Snarky Puppy – February 23 @ 1904 Music Hall
The fact that Grammy-nominated Snarky Puppy has managed to stay relatively under the radar for so long is simply mind-boggling. The rotating cast of instrumental virtuosos is on another level when it comes to mastering one’s craft. The band, led by bassist and composer Michael League, features an array of instruments, and produces music that’s best described as a fusion of everything from jazz to funk. The members have performed with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Erykah Badu, which speaks to the level of talent within the collective. Type their name into YouTube when you have an hour to spare, and I suspect I’ll see your face at 1904 Music Hall when the date rolls around. -Ryan Emke
Iron and Wine – March 1 @ The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
As we approach spring, and warmer weather, Samuel Beam, known as Iron and Wine, will be performing at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall on Saturday, March 1. The FSU alumni released his first album through Sub Pop Records back in 2002, and has seen a steady, solid music career since then, continuing to put out good music over the last decade. Beam’s most recent album, Ghost on Ghost, received mostly positive reviews from media critics upon its April release last year. Ghost on Ghost mixes in influences from jazz, pop, and R&B, giving the album a more laid-back style. Beam felt that his latest album removed the “anxious tension” found on his two previous albums. Tickets are currently on sale for about $30. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Big Gigantic – March 2 @ Freebird Live
As someone who’s seen this duo live, I can pretty much guarantee you that this will be a very fun, high-energy show. Producer and saxophonist Dominic Lalli, and drummer, Jeremy Salken, have been creating music for several years now. Since 2009’s Fire It Up, Big Gigantic have come a long way, though their music has remained steadily popular, peaking with 2012’s Nocturnal, which reached No. 2 on iTunes. The group has just released their newest album titled, The Night Is Young, and it can be downloaded for free online. Tickets are a mere $20 and the doors open at 8 p.m. Get ready for some unprotected sax.
Hopsin – March 5 @ Freebird Live
Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known by his stage name as Hopsin, will be performing at Freebird Live on Wednesday, March 5. The MC, producer and actor, who is known by his iconic use of white contact lenses, began his music career in 2004 after dropping out of high school. After purchasing a microphone from Wal-Mart and installing Fruity Loops on his computer, Hopsin began carving his spot out in the rap world. The rest is history. Hopsin is currently touring for his latest album Knock Madness, which was released late last year, so attendees should expect to hear mostly tracks from that album. The LA-based rapper will be performing solo.
Surfer Blood – March 5 @ Jackrabbits
Alt-rock group and West Palm Beach natives Surfer Blood are coming to Jackrabbits on Wednesday, March 5. Back in 2009, Surfer Blood released their debut single “Swim” and rapidly gained acclaim from numerous critics. Eventually, “Swim” was even named the 37th best track on Pitchfork Media’s 100 Best Songs of 2009. The band went on to release two albums, an EP and numerous singles, receiving praise for their edgy, 90s surf-rock sound. Opening for Surfer Blood is the well-known local group Northe, who currently have out an LP and EP. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Dropkick Murphys – March 6 @ Mavericks
Everyone’s favorite celtic punk band, unless it’s Flogging Molly or the Pogues, will be returning to Jacksonville on Thursday, March 6. Dropkick Murphys have a long and extensive history of music, originally forming way back in 1996, and breaking out with their song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” from 2005’s The Warrior’s Code. If you haven’t seen this band live yet, then you haven’t really listened to Dropkick Murphys. Dust off that St. Patrick’s Day gear early this year and start off your favorite drinking holiday at Mavericks the right way…
Protest the Hero – March 28 @ Jackrabbits
Canadian progressive metal band Protest the Hero will be at Jackrabbits on Friday, March 28. If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to this band, I would highly recommend checking them out beforehand. Winner of the Canadian Independent Music Award for Favorite Metal Group, Protest the Hero has a long list of great music since forming back in the early 2000s, including their latest album Volition. Performing alongside Protest the Hero will be Battlecross, Safety Fire, Intervals, and Night/Versus. Expect to hear music from the band’s album Volition. Show starts at 6 p.m.