Listen Up! 8 Live Music Shows In Memphis This Month
Ed. Note: Wesley is back with another roundup of Memphis live music and fresh commentary for the month of October, from Elton John to Three 6 Mafia to MEMPHO Music Fest.
The Return of Three 6 Mafia with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and DMX at the Landers Center
7 p.m., $37+, 18+ (obviously)
Honestly I don’t even know where to start with this. It’s Three 6. Pioneers of the modern-day rap sound. Iconic. Memphis. Backed up by the also-iconic Thuggish Ruggish Bone. This lineup gon’ make me lose my mind.
Mempho Music Festival at Shelby Farms Park
All day Saturday and Sunday the 20th, too, $82+
Back at Shelby Farms again for another weekend of sun and fun, it’s Mempho! This year’s lineup includes some of your favorite Memphis artists, but also brings The Raconteurs, Brandi Carlisle, and the legendary Wu-Tang Clan to the Bluff City.
The Midnight Hour at Crosstown Theater
7 p.m., $20 advance/$25 day of show
Described as “sophisticated hip hop” (which usually just means backpackers rapping over a jazz band but thankfully isn’t the case here), The Midnight Hour is Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest fame) and Adrian Younge— both of whom just so happened to produce the excellent soundtrack to Marvel’s Luke Cage. Don’t let the $20 cover scare you. It’s definitely worth it.
2019 Soulsville USA Festival at the Memphis Slim Collaboratory
All day, free event, all ages; Soulsville USA
The Soulsville USA festival will feature live music, cool stuff from over 40 vendors, free admission to Stax Museum of American Soul Music, games, food, and much to celebrate South Memphis’. We still don’t have music lineup details, but I’m sure it’ll be soulful. It’s in the name of the festival, after all.
7 p.m, $13
Spaceface’s psych-rock Halloween shows are something of a new-ish tradition among Memphis’ most devout partygoers, with this year’s being a spooky lil’ festival. They’ll be playing at the Crosstown Arts Theater with The UpsideDown Ensemble, a group made of members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. The courtyard area will feature work from local visual artists like Amber George, Jess Kirk, and more.
EarthGang Welcome to Mirrorland Tour at Growlers
8 p.m., $20+, all ages
EarthGang hails from Atlanta, where they’re part of the Spillage Village musical collective with big names in rap like J.I.D., 6LACK. They’re currently touring their new album Mirrorland, which is pretty good, and has features from Young Thug, T-Pain, and Kehlani, and production from J. Cole. So far they’ve released three singles from the album, all of which drastically different, but this one’s my favorite. If their live shows are as untethered as their rapping, expect a good time.
mc chris at the Hi-Tone (Big Room)
8 p.m., $20
In 2005, my parents got me an iPod Shuffle for my 13th birthday, and I filled all 512 megabytes of that junt with like four Beck albums, Demon Days by Gorillaz, Kanye West’s Late Registration and The College Dropout, about two-and-a-half Final Fantasy soundtracks (IV, VIII, and a selection of tracks from X), and a whole bunch of mc chris rips from Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes.
His cringey nerdcore rapping and impish disposition remind me of simpler, slower times. Would I go see an mc chris show today? Probably not, but he has a loyal following of longtime fans who lend a sense of camaraderie and belonging to each of his shows, if you’re into that sort of thing.
7 p.m., $200+ (yikes), all ages
First off, the FedExForum’s October calendar is so full of big names that I could have stacked this list (Heart, Joan Jett, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood), but you, reader, deserve the best. Elton John added 25 more North American dates to his farewell tour because they just keep selling out. Luckily, Memphis made the cut. Tickets are obviously very, very pricey, but if you can afford it, there are far dumber things to spend 200 bucks on.