I’m bringing back the weekly Best Shows This Week calendar, starting off with a special New Year’s 2018 edition. There are quite a few dope shows leading up to and on the actual holiday that I’ve highlighted below. Check them out!
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27
Brockhampton at El Rey, 9 PM *SOLD OUT*
One of the fastest-rising rap groups identify themselves as a boy band and kick off a series of sold-out gigs at the El Rey this Wednesday. They’ve had as big of a year as anyone, to the point that these three shows sold out extremely quickly — during a holiday week no less. I’ve been fucking with “Cannon” since it dropped in January.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28
One of the coolest shows I’ve seen in a while was STS9 at The Wiltern back in January. They’re wrapping up their year with a dope LA gig at The Novo — another venue that lends itself to their awesome show. Bassist Alana Rocklin (who joined the band a few years ago) is an absolute monster on the axe. The light show is also top notch.
The Hush Sound are an indie pop band I loved when I was in high school and they’ve played these reunion gig around the holidays the last couple years, and I’ll finally be able to make it to one! Lead vocalist Greta Morgan is as prolific as they come, with stints as a solo act Springtime Carnivore as well as stints working with La Sera and in a dope band Gold Motel, and anything she puts out is solid as hell.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29
Cherry Glazerr blew my mind with their excellent record from this year Apocalipstick, and later at shows at the Teragram Ballroom, FYF Fest, and opening for Slowdive at The Wiltern. This is the band’s biggest headlining hometown show yet, and they’re bring along awesome support acts Vagabon and Shannon Lay. Cherry Glazerr are absolute maniacs on stage and if you haven’t seen them, I expect a raucous pit experience at this show. If you wanna claim you’re too sore to do anything on New Years Eve and have a reason to back that claim up, mosh in the pit for this one.
Above & Beyond, Gabriel & Dresden, Grum, Spencer Brown at LA Convention Center, 7 PM, 18+, $66.75+
Want to have a New Year’s Eve worthy celebration without doing it the actual night of NYE, thus avoiding insane Uber surcharges? Celebrate a couple of days early by attending this Above & Beyond show, which is sure to pack the kind of excitement of anything you’ll do on NYE. This will go until 1 AM and I’m pretty stoked to catch their own gig after being mesmerized by their Outside Lands 2017 set.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30
Misfits at The Forum, 7 PM *SOLD OUT*
Last year, the original Misfits reunited for the first time in 33 years at Riot Fest and will be ending 2017 with their only scheduled show at The Forum the day before NYE. Tickets are sold out but are reasonably priced on the resale market. If you’re a fan of these legendary rockers, it’s a rare opportunity to see them!
Dave Chappelle and John Mayer at Hollywood Palladium, 9 PM *SOLD OUT*
I had the rare opportunity to see John Mayer play a special show at the Hotel Cafe earlier this year, and for the last hour or so, Dave Chappelle randomly joined him on stage and told jokes and did little bits with Mayer playing music behind him. Nothing this year made me smile more than seeing Chappelle sing “Under the Bridge” while Mayer played the riff behind him, saying it was the most regular song he heard when having sex with white women. Their official shows closing out 2017 should be a little less loose and more coherent, which could be fun!
Stones Throw Holiday Takeover ft. Mayer Hawthorne, Dam-Funk, Peanut Butter Wolf, and more at Union, 9 PM, 21+, $20.00
Stones Throw always throws dope shows — like when Common headlined last year’s #30DaysInLA block party-type gig. I expect this to be along the same kind of fun as Mayer Hawthorne and Co. always put on a fun show.
The fact that you can go Cherry Glazerr-to-Wavves on back-to-back nights in LA this week is pretty awesome. I saw the two play the same bill together (along with Best Coast) and it was some of the most aggressive but fun mosh pits I’ve seen in a while.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31
Prohibition NYE: Goldroom at Union Station, 21+, $175.00+, formal attire required
Prohibition NYE is always a NYE show I’ve wanted to catch, it’s a Prohibition era-themed party with an open bar (which is why the expensive ticket) and it should be a pretty fun time. Goldroom are always awesome live and I expect them to put on a killer show. This is one of the more expensive and upscale events, but if you’re looking for something different this is right up your alley.
Dave Chappelle and John Mayer at The Forum, 9 PM, $79.50+
A much-bigger venue than the previous night’s Palladium gig, this show was announced beforehand and should have additional surprises that might not pop up at the other gigs.
Dillon Francis, Whethan, Valentino Khan, Yung Punch & Team EZY at Shrine Expo Hall, 8:40 PM, 18+, $74.50+
I went to a Dillon Francis show last December, and though it’s not my electronic music of choice I had a pretty damn good time. This should be a hot sweaty mess of a crowd in the wide open space that is the Shrine Expo Hall (where I saw Dillon last year), and a good show to roll to in large groups.
If you want something a bit more low-key but also skewing more mature, Nick Waterhouse’s soul-meets-R&B vibes is right up your alley. I caught him a few times before and he’s an impressive live performer and his 2016 record Never Twice was one of the most underrated from last year. Also the Moroccan Lounge is a fun intimate new DTLA venue worth checking out.
Here’s Pass The Aux wishing you a happy New Year’s full of live music, and that you see more shows in 2018 than you’ve ever seen before!