Top concerts for the rest of 2014

Sam Simmons, staff writer

With Thanksgiving and Christmas break approaching quickly, teachers are digging deep into the curriculum and piling on the homework in hopes that they will complete their teaching duties before midterms and semester break. As they subconsciously load you up on homework, you load up on stress, and you feel like you might explode if you even hear the word “homework” whether it’s due the next class or even weeks from then. Well, doesn’t there have to be something to help relieve you from the the day-to-day agony? Don’t fear, music is here! Although we may like to jam out to our guilty pleasures in the privacy given to us by our $5 headphones, attending live concerts and experiencing that raw energy–nothing can compare.

1) Capital Cities – The Sky is Falling Down: (House of Blues San Diego, CA. Sun, Nov 23, 2014) Throughout their previous albums, their music has proved to be an addictive mix of synth-heavy dance pop with influences from the 80’s new wave and the 70’s disco, laying it out in their band’s unique, “lo-fi” way. All the fans who have already gotten to see them live have reacted very positively on sites such as Ticket Master in their reviews section saying things like “Hands down one of the best concerts ever!” and “Never stopped dancing.” Hopefully, Capital Cities will get to see your positive feedback on their website after they bring San Diego’s House of Blues’ house down.

2) American Music Awards: (Nokia Theatre, CA. Sun, Nov 23, 2014) For the most popular music awards show of the year, ABC has chosen One Direction, who have just come off of its stadium tour, and Lorde, whose been a favorite in the music industry after the release of her hit “Royals”. They will be accompanied on stage by artists such as Fergie, the British soul singer Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer, Mary J. Blige, Dancing with the Stars guest judge Pitbull, and many more. Artists will also be honored in the genres of Pop/Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Alternative Rock, etc. So unless you’d rather watch it on your couch at home, I’d recommend paying that concert fee and getting out of the house to hear all of today’s top hits in the comfort of a giant stadium filled with pop culture’s gods and goddesses.

3) Usher, August Alsina, & DJ Cassidy: (SAP Center, CA. Mon, Nov 24, 2014) Throughout Usher’s past albums, he has proved worthiness to the small cluster of R&B artists that can also dominate other genres. “It’s all about striving for greatness and offering the best I have,” Usher said of “Looking 4 Myself” to Billboard Magazine, one of the best full-length offerings in his 20 year long career that will be the center of the show. Being backed up with Alsina, whose somewhat recently released one of the more rewarding R&B songs of his time, and DJ Cassidy who has decided it was his “duty” to bring back the greatest and most universal dance music. Usher is prepared to put on a great show.

4) Vance Joy: (House of Blues San Diego, CA. Tues, Nov 25, 2014)  Many artists are not able to say that they have preformed in multiple festivals without actually having released a debut album– Vance Joy is the exception. Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy, who last year signed a five album deal, still has people humming the tune of Riptide in which he exemplifies indie-folk. Pure love, pure happiness and pure Joy (in both senses of the word) is what his music has invoked.

5) Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience World Tour: (Honda Center, CA. Wed, Nov 26, 2014) Justin Timberlake started his career with a neo-soul vibe but has hit his stride and found his groove in “turn-of-the-century” R&B. Timberlake seems to have remained a charmingly earnest showman and his concert setlist was said to have been comprised mostly of hits that will keep you dancing the entire concert. Like Capital Cities, “J.T.” has so far received very positive reviews and as @gregb would say, “JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IS HERE TO STAY!”

6) Fleetwood Mac – On with the Show: (Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl San Diego State University, CA. Tue, Dec 2, 2014) “Sweet, Wonderful you.” Otherwise known as the first three words that will escape miss Christine McVie lips and she starts off the show. The success of the band has now left them with some creative freedom which Nicks has gotten to use to her advantage.

7) 102.7 KIIS FM’S JINGLE BALL: (Staples Center , CA. Fri, Dec 05, 2014) KIIS FM’s annual Jingle Ball has been known to feature artists who are very pop-influenced, and this year is no exception. Headliner Taylor Swift is said to have a great show coming and with the recent release of her new album, you might get a taste of what she has planned for her 1989 tour that will be beginning in 2015. Joining her on stage will be 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Pharrell, and Iggy Azalea.  In other words, if you aren’t into the music radios play on repeat nowadays, I recommend not going. If you are, you’re in for a good show.

8) 91X – Wrex the Halls: (Valley View Casino Center, CA. Fri, Dec 12, 2014) Coming off of their appearance at Coachella, headliners Cage the Elephant are in high demand from all indie rock fanatics. Cage the Elephant will be accompanied by fellow rock sensations alt- J, Interpol, Billy Idol, Spoon and Banks and with the great acoustics that the VVCC provides. San Diegans have the opportunity to get their alt-rock fill.

Between the food comas on Thanksgiving and the flurry of wrapping paper on Christmas morning, there are few weeks of winter concerts left in 2014 so instead of making your BFF a Spotify playlist to show how much you love them, bring them to one of these killer concerts instead.