Austin and Nashville may stake their claims, but we all know that Los Angeles is America’s true music capital. While you could easily walk into an incredible show at any venue on any night, we’ve curated a few top picks, from emerging artists to bona fide legends. Of course, this is just the tip of the musical iceberg; be sure to keep an eye on our weekly events guides for even more shows you’ll want to see.
Of her just-released second album, Shura says “In some ways, Forevher is a soul record sung by someone who doesn’t have a soul voice–and I quite enjoy the antagonism of that.” A close listen might also bring to mind some Frank Ocean touches, or even a bit of Elton John in the piano bits. Teragram Ballroom, Westlake, $20
The women of Potty Mouth have been bringing energy back to the pop-punk genre–and with a new, major label record, they’re reaching a bigger audience than ever. Come prepared to bounce up and down. Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, $18
Vivian Girls had a great run as a band back in the mid-aughts, but in 2011, the trio called it quits. Two members moved to L.A., one to New York City, and all went on to start a bevy of new projects. Now, after eight years apart, the group is back together with richly textured new music. Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, $18
One of our favorite destination venues, the Santa Barbara Bowl, hosts one of the true legends of rock and roll. If his recent performances are any indication, fans will be treated to a set packed with classic hits. Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, $50-$135
We Are KING have been charming fans since 2016 with their dreamy R&B sound, but at this special show at the Ford Theater, they’ll expand their sonic palette, working with arrangements for a full orchestra for the first time. John Anson Ford Amphitheater, Hollywood, $27-$37
October 12, 13
An assortment of the best names in dance and electronic music descend on a custom-built outdoor venue in DTLA. Spend the weekend with Ben UFO, Daniel Avery, Peggy Gou, Four Tet, Leon Vynehall, and many more. 1756 Naud Street, downtown, $79-$129
Take a weekend off from reality and enter the psychedelic dreamscape of Desert Daze. Set on the sandy banks of Lake Perris, surrounded by mountain vistas, the festival brings together cool artists–Stereolab, The Flaming Lips, Devo, Wu-Tang Clan–and mystical, positive vibes. Moreno Beach, Lake Perris, $110-$499
Baltimore-based rapper JPEGMAFIA plays off the frenzy of his enthusiastic fans into one of the most energetic live performances you’re likely to see. But it’s not all moshing and jumping around; his intelligent, moody music has made him a critical favorite. Teragram Ballroom, Westlake, $26
Ms. Lauryn Hill, H.E.R.
Enjoy one of the last Hollywood Bowl shows of the season with this pair of powerhouse women. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released over two decades ago, yet still sounds fresh and essential. H.E.R. was barely born when Hill’s record dropped, but her modern R&B shows her elders influence–as well as her own unique stylings. Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, from $39.50
October 17, 18
You probably think of Finneas as “Billie Eilish’s older brother,” but the musical mind behind much of Billie’s sound and production has a pop project all his own. His releases under his own name are rather different than his sibling collabs; Spin recently likened Finneas’ music to Ed Sheeran. Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever, Hollywood, $25
Hailing from Whittier, Plague Vendor are finally back in L.A. after a summer spent playing Europe’s biggest music festivals. They’re riding high off the release of their sophomore record, By Night, on which they collabed with producer John Congleton, known for his work with Sharon Van Etten and St. Vincent. The Echo, Echo Park, $10
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.