1. Friday, May 6: Insane Clown Posse; 6:30pm doors; $25 advance / $28 day of; All ages; Fete, 103 Dyke St, Providence. As we are in the midst of a crazy election cycle, I always find it funny when people volunteer at Death Cab For Cutie or Sleater Kinney type shows to register new voters. The only way their fans aren’t already registered to vote is if they turned 18 that week. If they wanted to register new voters they should go to Monster Truck rallies or Insane Clown Posse concerts. I am not sure that the clowns have officially endorsed any of the other clowns running yet, and I am afraid if they did the endorsement would likely side on the dude in the wig with the devil don’t give a fuck style. And while I am no Juggalo historian, I am pretty sure the last time the evil clown crew played in town was the old Lupo’s (II) with 2 Live Crew in 2001ish. Is Providence ready for this? Will Rob Duguay be there? Will he be wearing paint? Whoop Whoop? Only one way to find out. Also, go like my fantasy football team on Facebook, Johnston Juggalos.
2. Wednesday, May 11: Eagles Of Death Metal; $25 advance / $30 day of; All ages; Lupo’s, 79 Washington St, Providence. There’s nothing like the experience of going out and seeing a rock ‘n’ roll show. The anticipation, the communal experience of leaving the mundane, working-for-a-living life to get in a room full of people with the same interests as you, sharing drinks and talking with new like-minded people, seeing opening new-to-you acts that your favorite band thinks you might like and then, of course, standing mere feet away from the artists you idolize and admire. On November 13, 2015, a group of terrorists, as part of a citywide attack across Paris, ruined what we hold sacred by storming Le Bataclan during an EODM concert, killing at least 89 concertgoers and injuring many more. As someone who lives in concert halls and knows how special that experience is, the event was unfathomable. My heart still goes out to everyone involved in that production that night, everyone there, everyone lost or hurt and also their loved ones. Such an unnecessary tragedy. You can never forget about those who passed, those who were hurt and what happened, but the show doesn’t end. You can not let terrorists take away the righteous and reaffirming experiences of love, music or everyday life. Eagles Of Death Metal are not letting the terrorists win, and are back out there connecting with their fans. I wish them the best and salute them for not giving up and going out there and kicking ass. They are hell of a band, a force live and won’t be stopped.
3. Saturday, May 21: Kiefer Sutherland, Austin Plaine; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $20 advance / $22 day of; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket.
In many ways it has to be tough being a well-known actor who also wants to be considered a serious musician. For all the acts like Dogstar (Keanu Reeves), The Pizza Underground (Macaulay Culkin), Kevin Costner & Modern West, and whatever the hell it was that Russell Crowe did, there are not very many success stories such as 30 Seconds To Mars (Jared Leto). There is no arguing about Kiefer’s acting abilities. In the last 30 years of acting, he’s become a household name with parts in classics such as Stand By Me, The Lost Boys and “24.” Kiefer isn’t new to the music business (he’s been a partner in the label Ironworks Records for over a decade) but he’s new to performing. His debut album Down in a Hole is out now and touches on folk and country songwriting. With this artist’s success on the screen, it’s certainly worth taking a risk to see what he can do on the stage.
4. Monday, May 23: Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkey Birds, Atlantic Thrills, Cannibal Ramblers; 8:30pm; FREE; All ages; 276 Westminster St, Providence. The best deal of the month involves a prolific punk ‘n’ roll musician and two of Providence’s finer local acts for the cost of nothing. Kid Congo Powers is a veteran of the punk community, having done time playing with The Cramps, the tragically underrated The Gun Club, as a Bad Seed with Nick Cave, and another tragically forgotten act, Knoxville Girls. I caught the Knoxville Girls around 2002 at The Met Cafe with The White Stripes with about 100 other people and it’s still one of my all-time favorite shows. I’m not entirely familiar with his solo career, but with his pedigree and the musicians he has put around him in the past, it has to be excellent. Garage punks Atlantic Thrills are fresh off a new album and month-long US tour, and Providence’s Cannibal Ramblers anchor a tremendous show.
5. Sunday, May 29: Luna; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $25 advance / $30 day of; All ages; Columbus Theatre, Broadway, Providence. Insane Clown Posse aren’t the only ones making a decade-plus-later return to Providence this month. Luna started playing shows again in 2015, having recently come through Boston, but missing smaller markets like Providence. And while Providence is certainly a small market, back in the ’90s it was stomping grounds for the NYC indie dream rock act. I have great memories of getting dropped off at the old Lupo’s (II) when I was 16, watching Small Factory open from the closed-off escalator between games of Ms Pac-Man. Check out their classic 1995 album Penthouse to get in the mood, and make sure to make it out — who knows when or if they’ll be back.
Also Playing: May 6: Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons @ The Met; May 11: Chelsea Wolfe @ Fete; May 13: Vudu Sister (cd release) @ Columbus Theatre; May 14: Blackletter / The Dust Ruffles / Wild Sun @ The Met; May 14: St James & The Apostles / Party Pigs / Tall Teenagers @ AS220; May 21 Joe Moody Memorial @ Firehouse 13; May 24 Joywave @ The Met; May 29 Luna @ Columbus Theatre