March in Boston brings us renewed energy in the form of five concerts to keep you dancing as a new season blooms. From local acts like Coffin Salesman and Ali McGuirk, to Billie Eilish’s big return here are a few of our team’s picks for the month:
Friday, March 6th
Coffin Salesman at O’Brien’s – Selected by Meaghan
Part punk with a heavy pour of folk, a dash of noise, and a whole lot of existential dread and deft storytelling, Coffin Salesman is the local band you should be listening to this winter. Before violin player Ethan Rubin departed Boston for warmer climes, Coffin Salesman made the most of him on two new tracks (released March 3), some of the most dynamic they’ve produced yet. Get those songs in your ears early in the week and catch the band Friday night, March 6 on the stage at O’Brien’s, along with New Jersey band Mercy Union, the NightBlinders, and Secret Spit.
Ali McGuirk at Bull McCabe’s – Selected by Sarah
In March, there are two opportunities to catch a live show with Ali McGuirk, a Massachusetts native who is known at dozens of local venues across the Greater Boston area. First, at Bull McCabe’s (this show that won’t require tickets) and again at the Crossroads Music Series in North Andover on Saturday, March 14th. McGuirk’s songwriting is a unique blend of R&B, funk, Americana, and soul, which earned her a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2017 Boston Music Awards. In concert, McGuirk’s smooth, buttery vocals demonstrate range from fully belted to sultry, which feels like a blend of Aretha Franklin, Joss Stone, and Amy Winehouse. McGuirk either takes the stage with just guitar self-accompaniment, or with the full force of her band which includes bassist/back-up vocalist, drummer, and lead guitarist. Either way, you can expect to be wowed by her jazzy, old-school vocal control and her casual on-stage persona.
Monday, March 16th
Best Coast at Royale – Selected by Alexis
If you’re looking to get into the summer mood to escape these cold Boston nights, check out Californian rockers Best Coast. Their setlist is refreshing as hell, packed with new tracks off of their latest LP, Always Tomorrow and previous records, Crazy for You, California Nights and The Only Place. The rock duo, consisting of lead vocalist Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, infuse 90s rock rhythms with lyrics focusing on mental health, romance and nostalgia. Best Coast’s early pop punk vibe of a 1990s Californian skater/surfer band is an exciting and rare find these days, echoing the likes of Blink-182 and Weezer. Consentino’s raw, cool vocals, set against upbeat lo-fi guitar hooks, unspool narratives of life, change, and summers gone by.
Thursday, March 19th
Billie Eilish at TD Garden – Selected by Jared
Billie Eilish, the preternatural pop god from LA, is rocketing off her recent sweep of the Grammys to the TD Garden on March 19th for a red-letter stop on her Where Do We Go? World Tour. Eilish has come a long way from the 14-year-old dancer who uploaded the lovelorn hit ballad “Ocean Eyes” to Soundcloud from her bedroom. Now 18, she’s still making all of her songs from her childhood bedroom, but has just broken Taylor Swift’s record to become the youngest person to win album of the year at the Grammys for the brooding pop masterpiece, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Her music represents a new style and form for pop and doesn’t fit neatly into one category. Known for alluring contradictions and rich blends of disparate styles, Eilish’s songs pump out her haunting jazz-inflected vocals over thick EDM baselines, airy guitars, and hard-hitting trap beats. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see an artist performing from a musical peak of this altitude; do whatever you can to see what the top of Everest looks like with Billie!
Friday, March 24th
Caribou at House of Blues – Selected by Kristen
Canadian composer, Caribou, is heading to Boston to color March in with his psychedelic dance, dream-pop productions. Behind the name, is Dan Snaith, who’s been known to perform under monikers “Manitoba” and “Daphni” but ultimately took on “Caribou” as his final form. His music is wildly eclectic, constantly reconstructing its shape, texture and sound. This is glistening house music that swells at a rapid rate; there’s no downplaying the excitement that comes with the release of his first musical offering in over five years— consisting of tracks, “Never Come Back,” “You and I” and “Home.” This is a show that will undoubtably reignite the flames that have burned bright with Caribou’s music since its debut.
Friday, March 27th
Sampa the Great at the Sinclair – Selected by Knar
Sampa the Great‘s rapping has a palpable confidence to it. It shines through on tracks like “Final Form” when she’s backed by bright, punchy brass, and in the rhythmical bounce of “OMG,” a song that recreates sounds from her childhood and serves as a reminder to take pride in your culture. Though not a well-known name State-side, she has supported Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote and more. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that “Freedom” incorporates smooth jazz layering with the type of chorus you’d find on Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book. What’s not to like?