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

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


With 27 Grammy wins, bluegrass/country artist Alison Krauss is tied with producer Quincy Jones for spot No. 2 (behind late conductor Georg Solti) on the list of all-time top Grammy winners. At The Anthem, hear the feather-light voice of the fiddler who has long fronted bluegrass band Union Station and collaborated with country artists such as Brad Paisley (see hit song "Whiskey Lullaby" and yes, that's the guy from Silver Spoons). Show 8 p.m. $56-$126. All ages, accessible venue.

This week, art space Rhizome DC launches a six-week sound meditation series, but the concert that follows Tuesday night's session is arguably a meditation unto itself. Compositions like "Home Over Yonder Variations Pt. 2" by North Carolina-based 12-string guitarist Sarah Louise employ repetition and countermelody in ways that are sublimely transportive. See her with local duo Literals, featuring Washington City Paper arts editor (not to mention former DCist editor in chief) Matt Cohen at Rhizome DC. Show 9 p.m. $10 suggested donation. All ages, inaccessible venue.

What exactly will Donald Glover do next? One never knows, but setting aside all his accolades for lauded and recently Emmy-snubbed TV show Atlanta, his career as rapper/singer Childish Gambino certainly stands on its own. Whether releasing an earth-shattering video one day or threatening to close up shop the next, Glover keeps up an intense mystique. See him with hip-hop sibling duo Rae Sremmurd at Capital One Arena. Show 7:30 p.m. $49-$129+. All ages, accessible venue.

"I'm trying to free my mind and live a life stress-free, but the politics of this country are getting to me," sings Sting on "44/876" (a reference to the calling codes of the UK and Jamaica) off an album of the same name that he and reggae-pop artist Shaggy released earlier this year, to a less-than-stellar Pitchfork review. Still, while both that article and this performance are pretty hard to take in, other in-concert collaborations appear more promising. See the pair at The Theater at MGM National Harbor. Show 8 p.m. $74-183+. All ages, accessible venue.


Phoenix-bred alt-country vocalist Courtney Marie Andrews may be young, but her voice recalls those of musicians who came decades before her (looking at you, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt). See her with Michaela Anne at Rock and Roll Hotel. Show 8 p.m. $15. All ages, accessible venue.

Longtime Jamaican reggae group Black Uhuru, which emerged from Kingston more than 50 years ago, comes to The Howard Theatre with Jahmdub. Show 9 p.m. $22.50-$55. All ages, accessible venue.


It's hard to beat "Tiny Dancer" or "Rocket Man" if you're looking for a masterpiece from Sir Elton John. But really, one must look no further than "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," an epic song so woefully underplayed it somehow didn't make it on Spotify's "This Is Elton John" playlist (luckily, Rolling Stone readers know better). Play it when you're at your lowest point and you'll find your way back up. The British piano master plays Capital One Arena in a farewell tour (with a performance also Saturday). Show 8 p.m. $199-$249+. All ages, accessible venue.

That eyeshadow. That plaid suit. That glowing crimson pyramid. It's hard to know exactly what British new-wave artist Gary Numan was going for (though further research is welcome) with the album art for his debut 1979 album, The Pleasure Principle. But perhaps it helped the Moog-heavy "Cars" (which, shockingly, was composed on bass) become a Top 10 hit in the United States. See Numan with Nightmare Air at the 9:30 Club. Doors 6 p.m. $30. All ages, accessible venue.

Take in the polyrhythmic, genre-bending music of Dutch artist Matthew From Amsterdam at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Show 6 p.m. FREE. All ages, accessible venue.


Nine years ago, one-man electronic pop outfit Owl City ( the brainchild of Adam Young) dropped megahit "Fireflies" from some song incubator in outer space. Sure, he's put out a series of additional albums and collaborated with the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen, but we all know what he'll be playing for an encore. See the Minnesota-bred artist with Matthew Thiessen and the Earthquakes at the 9:30 Club. Doors 7 p.m. $30. All ages, accessible venue.

In advance of an international tour this fall, Sharon Clark—who is a little bit Nancy Wilson, a little bit Sarah Vaughan—stops by weekly concert series Speakeasy Jazz Nights at The Alex. Show 8 p.m. $20 minimum food/alcohol purchase. All ages, accessible venue.

Music festival Trillectro, which hit the scene in 2012 to highlight musicians on the rise, returns to the D.C. area with SZA, 2 Chainz, Rico Nasty and several other artists at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Show 1 p.m.-11 p.m. $60-$199. All ages, accessible venue.

More than 50 years ago, Alice Gerrard and Hazel Dickens released their first of a handful of poignant albums (loaded with bittersweet songs about love and loss) in what would become a key contribution to the folk-music resurgence of the 1960s. See Gerrard in an album-release concert for Sing Me Back Home: The DC Tapes, 1965-1969 at All Souls Church. Show 7 p.m. $10-$18. All ages, accessible venue.


Colombian singer-songwriter Carlos Vives may have gotten his start in acting with 1980s telenovelas such as Gallito Ramirez, but his music career really started taking off in the '90s with album Clasicos de la Provincia and his rendition of traditional Colombian tune "La Gota Fria." He has since released a string of Spanish-language albums, teaming up with fellow Colombian Shakira for "La Bicicleta" on 2017 album Vives. See him at The Anthem. Show 7 p.m. $56-$156. All ages, accessible venue.

High-wattage hip-hop stars such as Gucci Mane, Dizzy Wright and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are just a few of the acts in the new, two-day music/visual art/medical cannabis event, Green Haus Festival, which opens Saturday and continues Sunday at RFK Stadium. Show noon-9 p.m. $70-$245. 21+, accessible venue.


On new album Raise Vibration, Grammy-toting singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and toothpaste innovator Lenny Kravitz flavors what's essentially a rock record with tastes of new wave and funk, and also throws in a couple ballads (most notably full-throated rallying call "Here to Love," on which he sings,"We're not here to judge—we're here to love"). But the most impactful song on the record is the one that, in no uncertain terms, critiques corruption and catalogues seemingly infinite injustices. See him with Curtis Harding at The Anthem. Show 8 p.m. $75-$125. All ages, accessible venue.

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