The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

4 concerts to catch in the D.C. area over the next several days

5 min

Update: Rina Sawayama’s performance at the Fillmore Silver Spring, originally scheduled for Nov. 5, has been postponed to Nov. 29.


The eight-member group Superorganism is on its second album of fun and sometimes frenetic pop music. The London-based band’s self-titled debut in 2018 featured eclectic production choices and jubilant melodies. Lead singer Orono Noguchi’s voice doesn’t compete with the group’s maximalist sound; instead, her dreamlike delivery grounds the music and makes the band’s insightful lyrics more meaningful. “Reflections on the Screen” is a song about heartbreak online with lyrics like, “I’ve zoomed in 1080p / Your pseudo-smile is so unfree.” Mystical-sounding guitar riffs fading in and out and cartoony birds chirping in the distance make Noguchi sound like she’s singing in the middle of a lush garden. On the 2022 album “World Wide Pop,” Superorganism doubles down on its delightful chaos. The song “Teenager” is about feeling young as you age. The Auto-Tune-heavy chorus feels like glitter in your ears, and steady, animated drums make it a head banger. The first song, “Black Hole Baby,” is a good encapsulation of what the band is doing: “Welcome back to the black hole, honey / Hold my hand cause the end is coming,” Noguchi sings as alien-sounding bells ring, explosions sound and clips from radio personalities play. The band is doing that quintessential pop thing — providing a soundtrack for the end of the world. Nov. 4 at 10 p.m. (doors open) at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25.

Rina Sawayama

Japanese British singer Rina Sawayama’s song “XS,” from her 2020 album “Sawayama,” is dressed up like a classic, Britney-esque pop song about shopping. But, as she repeatedly yells in its dance-inducing chorus, it’s “more!” A vigilant critique of a festering culture of overconsumption, the title means excess. She sings, “Make me less, so I want more,” stinging listeners with an unwelcome truth. Most of the album fits the theme that “XS” so masterfully pulls off: a deep and meaningful message wrapped in sparkling skin. On the song “Bad Friend,” Sawayama sings honestly about causing a breakup of a friendship. The chorus starts with “I’m so good at crashing in,” with robotic sound effects making her voice seem larger, like it’s looming over you. On her latest project, “Hold the Girl,” Sawayama takes the earnestness we got a little of on “Bad Friend” and runs with it. She’s still heavily influenced by early aughts pop music, perhaps more so by the pop-rock Kelly Clarkson than Spears this time around. On “Catch Me in the Air,” she sings to her mom, “I was afraid, but you put the wings on me.” The chorus feels freeing as Sawayama extends “air” to many more syllables than one — like she’s singing it while really flying. Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. Sold out. Note: This show was originally scheduled for Nov. 5 but was postponed.

Courtney Marie Andrews

Courtney Marie Andrews is eight albums in and continues to find a way to evolve. “Old Flowers,” released in 2020, was nominated for best Americana album at the 63rd Grammy Awards. Yet her 2022 project, “Loose Future,” wouldn’t necessarily fit that category. A new producer, Sam Evian, and a more optimistic lyrical style take her music to corners it hasn’t been before. Whereas on “Flowers,” Andrews muddles through darker emotional tunnels, her latest album is the metaphorical light at the end. In the aftermath of delving that deep, Andrews’s new songs feel free to be happy, a joy that’s been earned in some way. On “Satellite,” she sings, “But I, I, I like you all the time / A constellation I always find / And I, I, I like to see you shine / My favorite piece of the sky.” She is telling us about an all-consuming love alongside relaxed, acoustic strumming and echoing, spacelike synths. Although the song “Thinkin’ On You” finds Andrews in a place of yearning, the dynamic full band sound is anything but sad. It has a cheery country feel thanks to the steel guitar. Andrews sings, “The heart in you is the heart in me.” She’s sad, but it’s beautiful. Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Songbyrd, 540 Penn St. NE. $20.


Echostage, D.C.’s premier EDM venue, celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall with a lineup of some of the world’s best DJs. This includes Zedd, Kaskade and, of course, the “Godfather of EDM” Tiesto. The Dutch DJ has been in the game for more than two decades, defining and pushing the boundaries of what electronic dance music can be, and helping to bring it to the main stage of popular music. Earlier in his career, Tiesto was best known for his trance music — a high-tempo, hypnotic sound made for club nights that end with a sunrise. His remix to the song “Silence” by Delerium featuring Sarah McLachlan was his big introduction. It could’ve been seen as an odd choice of song at the time, yet McLachlan’s ethereal voice and delivery were a perfect fit for the transcendental remix and a testament to Tiesto’s vision. By the end of the first decade of the 2000s, pop music and EDM were interacting in newer ways with both genres taking influences from each other. Tiesto moved with those shifts, leaning into pop music sensibilities. Twenty years in, he’s still making club music that meets the times. Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. at Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE. $65.