eliza berkon is a journalist and musician based in washington d.c. 

17 Concerts You Don't Want To Miss Around D.C. This Week


"Same as it ever was" only sounds vaguely the same in three-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo's recent recording, a decidedly uplifting take on a tune whose other-worldly original version has been seen both as nonsensical and as a critique of "unchecked consumerism". Hear the West African singer-songwriter's reinterpretation of Remain in Light, the 1980 album by art rock band Talking Heads, at Wolf Trap with Femi Kuti and The Positive Force. Show 8 p.m. $28-$60. All ages, accessible venue.

The latest album, 1984, from Chicago-based Joan of Arc is one part concept rock, one part acid trip. Catch them with Cex at DC9. Show 8 p.m. $12. All ages, inaccessible venue.


Afro-Colombian ensemble Grupo Rebolu creates contemporary dance music using a blend of modern and traditional instruments. Dare yourself to stand still during their show at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. Show 6 p.m. FREE. All ages, accessible venue.

Just what the all-time best release from California alt-rock band Counting Crows is remains open for debate, with "Mr. Jones," "A Long December" and "Round Here" all clear nominees. But a dark horse might be the band's stripped-down cover of Psychedelic Furs' classic, "Ghost in You." The track was featured in Clueless, likely putting the Crows in the pantheon of artists (including Radiohead) that Cher Horowitz would consider college "crybaby music." But it's great. See the band with fellow '90s-era rockers Live at Jiffy Lube Live. Show 6:30 p.m. $22-$119+. All ages, accessible venue.

Charlottesville blues-funk-R&B outfit Erin and the Wildfire, fronted by virtuosic singer (check out 2:48) Erin Lunsford, comes to Strathmore's Live from the Lawn. Show 7 p.m. FREE. All ages, accessible venue.


There's something nostalgic about the folk-rock of Andrew Combs, a Nashville singer-songwriter who released a cover of The Strokes' "Reptilia" (which sounds more like Chris Isaakmeets a circa-1992 Suzanne Vega than The Strokes) on his new EP. Hear him with The Kernaland Charlie Whitten at DC9. Show 8 p.m. $12-$14. All ages, inaccessible venue.

The latest album from Grammy-nominated rapper Wiz KhalifaRolling Papers 2, is stacked with marquee-name collaborations, including Ty Dolla Sign, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Snoop Dogg, and Gucci Mane. But a few other major names on the track list will appear on stage with Khalifa at Jiffy Lube Live, including Lil Skies and sibling hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd (that's "Ear Drummers" backwards), whose member Swae Lee sings with Khalifa on "Hopeless Romantic." Show 6 p.m. $26-$64+. All ages, accessible venue.

In 2017, Toad the Wet Sprocket drummer Dean Dinning said he looks both to The Smiths and The 1975 for inspiration. See if you can detect any of those influences when the '90s band that brought us one of the best alt-rock hooks ever performs at The Birchmere. with singer-songwriter Megan Slankard. (Also performing Friday) Show 7:30 p.m. $65. All ages, accessible venue.

See local punk band Wolves of the Dry Ravine and dreamy rock group Koshari (a show re-scheduled for Thursday after the July 30 date was rained out) at what is slated as the final Fort Reno show of the summer. Show 7 p.m. FREE. All ages, accessible venue.


D.C. indie rock group Fuzz Queen, which formed in response to the 2016 presidential election, aims to gather "around issues of social injustice and feminine power" with its brand of charged rock. See them with Fiona SilverLoi Loi and Higher Numbers at Rock and Roll Hotel. Show 9 p.m. $16. All ages, accessible venue.

You may know that Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett eloped with Julia Roberts after dating for only a few weeks (learn more about that from Barbara Walters), but did you know he was also attacked by a bull back in 2002? Anyway, Lovett brings his thoughtful country to Wolf Trap. Show 8 p.m. $30-$50. All ages, accessible venue.


After a health-induced hiatus (she recently experienced a vocal hemorrhage that threatened to sideline her career), Shakira is back. See the Colombian pop superstar in her El Dorado Tour at Capital One Arena. Show 7:30 p.m. $75-$300+. All ages, accessible venue.

Chicago-bred vocalist Jeremih deftly bridges hip-hop and R&B with tracks that work interchangeably in the club (did someone just sample Snap!?) or the bedroom. See him with Teyana Taylor and DaniLeigh at the 9:30 Club. Doors 8 p.m. $40. All ages, accessible venue.

Country star (and one half of quite the power coupleKeith Urban comes to Jiffy Lube Live with Kelsea Ballerini. Show 7:30 p.m. $29-$116+. All ages, accessible venue.


There's nothing quite like a cappella pop quintet Pentatonix, who quickly parlayed their 2011 Sing-Off win into three Grammys, international tours and appearances all over the place. See the instrument-less phenoms with Echosmith and Calum Scott at Jiffy Lube Live. Show 8 p.m. $18-$129+. All ages, accessible venue.

With the Mamma Mia! prequel/sequel raking in the dough and highly anticipated new songs on the horizon (plus, a hologram tour?), we may be nearing the zenith of ABBA fandom (if that's possible). Satiate your appetite for the time being with ABBA The Concert, a tribute show staged by some close-to-the-real-thing musicians at Wolf Trap. Show 8 p.m. $40-$100. All ages, accessible venue.


"I'm sorry—we don't know how to market a girl playing saxophone; that doesn't make sense to us." That's what Florida-bred Mindi Abair—who sings, plays multiple instruments, and has written a book—was told early in her career. After discouraging speeches like that, she went on to tour with The Backstreet Boys, Aerosmith, and Mandy Moore, to name a few. Catch her saucy blues with her band, The Boneshakers, at The Birchmere. Show 7:30 p.m. $35. All ages, accessible venue.

With A Loop Pedal And Some 'Badass' Inspiration, Cellist Wes Swing Gets Experimental

11 Things To Do Around D.C. This Week