By STEPHANIE BREIJO
Let’s suppose you are bored and coming down from that no-school spring break high. Let’s also suppose that, while you’re getting back into the swing of things and attending classes like the good student you are, you are looking for those late-night work distractions and harbingers of musical stimulation we like to call concerts.
Lucky you, dear reader, for from Maryland to Richmond, you’ve got a huge selection of shows to choose from. If you’re into bald men doused with blue paint—though sadly lacking an appearance by Tobias Funke—to raspy Maryland hard rockers with beards and a bluesy tendency, the next two weeks may just hold one, if not multiple, welcome distractions guaranteed to make you swoon, dance and rock out, homework be damned.
Scenesters of all ages, here’s a hip one for ya. These four from the west coast use a lot of sex, catchy melodies and gothic themes to rock out in suggestive, mysterious ways. For best results, apply heavy eyeliner and wear clothes two sizes too small. Don’t forget to bring your dancin’ shoes and too-cool button-up vests. If you’re not a scenester, the music’s fun enough to warrant the trip up to D.C., provided you don’t mind being surrounded by the aforementioned fashionistas.
March 15/The Rock & Roll Hotel/D.C./9:30pm/$15
Why you would spend at least double to see Aretha Franklin (see below) and not spend a measly $55 to see country/folk legend Willie Nelson is by all means beyond this editor. If for nothing else, see Nelson to witness a thoughtful acoustic performance and one of the 20th century’s most influential songwriters.
March 18 & 19/The National/Richmond/8 p.m./$55
As much as it sucks to shell out nearly $400 for a ticket, it is the legendary Miss Franklin. This ex-Supreme will be singing the classics, from “Respect” to “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” to satisfy all those kids who grew up on oldies—hey, there’s nothin’ wrong with that. And let’s face it—whether you’re big into standards and gaudy outfits or not, when the legendary diva kicks it, you’ll probably wish you had seen her live.
March 20/Meyerhoff Symphony Hall/Maryland/8 p.m./$97-$372
These five meld hard rock and blues into a formidable opponent to the standard, almost mechanical hard rock groups too frequent in today’s rock lineups. With catchy melodies and harmonica riffs, Clutch brings something to the table that makes them unique. And with openers Murder By Death and Hex Machine, this show should be hard, folky and an all-around combination of genres that might just blow your mind.
March 21/The National/Richmond/8 p.m./$18
Blue Man Group
As the tour title suggests—How to Be a Megastar 2.1—this show will be as a megastar’s performance should be: colorful, lively and entirely odd.
If experimental beat rock is your thing or you are just in the mood for everyday objects-cum-instruments, this could provide an hour or so of some much-needed school distraction, or in light of its Friday show date, a welcome gift to yourself after hitting those books like we know you’ve been doing to a religious extent.
March 21/Richmond Coliseum/ Richmond/8 p.m./$45-$75
The Presidents of the United States of America
Come get your grunge-pop on with this Seattle band that knows how to have a good time up onstage. Show comes complete with energetic stage antics and fun lyrics about friends who do nothing and enjoying fruit—they had that top 10 hit a few years back about moving to the country and eating a lot of peaches. Yeah, that’s them.
March 25/9:30 Club/D.C./9 p.m./$15
Mary J. Blige & Jay-Z
Do you honestly need a reason?
March 26/1st Mariner Arena/Maryland/7:30pm/$47-$123