Listen Up: 10 Shows To See in Memphis in May 2017

Posted by Holly Whitfield | May 1st 2017 9758 0

Ed. Note: Contributor Baylee Less is back with another handy list of live music picks in Memphis in May 2017. 

School’s almost out, and going by the weather I’d say summer is here. Now it’s time to enjoy live music just the way Memphis likes it: piping hot outdoors with a side of barbecue. Here are the ten shows you won’t want to miss.

1. Future: Nobody Safe Tour with Migos, Fedex Forum, May 4th, doors at 7 p.m., $27.50-$205, all ages
Currently touring his pair of albums Future and HNDRXX, Atlanta-native Future has set the rap world on fire with his bass-heavy beats and rolling mumbling rapping style. The hip-hop trio Migos will join Future which ensures everyone in the Forum will be feelin’ bad ‘n’ boujee.

Photo by Joey Miller. BSMF 2015.

2. Beale Street Music Festival, Tom Lee Park, Friday May 5th- Sunday May 7th, doors at 1 p.m., $95-$150, all ages
It’s that time of year again! The first weekend in May brings an eclectic Beale Street Music Festival lineup to the riverfront. Kings of Leon, Soundgarden, Widespread Panic, and Snoop Dogg will headline, but be sure to check out early acts in the day as well such as powerhouse singer/songwriter Tori Kelly and funky rockers Dawes.

3. FM100 50th Anniversary & Concert featuring Jon Scott and Mike Powell, Lafayette’s Music Room, Sunday May 7th, show at 3 p.m., $10, all ages
Praised in the 1960’s for playing more music with fewer commercials, FM100 will celebrate their 50th birthday with a rock-n-roll concert and a special Q&A session with several original and current DJs. Sure to be an event for classic rock fans old and new, there will be trivia, music history, and stories of “behind-the-scenes” antics.

4. Matt Gooden All Star Show with Aaron Glazer and Daniel McKee, Newby’s, Thursday May 11th, show at 9 p.m., free, 21 and over
New Orleans transplant and uniquely talented saxophone player Matt Gooden hosts a homecoming show at Newby’s this month. He creates instrumental tracks that string hip-hop, jazz, and electronic influences into one metaphysical musical experience. Local talent will support with Aaron Glazer on the drums and Daniel McKee on the electric bass.

5. Racquets with Rock Euphora, The Hi-Tone, Friday May 19th, show at 9 p.m., $8, 18 and over
Memphis-based Alternative rock group Racquets are set to perform at the Hi-Tone supported by Rock Eupora, a gritty rock quartet from Nashville. Racquets sound reminds me of the Strokes’ early days, which is music I can always get behind. Check out their strummy self-titled debut EP on Soundcloud, especially my favorite track “Again.”

6. GRRL Fest, The Hi-Tone, Saturday May 20th, doors at 7 p.m., $15, 18 and over
Highlighting all things Girl Power, the Hi-Tone brings together the best of Memphis and the Mid-South’s female musicians. From the badass garage rock of NOTS to the airy but eloquent vibes of Harlan, GRRL Fest is sure to be an electrifying night for the ladies (but boys y’all are welcome too). 

Ed. Note: Last month, Wesley wrote about Memphis music artist Magnolia. Well, she’ll be performing at GRRL Fest and you do not want to miss it. Read more about her work here.


7. 901Fest, Tom Lee Park, Saturday May 27th, times TBA, $9, all ages
Although the line-up hasn’t been announced, all of your local favorites are sure to be there. Come celebrate all that makes Memphis great including food, music, and fun for the whole family. Also if you register for the Great American River Run your entrance to 901Fest is free.

8. Soul Aid Feat. Tank and the Bangas, Clayborn Temple, Saturday May 27th, show at 8 p.m., $20, all ages
NPR’s newest Tiny Desk Concert show stoppers Tank and the Bangas are headlining this year’s Soul Aid, a fundraising ‘experience’ for the Soulsville USA festival. This six man group mixes the spicy flavor of New Orleans with poetic raps that have a spirit reminiscent of the Harlem Renaissance to create the most heavenly musical gumbo. You have to hear their music to understand what I’m getting at, so check our their Tiny Desk Concert above.

9. Trey Songz, Minglewood Hall, Sunday May 28th, doors at 7 p.m., $55, all ages
The R&B chart-topping singer Trey Songz brings his booty-shaking club favorites to Minglewood this month. Although his fame grew from hip-hop radio hits like “Bottoms Up,” I prefer his slow ballads that showcase Songz’s silky smooth voice. Check out “Slow Motion.”

10. Pollen Rx, Murphy’s, Tuesday May 30th, show at 9 p.m., free, 21 and over
Self-described high energy garage pop, this Austin four piece are here to make people dance. The guitar riffs are what initially caught my attention, but I stayed for the honest lyrics, the punky attitude, and the understated raw vocals.

About The Author
A born and raised Memphian, Baylee Less recently returned to her roots after her four-year hiatus at the University of Maryland. A new contributor to ILoveMemphis and Memphis Travel, she is excited to share the reasons she’s always loved Memphis. She enjoys live music, Asian food, and being outdoors. Follow @bayleeless on Twitter for updates about being vegan in the land of barbecue.

To submit a show for inclusion in June’s Listen Up by emailing by May 20. Please use Listen Up June in the subject line. Then go submit your show to the calendar, too.

Show Comments


  1. Jay Sieleman says:

    The list should include the Blues Music Awards on May 11 and all the shows associated with that during that week, beginning Monday May 8 thru Saturday May 13. See full schedule at The world will be coming–will Memphians miss it?

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