Plus a couple of unanticipated shows (that will likely sell out anyway)
Sure, another long, unending war may very well be nigh, but at least we have some good shows to look forward to this year, right? (Eat, drink, be merry, etc.) In that spirit, here’s a collection of some 2020 Columbus concerts we’re anticipating, listed in chronological order, plus a couple of shows we would have been OK with Cleveland or Cincy stealing from us.
Rock Potluck, Jan. 18 at Ace of Cups
A feel-good event the entire music community looks forward to every year.
Columbus Alive’s Bands to Watch, Jan. 25 at Ace of Cups
Fans only: The Lumineers, Feb. 4 at the Schottenstein Center
“Hey! No!” Hard pass on the Imagine Dragons of folk-rock.
Whitney, Feb. 10 at Newport Music Hall
This indie-rock act’s 2019 album, Forever Turned Around, is an underrated gem, even if it didn’t get the attention of 2016’s Light Upon the Lake.
Trippie Redd, Feb. 12 at Express Live
This Canton-born rapper is no longer merely “on the rise”; his November 2019 album, A Love Letter to You 4 (with tracks produced by Central Ohio expat Angel Lopez), hit No. 1 on the charts.
Counterfeit Madison in Say a Little Prayer: An Aretha Franklin Celebration, Feb. 22 at Wexner Center
One of the city’s most beloved musicians is paying tribute to one of music’s most iconic voices.
Blanket Boys album release with wyd, Val Glenn, Feb. 29 at It Looks Like It’s Open
The record is already out, and it’s great. And that local support is top-notch.
Sloan, March 4 at A&R Bar
Power-pop at its best
Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Jonathan Richman, March 6 at Stuart’s Opera House
It’s worth the drive to Nelsonville to see Will Oldham (who released yet another solid and underrated record last year as Bonnie “Prince” Billy) and consistent joy-giver Jonathan Richman
MELTED Music Festival, March 13-14 at the Bluestone
Even if you’re not familiar with headliners Twin Peaks, Mikal Cronin, Combo Chimbita and more, this one’s a safe bet for fuzzy psych-rock goodness
Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, March 20 at Nationwide Arena
Probably the most anticipated show in the first three months of 2020, Sturgill Simpson is a don’t-miss live act. We covered a previous Columbus show that landed at Express Live in 2016, but three years later, the country-soul rabble-rouser has graduated to arenas.
Bob Mould, March 24 at Stuart’s Opera House
Another good reason to hop on Rt. 33 and head southeast to Nelsonville
Deafheaven, April 8 at Skully’s
The kings of accessible metal return.
Kurt Vile and Cate Le Bon, April 11 at Stuart’s Opera House
These two enigmatic songwriters will perform together and solo.
Algiers, April 4 at Rumba Cafe
Don't sleep on this ferocious, experimental rock act led by firebrand Franklin James Fisher
Torres, May 1 at Ace of Cups
It's probably a good idea to get your tickets to this one before Torres' Mackenzie Scott releases her fourth album (and first for Merge Records), Silver Tongue, on Jan. 31.
Fans only: Awolnation, June 3 at Express Live (outdoors)
This band is an ever-present itch in the armpit of alt-rock radio.
Vampire Weekend, Sept. 23 at Express Live (outdoors)
Ezra Koenig and crew put out one of the best (if a bit overstuffed) albums of 2019 and also announced a fall 2020 show more than a year in advance, betting big that the world would remain intact that long.