There’s no better time of year to live in Metro Detroit. As the sweltering summer gives way to cool breeze and changing colors, we find ourselves more and more eager to get out and enjoy the surrounding community. Fortunately, the upcoming months feature some of the best entertainment imaginable, including musical performances from the industry’s hottest stars. Here are the shows we’re checking out in early fall.
When Tank and the Bangas won NPR’s Tiny Desk competition, the New Orleans homegrown amalgamation of neo-soul, hip-hop and spoken word launched into a frenzy of nonstop worldwide touring. Only a global pandemic could interrupt the momentum they built leading into the spring of 2020. Finally, their show is back on the road, and appears at Ann Arbor’s Blind Pig on September 22. In such an intimate setting, expect a performance that effortlessly teeters the line of raw emotion, nostalgia and visceral joy.
Leon Bridges makes his much-awaited return to Detroit on September 29, bringing his unique brand of silky-smooth retro soul. Fresh off a new album release, Bridges ushers in a new era of his sound on one of the city’s most beloved stages. The “River” singer will be joined by Abraham Alexander for a night Detroiters won’t soon forget.
Country fans, rejoice! Zac Brown Band is back and better than ever. There’s nothing like a late September throwdown to send off summer with a bang. Come ready to sing, dance, and lay out on the iconic DTE lawn.
Willow Smith – daughter of Fresh Prince, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith – has come into her own as a bonafide figure in today’s alternative scene. Combining modern sounds with punk stylings, she forges a new musical path in the popular landscape. In Detroit – a city that loves big guitars and booming drums – expect her performance to resonate even more poignantly.
Considered by many to be the world’s greatest jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny will perform live from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center October 17. Metheny’s rotating Side-Eye project features a younger generation of jazz musicians, this time incorporating keyboardist James Francies and drummer, Joe Dyson. In a space designed to house the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, this performance will surely inspire all in attendance.
After numerous platinum records, countless sell-out shows, and even a judging role on The Voice, John Legend has officially obtained true Legend status. The Masonic Temple – one of Detroit’s most historic venues – will host the crooner for an evening of piano-led power ballads and air-tight, orchestrated pop hits. This is a show any music lover can relate to.
Perhaps no artist had a bigger year than H.E.R. The 24-year-old songstress (winner of the 2021 Grammy for Song of the Year) is seemingly a jack of all trades, alternating effortlessly between near-impossible vocal runs and shredding guitar solos. Backed by a full band and backup vocalists, the live set features prominent harmonies and moments that can’t be found in recordings. Fitting that this legend in the making should take on Detroit’s most sacred R&B stage. This will be a show for the ages.