Oh boy! It's here! It's finally here! Our favorite time of year! ROCKTOBER!!
This is like Christmas for music fans. Everyone's fall tours take them through the Midwest this time of year, so our music cup runneth over. Rocktober is a pretty phenomenal time for live music, right from the very first day. Here’s to leather jackets, cool cats, and more concerts than we can handle. I mean, how in the Lou Reed are we going to get to all these great rock shows? And like, EVERY show at Replay is killer this month, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT WAS TO NARROW THIS LIST DOWN??! Not to mention all the metal shows and tomfoolery that will go down surrounding Halloween…. It’s time to dip into that PTO, crack a red bull, hold onto your butts, and hope for the best. Here are our recommendations for October’s live music landscape:
The Bottleneck | October 1
Die-hard psych rock fans will not want to miss this one. Rocktober is starting epically strong with The Black Angels. This is one of those shows that was supposed to happen at the start of the year and was derailed thanks to Omicron. This time, they’re coming back touting the just-released album Wilderness of Mirrors, which promises a sonic expansion of their already intensely trippy sound. The Black Angels have become a standard for any psych rock fan, and you can feel their influence seeping into even the most underground local bands. We’ve covered The Black Angels a handful of times before, and every time their live performance gets more expansive than the last. Do. Not. Sleep. On. This. One.
RIYL: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Velvet Underground
The Granada | October 7
As a general rule, if a band is coming on tour from overseas you should make the effort to see them. But there are so many other reasons to see Black Midi live at the Granada this month. It’ll be one of your few chances to indulge in a wild prog rock experience from a younger act. The band leans heavy into the fun and absurd side of songwriting and performing. Nothing will make sense, and yet it’ll make perfect sense. The recently released Hellfire gives us cause for concern (you okay, Black Midi?) but not enough to want to avoid the spectacle of their live show. It’s like watching a train wreck. We just can’t… look away.
RIYL: Swans, Squid, Boris
Liberty Hall | October 8
Righteous babes and joyful girls rejoice! Our Lord and Savior Ani DiFranco is rolling through town! Every 90’s “It” girl had an Ani DiFranco album in her CD case (you know, the one that flips like a book). Now that we’re all older, wiser, and a lot cooler (I won’t hear otherwise!) it’s time to reconnect with all those emotional ballads that shaped our youth. So it’s perfect that Ani is hitting the road with the recently released Living In Clip (25th Anniversary Edition) in tow (and a children’s book on the horizon). Ani is someone that has always demanded a space for women, and makes society face feminine issues head on (you have my permission to use “feminine issues” as your next band name). Come for the rich repertoire of songs in Ani DiFranco’s library. Stay if you’d like to relive your Lilith Fair days all over again.
RIYL: Aimee Mann, Tori Amos, Poe
Liberty Hall | October 19
This honestly might be one of the chilliest shows of the season. Kurt Vile makes music for the laid-back dads of the world. He is, himself, a pretty laid-back dad. His new album Watch My Moves reciprocates those feelings thanks to a stripped-down vibe, but that’s where his talent has always broken through—in exposing complicated emotions through lighthearted arrangements and melodies. This will be an excellent show to help get you through the quietness of the Fall season.
RIYL: Kevin Morby, Real Estate, Woods
Replay Lounge | October 28
It never fails. Every year, as we creep up on Halloween, the metalheads come out to howl at the moon. Once again, Horned Wolf is leading the charge on this night of antics.
This lineup is a match made in metalhead headbanger heaven. This is also one of two shows at the Replay for Godzillionaire this month, in case you’re wondering how rowdy it’s going to get. Paired with The Soiled Doves and Bleed the Victim, we wouldn’t be surprised if all hell breaks loose on this night. Like, someone might turn into an actual freaking werewolf and we wouldn’t bat an eye. Get ready to throw down hard for this one, it falls right at the beginning of Halloween weekend.
RIYL: Halloween, getting kicked in a mosh pit, slipping on beer on the Replay floor
Other events to keep on your radar
The Granada | October 3
Replay Lounge | October 6
The Bottleneck | October 7
Liberty Hall | October 7
Replay Lounge | October 8
Replay Lounge | October 10
The Bottleneck | October 15
Replay Lounge | October 20 (early show)
Lucia | October 21
Replay Lounge | October 31