1. Saturday, August 5: Rancid & Dropkick Murphys with The Bouncing Souls, Jake Burns (of Stiff Little Fingers); 4:30pm gates / 6pm show; $39.50 advance / $45 day of; All ages; Brockton Fairgrounds, Brockton, Mass. It is August and if you are like me, you forgot to do many summer things and time is winding down. Here’s a perfect not-too-far road trip to see some great punk rock. Warped Tour seemed to be moving away from the mall metal and perhaps slowly turning back to punk and hardcore roots. This line-up reminds me of everything that I loved from the older Warped Tours. Rancid don’t tour very often and the Bouncing Souls seem to be slowing their tours, so I wouldn’t skip this if I were you.
2. Saturday, August 12: Foo Fest; 1pm to 1am; $10 advance / $15 day of; All ages; Empire St, PVD. Sticking with the “Oh shit summer is almost already over; I should be outside” theme, Foo Fest is back and mostly outside. While I don’t know set times yet, watch as220.org to make sure you don’t miss Massachusetts punks Funeral Cone (as well as for the other acts). It runs all day, and even if you don’t know the acts, it’s a fun day out drinking in the streets while checking out a ton of artists and vendors.
3. Wednesday, August 23: Kirk Knight & Nyck Caution “Nyck @ Knight Tour”, Gen 93, Brodie Fresh, Spocka Summa, Hazardous Drama; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $14 advance / $17 day of; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. The hip-hop collective Pro Era is best known for Joey Bada$$’s crew, but the best talent from that group might be with lesser-known (as of yet) artists Kirk Knight & Nyck Caution. I can’t believe Kirk Knight is only 21 years old. He sounds like he was right along side in ’94 with NYC hip-hop icons Nas and Wu Tang Clan. His beats and flow are reminiscent of the golden days of NYC hip-hop. Check out Kirk’s 2015 release Late Knight Special to get a better idea of his talent.
4. Thursday, August 31: Sheer Mag, Haram, Lost Balloons; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $13 advance / $15 day of; All ages; The Sinclair, Cambridge, Mass. Sheer Mag are back in New England and so damn good it’s worth the drive to Boston, even in the summertime. Sheer Mag slayed it earlier this year at AS220, and are back in the northeast supporting their new album Need To Feel Your Love. The new record seems to be moving from the ’70s classic glam riffs to a touch more produced and ’80 metal punk riffs, but still paired perfectly with Tina Halladay’s dynamic vocals. I don’t know much about Haram; they seem to be from Italy and sound pretty doomish and have a big sound. Lost Balloons are also new to me, but they are a indie pop act project from Jeff Burke (from Marked Men) so definitely worthy of getting there on time.
5. Friday, September 1: Start Making Sense; 9pm; $?; 21+only; Ocean Mist, 895 Matunuck Rd, Matunuck. The Ocean Mist is one of the best venues in New England, and Start Making Sense, a Talking Heads tribute, are one of the best tribute acts out there. Find a beach cabin, spend a day at the beach, eat at Matunuck Oyster Bar, check out the show and your forgot-to-have-a-summer crisis is averted. The water comes right up to the deck of the club, and the view is spectacular / life affirming. Like Florida, The Ocean Mist is constantly fighting the ocean, which is always looking for a way in. Unlike Florida, The Ocean Mist is worth visiting. Take advantage of this Rhode Island institution as much as you can.
Also worth noting: August 19 — Waxahatchee at Royale; August 20 — SZA at Fete; August 24 — Moe at East Providence Waterfront