13 Bands to See in 2013

JANUARY 2, 2013

Want a fun New Year’s resolution? No, I’m not going to suggest a new upbeat spin class to attend or a healthy, organic snack to eat. I’ve got 13 bands for you to check out live! Why resolve to attend more live shows? Because at the right show, you can be transported – to a new place, new time, new state of mind. Maybe it helps you forget; maybe it makes you remember. Perhaps it’s an out of body experience. If you’ve never felt it, I’ve got 13 suggestions for you – varying in genre and popularity (from the big shows to the more intimate). The list kicks off with the show that transported me last year, Two Door Cinema Club. Next up is Imagine Dragons, who put on the best concert I’ve been to in the past year and whom I believe will soon be as big as Coldplay.

So find a show below (I’ve only highlighted the bands’ major stops) and check out Quarterlette’s Spotify playlist, DiscoverThis, to have a listen.

1. Two Door Cinema Club – Sun

  • Sounds… electropop – balancing upbeat, introspective optimism with a lonely sentimental dejection
  • Like it? Check out: Next Year, Sleep Alone
  • Hails from: Northern Ireland
  • Destinations: Austin (4/9), Dallas (4/11), Australia (early Jan), Singapore (1/11), Europe (spring)

2. Imagine Dragons – It’s Time

  • Sounds… radio-friendly, danceable pop rock with a hardy helping of the bass drum
  • Like it? Check out: Radioactive, On Top of the World, Round and Round, Demons
  • Hails from: Vegas, baby!
  • Destinations: Phoenix (2/8), Vegas (2/9), Dallas (2/11), Houston (2/12), ATL (2/14), Philly (2/18), NYC (2/23), Boston (2/25), Chicago (3/4), SF (3/16), LA (3/20), Denver (3/23), & more!

3. St. Lucia – All Eyes on You

  • Sounds… experimental, syntho-pop with 80s roots and saxophone solos
  • Like it? Check out: September, Before the Dive, Closer Than This
  • Hails from: the one-man band (writer, singer, & producer) is from South Africa originally
  • Destinations: Miami (1/16), ATL (1/18), NYC (1/21 & 1/22), Boston (1/23), Philly (1/25), Chicago (1/29), Seattle (2/4), L.A. (2/9) & more!  Often opening for Ellie Goulding (you know her song, Lights)

4. Father John Misty – I’m Writing A Novel

  • Sounds… like he wrote this album on ‘shrooms on a road trip to LA… cause he did.
  • Like it? Check out: Hollywood Forever Cemetery Songs, Nancy From Now On
  • Hails from: Fleet Foxes’ drum set in Seattle, where he got his start. Grew up in Baltimore.
  • Destinations: NYC (1/14), Toronto (1/16), Chicago (1/18), Denver (1/21), SF (1/24 & 1/25), Seattle (1/27), Vancouver (1/28) & more! Touring with The Walkmen – check out Heaven & Heartbreaker!

5. Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

  • Sounds… like the Beatles (their later, trippier work) or in the band’s words, “psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music”
  • Like it? Check out: Elephant, Apocalypse Dreams
  • Hails from: Perth, Australia
  • Destinations: NYC (2/19), DC (2/20), Athens, GA (2/23), Texas (2/25-2/27), Midwest (3/3-3/8), Toronto (3/9), Boston (3/12) & more!

6. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

  • Sounds… folky with a touch of twang. Think hippies in a field with guitars.
  • Like it? Check out: Emmylou, Wolf
  • Hails from: Sweden, where the sisters perfected their harmonies
  • Destinations: Zurich (1/20), Vienna (1/21), Munich (1/22), Berlin (1/24), Copenhagen (1/25), Sweden (16 shows in Feb)

7. Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running

  • Sounds… like carefree, youthful pop rock. Sing along!
  • Like it? Check out: Forever, Stars (Hold On), Rootless
  • Hails from: L.A. – look for the lead singer to wear some wacky L.A. outfit like polka dot pants
  • Destinations: Portland (1/8), SF (1/11), LA (1/12), San Diego (1/13), Texas (1/16-1/18), Nashville (1/23), ATL (1/24), NYC (1/31) & more!

 8. Django Django – Life’s a Beach

  • Sounds… like a psychedelic, indie version of the Beach Boys
  • Like it? Check out: Default
  • Hails from: Scotland, where the band met at Edinburgh College of Art
  • Destinations: Australia (1/10-1/12), UK (Feb), Brooklyn (3/6 & 3/7), Philly (3/8), DC (3/9), Boston (3/11), Toronto (3/12), Chicago (3/15), Seattle (3/19), Portland (3/20), SF (3/22), LA (3/23) & more!

9. Brandi Carlile – That Wasn’t Me

  • Sounds… folky singer-songwriter with classic country influences (Indigo Girls-esque)
  • Like it? Check out: Hard Way Home, Raise Hell
  • Hails from: outside Seattle, near Bear Creek Studios, where she recorded the aptly named album, Bear Creek
  • Destinations: Cayamo (1/13), London (2/12 & 2/13), Miami (2/24), NYC (3/22 & 3/23), Nayarit, Mexico (4/7), & Edmonton, Canada (5/10)

10. John Fullbright – Gawd Above

  • Sounds… like a bluesy version of Ryan Adams
  • Like it? Check out: Jericho, Satan and St. Paul
  • Hails from: Oklahoma; wear your cowboy boots when you go see him!
  • Destinations: Midwest (1/11-1/15), Texas (1/18 & 1/19), UK (2/2-2/4), L.A. (3/1), Seattle (3/6), SF (3/8), Denver (3/16), Midwest (3/17-3/23) & more!

11. Muse – Panic Station

  • Sounds… Queen meets Coldplay, British glamour-rock
  • Like it? Check out: Madness
  • Hails from: England
  • Destinations: Japan (1/11-1/12), Cali (1/21-1/29), Seattle (2/1), Canada (2/3-2/6), Florida (2/22-2/25), Midwest (2/28-3/8), Boston (4/12), NYC (4/15-4/16), Europe (May-July), & more!

12. Shovels & Rope – Birmingham

  • Sounds… country, bluegrass, folk, and blues all-in-one (listen for the tambourine & harmonica!)
  • Like it? Check out: Hail, Hail
  • Hails from: obvi the married couple are from the South – Charleston, SC
  • Destinations: Miami (1/13), NYC (1/31), Boston (2/1), Philly (2/2), The South (2/3-3/19), DC (3/20), Canada (3/26-4/3), Bellingham, WA (4/5), & more! Touring with Lucero (a Memphis band!) 3/19 & on.

13. Cat Power – Ruin

  • Sounds… like a synthesized singer-songwriter trying to sing out for help, a la Fiona Apple
  • Like it? Check out: 3,6,9
  • Hails from: Atlanta and a papa who played the blues
  • Destinations: Santa Ana, CA (1/22), Denver (1/24), Texas (1/25-1/26), NYC (1/29), Philly (1/30), Australia/NZ (Feb & Mar)

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1 COMMENT

  • Have you checked out Straight to VHS from New London? They have a new CD release. Take care.
    ~ Chance