Gig Watch – August 2023

The Clientele at The Sinclair, November 2017

Shows not to miss in and around Boston for the month of August.

The hazy final full month of summer is upon us, and the gigs remain hot. Scroll for some local recommendations.

8/4-8/6 – Somergloom

Boston’s self-proclaimed “doom and gloom heavy music festival” returns for its third year and biggest iteration yet, now spanning three days and three venues (Friday at Somerville’s Rockwell, Saturday at Everett’s Bone Up Brewing and Sunday at Brighton’s Garage B). This year’s stacked bill is highlighted by Marissa Nadler, Ashen Veil, Elizabeth Colour Wheel and the return of experimental doom greats SEED for a specially-commissioned set.

8/5 – Squitch @ Crystal Ballroom

Local art-rockers Squitch bid farewell with a big final show at the Ballroom, joined by friends Rong, Pink Navel and Clifford the Band.

8/6 – Gouge Away @ Deep Cuts

Noisy Floridian (post)hardcore crew Gouge Away finally return to the road this summer, headlining a Sunday night ripper at Deep Cuts with the well-matched Kal Marks for support.

Noise Floor Photography: 2019/09/06 - Culture Abuse / Fiddlehead / Gouge Away &emdash;
Gouge Away in Somerville, September 2019

8/9 – The Clientele @ Crystal Ballroom

Dream-pop royalty The Clientele bring their first U.S. tour in nearly six years to Somerville, supporting their sweeping and gorgeous new record I Am Not There Anymore. 

8/12 – Illegally Blind 10th Anniversary @ Crystal Ballroom

Promoter Jason Trefts has been booking killer bills of current and future cult-favorite bands around town as Illegally Blind for a decade now, and will celebrate that milestone with a show headlined by brilliantly catchy post-punk unit Sweeping Promises.

8/12 – JPEGMAFIA / Danny Brown @ Roadrunner

Scaring the Hoes – the first full-length collab between rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA and MC Danny Brown – is one of the year’s best and most dizzying hip-hop records, and the pair will bring what promises to be an off-the-wall tour in support of it to Roadrunner this month.

8/15 – Mizmor @ Middle East Upstairs

Portland doomsayer Mizmor takes over the tiny Middle East Upstairs for an undoubtedly earthshaking evening, touring his July release Prosaic.

8/17 – George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic @ MGM Music Hall

Funk legend George Clinton allegedly retired a few years back, but where’s the fun in that? He’s back on the road this year with the current iteration of the sprawling P-Funk collective, and can still conjure up a seemingly never-ending party on stage every night.

Noise Floor Photography: 2019/06/05 - George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic &emdash;
George Clinton and P-Funk at the Pavilion, June 2019

8/19 – Sigur Ros @ Wang Theatre

Icelandic post-rock icons Sigur Ros returned last year for their first gigs in five years, and in 2023 they’re back bearing their first proper record of new music in music in ten. ÁTTA is characteristically gorgeous stuff from the band, and the stately Wang Theatre is an ideal room in which to get lost with it.

8/21 – Winkler / Dino Gala @ Silhouette Lounge

Fresh off two killer sets at last month’s Nice a Fest, locals Winkler and Dino Gala take over the Sil for a Monday night rager.

8/24 + 8/26 – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @ Gillette Stadium

I know, you’re thinking, isn’t this a column about local shows a normal person can actually afford to attend? And it’s true, The Boss’ arena run earlier this year was beset by platinum-pricing controversies and impossible-to-score tickets. With two nights this month at the capacious Gillette, however, $50 or so will get easily you in the door. Even from the nosebleeds, one of Springsteen’s marathon sets is well worth the hassle of a trip to Foxborough.

8/25 – Alvvays / Alex G @ Leader Bank Pavilion

Indie rock luminaries Alvvays and Alex G are teaming up to hit some sizable venues for their 2023 victory laps behind 2022 highlights Blue Rev and God Save the Animals, one of which will be Boston’s waterfront Pavilion. Weather accommodating, that’s a pretty dreamy Friday evening.