No matter where you are in the DC region this Monday night, stop and listen around 8 p.m. - you might hear the sound of tens of thousands of screaming teenage fans, and maybe a few smitten moms, as One Direction make a stop at Nationals Stadium during their current world tour.
That's just the start of a week that runs the usual eclectic gamut from sweet acoustic guitar sounds to earth-shaking pop machinery, critical darlings to chart-toppers, Monday through Sunday (August 11-17).
No wonder Forbes magazine recently named Washington, D.C. the coolest city in America!
One Direction at Nationals Stadium, Monday, August 11
LIAM! ZAYN! NIALL! LOUIS! HARRY! Pick a favorite, or swoon over all five. That's what teen idols are for, and One Direction have become kings of pop's musical mountain thanks to three albums of tasty melodies, a string of creative videos and a refusal to act like Bieberish buffoons (Louis and Zayn's tokin' aside).
1D's songs are uber-catchy, their optimistic enthusiasm is contagious and the sheer awesomeness of a Nats stadium smoke-and-screens-and-pyro spectacular promise a night with a heavenly hormone rush.
And, while it's not exactly a Battle of the Boy Bands (1D still have a firm grip on the crown), watch for openers 5 Seconds of Summer to stake a claim as the Next Big Teenybopper Thing, flying high on their recent #1 album debut and hit single, "She Looks So Perfect."
Don't forget your ear plugs. And come back to this column later in the week for a full review and concert photos from the show!
For more info: Nationals Stadium
MKTO at Fillmore Silver Spring, Tuesday, August 12
Malcolm Kelly and Tony Oller, a.k.a. MKTO, first met on the L.A. set of Teen Nick's "Gigantic" four years ago, but it was a mutual love of music that truly turned them into friends and creative partners. Their collaborations attracted the attention of songwriters/producers Eman and Evan “Kidd” Bogart (Beyoncé, Ne-Yo, Rihanna) who secured them a deal with Columbia Records and began executive producing their debut album, released this past April.
Thanks to an anthemic debut single, “Thank You,” and its soulful/pop platinum follow-up, “Classic,” the duo's first-ever headlining American tour has been gaining momentum since its late June start and now pulls into the Fillmore Silver Spring for the (deep breath) "Ones to Watch with Skype – The American Dream Tour." Also featured are Action Item, Tiffany Houghton and The New Officials, for a show with a mini-fest feel.
For more info: Fillmore Silver Spring
Luke Brindley at Jammin Java, Friday, August 15
After his ambitious “Our Year" project, in which he wrote, recorded and released a new song each week in 2013, singer/songwriter – and killer guitarist - Luke Brindley celebrates the arrival of his latest album, "The Whiskey Switch," with a hometown show this Friday.
The new set is a folk/Americana album featuring Brindley on acoustic guitar and vocals, alongside Mike Meadows (sideman for Taylor Swift), on mandolin and banjo, and DC’s Laura Tsaggaris on harmony vocals. The stripped-down production highlights Brindley's sensitive songcraft - which has earned comparison to the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen - as well as the fine interplay among the talented trio.
Brindey's Jammin Java shows always have a familial, party vibe (his family owns the joint) and usually bring out a slew of local musical pals. On this night, his band will include Jon Carroll (Mary Chapin Carpenter), Chip Johnson (The Alternate Routes, Stephen Kellogg), Owen Danoff and Nate Read.
For more info: Jammin Java
Arcade Fire at Verizon Center, Sunday, August 17
Whether you loved or hated Arcade Fire's latest opus, "Reflektor," there's no denying that this Canadian ensemble has made some superb music in its career and its live shows never lack for power, intensity and great show/musicianship. How it will translate to the rather sterile surroundings of the Verizon Center is the trick but, given the group's penchant for costume drama and artsy collaborations, the good money is on the band kicking major booty in the big space.
The night's opening acts are Dan Deacon, one of the few EDM music-makers who has also earned the title composer, and Antibalas, the Brooklyn-based Afrobeat with a 70's-era Fela Kuti vibe. Wear dancing shoes.
For more info: Verizon Center