Listen Up! 10 Live Music Shows In Memphis This Month (August 2019)
Ed. Note: Contributor Wesley is back with another roundup of amazing live music in Memphis for the month of August. We’ve got everything from beloved local musicians Joe Restivo and Amy LaVere to folks like the Backstreet Boys and Big Freedia, plus festivals like Continuum and Sweatfest 5 at Shangri La.
Which one will you see this month?
THURSDAY, AUGUST 1
Joe Restivo at The Green Room
$10, 8 p.m.
Blues and jazz guitarist, WEVL DJ, and Lafayette’s resident musician, and Memphian Joe Restivo released his solo debut album Where’s Joe? in July, and he’s celebrating with a show in the Green Room at Crosstown Arts. The music video for album track “Starlight Motel” premiered in Jazziz magazine, where he’s called a “cream-of-the-crop Memphis guitarist.” I certainly agree.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 2
Dear Silas & more at Hi Tone
$10, 9 p.m.
Otaku rappers are nothing new, but it’s still so wild seeing people out here wearing Naruto forehead protector headbands like it’s Nike when we used to do that mess in 2006 and get checked so bad you didn’t want to go to school the next day. Maybe living through all that ruthlessness makes you more confident in the end—listening to Dear Silas playfully croon about infidelity (to put it lightly) while repping the Hidden Leaf Village definitely makes you think it’s possible.
[NSFW: This is grown folks music]
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3
Waves Don’t Die at The CMPLX
$5 Early Bird / $10 Day of Show, 9 p.m.
If you aren’t hip to what The Collective is doing in and for Memphis, then you should become aware right now, and you’re welcome for that free Googling I just did for you. The CMPLX is the premiere space to experience the works of both rising and established black artists in Memphis, and with Waves Don’t Die you’re getting eight of them for five bucks.
The only artist in this lineup I’ve heard of is Jay Daskreet, but I’m eager to know the rest. Between them you’ll hear a diverse display of rap styles from trap, to dirty south, to lo-fi, I mean there’s just a whole bunch of stuff going on here that you should hear. Check the event link for the full lineup.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 10
Here’s another album release show, this time from Memphis name-brand singer-songwriter Amy LaVere. Her album Painting Blue will release August 16, but she could be selling copies early as merch, who knows? Be prepared for music for seemingly-saccharine music that’s a little devilish once it really hits you.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16
Continuum Music Festival at the Green Room
$30 per day / $55 weekend pass, Friday 6-10 p.m and Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
This two-day music festival features musicians of many disciplines collaborating to perform, masterful, mind-bending music just for you. I’m especially excited for Project Logic, an absolutely stacked supergroup featuring DJ Logic, Living Colour guitarist and personal hero Vernon Reid, Bass god and Prince collaborator MonoNeon, and human metronome and Jack White collaborate Daru Jones.
The performances will be all over Crosstown Arts, taking place in Crosstown Theater, The Green Room, and the East Atrium Stage. Check the event link for the full lineup.
Bun B at Growlers
$25 Early Bird / $30 Day of Show / $75 VIP, 8 p.m.
Bun B is partly responsible for what rap music has become today. Being one-half of legendary southern rap duo UGK (R.I.P. Pimp C) and his five solo albums have influenced today’s superstars such as Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Yo Gotti, A$AP Rocky, and a whole bunch of others. Anything Bun B will perform is guaranteed to get folks moving, so bring some friends and get throwed.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22
Big Freedia w/ Sweet Crude at Hi Tone
$20, 8 p.m.
The Queen of Bounce will be back in Memphis this month with a show at the Hi Tone. Big Freedia has enjoyed mainstream success for many years now, but before that she was hard at work playing in clubs and at parties in New Orleans in the 90s, where she eventually helped bounce music dig out from the underground. I love her music, it fills you up with a chaos that can only be released through excessive hip movement.
[NSFW depending on where you W I guess. Use your best judgement.]
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24
Sweat Fest 5 at Shangri-La Records
Free, 2 p.m.
Vinyl collectors rejoice, it’s the return of Sweat Fest. In addition to great deals on LPs, 45s, and CDs, tapes and whatever else, you get a free show featuring four Memphis rock bands featuring the Kings of Sweat Fest themselves, The Sheiks. Check the event link for the full lineup and sale details.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 27
Backstreet Boys: ‘DNA’ World Tour at FedExForum
Starting at $19, 8 p.m.
Some BTS ripoff group called the Backstreet Boys are playing at FedExForum. But really, if you want to relive your boy band-obsessed years, you want to be at the FedExForum on August 27. Tickets are on sale now, and there are still a lot of them.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
Grace Askew w/ Jana Jana at The Green Room
$25 Pre-sale / $30 Day of Show, 7 p.m.
Our third and final album release show comes from Memphis Americana artist Grace Askew, who’s releasing Denim & Diesel, her first album in five years. Her supporting act is Jana Jana, an independent project from Jana Misener of Memphis Dawls.