The time last year the term social distancing was just starting to creep into wide usage. And use of the term pods to describe clusters of seating at concerts was a thoroughly alien concept. But here we are heading toward the middle of 2021, and while live shows are indeed returning, the ground rules are radically different. Heck, even I (as a member of a local covers band) am playing three live dates between now and the middle of June. So once you’ve had your shot(s), go and responsibly enjoy some live music. Here are four notable opportunities to do just that, right here in Asheville, North Carolina, in the next 30 days.
Artist: Mayday AVL
Venue: Sly Grog Lounge
Date: Saturday, May 1, 3 p.m.
In celebration of live music returning to a small city filled with talented musicians, this show is not only free and outdoor, it’s jam-packed with six local bands. The style is more or less indie/punk, but the bill is varied enough to bring joy to most anyone who wants to RAWK. Go and show some love to Rhinestone Pickup Truck, the Deathbots, Call the Next Witness, the Smoky Mountain Sirens, Fantomex, and John Kirby & the New Seniors.
Artist: The Wooks
Venue: Isis Music Hall (lawn)
Date: Thursday, May 6, 7 p.m.
These guys play a sort of updated/modernized bluegrass that’s popular in the Americana and jam band scenes. Collectively, they have a pretty good sense of humor, as (a) their name implies and (b) I found out when I interviewed them a few years back.
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Friday, May 7, 9 p.m.
What’s in a name? Well, this band was once known as Blackfoot Gypsies. And I must admit that such a name would have suggested to me that they’re probably not quite up my alley. A listen to some of their older material confirms that to a degree: it’s good but not a style that I care much for. BUT WAIT: with a name change has come something of a musical reinvention. If you dig the sophisticated, melodically rocking grand-pop ambitions of Jellyfish, you owe it to yourself to check out DeeOhGee. Different but cut from similar cloth.
Artist: Doom Flamingo
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Friday, May 21, 6:30 p.m.
Door: $25 advance / $35 day of show
There’s a lot to like about this outfit. But I think what most impresses me is the fact that their music resolutely resists genre labeling. There are hints of prog, funk, metal, electronica and more. But they somehow synthesize those disparate stylistic influences into something original and exciting.
See you at the show!