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To semi-quote the great Bill Murray: “Well, it’s a COVID year. Again.” But Lawrence is DOING ITS BEST, OKAY. Luckily, we have venues that keep shows as safe as possible. Some require vaccines and masks, some build heated outdoor tents. But all of them are pulling us out of the January slump. If you didn’t go too hard on New Year’s Eve, here are the events you’ll want to head out to in January.
The Replay | Saturday, January 1
Well, well, well. If it isn’t the first show of the year. If you are lucky enough to survive all the New Year’s Eve shenanigans, The Replay has a pretty great lineup booked on Saturday. This is our “hair of the dog” show. A nice rock show to cure a major rock hangover from the night before.
This entire lineup is packed with exciting rock bands who are wise beyond their years. This is also the kind of show that could have also easily wound up at White Schoolhouse. Oxford Remedy is no stranger to the Replay, having played there consistently since they were teens. We’ll be keen to see local punks The Headaches, and Saving Miles Lemon are bringing a little psych rock from Kansas City.
Our recommendation: go easy on the staff and tip them well. They’ll likely be worn out from the night before.
RIYL: Helen Kelter Skelter, a little psych rock with your coffee, and 90’s alternative bands played by musicians likely born after the 90’s.
The Granada | Saturday, January 22
Swifties, rejoice! Taylor Fest is returning, but now it’ll be bigger. Last fall Taylor Fest saw a huge and exciting turnout at The Bottleneck. This time it’ll at The Granada. The night takes you on a career-spanning journey through Swift’s catalogue of music, as well as a themed photobooth, drink specials, and guest DJs. This may be the only event where song requests and encouraged.
RIYL: Taylor Swift, duh.
Motion City Soundtrack POSTPONED
The Granada | Tuesday, January 25
2022 brings a special tour for the rockers in Motion City Soundtrack, who are celebrating their 17-year anniversary of Commit This To Memory with a tour landing them at The Granada. This is a show for the pop-punk and emo kids, but it also brings a fantastic burst of energy to what is otherwise a fairly sleepy month for everyone. Expect fans to know all the words by heart and scream them back at the band.
RIYL: Say Anything, Saves the Day, Brand New
The Replay | Friday, January 28
It’s rare that the Replay maintains a robust matinee schedule well into the Winter, but they’ve been doing a marvelous job with it since shows started emerging during the pandemic. One of Lawrence’s most currently active husband/wife duos, Hello Biplane, will be headlining the set with their special brand of folk. The Roseline opens just on the heels of one of the best album releases of the year.
RIYL: Folky blues, Christena Graves, cozy shows
The Bottleneck | Saturday, January 29
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m not always the biggest fan of cover bands. They make me fussy. But I love Elton Dan and the Rocket Band. In fact, most music journalists and photographers we’ve met also share a soft spot Elton Dan. We deal with a lot of musicians from day-to-day, but Elton Dan knows how to make his shows unforgettable and fun. He brings a glitzy ensemble to the stage, complete with a baby grand and even a gong (you can guess which song that makes an appearance on). Every show comes with costume changes, sing-a-longs, and honestly, everyone loves Elton John’s music. There’s something very wrong with you if you don’t. But most of all, the performer comes across genuine and likable by all. There’s a reason he keeps getting invited back to Lawrence every year.
RIYL: Elton John, duh.
Other notable events:
The Replay | Sunday, January 2
The Replay | Saturday, January 15
The Bottleneck | Sunday, January 23
The Bottleneck | Wednesday, January 26