Live Music In Memphis This Month: 10 Shows to See in May

Here are the top picks for live music events, concerts, and shows in Memphis this month. 

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For the last seven years this monthly lineup of concerts has been brought to you by the always witty Wesley Paraham. After seven years of constant recommendations, list curations, and countless YouTube links pulled; Wesley has decided to focus more on storytelling. Luckily for us, that means you'll continue to see his byline on the blog. Stay tuned for some upcoming good ones. Don't worry, this blog will continue on! You'll be in good hands with Keith Evanson.


FRIDAY - SUNDAY, MAY 3-5

RiverBeat Music Festival at Tom Lee Park

5/3 - doors open and shows start at 4:00 p.m | 5/4 - doors open and shows start at 2:00 p.m. | 5/5 – doors open and shows start at 2:00 p.m. / $99 for 1 day/$249 for 3 days / More ticket bundles available

The inaugural RiverBeat Festival takes the place of what used to be the Beale Street Music Festival, but with new folks behind it in Mempho Presents. The headliners span multiple genres, from the hip-hop legends, The Fugees – to current EDM powerhouses, Odesza – to rapper-turned-country-star Jelly Roll. There’s something for everyone on this lineup and it should be a fun time along the Mississippi River. Odesza at Bonnaroo 2023 was the best concert out of the 400+ shows I’ve been to in my entire life, so I strongly suggest going to that.

MONDAY, MAY 6

Water From Your Eyes with Friko and Cloudland Canyon at Growlers

Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 / $21.62

I recommend this bill highly to all the indieheads out there. Initially, what drew me in here is Friko, who released one of the best albums so far this year in “Where we’ve been, Where we go from here.” Recommended if you like Elliott Smith type vocals and lyrics with modern indie rock instrumentation. Water From Your Eyes, the leading act, is also great. The duo gets a little artsy with it and employ a slacker rock mentality to their sound with cool synths and electro sounds. I’ll be at this show with a PBR in hand.

TUESDAY, MAY 7

Gavin Degraw at Minglewood Hall

Doors at 7:00 p.m., show at 8 / $42.93+

Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Want To Be” came into our lives in 2003 as the theme song of the CW drama, One Tree Hill, and the song exulted from our TV screens for nine seasons of programming. Since then, he’s had a few hits here and there, but he generally serves as the safe pop radio guy. My personal life mission is to tell anyone who will listen that, whatever you think of Gavin Degraw, “Chariot,” is an undeniably great pop song, and has sort of fallen from “2000’s pop music circulation” on playlists. It’s our duty to bring “Chariot” back.

THURSDAY, MAY 9

Chat Pile with portrayal of guilt and Nightosphere at Growlers

Doors at 7:00 p.m., show at 7:50 / $20 advance of show, $25 day of show

This is the heaviest show I’ve recommended on the list this week. The Oklahoma City noise rock band came onto my radar with their excellent 2022 album, “God’s Country.” The music is the equivalent of having a bunch of beers with your buddies after a bad day at work and then going to a rage room where you get to hit glass plates with baseball bats. The sound is angry, with tons of down-tuned, sludgy guitars and raw vocals. The songwriting is dystopian and largely depicts the cruel realities that permeate throughout the world. This will be a cathartic airing of grievances for heavy rock fans. 

SUNDAY, MAY 12

CKY with Post Profit & Deaf Revival at Growlers

Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 / $31.96

I’ll be honest. I don’t know a ton about CKY except that they were on Viva La Bam a lot and were the soundtrack for a bunch of Tony Hawks Pro Skater games. Recommended if you liked to wear Adios skate shoes in the 2000s and talked back to your parents.

FRIDAY, MAY 17

Augustana - Something Beautiful Tour at Growlers

Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 / $31.96

I’ve heard amazing things about Augustana’s live show over the years. To get a piano-centric pop rock band in an intimate setting like Growlers will be truly special. “Boston” is still an all-time song. I need to add that to my personal karaoke rotation.

SATURDAY, MAY 18

St. Paul & The Broken Bones at Tom Lee Park for SmokeSlam

TBA (Saturday evening) / $24.99 for single day tickets

Saw these guys last October at Minglewood Hall and they absolutely crushed it. I honestly believe in my heart that St. Paul & The Broken Bones might have the most mass appeal of any band in that EVERYONE who listens to them, likes them. And what’s not to like? They are an eight-piece soul band with a ton of catchy tunes and a crazy talented lead singer. They’re will no doubt be an amazing accompaniment to enjoying some good BBQ and beverages on the Mississippi river. Really excited to see what the new event will look like, and taste like.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, MAY 24-25

Widespread Panic (two nights) with Margo Price and Paul Cauthen at Radians Amphitheater

Doors at 5 p.m / Show at 8 p.m.
$72 for 1 day / $144 for 2 days

It’s time to rock with the Widespread Panic boys in Memphis once again. They’re a fan favorite every time they come around here. This time they’ll bring their blend of southern rock and jam with some big-name openers from the world of country. Both Margo Price and Paul Cauthen bring their own flavor of left-of-center, outlaw country adjacent tunes to open, and potentially, collaborate on a few songs with WSMFP on their respective nights, which is always a fun thing to witness.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29

Lionel Richie with Earth, Wind & Fire at FedEx Forum

7:30 p.m. / $56+

Come see an absolute legend take the stage. Whether you know him from his hits like “All Night Long” or “Hello,” or if you love his work as a judge on ABC’s “American Idol,” you’ll have an awesome night. With Earth, Wind & Fire also performing on the bill, you essentially are getting a two-for-one on two of the most successful musicians ever, with a combined 225 million albums sold between the two acts. It’s September in May!

THURSDAY, MAY 30

Megan Thee Stallion: Hot Girl Summer Tour with GloRilla at FedEx Forum

7:00 p.m. / $70+

Is it really a hot girl summer if you don’t start it off with Megan THEE Stallion? In 2022, the last time Tina Snow came to Memphis, she performed very late into the evening after Beale Street Music Festival delayed shows due to storms. Since then, she’s racked up even more hits which should make for a great setlist and a fun time at the Forum. Just as exciting, is the addition of Memphis’ own GloRilla to the bill. To see her on one of her biggest stages yet is a testament to her career breakthrough as a co-headliner on this tour. Yeah Glo!

For more, check out: I Love Memphis Music Calendar

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Elizabeth

Thanks for the 411!

-the Queen 👑 

November 3, 2022 8:20am