5 Must-See Live Music Shows in Providence This May


With the unofficial start of summer at the end of May, entertainment options are also heating up and live music is still a smart way to spend your evenings in Rhode Island.

Venues across the state are starting to heat up with fantastic shows – everything from The Parlor’s screening of Locals Covering Locals to the highly anticipated Columbus Theater performance of Future Islands.

After a tough decision-making process, here are my top five shows to see in the city in May:

Or: Music Festival, 103 Dike St.

When: May 19, 7 p.m. (all ages)

Tickets: $12 in advance, $14 at the door

Information: fetemusic.com, (401) 383-1112

In recent years, Portland, Maine-based indie rock trio Weakened Friends have increased their presence around Rhode Island by performing at venues like Dusk in Providence and Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, and it’s resulted in a growing fanbase around these parts. . Their most recent album, “Quitting”, is one of the best albums to be released from New England in 2021. Rounding out the line-up will be Philadelphia alt-pop band Queen Of Jeans and Boston psych-prog band Bat House, and they’re both worth showing up to early.

Pete Bernhard of The Devil Makes Three will perform with MorganEve Swain on May 21 at Askew.

Or: Askew, 150 Chestnut St.

When: May 21, 8 p.m. (18+)

Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Information: askewprov.com

Hailing from Santa Cruz, California, The Devil Makes Three are one of today’s top folk-Americana bands. Pete Bernhard, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, will perform solo with bassist and violinist MorganEve Swain, formerly of Brown Bird and currently of The Huntress and Holder Of Hands, backing up the beats and tones. Swain will start the evening with his own solo performance.

Singer-songwriter Tammy Laforest of The Dust Ruffles will host the free show Locals Covering Locals at The Parlor on May 26.

Or: The Living Room, 1119 North Main St.

When: May 26, 7 p.m. (21+)

Tickets: Free

Information: (401) 383-5858, theparlourri.com and on Facebook

One of the events that separates the Providence music scene from any other arts community, Locals Covering Locals returns for a seventh edition. Singer-songwriter Tammy Laforest of local pop rock band The Dust Ruffles will host the event, as she and 16 other bands cover songs written by their local contemporaries. It’s also a free show, so why not come by for a pint, cocktail or something non-alcoholic and have fun and enjoy the music on stage?

Pile will perform on May 28 at the Fete Music Hall.

Or: Music Festival, 103 Dike St.

When: May 28, 7 p.m. (all ages)

Tickets: $13 in advance, $15 at the door

Information: fetemusic.com, (401) 383-1112

Originally from Boston and now based in Nashville, Pile have been one of my favorite bands for over a decade now. Guitarist, vocalist and one and only original member Rick Maguire’s songwriting encompasses progressive rock, math rock and post-punk in one sonic clash. Guitarist Chappy Hull, bassist Alex Molini and drummer Kris Kuss complete the lineup of an extremely talented band that people absolutely must experience live.

Future Islands performs May 31 at the Columbus Theater.

Or: Columbus Theater, 270 Broadway

When: May 31, 8 p.m. (all ages)

Tickets: $25

Information: columbustheatre.com, (401) 621-9660

Baltimore-based synth-pop band Future Islands have a unique sound thanks to frontman Samuel T. Herring’s fervent vocals. Sometimes it’s operatic and other times it’s moving, with a special intensity that encompasses everything. The group‘s latest single, “King Of Sweden”, released in February, is another eloquent example.


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