8 local concerts we can’t wait to see in Birmingham, including the Blips


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The Blips are Birmingham's own super rock band.  Photo courtesy of Studio Moderne and Cornelius Chapel Records.
The Blips are Birmingham’s own super rock band. Photo by Justin Shubert for Studio Moderne.

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

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The Blips are pure rock and roll. Photo courtesy of Cornelius Chapel Records.

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.

Chris McDonald, Blips drummer and owner of Ole 'Elegante.  Photo by Justin Shubert for Studio Moderne.
Wes McDonald, Blips drummer and owner of Ol ‘Elegante. Photo by Justin Shubert for Studio Moderne.

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.

Eric Wallace owns the fire station in addition to his role in The Blips.  Photo by Chris Shubert for Studio Moderne.
Eric Wallace owns the fire station in addition to his role in The Blips. Photo by Justin Shubert for Studio Moderne.

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.

“I 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. “

Taylor Hollingsworth

Chris McCauley and Will Stewart of the Blips perform at Ghost Train Brewing Company.  Photo by Justin Shubert for Studio Moderne.
Chris McCauley and Will Stewart of the Blips perform at Ghost Train Brewing Company. Photo by Justin Shubert for Studio Moderne.

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

Resort Realism and saxophonist Gary Wheat during their Avondale Brewing Co. performance in March.  Photo by Libby Foster for The Bama Buzz.
Resort Realism and saxophonist Gary Wheat during their Avondale Brewing Co. performance in March. Photo by Libby Foster for The Bama Buzz.

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.

“What 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.

Robert watson

Crawford King, Resort Realism keyboardist.  Photo by Libby Foster for The Bama Buzz.
Crawford King, Resort Realism keyboardist. Photo by Libby Foster for The Bama Buzz.

Resort Realism has received many offers since the sites reopened, and they are confident the Birmingham scene will grow.

“After 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.

Robert watson

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!

Dree Leer sold her show to Saturn.  Long live Alabama rock and roll!  Photo courtesy of Dree Leer.
Dree Leer sold her show to Saturn. Long live Alabama rock and roll! Photo courtesy of Dree Leer.

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.

The Saturn is one of the most unique sites in the South.  Photo by Libby Foster for Bham Now.
The Saturn is one of the most unique sites in the South. Photo by Libby Foster for Bham Now.

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.

Avondale Brewing Co. is the perfect place to catch a show.  Photo by Libby Foster for The Bama Buzz.
Avondale Brewing Co. is the perfect place to catch a show. Photo by Libby Foster for The Bama Buzz.

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.

Birmingham’s own Taylor hunnicut play with the best in Lee County, BB Palmer, July 25. The laid back country of Hunnicut and Palmer will be the perfect way to spend a summer night.

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!

The Birming-Fam Fest is going to be awesome, and we've got a discount!  Photo courtesy of Birming-Fam Fest.
The Birming-Fam Fest is going to be awesome, and we’ve got a discount! Photo courtesy of 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.




About Dawn Valle

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