7 Musicians To See On Tour This Fall, Because Life Exists Beyond Festival Season, We Promise
So you missed out on summer festival season. You missed Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. You missed Electric Zoo and Newport Folk Festival. You missed Coachella. You even missed #Nochella... but guess what? You can actually see your favorite musicians all year round, and it doesn't have to involve getting an ~extreme~ sunburn, cramming yourself into an RV with a ragtag group of friends, or spending a ton of cash.
This fall, it seems that a lot of mega-stars are secretively prepping for their big releases – we see you, Rihanna – but there are plenty of artists who are touring to support the albums we've been obsessed with all summer. (Or, they're still touring on the strength of last fall's album, if you're Taylor Swift and literally never stop touring.) The upshot to seeing your favorite artists outside of a mega-festival is that they can play big, full sets, in acoustically sound venues, by their own rules. Bottom line? Although festivals are fun, it's kind of a relief to go to a regular show.
Here's a short list of artists who are must-sees this fall. Catch these artists on tour, and have #fomo no more.
Chance the Rapper: Family Matters Tour
When Is It? October and November.
Why Should I Go? Surf was surprise-dropped on iTunes this spring (for free!), and we've been playing it on repeat all summer. Following the acclaim of his 2013 mixtape, Acid Rap, Chance the Rapper threw his support behind his live band/musical collective/BFF squad, The Social Experiment. He doesn't claim top billing on the richly textured, retro-flavored project – the honor goes to the immensely talented Donnie Trumpet – but his loose, half-sung flow and thoughtful touch shine throughout.
Where Should I Start? "Baby Blue," his guest appearance on Action Bronson's Mr. Wonderful . He's a perfect guest, winking at Bronson's sad-tough-guy routine with a string of super-lame revenge scenarios, like "I hope every soda you drink already shaken up," or "I hope the zipper on your jacket get stuck / And your headphones short, and your charger don't work." Cold.
CHVRCHES: Every Open Eye
When Is It? U.S. dates are September through November.
Why Should I Go? That voice! We kiiiinda have a forever crush on Lauren Mayberry. The synth-pop band was seemingly everywhere last year, thanks to a stream of singles from 2013's The Bones of What You Believe. This band was a hard sell for me – I have a general aversion to synth-y sounds – but Mayberry's expressive, crystal-clear vocals cut through the multi-layered production and add an emotional punch to the band's huge hooks.
Where Should I Start? "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" from The Mother We Share EP. I've always loved this Whitney Houston song in a very pure way, and this cover is perfection.
Jamie XX: In Colour
When Is It? He's about to kick off a European tour, but there are a couple of West Coast and Midwest dates in October if you don't have the time or dough to travel overseas.
Why Should I Go? Jamie XX is pretty well-known as one-third of The XX – aka, everyone's favorite band to make out to, moodily – but the guy is seemingly everywhere, whether he's producing for Drake or composing ballet scores. This year's In Colour expertly mixes disparate genres, odd samples, and empty space in a way that's consistently surprising. And speaking from experience, going to see Jamie XX is like going to the chillest rave ever. (I don't go to raves.)
Where Should I Start? "Loud Places" from In Colour. For fans of The XX, this track features some familiar things – his silky-voiced bandmate Romy, a faintly thumping beat, those minimalist, echoing guitar hooks – but it builds into a pure dance-floor singalong at the halfway mark.
When Is It? Now! Miguel is continuing his summer tour in the U.S. through Sept. 27, when he wraps up with a show in Washington, D.C.
Why Should I Go? No one -- not no one! -- is smoother than Miguel. Basically, if Miguel were an emoji, he would be a heart-eyes emoji with sunglasses on. Though he's always been a bit offbeat, this year's Wildheart moves way beyond the love songs of his previous albums. He still has his fair share of seduction tracks – "I wish I could paint our love," he sings on "Coffee" – but he complicates them with introspective lyrics about wasted youth, racial identity, California, and of course, true love. Go see him live and soak it all in like a warm bath.
Where Should I Start? "Sure Thing" from his 2010 debut, All I Want Is You. It's catchy as hell, and the "love you like a brother / treat you like a friend / respect you like a lover" refrain is positively Drake-like. This is a boy in love, and he's not afraid to respect your boundaries about it.
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color
When Is It? October through December.
Why Should I Go? Because they put on a heck of a live show. You might recognize Brittany Howard's soulful howl from the band's ubiquitous single, "Hold On." If you haven't heard of them, here's a test: if you're the kind of girl who borrowed Dad's Led Zeppelin records as a kid, if you like both Sly Stone and the Rolling Stones, and if you've generally lamented the loss of "real rock music" in a way that is incongruous given your age, you'll love the Alabama Shakes. Though they read as a Southern rock band at first blush, 2015's Sound & Color genre-hops enough to keep listeners on their toes.
Where Should I Start? The aforementioned "Hold On," if it hasn't already been burned into your synapses.
Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp
When Is It? She's playing at Made in America in Philly and Austin City Limits in September and October. (Wait, you didn't miss all the festivals!) The tour continues in the States through the end of October.
Why Should I Go? If you have a soft spot for indie singer-songwriters from the '90s (::coughs::), you'll love Waxahatchee's spiky, confessional style. Ivy Tripp, released this spring, is a follow-up to 2013's Cerulean Salt. Frontwoman Katie Crutchfield says that Ivy Tripp is her made-up term to describe “directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today." Also see: that "I feel so millennial right now" vibe.
Where Should I Start? Try the beautiful and sad "Swan Dive" from Cerulean Salt to see if this is your flavor.
Taylor Swift: The 1989 World Tour
When Is It? From this spring through the end of October in the U.S. But that's not all! She finishes off the year overseas, with tour dates in Australia, China, and Singapore. The girl. Does. Not. Stop.
Why Should I Go? It's freaking Taylor Swift, one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. Do you have a teenage cousin/sister? Are you that teenager, at heart? Do you love songs about kissing in the rain? Do you like emotional bridges in the middle of your songs? Do you like sparkly things? Do you like joy? Just go. After her two-hour set, you'll be a different woman.
Where Should I Start? Gosh, I don't know. Listen to "Shake It Off" and try to be in a bad mood. I dare you.