So far, the old adage has proven true: March has certainly come in like a lion. A cold, abominable snowlion bred from polar vortices and icicles. But looking at the live music calendar this month, March has also proven lion-like with its various array of awesome concerts and shows in and around the region.
Here’s what’s on Fly’s Hot Ticket for March:
The O’My’s at Tobacco Avenue
“Psychedelic soul” is a label that will pique my interest every time. Add a cameo by Chance the Rapper on The O’My’s song “Wonder Years,” and I’m definitely interested. Lead vocalist Maceo Haymes has sort of a Curtis Mayfield/CeeLo Green thing happening, and the loungey vibe and slick, silvery smooth tones of the horn section mixed with the playful, yet, gritty lyrical content that comes from living in the Windy City makes The O’My’s music some of the most exciting sounds to come out of Chi-town since Wilco and Kanye West. Catch the soul squad on March 8 at up-and-coming music/arts venue Tobacco Avenue in Lancaster.
– Mike Andrelczyk
Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfiend at The Keswick Theatre
It’s pretty exciting when two of your favorite live musicians – Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers and Jessica Lea Mayfield – join forces to work on a musical project. It’s especially exciting when said project is an album of covers of another one of your favorite musicians – Elliott Smith. Avett and Mayfield release their new album – Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith – on March 17, and they’re taking Smith’s songs on the road (including a March 14 stop at The Keswick Theatre outside Philly), paying tribute to the under-appreciated emotional songwriter who committed suicide by stabbing himself twice in the heart in 2003. Avett and Mayfield are joined on tour by session standup bassist Paul DiFiglia, playing intimate acoustic versions of songs like “Memory Lane” and “Ballad of Big Nothing.”.
– Michael Yoder
<< DON’T MISS: Aaron Freeman – aka Gene Ween – plays an acoustic show at the Strand-Capitol on March 21. Read our Q&A with Freeman about his new Billy Joel cover band and the return of “Gene Ween.” >>
The War on Drugs at Tower Theatre
A few years ago, I went through a brief phase where I listened to Slave Ambient – the second album from Philly-based The War On Drugs – over and over. It’s a cool record; sort of Springsteen-esque traditional rawk half-smothered in a gauzy layer of shoegazing ambience a la Spacemen 3. The band’s latest album – last year’s Lost in the Dream – is even better, turning up the ‘80s references to evoke everything from Tears for Fears to Rod Stewart. More than anything, though, it evokes the massive, sprawling, textured albums of an earlier era, when you didn’t have to sell yourself in three minutes; when your songs could unfold and evolve at their own pace. TWOD returns to the City of Brotherly Love on March 27 at the Tower Theatre.
– Jed Reinert
Delta Spirit at Chameleon Club
Southern California has made its mark on the music industry over the years. From Sublime to Snoop Dogg, Cold War Kids to Snoop Lion, the roster of artists hailing from Long Beach to San Diego is as lengthy as it is varied. American indie rock band Delta Spirit has its roots in this sunny stretch as well, part of which might attribute to the band’s energetic, catchy and not-annoying brand of pop. But as the band has grown over the last 10 years, so too has its sound, espousing little bits of Brooklyn-bred cool and Texas-cultured Americana. Sprinkle in vocalist Matt Vasquez’s penchant for writing some killer lyrics, and Delta Spirit is easily your favorite band you might not have listened to yet. The band is touring behind its fourth release, Into the Wide, which dropped in October on Dualtone. Catch them on March 31 at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster.
– Mike McMonagle
ALSO: Chance McCoy & JP Harris at Tellus360 (March 6); Dom Flemons with Jonah Tolchin at Kable House Presents (March 8); Stelth Ulvang (of The Lumineers) at The Makespace (March 9); Bernie Worrell Orchestra at Stage on Herr (March 14); Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen at Wagon Shed Concerts (March 20); mewithoutyou. at The Depot (March 23); The Get Up Kids at Chameleon Club (March 26);