HomeWorld NewsFall concert guide: A stellar lineup of rap legends and rock royalty is coming to Portland – OregonLive
Fall concert guide: A stellar lineup of rap legends and rock royalty is coming to Portland – OregonLive
August 31, 2023
One of the hottest summers in recent years is winding down, and fall is looking like it might be even busier where live music aficionados are concerned. The September concert calendar kicks off with R&B/pop/rap star Janelle Monae’s “Age of Pleasure Tour,” followed by October appearances from Ozomatli and Sting. The season wraps up with a final Aerosmith tour.
R&B/pop/rap queen Janelle Monae’s latest album was born out of her wanting to create music for day parties by the live music event experience and culture platform Everyday People, a collective of creatives who span the African diaspora. The result is “The Age of Pleasure,” Monae’s freest and most explicit album yet, with highlights like the ultra-danceable “Float,” the super smooth and sultry island vibes of “Water Slide,” the queer romance of “Lipstick Lover,” and more. The show will feel like a celebration, and will be worth the post-show traffic jam in the parking lot.
50 Cent’s “Final Lap Tour”is billed as his final tour ever, giving fans a good reason to make the trek out to Ridgefield and hear the G Unit rapper perform hits like “P.I.M.P.,” “Just A Little Bit,” “21 Questions,” and of course, “In Da Club.” Busta Rhymes is also a major pull, and will have the concertgoers losing their minds as they vibe out to nostalgic hip-hop anthems like “Break Ya Neck,” and “Make It Clap.” Seasoned R&B singer Jeremih offers more ample support to the bill, with catalog cuts like “Birthday Sex,” and “Down On Me.”
Portland-raised rap star Aminé teamed up with mega-producer Kaytranada, renting a Malibu beach house to work on their jointly titled album, “Kaytraminé.” The project is full of sunny, poppy songs that are perfect for creating party vibes. and it sounds like their upcoming tour stop at Edgefield is sure to be an unforgettable bash. The evening will no-doubt also see the rapper perform his viral hit “Caroline” for the hometown crowd.
London-based electronic music duo Jungle comprises Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, and is known for their groovy, digitized sound incorporating disco and soul. The group is also known for its one-shot dance music videos directed by Lloyd-Watson. This August, the band released a new 14-track full-length called “Volcano” that, while formulaic, is highly euphoric and enjoyable.
Japanese pop band Chai was founded by “miracle twins” Mana and Kana. The all-girl four-piece group is completed by Yuna and Yuuki, and they make a fun blend of experimental, indie dance music and disco punk. The band strives to bring a newness to the concept of kawaii, which means “cute” in Japanese, and the group seeks to broaden the definition, which the group feels has been too narrowly defined in their area, and everyone is actually cute in their own way. They’ve embodied this idea with the song “NEO KAWAII, K?” (“New cute, K?”), and by choosing unconventional hair and style elements. We concur!
Apparently Sting has plenty of songs from The Police’s catalog on his setlist, and thank goodness for that. In addition to solo cuts like “Englishman In New York,” Sting will be serving up renditions of Police hits like “Roxanne,” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Every Breath You Take,” and more.
Schaus (Album Release Show) with Yawa (Amenta Abioto)
Known for his dreamy, and atmospheric sound, Portland-based electronic/pop artist Schaus is releasing his third album, “Lovers Loop” on Sept. 26, celebrating it the next day with an album release show at Holocene. The night also provides an opportunity to catch the excellent one-woman show of YAWA, AKA Amenta Abioto, who weaves ancestral stories while building vocal and instrumental loops with gospel and jazz-influences.
Funky acid-jazz bassist/singer/songwriter Thundercat always puts on a rockin’ show. He recently released a groovy song with Tame Impala, that would also be a treat to hear live, even though Tame Impala isn’t likely to appear. Folks will cram onto the Edgefield lawn to hear the artist slap the bass while performing songs from his incredible 2017 album “Drunk,” most importantly “Them Changes,” and “A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II),” in which he fantasizes about wanting to be a cat.
Bluegrass and roots rock artist Billy Strings’ 2021 album “Home”earned him a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Last year, Strings released his album “Me/And/Dad,” a project with his father Terry Barber.
Singing groups aren’t so common nowadays, so when we come across a bonafide singing group that emphasizes heavenly three-part harmonies, we must hold onto them tight, and show our appreciation. New York all-girl singing group Say She She emits modern Spice Girl vibes under a name that’s a silent nod to Nile Rogers’ “Chic!” After the group played a couple of stellar sets at this year’s Pickathon music festival, Portlanders will be giddy for another chance to catchthe trio perform eclectic songs from their excellent debut, “Prism,” like “Forget Me Not,” the disco-infused “C’est Si Bon,” as well as the title track, the moody “Blow My Mind,” and their effervescent protest anthem “NORMA” — in which they sing “Before it’s too late/Write a letter to the state/We will not go back” in response to the Roe v. Wade reversal.
Whether rocking out during a freshman orientation concert at the University or Oregon in 2006, or adding upbeat Latin flavor to an old episode of “Sex and the City,” Ozomatli has been active for almost 30 years, working to promote global unity, give voice to and depict Latino culture, and fight for workers rights. Those who are lucky enough to be in attendance will be delighted as the cultural ambassadors perform songs in both Spanish and English, also incorporating hip-hop elements and inspiring guests to gyrate to bangers like “Mi Gente” and “Cumbia De Los Muertos.” In 2022 the band dropped their highly anticipated new album, “Marching On,” which is spirited and danceable from front to back.
Soul-powered folk singer Ray LaMontagne made a big splash in the easy listening world with his 2004 debut “Trouble,” especially for his introspective lyrics, soft and soothing voice with a warm timbre. And today he’s still truckin’ along! A couple years ago the artist released his eighth studio album Monovision, which he self-produced and self-engineered, and garnered widespread praise from critics. He’ll play a slew of beautiful works inside the regal confines of The Schnitz.
Here’sanother insane lineup featuring three bonafide hip-hop legends. Whether the main attraction for you is seeing Wu-Tang Clan perform “Protect Ya Neck,” and “C.R.E.A.M.” or hearing Nas spit tracks from“Illmatic” — as well as from newer projects “King’s Disease III,” and “Magic 2″ — or hip-hop pioneers De La Soul, arriving at Moda Center early enough to catch all three acts is a must.
Known for his smooth delivery of often raunchy lyrics, Ty Dolla $ign is more than just a singer who uses Autotune in his music. He’s got a nice voice without the effects, and is also a songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/record producer. Even if you aren’t bumping one of his songs, Ty Dolla $ign has probably written one of your favorite songs by another artist: like Rihanna’s “FourFiveSeconds,” Chris Brown’s “Loyal,” and Omarion’s “Post To Be.” Die-hard Ty$ fans will vibe out to the artist performing “Paranoid,” a certified club banger that never misses.
Working in dark dream pop and indie folk, Angel Olsen’s music often depicts anxiety and loss. After coming to terms with her queerness and coming out to her parents, each of them died a few days later. Olsen’s newest offering, “Big Time,” examines a new grief, and the expansive power of love.
Chill-inducing vocals, dark tones, runs and vivid metaphors abound in Irish singer-songwriter Hozier’s music. Fans will no-doubt look forward to hearing the artist and songwriter — born Andrew Hozier-Byrne — perform deeply moving blues- and gospel-informed songs, like the beautiful (and slightly scary) single “Take Me To Church,” which was written after a breakup, and sees Hozier likening his lover to religion, and making a bigger statement about his feelings about the historical hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. Other excellent songs to listen for include “To Be Alone,” and the joyful “From Eden,” and “Work Song.” Already known for sometimes making music that centers on dark themes, Hozier’s newest single is called “Eat Your Young,” and is laced with themes from the nine circles of hell, but the song is really about bigger themes like corruption, greed, and gluttony.
German singer-songwriter Kim Petras made history when her collaborative single “Unholy,” with Sam Smith topped the UK and Billboard charts, making her the first openly transgender woman to have a song at number one. She also became the first openly transgender woman to win a Grammy in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Based on the two’s performance at the Grammy Awards, fans are in for an epic treat at her upcoming show at the Memorial Coliseum.
Having gained popularity for their appearances on the Disney Channel, the power pop band known as the Jonas Brothers is still popular with the younger crowd, and released their sixth studio album, “The Album,” in May. The 12-track album includes euphonic singles like “Waffle House,” just one of the new tracks that’s likely to have the largely female crowd in hysterics.
Portland-based rap queen Wynne dropped a seriously impressive EP this year with “Some Like It Hot,” and the music videos and live performances just keep on coming, getting fiercer each time. From the cheeky “Jaw Morant” to “Hot Friend,” to “WWCD?” (“What Would Comb Do?”), and “In The Mood,” Wynne has nailed down her sound, mastered her delivery, and honed her aesthetic. In an Instagram post, Wynne announced that this would be the final tour in which she’ll perform her older music. For her “Hot On Their Heels Tour” this fall, Portland is, appropriately, the final stop.
It’s hard to resist iconic Aerosmith singles from the ‘70s and ‘80s and ‘90s, like “Dream On,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Crazy,” and “Cryin’”, and even more so when the group — which still comprises three out of four of its original members — performs them live. And now on their “PEACE OUT: The Farewell Tour,” this is your last chance.