Listen Up: 10 Shows To See in Memphis in September (2014)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | September 3rd 2014 3082 0

Happy Wednesday to you! Here's this month's "Listen Up", a guide to live music coming through Memphis in September. Many of these are actually multiple-day or multiple-stage events, so you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. (What I'm trying to say is that there are a lot more than ten bands included here.) 

Happy Listening!


Keep in mind that this is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to every live music act coming to Memphis, just a variety of shows of different genres at different venues. Did I leave out your favorite show? Not to worry, just leave a comment so me and others can find out about more great live music in Memphis. 

1. Rock for Love 8, Crosstown/Overton Square/Levitt Shell, September 5 – 7 (Fri. – Sun.), various times, all ages with a few exceptions 

This year, Rock for Love has packed three days with live music from 35 – yes, 35! – of Memphis' finest musicians.  On Friday, more than a dozen bands will play sets at several spots in the Crosstown neighborhood. Saturday is a day of shows in Overton Square with an after-party at the new Hattiloo Theatre, and Sunday has three acts at the Levitt Shell. Go here to see the full lineup. All of the musicians are donating their time and talent so that 100 percent of the proceeds can go to the Church Health Center, an organization that provides healthcare to Memphis' working uninsured.

2. I Am Music Concert, New Daisy Theatre, September 6 (Saturday), doors at 7 p.m., $15, all ages 

A ton of Memphis R&B, rap, and pop musicians are gathering for one big concert Saturday night at the New Daisy Theatre on Beale Street. Artists include CJ Tate, Jessica Ray, Preauxx, Patrick the Third, Porcelan Chalet, Don Lifted, and more, plus Jo’zzy (go here to read my article about Jo’zzy) and Marco Pave (go here to read my in-depth interview with Marco.)

3. Gladys Knight with Jammin Jay Lamont, Orpheum Theatre, September 11 (Thursday), 8 p.m., $62.50-$82.50, all ages

Motown legend Gladys Knight’s career started in the early 60s, and she hasn’t slowed down since. Go hear her sing her new works, plus old favorites like “Midnight Train to Georgia”, “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination”, and “Neither One of Us”. 

4. Cooper Young Festival 2014, Cooper and Young, September 13 (Saturday), free, all ages

Cory Branan is the headliner for this year’s Cooper Young Fest music lineup, which takes place all day long on three stages. According to the website, Cory’s been described as, “too punk for country, too country for punk, too Memphis for Nashville” – what a great description. Listen to Cory's song, "The No Hit Wonder" (just click, you won't leave this page)As for the other 14 acts, there are a ton of Memphis favorites like Mighty Souls Brass Band, all-ladies punk group Nots, and School of Rock. 

5. Drive-By Truckers with Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Minglewood Hall, September 19 (Friday), doors at 8 p.m., $25 adv./$28 day of, all ages

Southern/alt-country rockers out of Alabama are coming to Minglewood to show off songs from their newest album “English Oceans” which came out this March.

6. John Paul Keith and Mark Edgar Stuart, Harbor Town Amphitheatre, September 20 (Saturday) doors at 6 p.m., free (donations encouraged), all ages

This is the second show of this year’s River Concert Series at the Harbor Town Amphitheater to benefit The Maria Montessori School. Similar to Rock 'n' Romp, these concerts are a fun way for grownups to enjoy great music in a place where the little ones are welcome. Music from Memphis gentlemen, beer from Wiseacre, and food from Miss Cordelia's.Win/win/win.

7. Avett Brothers, Snowden Grove Amphitheater, September 21 (Sunday), 6 p.m. doors/7 p.m. show, $39.50 – $46.50 reserved/$29.50 general admission, all ages

The big show for the Mid-South this September is the return of the Avett Brothers. Their last show at Mud Island was incredible, so I’m hoping this one will be just as good in a bigger venue. You’ll recognize their bluegrassy, folksy, indie rock and hipster style from a ton of TV show soundtrack and live appearances. 

8. GonerFest 11, Goner Records / The Buccaneer / Hi-Tone / Murphy's, September  25 – 28 (Fri. – Sun.), $70 full festival, 18 and up

Gonerfest, Goner Records' annual four-day celebration of garage, punk and indie rock, turns 11 this year. There are too many bands to count (not literally)…but I’ll throw out a few: Len Bright Combo, Gizmos, Protomartyr, and a band called “Life Stinks.” Celebrate another year of loud music, spilled beer and good times that brings in rock fans from all over the world. This one's not for kids. 

9. Memphis Dawls, Levitt Shell, September 26 (Friday), 7:30 p.m., free, all ages

The Levitt Shell has free concerts most every weekend this fall, but let me point out that you won’t want to miss the smooth, smoky sounds of three of Memphis’ best songstresses: Holly Cole, Jana Misener, and Krista Wroten, aka the Memphis Dawls.

10. Opera Memphis (30 Days of Opera), Levitt Shell, September 27 (Saturday), 7 p.m., free, all ages

It’s a monthlong opera extravaganza in Memphis every October, when our very own opera company members pop up around town (at farmer’s markets, street corners, schools, and shops) with spontaneous performances. The almost-finale is at the Levitt Shell, so it’s free to bring your chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets and enjoy the show. Go here to see the calendar for the whole month’s worth of events.

Do you want to submit a band/show/venue for inclusion in October's Listen Up post? I accept both Memphis-based bands and touring shows. Submissions must be received by September 24.  Email me at with info and please use the subject line "Listen Up October"Or just click here.

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. […] Listen Up: 10 Shows To See in Memphis in September (2014) […]

  2. jim green says:

    i love what you do! thank you for listing the Avett Brothers concert, let me know if you would like ot come to the show

  3. Yasmine says:

    A big one you won't want to miss is Dr. John's tribute to Louis Armstrong @ GPAC! Known throughout the world as the embodiment of New Orleans' musical legacy, Dr. John is a true icon in American culture. He will be playing with special guest trumpeters and singers. Tickets are going fast! Don't miss out!

    We will be celebrating before the show at our WHO DAT?! Food Truck Fest featuring music by the Mighty Souls Brass Band, starting at 6:30pm. This event is free.

  4. Yasmine says:

    A date would probably be helpful! 

    Spirit of Satch: Dr. John interprets Louis Armstrong – September 27 @ 8PM

  5. Teresa says:

    I have never been to GPAC. I've looked at their website but couldn't find a answer to a few questions, could someone please tell me.. about how long (time) is the Dr. John show? Do they sell drinks of any type? Thank you!

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