Mike D’s Top 5 Can’t Miss Shows of April

1 Sunday, April 10: The Freeze, Nervous Eaters, Neutral Nation, Bad Motherfucker, The Scrapes; 2pm doors; $10; All ages; Firehouse 13, 41 Central St., Providence.
I grew up on punk rock matinees back in the ‘90s. Learning what downtown looks like during the daytime at 14 years old, waiting for shows to open at Club Babyhead and The Met Café, giving downtown denizens cash to buy us booze, then searching the city trying to find the bums who ripped us off by keeping said money. Ah, learning the ways of the world. Firehouse 13 isn’t downtown, but is the home for a good chunk of the punk and metal shows in town these days and I am glad they are doing matinees. This show is a great mix of old school punks and some newer, younger talent. Cape Cod’s The Freeze have been at it since 1978, before I was born. Boston’s punk and rollers Nervous Eaters have been at it even longer, starting in 1977. Their songs like “Just Head” were super influential on the bands in the ‘90s I liked checking out at matinees, like The New Bomb Turks. AND you get Rhode Island’s finest punk rock legends Neutral Nation in the middle? Sick line-up. Anchoring it are one of my favorite newer punk bands Bad Motherfucker and Boston’s The Scrapes.

2 Wednesday, April 13: 95.5 WBRU presents The Mowgli’s, Julia Nunes, The Rebel Light; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $15; All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket.
The Mowgli’s are always a blast live. The California alt-rock act, best known for their 2013 hit “San Francisco,” has songs with themes that are mostly centered on love and positivity. Their positivity is so overwhelming, if I hadn’t seen them so many times I would think it a facade. But their live performances are strong and far from contrived – a party of opportunity and optimism. I’ve got an advance copy of their new single, and it is making me feel like it’s summer despite the half foot of snow outside in April.  Rochester, New York’s folk pop artist Julia Nunes and LA’s indie pop act The Rebel Light round out the bill.

3 Friday, April 15: Huey Lewis and the News; 7pm doors / 8pm show; from $50 to $125; All ages; Twin River Casino, Lincoln.
I can’t think of a better way to spend tax day than getting lit at Twin Rivers and checking out Huey Lewis and the News. I also can’t think of another band that has ever played there that has gotten me to actually go to Twin River for a reason besides placing my annual Kentucky Derby bet (Michael McDonald being close though). AND now they have poker tables?! I might be there for 24 hours on tax day. I heard the action on the poker tables is very loose, for what it’s worth. Tickets are expensive, so you might want to get to the poker tables early and hope that you can get some 18-year-old from Johnston to pay for your ticket.
4 Saturday, April 16: Smith & Weeden, Tall Teenagers (cd release), Pixels; 9pm show; $10 advance / $12 day of; All ages; Columbus Theatre, 270 Broadway, PVD.
I feel like Smith & Weeden end up in here every month opening for something good – Mike D’s Top Five Column’s house band. While they are headlining this one, the big news is this year’s standout new band in the Providence scene, Tall Teenagers, are releasing their debut CD. Go to tallteenagers.com to check out a preview. The band is great – a cross of early ‘90s Boston indie acts with a touch of Gun Club. And from what I have heard of the CD, the recording does the live energy justice. Lo-fi indie sorta punks Pixels open up the show.
5 Saturday April 30: Less Than A Felony, Vertical Twin, Jets Can’t Land, Zulu Lulu; 9pm doors; $5; 21+ only; The Parlour, 1119 North Main St, PVD.
Less Than A Felony have been making punk and bar rock ‘n’ roll quietly for well over five years. Hailing from the hazy territory on the map that lies between Providence and Boston, LTAF have been rocking small joints everywhere in between. The band recently recorded an EP and have a new music video coming out. Keep an eye on their Facebook for its release very soon. The bill features other great local music acts from Providence: ‘70s throw back stoners Vertical Twin, indie rockers Jets Can’t Land and Zulu Lulu open.
Also worth noting – Apr 10: Corrosion Of Conformity & Sin Of Angels @ The Met; Apr 11: Ramming Speed & Teazer @ Dusk; Apr 12: LE1F & Junglepussy @ The Met; Apr 14: Parquet Courts @ The Met; Apr 17: Buddy Guy @ Lupo’s; Apr 17: Slapshot @ Firehouse 13; Apr 22: Roz And The Rice Cakes @ Aurora; Apr 24: RI Music Hall Of Fame Concert & Induction @ The Met

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