Spain, while Lindseys, Pandemix, and local faves Dark Thoughts also appear on the bill. Check out Samara’s s/t tape, released earlier this year, ahead of the gig Friday. // 7:00 p.m., $12, AA // INFO – Jack Madden
Friday 8/3: Ill Fated Natives at Underground Arts
Philly blues, rock, and jazz fusion trio Ill Fated Natives open for Johnny Popcorn this Friday night. The band has become a live favorite among The Key interns recently, between their performance this past May at the Beyond The Bars benefit show and their 4th of July set on the Chilly Moody Stage on the Parkway. Check out a live version of their track, “World On Fire,” ahead of their Underground Arts show Friday night. // 9:00 p.m., $12, 21+ // TIX + INFO – J.M.
Saturday 8/4: Anthony Green at the Chameleon Club
Doylestown-native Anthony Green is celebrating 10 years of his debut studio album, Avalon, which officially turns 10 on August 5th, 2018 (aka midnight the night of his Chameleon Club gig). Check out The Key’s Emily Herbein’s recap of Green’s last Philly show, who writes that this tour is “about more than the milestone of a decade. This tour is about love and nostalgia and connection, ahead.” // 6:30 p.m., $19.50, AA // TIX + INFO – J.M.
Remember Sports at Johnny Brenda’s
Philly power-pop punkers Remember Sports headline JB’s Saturday night behind their latest LP, Slow Buzz, out on Father/Daughter Records. You may have heard of the band before, but under a different name. They recently changed their name from Sports to Remember Sports for the sake of clarity. Check out one of the band’s sets from SXSW this past year to get a taste of the band’s live sound. // 9:0 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – J.M.