Metro Music Showcase: July

Welcome back to another edition of the monthly Metro Music Showcase, where we highlight some of the best live music and concerts in and around Oklahoma City to check out over the next month!

The feature is brought to you by our friends at Play It Loud – a web documentary music series produced by Outsiders Productions that profiles Oklahoma musicians. If you’ve followed award-winning independent filmmaker Adam Hampton’s explorations of Oklahoma’s vibrant music scene, you’re familiar with the documentary’s eclectic lineup of the state’s rising artists and musicians. They just released the third episode of their third season, featuring OKC-based hip hop artist Jabee.

You can watch that new episode above, and when you’re done, check out this month’s curated list of local concerts to attend…

Jabee | We Got This: A Fundraiser for Kids at The Douglas Center
Sunday, July 7
Tower Theatre

I sometimes joke that Jabee is ‘Oklahoma’s Only Hip-Hop Artist,’ because he seems to be the only local MC that people actually know. But his prominence isn’t without good reason. Jabee has been grinding away for nearly two decades trying to make a name for himself (anyone out there remember Invisible Struggle?), and his reputation has been well earned. Now, with six releases to his name, including collaborations with legends new and old, such as Chuck D and Statik Selektah, he’s using his position to become a true leader in the community. As such, this show is a fundraiser for a center on the east side that provides day programs for people with disabilities in the area.

Thursday, July 11
Diamond Ballroom

Reggae and summertime go together like reefer and a cold can of Modelo. Iration fuses roots reggae with smooth grooves, chill electronic music, and a dash of hip-hop for good measure. The bandmates all grew up in Hawaii together, which comes through in songs that sound like a meditative day next to the waves on a clear beach.

Broncho | with Colourmusic & Deerpeople
Friday, July 12
Tower Theatre

I think by now everyone around here it pretty familiar with Broncho, so let’s talk about Deerpeople. They’re a great OKC band that hasn’t played a show in a few years, so you might’ve forgotten about Deer. I’ve never been certain how to describe them, because there’s so much going on in their music. Maps & Atlases, early Animal Collective? It’s dynamic and textured, and there aren’t many local bands in recent memory with as ambitious of a sound.

Thursday, July 18
89th Street

If you’re craving some bone-crushing decibels, Pallbearer’s got your goods. Their sound is influenced as much by modern doom and stoner metal bands like The Melvins and High On Fire as they are old-school first wave metal bands from the 1970s. Although the riffs are loud and crushing, they aren’t buried under so much fuzz that all you can make out is sludge. Pallbearer is the perfect fusion of several eras of a genre that has evolved much over several decades.

Portugal. The Man
Friday, July 19
The Criterion

With roots as a humble indie band that would tour with post-punk bands, Portugal. The Man has gone on to reach a level of pop status that is hard to attain in this day and age. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ve probably heard them while flipping the the radio (or on a commercial or two). Winning a Grammy for ‘Best Pop/Duo Group Performance’ sure doesn’t hurt.

Rainbows Are Free
Saturday, July 20
The Drunken Fry

Kind of like the aforementioned Pallbearer, Rainbows Are Free is very much engaged with summoning the wicked demons of metal’s past, but they do it in a bit more of a traditional style, reminiscent of the blues riffage of Black Sabbath. A more colorful description of their music is, soundtrack for a wizard shooting out lightning bolts and riding a dragon over a mystical desert.

Built to Spill
Monday, July 22
Tower Theatre

Are you ashamed of your bald spot or other signs of aging? Fear not; you will be in good company at the Built to Spill show. They’ve been touring constantly since the 90s, so you’ll even probably see some familiar faces. They came out of the crop of indie bands like Pavement and Yo La Tengo but have their own jammy style. In fact, don’t be surprised if you get a few 10-minute long renditions of their classics.

Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters
Friday, July 26
Grand Casino

It’s 2019, and nobody should be ashamed for having their own dad rock band. Celebrity pioneers like Billy Bob Thorton are out here to blaze that path and give all the dads a safe space to perform originals and covers. Like most other dad rock bands, The Boxmasters are heavily influenced by blues, country and other bands influenced by blues and country, like Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Thorton actually has a pretty good voice, though, reminiscent of Dwight Yoakam. Check em out!

Wednesday, July 31
89th Street Collective

This is shaping up to be a metal-heavy edition of the Metro Music Showcase, but I love metal — especially in the summertime. There’s nothing like be pummeled sonically (and sometimes physically) while hanging out in a hot room with sweaty dudes in black t-shirts. Aenimus is the opposite end of the other heavy bands we discussed, however. We’re talking technical guitar shredding, vocals that sound like a pissed off grizzly bear, death metal double-bass drumming and the occasional melodic solo interlude. See you in the pit!