DCMD Guide: Must-See Shows To Check Out in January

By Jenna Robinson | Features, Top 5 Shows This Week

Photo by Clarissa Villondo for DCMD

Expanding on our weekly Top 5 Shows list is a new feature that looks at our must-see local show picks for the month.

Friday, Jan. 13–Aaron Abernathy w/ Nat Turner @ Kennedy Center. Show 6 p.m./FREE

If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and listen to Aaron Abernathy’s new album, Monologue–promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s a record oozing with soul, slick hooks and soaring falsettos that marks Abernathy’s most impressive work to-date. His live show brings his soulful offerings to new heights, packed with enough energy to fill a stadium-sized venue. On Jan. 13, watch Abernathy play one of the area’s best and prettiest venues–the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage–for free.




Saturday, Jan. 14–Jazz and Freedom Festival @ Tropicalia. Show 3 p.m./Tickets $20

Capital Bop returns this month with its Jazz and Freedom Festival, spotlighting some of the best names in local jazz. Performers include accomplished D.C. musician Janel Leppin, esteemed jazz vocalist Akua Allrich and more throughout the day. The show will also kick off with a panel discussion on artist displacement, and all proceeds made from the festival will support radio station WPFW 89.3 FM.




Sunday, Jan. 15–Rare Essence, Junkyard Band, EU ft. Sugar Bear @ Howard Theatre. Show 10 p.m./Tickets $22.50+

Three of D.C.’s most acclaimed acts in go-go–Rare Essence, Junkyard Band and EU ft. Sugar Bear–will perform under one roof for the third annual MLK Birthday Celebration. It really doesn’t get any better than that.




Wednesday, Jan. 18–Cigarette, Governess, Scanners @ Black Cat. Doors 8 p.m./Tickets $12

The light of Donald Trump’s presidency and the upcoming inauguration, local musicians have rallied together to raise money towards a number of important causes. On Jan. 18 at Black Cat, you can see a few excellent rock acts like Cigarette, Governess and Scanners perform, and also help raise money for D.C. Abortion Fund.




Saturday, Jan. 21–We Were Black Clouds, Loud Boyz, Foxhall Stacks @ Comet Ping Pong. Show 10 p.m./Tickets $12

The recent Pizzagate rumors involving Comet Ping Pong caused havoc for its employees and even bands that’ve played in the venue. After an armed gunman was arrested for entering the space, the community has stepped up to support Comet through fundraisers and benefit shows. Two standout live performers in the city–D.C. post-rock band We Were Black Clouds and hardcore stalwarts Loud Boyz– along with Foxhall Stacks (featuring members of Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Burning Airlines and Government Issue) are showing their support by hosting this rad show on the 21st.




Saturday, Jan. 21–Eau Claire, Madame Gandhi, Ayes Cold, Vanniety Kills, Jacq Jill @ U Street Music Hall. Show 10 p.m./Tickets $10

It will definitely be a hectic time during inauguration weekend, and if you’re looking for an escape from the chaos, this is where you should be. U Street Music Hall will host a dance party benefiting the ACLU, bringing together five rad women who are making waves in electronic music. D.C. producer/DJ Eau Claire, Ayes Cold, Vanniety Kills and Jacq Jill will spin throughout the night with L.A.’s Madame Gandhi, who’s performed with M.I.A. and Thievery Corporation.

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  • Chris Bulbulia

    Jenna Robinson is my go to source for music in DC! Happy New Year Jenna and thanks for being awesome.