Rachel Mooney
Springtime is upon us yet again and thus brings the musical heat that starts the season off right. May opens with Allen Stone, a pastor's son with an unforgettable gospel moan that moves like honey, playing the Basement on the 5th.  The setting is intimate enough to truly experience this lesser known artist up close and personal, and yes, you will be love-struck.  A throwback gem speaking to 60's soul, Stone has an effortless vibrato and lyrical content which mirrors social commentary more than white noise finished with an endearing fashion-forwardness that makes him all the more appealing.

St. Vincent, a guitar-shredding pixie with an exquisite face and unrivaled creativity in musicianship, will grace The Newport on May 8th. To call her a multi-instrumentalist would be an understatement; Annie Clark's haunting melodies are as stunning as her jazz-influenced zouk-pop and surprisingly dark, aggressive lyrics, making her music the perfect juxtaposition of both grit and splendor. 

If grit doesn't offend your delicate sensibilities, Miss May I, the new debutante on the metalcore scene, will be at the Newport only days later on the 12th, inevitably melting faces as they put on one of the most dynamic live shows I've ever attended.  Bassist Ryan Neff will hang from the rafters as he plays muddied bass riffs and the contrast of guitar cleans versus Levi Benton's screams are an acquired taste but one you will not soon forget.

As if to utterly contrast Miss May I, the LC will be hosting both Ben Folds and The Avett Brothers on back to back nights the third weekend of May, two bands that seem to glow with ethereal reverberations that are unmistakably playful, boasting lyrics of self-reflection and love.  Both outdoor shows, these musicians may take the intensity down a notch but bring syncopated rhythms, bluegrass beats and uplifting melodies in its place.

As catchy as they are eccentric, Neon Trees’ off-kilter style and cult following will takeover the Newport on May 23rd in a fury of 80's inspired synth and dance.   Lead singer Tyler Glenn has fantastic vocal control and the hooks have a certain ebb and flow that demand the audience to sway.

May finishes strong with Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros at the LC on the 30th, a show that will inevitably sell out, and with good reason.  With an arsenal of eclectic sounds, they are irrefutably a captivating band live with nearly a dozen members, a sound of pure nostalgia and surprising elements such as whistling parallel to Andrew Bird. So lose the jackets, throw on your favorite band tee and jumpstart your summer by bringing the heat with these cant-miss bands; you can thank us later.