After what felt like an extended dry spell for live music, February will bring shows that are perfect for working yourself into a sweat, and one show, courtesy of the Kennedy Center's Nordic Cool festival, that you might want to keep you coat on for. Get tickets now for these concerts, and check out a song from each via our Spotify playlist below:
With the ubiquitous dance-floor anthem "Levels," Swedish DJ/producer Avicii helped ignite the rise of dubstep music from clubs to car commercials. Though he has played Washington clubs and a glow-stick-waving set at the Sweetlife Festival, this weekend
he's returning as a national name for Super Glow, a dance party that aims to fill the D.C. Armory with 10,000 sweaty bodies. Friday's show still has tickets. Get them here.
Norwegian performer Terje Isungset dons a parka and furry cap just to plink out the ethereal, almost meditative notes in his music: Every instrument he plays, including a fiddle, guitar, harp and percussion, is carved from ice. (Check out video of his performance above.) The Kennedy Center's Nordic Cool Festival brings Isungset and his "Icemusic" to Washington for performances Feb. 23 in the "Cool Club," an intimate concert space created for the festival and outfitted in mod Arne Jacobsen chairs and Marimekko prints. (If you're wondering: The instruments are kept in a freezer van until moments before they're loaded onto the stage.)
With its "Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s" exhibition opening this month, the Corcoran Gallery of Art offers Washington newcomers a glimpse of the old-school Dodge City, as documented in photos, fliers and other relics. But the 9:30 Club will help you feel the era's snare-cracking beats. This show Feb. 24 pairs go-go stars Junkyard and Trouble Funk (with Big Tony, above), whose "Pump Me Up" no doubt inspired the name of the exhibit, with such punk acts as the remaining members of Dave Grohl's first band, Scream, and Black Market Baby, among others. If you couldn't get into the star-studded, misty-eyed 9:30 Club 30th-anniversary show in 2010, the Funk-Punk Throwback is perhaps the next best thing, with the same host (Henry Rollins) and some of the same acts.
The "Kick, Push" rapper offered one of inauguration weekend's most colorful moments when his performance at the private StartUp RockOn party at the Hamilton was abruptly cut short by organizers after one of his songs criticized President Obama. For those
who agree with the rapper's politics, or just want to hear how that song ends, he's back for a ticketed show at the Fillmore on Feb. 27.
Are the Little Monsters growing tired of the pantsless pop star's "You're not okay, I'm not okay, but that's okay" schtick? Surprisingly, prime seats remain for Lady Gaga's "Born This Way Ball" at Verizon Center. Gaga has been keeping a uncharacteristically low profile the past year, refusing interviews, focusing on the international legs of her tour and all but sneaking into Washington to play a few numbers at an inaugural ball for President Obama's campaign staff. But the BTW Ball, which has played to audiences across Asia and Europe, is the singer's bombastic attempt at high art, with an operatic story line, myriad costume changes and inflatables. When else will you get to experience such
excess? Gaga hits Verizon Center on Feb. 25.