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Fall Concerts Guide: The Best Upcoming Shows

In Music
Outkast are headlining the Treasure Island Music Festival this October.

Outkast are headlining the Treasure Island Music Festival this October.

There are many concerts in the Bay Area to choose from this fall—plenty of them in San Jose and the South Bay. But in between work and checking your Facebook feed, how will you ever figure out which events to attend? Don’t trip, chocolate chip. We got the answers right here in our handy guide to fall concerts. From the C2SV Local Music Showcase and the SoFA Street Fair through the Beyond Wonderland EDM festival and on to Herb Alpert’s two-night residence at Montalvo Arts, we’ve picked the best shows to take you through to the end of the year.

C2SV and SoFA Street Fair
Sep 12-14, SoFA District, San Jose, Free
Kick off your fall with a big rock & roll weekend—jam-packed with San Jose indie talent and national headlining acts. On Sept. 12 and 13, Cafe Stritch will host the C2SV Local Music Showcase, featuring Darto, Dinners and Plume on Friday and No Maps, Breathing Patterns and Li Xi on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, the  “reupholstered”  SoFA Street Fair makes its triumphant return after a 13-year hiatus. Seminal ska/funk band Fishbone is headlining the festival, while three outdoor stages and various surrounding venues will host more than 50 local and national bands, including San Jose veteran ska ensemble MONKEY, Campbell reggae rockers 880 South, and Visalia’s own The Voice contestant, Rudy Parris. (Briana Hernandez)

Symphony Silicon Valley: The Music of Led Zeppelin
Sep 20, City National Civic, $35-$62
Led Zeppelin, the undisputed kings of 1970s psychedelic hard rock—who made a name for themselves by plugging in and turning up—are getting the classical treatment. Merging at the crossroads of blaring rock & roll and instrumental classical, this special concert will interpret the explosive energy of Jimmy Page’s epic riffs and John Bonham’s thundering drums through classical instruments, like the violin, cello and flute. Symphony Silicon Valley will perform behind a full rock band led by singer Randy Jackson (formerly of Zebra), who pledges to stay as true as possible to the searing vocals of Zep frontman Robert Plant. (Alice Yin)

Beyond Wonderland
Sep 20-21, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, $63-$350
Hear about all those krazy (with a “k”) EDM festivals where a bunch of kids die from heat exhaustion and/or drugs? The Bay Area gets one of those too! Just remember: the real danger of drugs is to stupid white kids at raves, and not to the millions of non-white Americans incarcerated on non-violent drug offenses! Ha ha, right?! Anyway, we’re not here for the drugs; we’re here for the music (said all the people on drugs), and Beyond Wonderland brings plenty of it. Trance trio Above & Beyond is headlining Saturday and electro house “hot dad” Kaskade plays Sunday. It being a giant festival there will be more than enough big room and electro house to go around (Krewella, Mercer, Borgeous, Dada Life etc.), but for those that’ve had enough of that noise there’s also trap (Bro-Safari, DJ Carnage), trance (Paul Oakenfold, Dyloot) and good ol’ drum and bass (Pendulum, Dieselboy). (Stephen Layton)

Katy Perry with Tegan and Sara
Sep 22-23, SAP Center at San Jose, $29.50-153.50
All snobbery aside, Katy Perry is said to put on one fantastical show with Vegas-level theatricality. So if you need that extra little push to dish out the big bucks and check out her show, we’d say Tegan and Sara opening is a pretty good incentive. The Canuck twins’ thoughtfully crafted yet cutesy indie-pop songs should be right at home alongside Perry’s girl-powered anthems about growing up, moving on, and y’know, roaring. Besides, if you’ve got tween girls in your household, you can make their year with one big concert and maybe even introduce them to a solid indie band while you’re at it. Everyone wins! (BH)

Thievery Corporation
Oct 1, San Jose City National Civic, $52
It’s been a long and self-paved road for Washington, D.C., electronic duo Thievery Corporation. It didn’t take long for Rob Garza and Eric Hilton to hit it off after being tossed together by the D.C. nightclub scene of 1995. Shortly thereafter the pair formed their own record label, which they used to fuse and experiment with their favorite genres—jazz, dub and bossa nova. After nearly two decades of recording, the pair is finally ready to take that long road back home and revisit their love for bossa nova with their seventh studio album, Saudade. This release is entirely dedicated to the Brazilian genre that united Garza and Hilton so many years ago. (BH)

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Oct 3-5, Golden Gate Park, Free
While the lineup for this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival is still pending announcement, the official site has posted a series of medleys featuring artists on the bill. Fan guesses include folk singer John Prine, Canadian rocker Bruce Cockburn and country artist Iris DeMent. From this little taste, one thing is certain—the fest will be as diverse and laid-back as it ever has been, and is sure provide one heck of a family weekend. However, if you’re looking to get your libation on and party like a folk star, you’ll have to bring your own in non-glass containers. There will be no alcohol served in Golden Gate Park for the event, but plenty of food vendors will be available. (BH)

Moon Duo
Oct 11, Cafe Stritch, San Jose, $12-$15
San Francisco’s Moon Duo is made up of keyboardist Sanae Yamada and guitarist Erik “Ripley” Johnson, the latter of droning garage rock weirdos Wooden Shjips (Ships? Shu-jips? Sidge-ips?). Often compared to Suicide, the duo doesn’t get anywhere near as musically antagonistic, though the spirit is definitely there. They’ve got pop sensibilities at bottom, but overlaid with lots of krautrock, drone and weird vibes: the lyrics are usually lost in hazy whispers and fuzzy guitar all propelled by a hypnotically repetitive drum machine. Psychedelic noise-pop ain’t for everyone, but for those with the patience and inclination (and maybe weed) this is one to check out. (SL)

Treasure Island Music Festival
Oct 18-19, Treasure Island, $160-295
If you missed this year’s Outside Lands Festival, think of Treasure Island as a slightly smaller, yet equally boss, consolation prize. Still riding a high wave from their recent reunion after a seven-year hiatus, OutKast headlines alongside masters of trip hop Massive Attack and electro-house DJ Zedd of “Clarity” fame. Treasure Island will be a warm “welcome back” for Brooklyn indie-soul artists TV On The Radio, who are slated to release their first album since the death of bassist Gerard Smith this fall. Smith passed away from lung cancer in April 2011. Also revving up for a fall record release are English electro-rockers alt-J, who recently released the haunting single and video “Hunger Of The Pine.” Must-sees also include Janelle Monáe, The New Pornagraphers, White Denim, and San Francisco’s Painted Palms. (BH)

Jack Yo Lantern
Oct 31, San Jose State University Event Center, $80
EDM hip-hop twosome Flosstradamus headlines this 18-and-over, party-rocking Halloween bash, which kicks the night off at 7pm then turns into a pumpkin promptly at midnight. The bill includes house DJ Madeon and high-energy duo New World Punx. Also on the lineup is Santa Barbara’s Seven Lions, a.k.a. Jeff Montalvo, who has amassed attention from some of the more household names in electro pop including Ellie Goulding and Skrillex, since his 2012 debut EP, Polarize. Montalvo’s background as a punk and metal drummer and admitted love for fantasy is a detectable component in his dreamy nightscape sound. (BH)

LIVE 105 Spookfest
Oct 31, Oracle Arena, $45-75
You have not one, but two, options for 18+ EDM Halloween parties this year. Chose wisely. LIVE 105’s Spookfest opens its doors a little earlier than Jack Yo Lantern and its headliners are definite contenders—including Sweden’s Alesso, electro funk faves Chromeo, trance/house fuser Gareth Emery, and UK techno artist Duke Dumont. If you come for the heavyweights, you’ll have to stay for college bar DJ turned progressive house “it” boy, Henry Fong. Fong’s Florida roots add a hard-hitting Latin flavor to his high-energy club mixes. San Francisco’s buzzworthy Slaptop is also likely to bring a can’t-miss set, with his hipster-friendly, ultra-chill arrangements, surprisingly born from a laptop in a dorm room. And of course, the party would not be complete without LIVE 105’s very own DJs, Aaron Axelson and St. John. (BH)

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall
Nov. 7-8, Montalvo Arts Center, $65-$75
Herb Alpert is an icon. He began his musical career as a songwriter, helping to pen the Sam Cooke hit “Wonderful World,” among other hits, before moving on to front his revered horn group, Tijuana Brass, and co-found A&M Records. Alpert is picking up his trumpet once again to perform two nights at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga. Joining him for the performances will be Alpert’s wife, the vocalist and lyricist Lani Hall (perhaps most famous for singing the theme song for the James Bond film Never Say Never Again). It’s sure to be a hit-packed night. Alpert is one of the most successful musicians in history—holding records for album sales, a number of Grammys and a National Medal of Arts, which President Obama awarded the trumpeter with last year. (Nick Veronin)

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