Culture | March 15, 2022 1:56 pm

The 21 Best Concerts and Shows Coming to DC This Spring

Expect dad rock, dark wave and everything in between

New Edition (new and older cast mates)
New Edition and others are performing in DC this spring.
Frederick M. Brown via Getty

When it comes to live music in DC, an outsider might think it’s mostly what you can find at The Kennedy Center: classical, opera and tasteful jazz. A better summary can be found in Armando Iannucci’s 2009 film In the Loop, a political comedy that features the stoner death metal band Cannabis Corpse performing at alternative DC club The Black Cat. 

As the audience thrashes in the crowded space, one character observes that he’s surrounded by “House staffers, Senators’ interns, most of them are half-man, half-PDF file. Tonight they rage hard. Tomorrow they go back to the Hill and argue noise reduction legislation.” That’s the DC crowd in a nutshell: Type-A careerists who need release just like anyone else, alongside a thriving local community that cannot be easily summarized by their politic careerism. 

In that spirit, here’s a guide to the best music DC has to offer this spring. Don’t worry: all these shows still have tickets available.

Mdou Moctar at The 9:30 Club, March 22 

Because you need to compromise with your annoying roommate who only listens to world music…

Sasami at The Black Cat, March 24

Because you dig Mitski, but wish she would rock just a little bit harder…

The Rumours at The Pocket, March 30 

Because there’s nothing sadder than party rockers past their prime…

New Edition at Capital One Arena, March 31

Because R&B is best with a touch of sugar…

Maxo Kream at Union Stage, April 2

Because you want to see Tyler the Creator collaborators in a small space…

Boy Harsher at The Black Cat, April 10

Because true goths realize goth is more than just a phase…

Zakir Hussain at 6th and I Historic Synagogue, April 14

Because you just watched a film about Indian classical music and can’t get enough of it…

Hurray for the Riff Raff at Union Stage, April 17

Because seeing an artist who just released a “nature punk” album is one way to celebrate Earth Day…

Big Thief at The Anthem, April 21

Because you miss working at your college’s vegan co-op…

Cinema Hearts at The Pocket, April 23

Because local music should sometimes sound like it belongs in a David Lynch movie…

Godspeed You! Black Emperor at The 9:30 Club, April 24

Because your late-night college radio show is still on the air in your heart…

Angel Du$t at DC9, April 26

Because you didn’t get Turnstile tickets in time and still want to party…

Ho99o9 at Songbyrd, April 29

Because Death Grips are so savage they ruined most other music…

Doused at Pie Shop, April 30

Because shoegaze hurts your ears so good…

The Antlers at Capital Turnaround, May 7

Because you’re curious how a previously noisy indie band handles the vocalist’s tinnitus…

Vincint at Union Stage, May 12

Because feel-good pop should not always be heard on an exercise bike…

The Menzingers at The Black Cat, May 10 

Because biking home drunk that one time in Philly, laughing your ass off with your ex who just posted she’s pregnant on Instagram, was the most damn romantic thing that ever happened and you nearly sob every time you think about it… 

Raveena at The 9:30 Club, May 13

Because roséwave season is finally starting…

Deftones at The Anthem, May 17

Because the rap-rock revival is finally getting the respect it deserved…

The Who at Capital One Arena, May 23

Because you’re too told to hope that you can die young…