It’s time for music to move indoors.
There are still a few open-air dates on the calendar — Luke Bryan (Friday) and Billy Joel (Saturday) at Citizens Bank Park, Nas and Lauryn Hill at the BB&T Pavilion on Sept. 14, and Mac DeMarco at the Mann Center on Sept. 24.
But mainly the change in the weather means a move to cozier environs in clubs and theaters, with the biggest acts playing the Wells Fargo Center. That venue’s schedule is busy: In addition to the Janet Jackson show on the list below, the lineup includes Lady Gaga (Sept. 10 and 11), Barry Manilow (Sept. 15), the Weeknd (Sept. 16), Arcade Fire (Sept. 17), Halsey (10/7), Guns N’ Roses (Oct. 8), Bruno Mars (Oct. 10), and Katy Perry (Oct. 12) and Jay-Z (Dec. 1).
Other, more intimate shows of note: Bill Frisell at Ardmore Music Hall on Sept. 16, Hayes Carll at World Cafe Live on Sept. 19, Thundercat at Union Transfer on Sept. 23 and 24, Chicano Batman at TLA on Oct. 8, Irma Thomas and the Blind Boys of Alabama at the Grunn Center for the Arts in Atlantic City on Nov. 7, and Pere Ubu at Johnny Brenda’s on Nov. 14.
A list of highly anticipated albums, and more shows, starts here:
Son Little, New Magic (Sept. 15). The genre-fluid Philadelphia soul troubadour born Aaron Livingston returns with his second album for the prestigious indie label Anti-Records. He’ll also do two shows at Boot & Saddle in South Philly on Sept. 29 and 30. (267-639-4528, bootandsaddlephilly.com)
Miley Cyrus, Younger Now (Sept. 29). This is the cleaned-up Miley career pivot, with a cute picture from elementary school on the album cover. The lead single “Malibu” suggests the songs will swing back in an innocent direction, too, after the agent-provocateur decadence of 2013’s Bangerz and 2015’s Flaming Lips collaboration Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.
Shania Twain, Now (Sept. 29). The first album in 15 years from the pop country superstar who sold a skadillion copies of albums, like 1995’s The Woman in Me and 1997’s Come on Over and reshaped the way Nashville business was done. She returns with a more singer-songwriterish album that reflects on her divorce from her producer ex-husband Robert “Mutt” Lange.
Kamasi Washington, Harmony of Difference (Sept. 29). The saxophonist and bandleader turned a new generation on to jazz with the expansive vision of his three-LP The Epic and has made extensive contributions to high-profile albums by Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus. Along with the new six song EP, he plays Union Transfer on Nov. 25. (215-232-2100, utphilly.com)
Beck, Colors (Oct. 3). The last album by the California songwriter and changeling was 2014’s Morning Phase, a mellow, Down East effort that won a Grammy for album of the year and (of course) ticked off Kanye West. So it stands to reason this one will be more of an up-tempo affair.
Pink, Beautiful Trauma (Oct. 13). Doylestown’s Alecia Moore follows up her headlining Atlantic City beach concert with her first album in five years. The singer, who became a mother for the second time last year, teased the record with the socially conscious power ballad lead single “What About Us” this summer.
Taylor Swift, Reputation (Nov. 10). The sixth album by the Wyomissing, Pa.-bred superstar feels like it’s been out for sixth months already, right? Certainly “Look What You Made Me Do,” the album’s debut single and high-gloss super-self-referential video that debuted during the MTV VMA awards, has been hot-taked to death already. Two more months of buildup need to be endured before the music arrives.
U2, Songs of Experience. (Dec. 1) The Irish superstars were supposed to be ready with this William Blake-inspired bookend to Songs of Innocence shortly after that largely forgotten album was force-fed to iTunes users in 2014. It’s finally ready for release this fall, and the first song to be leaked, “The Blackout,” suggests the album has been at least partially rewritten and retooled for the Trump era.
Father John Misty (Sept. 15). The singer-songwriter born Josh Tillman is expert at drawing attention to himself, whether performing his “Bored in the U.S.A.” live with a laugh track or expounding on the pointlessness of entertainment during an election year in a rant at the 2016 XPoNential Music Festival. His Skyline Stage performance is his first official Philadelphia appearance since that show, and since the release of his album Pure Comedy. (215-546-7900, manncenter.org)
The War on Drugs (Sept. 21). Songwriter and auteur Adam Granduciel’s mesmeric rock band have topped themselves again with A Deeper Understanding, the follow-up to 2014’s acclaimed Lost in the Dream. They play the Dell Music Center in Strawberry Mansion in a show that’s a benefit for ex-Eagle Connor Barwin’s Make the World Better Foundation, which funds playgrounds throughout the city. (215-685-9560, mydelleast.com)
Philly Music & Arts Festival (Sept. 22 and 23). An inaugural event featuring music, food, and arts and highlighting only local bands, including Cayetana, Harmony Woods, Strand of Oaks, New Sound Brass, Steve Gunn, the West Philadelphia Orchestra, and more. (215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com)
A$AP Mob (Sept. 26). The Harlem hip-hop collective — the acronym stands for “always strive and prosper” — whose brightest star is rapper A$AP Rocky and who suffered a loss when cofounding member A$AP Yams died in 2015. Along with Rocky, this date at the outdoor Skyline Stage will include A$APs Ferg, Twelvvy, Nast, and Ant in support of the brand-new, star-studded mixtape Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy. (215-546-7900, manncenter.org)
Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul (Oct. 1). Bruce Springsteen’s right-hand man has kept busy between years with the Boss by playing gangsters in The Sopranos and the Netflix series Lillyhammer, as well as with his Underground Garage satellite radio station. But until this year’s title, he hadn’t released an album of his own swaggering, horn-fired music in 18 years. (215-627-1332, electicfactory.info)
Daniel Johnston (Oct. 4). The talented, troubled 56-year-old Texas songwriter, who suffers from bipolar disorder, is a much-loved DIY figure, revered for his heartfelt songs and visual art. (Kurt Cobain was a big fan.) He’s going on a five-show, final “Hi, How Are You?” tour backed by members of local bands in each city, with the Districts and Modern Baseball doing the honors in Upper Darby. (610-352-2887, towerphilly.com)
Harry Styles (Oct. 5). The One Direction star, former Taylor Swift dater, and now Dunkirk actor surprised the haters by delivering a self-titled singer-songwriterish solo debut album that — gasp! — reveals he actually has talent. If you didn’t get tickets for this sold-out Tower date, you’ll have another chance when he plays the Wells Fargo next June. (610-352-2887; thetowerphilly.com)
King Crimson (Nov. 2 and 3). The prog-rock event of the season. Guitarist Robert Fripp and bass player Tony Levin will be joined on south Broad Street by six other musicians in the wonky “double quartet formation,” including four (!) drummers. 215-893-1999, merriamtheater.org
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile (Nov. 3). The indie-rock surprise of the season pairs Aussie wordsmith and guitarist Barnett with Philadelphia vibe king Vile, who recorded an album together Down Under called Lotta Sea Lice, which is due in October. (610-352-2887, thetowerphilly.com)
Janet Jackson (Nov. 10 and 13). The Rhythm Nation star carries on the Jackson family legacy on her State of the World tour, which picks up where her tour for her 2016 album Unbreakable left off. That trek was canceled for a good reason: Jackson gave birth to a girl at age 50 this year. She plays Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (Nov. 10 show) and the Wells Fargo Center after that. (609-348-7000, boardwalkhall.com; or 215-336-3600, wellsfargocenterphilly.com)
St. Vincent (Nov. 28). The killer guitarist and conceptualist born Annie Clark’s first album in three years is called Masseduction. It’s out Oct. 13, featuring Kamasi Washington and Jenny Lewis. Her Fear the Future tour brings her to Philadelphia the following month. (215-627-1332, electricfactory.info)
LCD Soundsystem (Dec 5-7). Not one, not two, but three shows are booked at the Fillmore for James Murphy’s anxiety-ridden angular funk band, whose last Philadelphia gig was a Making Time blowout at the Navy Yard in 2010. After pretend-retiring the following year, the band is back with the brand-new American Dream. (215-309-0150, fillmorephilly.com)