Our Weekly Concert Picks: November 13 - November 19

Music-Kanye West
Kanye West performs at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Thursday, November 14: The Delco Pacers

This week’s pick for up-and-coming bands to catch is The Delco Pacers, who celebrate the release of their new record Stereo Streets with a headlining show at Milkboy Philly. A trio formed just last year, when childhood friends Jonathan Pitts and Evan Dick bonded with drummer Pavlo Demkiv over a shared rehearsal space, The Delco Pacers spent 2012 and 2013 gigging locally and writing tunes in their Port Richmond warehouse, channeling bands like The Hold Steady and The Replacements with their jangly, cerebral compositions. “If there's a theme within this record, we'd say it's ‘building something in a broken place,’” says singer/guitarist Jonathan Pitts via email. “Building a band, building relationships, building upon experiences we’ve had over the past years and overcoming the challenges.” Live, they sound like the best bar band you’ve ever heard, a feeling that only intensifies with a few beers.  Before you go:  stream killer single “Blue Trucks” and get ready to rock out.

8:00 at Milkboy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St., $8–$10. Tickets available here.


Friday, November 15: Sky Ferreira

The name Sky Ferreira seems like it’s everywhere lately—from her much-publicized recent arrest (alongside boyfriend and DIIV member Zachary Cole Smith) to her much-discussed risqué cover art (NSFW). It’s enough to make you think—if you didn’t know any better—that Ferreira’s some sort of flash-in-the-pan media concoction, a notion that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the 21-year-old artist has been making music since her early teens, and admits she recorded more than 400 songs for label Capital Records—most of them quickly abandoned—before releasing her debut LP, Night Time, My Time, earlier this year. So who is Sky Ferreira? Part model (clients include Calvin Klein, Adidas, and St. Laurent), part actress (catch her in indie short IRL), and part friend of the famous (she spent her holidays with Michael Jackson)—Ferreira is, first and foremost, an artist, who’s not afraid to indulge her poppy  OR her manic side, and who sounds best when she eschews others’ expectations in favor of her own creativity. Oh yeah, and she makes some pretty killer pop songs too, like the sultry “Everything Is Embarrassing,” and the summer anthem-worthy “You’re Not the One.” This Friday, she’ll bring her unique tunes to the First Unitarian Church alongside Chicago’s Smith Westerns, whose take on pop is as blissful as a day at the beach.

8:00 at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., $15. Tickets available here.


Friday, November 15: Nightmares on Wax

I still remember the first time I heard Nightmares on Wax: probably seven or eight years ago, huddled on the couch with a date, high, head spinning as the hip-hop beats and bass-y electronics washed over me. We had decided to start holding listening parties—indulgent forays into our fave music—and after subjecting said date to many Guided by Voices records, he spun some Nightmares on Wax. And I was hooked. There are many reasons to love NOW, widely considered among the forerunners of the downtempo and trip-hop movements—they certainly know how to set a mood (I won’t mention what followed said listening party); and there’s something refreshing about their smooth blend of genres: hip-hop, electronica, downtempo, techno, funk. Formed in the late 1980s by George Evelyn and Kevin Harper, Nightmares on Wax quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting acts in post-rave England, with early single “Aftermath” climbing to the Top 40. Harper eventually bowed out to focus on his DJ career, and Robin Taylor-Firth stepped in, but the band continued to release records throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s—slowly transitioning from an all-DJ act to incorporating live instruments. They’re now touring behind their eighth LP Feelin’ Good, which incorporates old-skool jazz and funk samples and mellow grooves, much as the name implies.

9:00 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $17. Tickets available here.


Saturday, November 16: Kanye West

Yes, it’s true! After much anticipation (and several cancelled tour dates) the G.O.O.D. man himself will make a stop at the Wells Fargo Center, performing songs from Yeezus.  There’s not much we can say about Kanye that hasn’t been said a million times already, so instead we present…five reasons to go catch Kanye live.

  1. Because no one puts on a show like Kanye. For his Yeezus tour, we’ve heard rumors of giant pyramids, religious imagery, and over-the-top face masks…not to mention two-hour set-lists and intense, emotional catharsis. As if we’d expect anything less.
  2. Because he’s quite possibly the most awarded artist of our generation. Yes, everyone knows the Grammy awards (at least somewhat) are B.S….but winning 21 of them? That counts for something. Plus let’s not forget about all those awards he should have won.
  3. Because he’s not afraid to speak his mind… whether it’s stating out-right the race preferences of certain past presidents or breaking the mold for what’s expected of a hip-hop star.
  4. Because Yeezus is, if nothing else, the weirdest and most creative record you’ve heard this year. Not to mention the only record supposed inspired by a Le Corbusier lamp.
  5. Because it’s his first headlining tour in five years…and quite possible for a long time to come.  Kanye’s notoriously fickle. Twenty years from now, when you’re rifling through your record collection and come across Yeezus, do you want to remember a kick-a** night with friends, watching a crazy genius, or do you wanna remember how you sat at home on your couch? We’ll leave that one up to you!

8:00 at the Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., $36.50–$196.50. Tickets available here.