Now that spring has finally foisted itself upon the good people of Madison, it's difficult to think about fall, but bear with me. Madison is often overlooked as a destination for national touring acts who prefer our much larger neighboring cities, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.
However, this September, within the span of two weeks, our fair city will be welcoming two of indie rock's biggest names, and one quickly making a name for itself, with open arms.
On September 15, The National rolls into town, supporting its new album, Trouble Will Find Me. Singer Matt Berninger and the brothers Dessner and Devendorf have become the masters of brooding but beautiful music since their first album dropped 12 years ago. Aaron and Bryce Dessner have also established themselves as sought after producers in indie circles. Case in point ...
L.A.-based Local Natives, whose latest album, Hummingbird, was produced by Aaron Dessner, will slide into the Orpheum four days after The National on September 19. Dessner's influence is definitely felt on Hummingbird. It will be cool to hear how their driving drums, atmospherics, and soaring vocals fill the Orpheum.
Finally, Sam Beam, also known as Iron & Wine, and his impressive beard, will be visiting the Capitol Theater on September 26. Mr. Beam has evolved quite a bit since his debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle in 2001, which, essentially, consists of Beam and a guitar. His newest release, Ghost on Ghost, continues his pattern of increased instrumentation while keeping the poignant lyrical style that's become his M.O.
Timing aside, it's great to see quality, national-level acts like these stopping in Madison. I hope the trend continues.
So, although the arrival of these hirsute gentleman will signify the end of a LONG awaited summer in Madison it will make things that much easier, even if there's a foot of snow on the ground.
Now, get your tickets to these shows, put them in a safe place, and enjoy the spring and summer! I know I will.