Listen Up: 10 Bands to See in April 2012

Posted by Holly Whitfield | April 3rd 2012 1398 0

The nice thing about living in a music city is that we get a ton of great live shows every single month. The tough thing, however, is deciding which bands to see. With that in mind, here are 10 recommendations for shows you won't want to miss this month:

1. Electric 6 (with AndyD and Aficinado), Hi-Tone Cafe, April 4th, 9 p.m., 18 and up, $10 advance, $12 door

I'm not sure that I would ever buy an Electric 6 album, but I will definitely see them live every time I can. The Detroit-based band's garage-y synth-pop gems are fun to dance to, and their live shows are like big, sweaty parties.

2. Richard James and the Special Riders (with Gasoline Grace and Fresh Flesh), the Cove, April 7, 10 p.m., 21 and up, $5

Richard James at the Cove, Memphis, Tenn.

Memphis' hardest working band is releasing a brand new seven inch on April 7th at the Cove. Richard James and the Special Riders are garage rock perfection (and their shows tend to last until the wee hours of the morning). Gasoline Grace and Fresh Flesh will open.

3. Digital Leather, River City Tanlines and Ilya Twins, Poplar Lounge, April 7, 10 p.m.  21 and up, $5

Arizona band Digital Leather is coming to the Poplar Lounge to play a rock'n'roll show with Memphis' River City Tanlines and Norway's Ilya Twins. Take a listen to the River City Tanlines, then mark the date on your calendar:

4. Red Hot Chili Peppers, FedExForum, April 12, 8 p.m., all ages, $35 – $55

If big productions are your thing, you'll want to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the FedExForum on April 12th. The band has been putting out records since the early 80s and they're part of the 2012 class of Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame inductees, so expect a very big show.

5. Rock'n'Romp, Mud Island River Park, April 14, 2 p.m., all ages, kids free, adults $5

Rock'n'Romp has grown from small, occasional backyard shows into giant outdoor shows packed with kids and their parents. Mark Edgar Stewart will play this season's inaugural show, and if it's anything like Rock'n'Romps past, there will be activities, free food and cheap beer for the adults. Since this show is on Mud Island, you may want to pack a swim suit – there's a fountain to play in.

6. Plants and Animals (with This is the Kit), Hi-Tone Cafe, April 14, 9 p.m., 18 and up, $10

Plants and Animals at the Hi-Tone Cafe

Sunny Canadian indie pop band Plants and Animals made a new record (called "The End of That") and they're going to play some of it at the Hi-Tone on April 14th. If you're into the Shins, Beach House and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, you'll probably like this show.

7. Diana Ross, Orpheum Theatre, April 22, 7 p.m., all ages, $71 – $197

Diana Ross is a legitimate legend – she was part of the Supremes, she's sold more than 100 million records and she's won just about every industry award available. She's also the biggest act coming to Memphis in April. Tickets are pricey, but how often do you get the chance to see someone this incredible live?

8. Guitar Wolf (with Transistors and Model Citizen), Hi-Tone Cafe, April 26, 9 p.m., 18 and up, $13

I ollove Guitar Wf. They're a Japanese band that dresses in head-to-toe leather (even at the Hi-Tone, even in May) and plays fast, straight-ahead punk rock. Plus, they've got a hype man whose sole job is to stand on the stage and look cool while combing his hair. Guitar Wolf comes through Memphis about once a year, so this might be your only chance to see them for a while.

9. Bristerfest, Levitt Shell, April 28 and 29, all ages, $15

Bristerfest 2012, Memphis, Tenn.

Bristerfest has one of the most diverse line-ups of any local festival. There's hip hop (Knowledge Nick, Artistik Approach), folk (Michaela Caitlin), jam bands (Freeworld, Agori Tribe), bluegrass (Devil Train), Mariachi (Los Cantadores) and more in the two-day festival's line up. The main shows are outside at the Levitt Shell and there's a Saturday night after party at the Hi-Tone Cafe.

10. Teflon Don, Hard Rock Cafe, April 27,  10 p.m., 18 and up, $5

Memphsi rapper Teflon Don is having an "Old School Meets New School" show at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street with Chilly Bill and Frank Phillips. Teflon Don (who has worked with the Grizzlies) has a new record out called "God, the Government and the Game Part 2".

These are by no means the only shows going on in Memphis this month. There are plenty more listed on the blog's calendar. If you've got a show you'd like to recommend, leave the details in the comments section.

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. sgc1976 says:

    I would add YET to this list! They are a RIDICULOUSLY talented young band who is making waves in the post-hardcore scene! See them April 7th at 6:30pm at The Abbey with Patmos, Defendants, Alethia, and Hundred Year Dash!

  2. Cynthia says:

    Galactic – a jazz/funk jam band from New Orleans – will be at Minglewood Hall, Friday, April 20 @ 9pm! $22, 18+

  3. Kelli says:

    LOVE electric six! Glad they are coming back tomorrow night!

  4. Price says:

    May is going to be ridiculous. The Wandering (Luther Dickinson and Amy Lavere's supergroup) for free at Levitt. Musicfest. St. VIncent at MInglewood. Wilco on Mud Island. The Lumineers and Melvins at Hitone. 

  5. Erik says:

    So, I'm moving here on the 15th… how is it that the week I'm not going to have to be up to go to work is the one mysteriously devoid of shows on this list?  Such is life I suppose.

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