The rich autumn slate of live music features Lana Del Rey, Lizzo, Camp Flog Gnaw, Sleater-Kinney and a Wiltern residency from none other than Madonna.
Summer may reign as festival season, but a look to the months ahead shows that the best time for live music in L.A. may very well be this fall. The weather is cooling and album cycles are heating up, bringing with them a slate of emergent festivals, multi-night runs from legendary acts and rare one-off gigs in some of the city’s most memorable venues. From Top 40 pop to homegrown hip-hop to underground dance music, here are some of fall’s must-see concerts.
Sept. 20-22, Nov. 22-24, Dec. 7
Mexican rock icons Maná make history at the Forum this fall as the first act to play seven shows at the venue in a single year. The “Rayando El Sol” tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band’s breakout song of the same name, as Maná cull from the extensive catalog of hits that has made them heroes among Spanish- and English-speaking audiences alike.
The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Tickets start at $39.50.
Lana Del Rey
Summertime sadness may have passed, but autumn sees pop’s reigning queen of melancholia return as she brings the first leg of her highly anticipated “Norman F— Rockwell” tour to the Hollywood Bowl. The Bowl show will be part of a limited eight-city tour behind her recently released fifth major label album, which sees Del Rey departing from more heavily produced pop territory in favor of understated psych rock and piano ballad explorations.
Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A. Tickets start at $136.
Desert Daze 2019
Southern California’s beloved psych-rock extravaganza returns for its eighth and most formidable edition yet. Past editions have featured the rarefied likes of Spiritualized, Iggy Pop and My Bloody Valentine; this year’s fest returns to the idyllic lakeside locale of Moreno Beach, with a farewell performance from art-rock pioneers Devo, plus Wu-Tang Clan, Ween, Stereolab, Animal Collective and many more.
Moreno Beach, Lake Perris State Recreation Area, 17801 Lake Perris Dr., Perris. Weekend passes start at $289.
Secret Project Festival
Underground dance music and digital art converge in an open-air warehouse for two days of progressive electronic music and culture. Now in its second year, the expanded Secret Project event boasts performances from buzzy ascendant talents such as Cooper Saver, Peach and Jayda G to stalwarts including Four Tet, Modeselektor (playing a live set) and Nina Kraviz with Helena Hauff.
Factory 93, 1756 Naud St., L.A. Two-day passes start at $129.
With her rich vocal range and incisive songwriting, 2019 Grammy winner Brandi Carlile has already established herself as a generational torchbearer of Joni Mitchell. In October, she’ll honor that legacy with a one-night-only performance of Mitchell’s groundbreaking 1971 album “Blue,” titled “Songs Are Like Tattoos.”
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave, L.A. Tickets are sold out but can be purchased through the secondary market.
Just two years ago, Clairo was a suburban teen uploading her homespun pop recordings to YouTube. Two years and tens of millions of views later, she’s a DIY star on the rise, thanks to frank, thoughtful songwriting and a penchant for indie-R&B melodicism. Following the release of her acclaimed debut album, “Immunity,” the 21-year-old headlines at the Wiltern in October.
The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Tickets start at $27.50.
Conversations with Nick Cave: An Evening of Talk & Music
Whether performing with the Bad Seeds, the side project Grinderman, or as a solo act, Nick Cave’s live hallmark has always been the intense connections he forges with his crowds. Cave doubles down on that with a particularly intimate gig at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where the revered musician will play a selection of his songs solo on piano and take questions directly from the audience.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Tickets are sold out but can be purchased through the secondary market.
Oct. 18, 20 and 21
Lizzo’s ascent this year has been particularly hard-won and joyous. This fall, pop’s patron saint of self-love brings her headlining “I Love You Too” world tour to the Palladium for a three-show run, in anticipation of what’s expected to be dominant Grammy season.
The Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., L.A. Tickets are sold out but can be purchased through the secondary market.
We Can Survive
97.1 AMP radio’s annual night of pop music’s tours-de-force returns for a seventh year at the Hollywood Bowl, with a lineup that plays like a greatest-hits rundown of the summer. The femme-forward bill is led by Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Camilla Cabello, plus Lizzo, Becky G, Marshmello and the back-in-action Jonas Brothers. As always, a portion of ticket sales will go to benefit breast cancer research.
Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave. Tickets start at $49.
Veering from French pop to Krautrock to jazz, Stereolab is perhaps the most stylistically elusive band to emerge from the ’90s. Expect their return from a ten-year hiatus to be an anti-nostalgia set, picking back up and delving further into where the band left off. Local psych rock talents Wand will open.
The Theater at the Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A., Tickets start at $57.
Relocating from Long Beach’s Queen Mary Park to the Pico Rivera Sports Arena Grounds, the Goldenvoice-produced celebration of Latinx music and indie rock crams a staggering breadth of artists into its two-day lineup. Acts include such hometown heroes as Cuco and Chicano Batman; legends Los Tigres del Norte and Paquita la del Barrio; rock en español greats Caifanes and La Maldita Vecindad; pop songstresses Kali Uchis and Natalia Lafourcade; and many, many more.
Pico Rivera Sports Arena Grounds, 11003 Sports Arena Dr., Pico Rivera. Sunday GA tickets are available for $150; Saturday tickets and two-day passes are sold out.
Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival
Tyler, the Creator’s festival has become one of Southern California’s most eagerly anticipated music events since he launched it in 2012. Alongside carnival rides and games, and cozy forest-like installations, this year’s bill features Solange, YG, Brockhampton, Juice WRLD, H.E.R. and many more, plus a performance from Tyler and a to-be-announced surprise headliner. A portion of every ticket sold will go to benefit Inner City Arts and Through Music-Los Angeles, two local arts education nonprofits.
Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Ave., L.A. Two-day passes start at $245.
Nov. 12-17, 19-21, 23-25 and 30
Madonna has made a career of keeping audiences guessing, so it comes as no surprise that the Queen of Pop is opting to take her eleventh tour to smaller venues — the first time she has done so since 1985’s “The Virgin” tour. Small is, of course, relative when you’re talking an artist of Madonna’s stature, but the 1,850-seat Wiltern will make for a decidedly intimate space as she brings her “Madame X” tour to L.A. for an 11-show run.
The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Tickets start at $60.
It’s been 25 years since Olympia, Wash., punks Sleater-Kinney barreled into music’s collective consciousness, and the group feels as fresh and relevant as ever. If you need proof, just put ears on their ninth album, “The Center Won’t Hold,” a St. Vincent-produced beast of a record that’s as heavy on riffs as it is political invectives. Though longtime drummer Janet Weiss left the band this summer, the duo of Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker is charging forward, enlisting drummer Angie Boylan for their famously ferocious live performances.
The Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., L.A. Tickets start at $41.
Following stints at Coachella and Staples Center, Puerto Rican reggaeton scion Bad Bunny returns to L.A. for a headlining victory lap at the Forum, bringing with him the high-energy immersive party that makes him captivating onstage and on record alike.
The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Tickets start at $67.