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

1. Saturday, July 14: Brandon Reilly; 7:30pm; $10; All ages; Alchemy, 71 Richmond St, PVD.
Brandon Reilly is having a busy year. His old band The Movielife reunited and in September released their first full length in 14 years: Cities In Search of a Heart. Brandon will be performing a solo set including his songs from The Movielife and his band Nightmare Of You. The night features a great group of New England musicians opening with solo sets. Travis Alexander (from the excellent Ghost Thrower), Jeff Lavender (of Valencourt) and Rich Ferri open the bill.
2. July 27 to July 29: Newport Folk Festival; Fort Adams, Newport. SOLD OUT. Are you ready to Folk? Newport Folk Festival is back and doesn’t disappoint. Big acts worth checking out include Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson, Courtney Barnett (who I absolutely love), Jenny Lewis, Shakey Graves, Gary Clark JR., and St. Vincent. I caught St. Vincent last month at Boston Calling, and she was outstanding. Saturday is the standout day for indie acts with Barnett, Hamilton Leithauser + Rotstam, and Phoebe Bridgers. Bridgers had a breakout year in 2017 with the release of Stranger In The Alps. The record had a top 3 to me of 2017 song, “Motion Sickness.” The Fest is, as always, sold out, but closer to the weekend, tickets are around for slightly higher than face value.
3. Friday, July 27: Warped Tour; Gates 11am; Great Woods, 885 South Main St, Mansfield, Mass. After 24 years, the Warped Tour is calling it quits. All of the wallet chains, bad haircuts sprinkled with manic panic, full-back graphic-word t-shirts, free hug signs, and suburban punks you can handle has one last dance. I went out to a Northampton, Mass, airfield for the first Warped Tour with some great friends from high school; I was 15 and buzzed, checking out No Doubt, CIV, Quicksand and more that at the time were all smaller clubs acts. The tour grew with the acts as it evolved; bands such as Blink 182, Dropkick Murphys, My Chemical Romance, and more left the small club circuit to become household names. Twenty-four years later, my stomach for what I can enjoy on this tour is limited. Every Time I Die and Four Year Strong always rule. State Champs are on the rise, and Sharptooth is a new band definitely worth checking out. And there is a juggalo-related band playing (Twiztid) in case you want to play “your team.” Rest in Punk.
4. Monday, July 30: Thelma and the Sleaze, Julie Rhodes; 9pm; $8 advance; Askew Prov, 150 Chestnut St, PVD. I recently grabbed dinner at Askew Prov and all I can say is hot dammnnnnnnnn! The restaurant and venue opened last month, and is starting to put on shows. It’s located in the old Century Lounge / Fat Squirrel. Owner and chef Windsong has outdone herself; the spot looks fantastic and the menu is amazing. I had Hawaiian chicken and ham skewers that I still daydream about. Here is a great night to come out, grab dinner and stay for a show. I haven’t seen Thelma and the Sleaze yet, but their sleazy rockin’ should be great live. And Julie Rhodes is one of the best live performers in New England.
5. Friday, August 3: Joywave, grandson; 9pm doors / 930pm show; $23 advance / $25 day of;         21+ only; The Ocean Mist, 895 Matunuck Beach Rd, Wakefield. The Ocean Mist turns 30 this year and their summer calendar is a stacked celebration! Highlights include reggae acts such as Collie Buddz, Toots & The Maytals, and Freddie McGreggor; jam bands such as Ripe and Max Creek; rock acts such as English Beat, G Love, and John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band; and indie acts like Deer Tick (sold out), Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and this show with Joywave. Joywave are coming off a huge nationwide tour with Thirty Seconds To Mars.
Also coming: Jul 9 — Joe Jackson @ The Strand; Jul 11 — Pile @ FMH; Jul 13 — The Agents, King Django @ The Met; Jul 13 — Eric & The Nothing @ Shelter Arcade Bar; Jul 14 — Churchburn @ Dusk; Jul 18 — Arcade Fire Blue Hills Bank Pavilion; Jul 20 — Old Crow Medicine Show @ The Strand; Jul 20 — JP Harris, The Quahogs @ Askew Prov; Jul 24 — Chris Robinson Brotherhood @ FMH; Jul 28 — G Love @ Ocean Mist; Jul 29 — Parking Lot Mega Show @ Scurvy Dog; Aug 2 — Anthrax & Testament, Churchburn @ The Strand; Aug 3 — The Diplomats @ The Strand