11 Concerts To Catch Between Now And The End Of The Year

Jul 7, 2023 at 11:07 am
11 Concerts To Catch Between Now And The End Of The Year

We’ve officially entered the time of the year when it’s virtually impossible to keep track of all of the cool things to do in Louisville. Everyone wants to get out of the house. There are a string of events every night, while markets and festivals are scattered across town every weekend. And the next few months of concerts in Louisville are thick with talent. But, because there are so many, it’s easy to miss or forget about some of the best. That’s what we’re here for. This list covers 12 concerts from now until the end of the year that you should mark on your calendar. 

click to enlarge Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

Thursday, July 20

Alicia Keys 

KFC Yum! Center

Tickets start at $35  |  8 p.m.

A classically-trained piano prodigy who also has a golden voice, Alicia Keys turned her versatile and immense talent into stardom, selling millions of records and netting more than a dozen Grammys along the way. Her ability to smoothly tie together so many different styles and genres is nothing short of incredible. Her talent and range have allowed her to explore so many different creative avenues, and she excels at each one. Keys is one of those people who has had an incalculable and invaluable impact on modern pop music.

Saturday, July 22

Kiana & The Sun Kings [The Monarch EP release]

Headliners Music Hall

$15  |  8 p.m. 

Louisville’s Kiana & The Sun Kings turbocharge their soul and jazz influences into modern, smooth and magnetic sounds, paying tribute to the roots of those genres, while also sounding like the future in the process. The seven-person band creates lush music without ever becoming overbearing or crowded — each instrument fills only the space it needs and takes nothing more. This show is the release party for their new EP, Monarch, and it’ll be interesting to see which direction a band with this much potential goes next.

Saturday, July 22

Youth Lagoon 

Whirling Tiger 

$20 advance, $25 day of show  |  8 p.m. 

Youth Lagoon’s newest album, Heaven Is A Junkyard, has become one of the most critically-acclaimed records of 2023 through striking chamber pop that’s gentle on the ears and heavy on the heart. Youth Lagoon is the project of Trevor Powers, who, prior to releasing the new record, suffered a devastating reaction to an over-the-counter medication that left him without a voice. But now, Youth Lagoon — a project that has been on hiatus since 2016 — is back on tour, and this is an excellent time to see a reemerging talent at a small venue. 

Wednesday, July 26

Bettye LaVette, Steven Page (formerly of Barenaked Ladies), and Jameron

Big Four Lawn (WFPK Waterfront Wednesday)

Free  |  6 p.m. 

At July’s WFPK Waterfront Wednesday, roots legend Bettye LaVette headlines, with former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page and the local soul band Jameron also on the bill.  LaVette, who released her first album at 16 years old in 1962, has been an R&B staple for decades. She scored hits in the ‘60s and released critically-acclaimed albums in the 2000s, including a 2007 collaboration album with alt-country band Drive-By Truckers, The Scene of the Crime, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. 

Friday, July 28

Death Grips 

Paristown Hall 

Tickets start at $48  |  8 p.m. 

The experimental hip-hop of Death Grips is both abrasive and revolutionary. The group is wild and challenging but so singular in approach, delivery and attitude. They’re going to do what they want, when they want, everyone else be damned — no compromise. But, on top of the undeniable vision and ability, that’s what makes them so captivating: Because while most of us are punching clocks and doing what’s “expected of us,” they’re moving fast, breaking things and creating art, not really caring if you care or not. 

Friday, Aug. 4-5

Seven Sense Festival 

Headliners Music Hall and surrounding outdoor areas

$50 weekend pass  |  6 p.m.

The two-day music festival will happen Friday, Aug. 4-5, at Headliners Music Hall and surrounding outdoor areas, with a lineup of Ian Noe, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Early James, Winona Fighter, Jake Kohn, Shadwick Wilde with Quiet Hollers and several others. Over the years, the “taste-making” festival, which started in 2014 on Preston Street, has been a good place to catch rising acts.  Margo Price, currently a leading voice in alt-country, played an early afternoon set in 2015.

Friday, Sept. 8

Lil Baby 

KFC Yum! Center 

Tickets start at $46  |  7 p.m.

One of the most important hip-hop artists of his generation, Lil Baby is both wildly popular and wildly gifted. He blazes through bars as swiftly as his songs climb the charts with an idiosyncratic, distinct style that turns tough experiences into vibrant poetry. Lil Baby and Louisville native Jack Harlow have collaborated on several tracks, including on Harlow’s “Face Of My City,” where Lil Baby steals the show.

Thursday, Sept. 14-17

Bourbon & Beyond 

Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Expo Center 

$299.99 weekend GA pass  |  Times vary 

This four-day Danny Wimmer Presents festival focuses on classic and indie rock, as well as bluegrass, folk and Americana. Headliners include Bruno Mars, The Killers, Brandi Carlile, The Black Keys, Duran Duran, Billy Strings, The Black Crowes and The Avett Brothers. And there are so, so many more talented artists performing at the festival, including Blondie, Train, Hozier, Jon Batiste, Brittany Howard and Ryan Bingham. Over the years, Bourbon & Beyond has grown into a massive festival, attracting big stars and even bigger crowds. It’s a good place to catch large legacy acts and up-and-coming artists. 

Thursday, Sept. 21-24

Louder Than Life 

Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Expo Center 

$279.99 weekend GA pass  |  Times vary 

The metalhead sibling festival to Bourbon & Beyond, Louder Than Life is a mirror image in terms of place and setting — it’s just, as its name indicates, much louder. Focused on all things heavy, Louder Than Life leans into hard rock, metal and hip-hop. Headliners include Foo Fighters, Green Day, Pantera, Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Turnstile and Weezer. The lineup also features Run The Jewels, Dethklok, BABYMETAL, Megadeth, Limp Bizkit, plus Louisville’s White Reaper, Guerrilla Warfare and Devil’s Cut.

Saturday, Sept. 30

Rufus Wainwright: Want Symphonic 

Louisville Palace 

Tickets start at $32  |  7:30 p.m. 

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will open the Louisville Orchestra’s 2023-2024 Pops Season. The concert promises to be a “sonic Shangri-La” featuring 60 classical musicians, drummer Matt Johnson, and Wainwright singing selections from his much celebrated Want albums. Want One, released in 2003, and Want Two, which followed in 2004, were both critically-acclaimed records, and, at this concert, the original songs from both will be turned into symphonic arrangements by Sally Herbert and Max Moston. “Want One and Two are maybe the most epic of my albums,” Wainwright said in a press release.

click to enlarge Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen

Tuesday, Dec. 5 

Angel Olsen with Joanna Sternberg 

Headliners Music Hall 

$32  |  8 p.m.

A little bit alt-country, a little bit indie rock, with the skill to create in numerous genres, Angel Olsen is a songwriter who can create piercing, lasting lyrics over a great range of different sounds. Her latest album, Big Time, is open and vulnerable, surfacing her worries and desires into a masterclass of expressing yourself as a human. Joanna Sternberg, who writes personal and engaging folk, is also playing the show.