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Live music is back, Birmingham! Local bands are making their best music yet, while iconic venues like Saturn and Avondale Brewing have incredible talent in store. Read on for the local bands and gigs we’re most excited for this season.
The Blips, Birmingham’s own supergroup
If I bet on anyone this year, it’s The Blips. Last week, the Birmingham supergroup received mentions of Little Stevie’s underground garage and Rolling Stone India. Little Stevie even named The Blips’ “Upside down” as “The coolest song in the world this week.”
The Blips are made up of seasoned Birmingham musicians. Taylor Hollingsworth, Will Stewart, Wes McDonald, Chris McCauley and Eric Wallace form the supergroup. They have all been leading figures on the scene for decades.
I really can’t sum up every member of the Blips’ career. Taylor Hollingsworth is considered one of the best guitarists in the South East, while Will stewart is one of the most compelling singer-songwriters I have ever seen. Not to mention, Chris McCauley was the lead man of the iconic Birmingham Holy Youth.
When they’re not killing him on stage, Wes McDonald and Eric Wallace are working backstage in Birmingham. McDonald, the group’s drummer, owns Old elegant studios in Homewood, where The Blips recorded their debut album. Finally, Wallace owns The Firestation, a place for crafts and a space for musical education.
The new album of the Blips synergizes the sounds of the five musicians to make what Hollingsworth calls “direct rock ‘n roll”. Surprisingly, the album formed in a few hours of jam sessions.
A group filled with talent worthy of a leader may seem like a recipe for conflict, but all is fun for The Blips. Hollingsworth says it’s a collaborative project born out of friendship.
âI think we were all in the spirit that this was a collaborative project rather than just one person running the show. We all had an open mind to each other’s ideas, and then we kind of put it all together. “
Hollingsworth is optimistic about the future of the Birmingham scene. The Blips’ first show at the Ghost Train Brewing Company was packed. They are giving concerts in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville on June 17th and 18th.
Resort Realism brings the beach to Bham
Realism of the complex is another promising group from Birmingham. Composed of Crawford King and Robert Watson, the group mixes lo-fi hip hop and jazz like no other. I saw them at Avondale Brewing earlier this year, and their sound is perfect for relaxed thinking.
âWhat could have been six relaxing YouTube background songs, we would have put them in one composition. I want it to be relaxing, but the second it gets boring let’s change things up a bit.
Resort Realism has received many offers since the sites reopened, and they are confident the Birmingham scene will grow.
âAfter a completely dead year, I think things are about to really explode. I don’t know if there are enough venues to really host this right now.
The best of Bham concerts
Let’s talk about upcoming concerts! National and local acts are heading to iconic Birmingham stages. It’s amazing that our local venues were able to survive last year, and the best way to celebrate is to buy a concert ticket.
Ready for take off at Saturn!
Saturn just announced their new lineup for this summer, and I’m thrilled. Two Birmingham bands have already sold their dates at this iconic venue.
Dree Leer, a three-piece Bham rock band, perform on June 18 to a full house. It will certainly be a celebration of live, loud and local music.
Looking forward, a legendary post-hardcore band from Birmingham, also sold their July 11 show. Haste is known for its contagious headbangers.
In terms of national acts, Saturn does not disappoint this season. Japanese Breakfast, which just released an incredible independent album, hits Saturn on July 25. Alternative rock legends Dinosaur Jr. have already sold their September 27 show. If that doesn’t signal the return of live music, I don’t know what to do!
Finally, one of my all-time favorite bands, Crumb, also returns to Saturn on October 20. Their spaced indie style is perfect for the venue.
More Shows at Avondale Brewing Co.
More outdoor shows are coming to Avondale! If there’s one thing I noticed after the pandemic, it’s that outdoor shows will remain popular.
Later in the year, Ke $ ha will be coming to Avondale on August 23. As long as she sings “Tik Tok”, I’ll be happy.
The first Birming-Fam Fest!
A new festival is coming to Birmingham! The Birming-Fam Fest takes place September 11-12 on the block of Trimtab Brewing. Crowd favorite artists like Wilderado, The Blips, Dree Leer, Shaheed & DJ Supreme and Zoo Culture will perform at the festival. Each ticket includes free morning yoga sessions and a hot dog tasting contest entry, so there’s no reason not to go!
Tickets are on sale at birmingfamfest.com! Use our reader-only code BHAMNOW to get 20% off admission.
What concerts are you going to this summer? Tag @bhamnow and share the excitement.