SM PIER — What are you doing every Thursday night of the summer?
City officials have announced the lineup for the 30th annual Twilight Concert Series. The free shows will be held Thursday nights on the Santa Monica Pier.
This year’s calendar, which starts with the indie-rock band Cults and ends with soul man Charles Bradley, is more well rounded but lacking the big name acts of years past.
Earlier this year, City Council voted to tone down the concerts, which had become so popular that they were causing public safety concerns. During the 2013 concert season, city officials estimated that up to 30,000 people came to see Jimmy Cliff.
“In response to council’s request we sort of compressed everything in the middle,” said Jay Farrand, executive director of the pier. “Traditionally we would have two very large acts, a couple medium acts, and a bunch of small acts. This year, we sort of lopped off the two big acts but in doing so we brought up those small acts.”
Farrand is happy they scored up-and-coming Australians Jagwar Ma. He’s also excited about the back-to-back August Thursdays headlined by classics: Lee Scratch Perry and The Zombies.
Here are your Thursday nights.
July 10: Cults, a popular indie rock duo, will headline the first show. Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin have been lauded critically for their dreamy and dark, vintage sound. James Supercave, an L.A.-based indie pop quintet, will open the show.
July 17: The U.S. was late to the Yuna party but they’re catching up. The Malaysian singer-songwriter has more than a million Twitter followers (the most of any TCS act this year) and nine Malaysian Grammy nominations. Her song “Live Your Life” was produced by Pharrell. King, an R&B trio, will set the stage.
July 24: The Cayucas are coming home! The Santa Monica natives don’t hide from their beach rock label. Papa, an L.A.-based rock group, is the opener.
July 31: Described by pier officials as “Arabic Electro” Omar Souleyman, hailing from Syria, is in the running for TCS band with the greatest world news hook. The opener for this show hasn’t been announced yet.
Aug. 7: Jagwar Ma, an Australian alt rock band, mixes psychedelic rock with guitar-pop, which should also mix nicely with a Pacific Ocean sunset. Wunder Wunder, an alt rock band from Los Angeles by way of Australia, will kick the show off.
Aug. 14: L.A.-based Grammy winners La Santa Cecilia combine cumbia, afro-cuban, and bossa nova. Their openers, Sergio Mendoza, a mambo big-band, are chock full of horns.
Aug. 21: Almost exactly 50 years after their chart-topping single “She’s Not There,” The Zombies can’t be killed. The classic ’60s psychedelic rock outfit had two other big singles, “Tell Her No” and “Time of the Season.” They’ll take the stage in the heat of the season. Leading off will be the Mystic Braves. The young Angelenos sound like they could have opened for The Zombies back in 1964.
Aug. 28: Classic reggae free-spirit Lee-Scratch Perry will bring his dub to the pier. Perry’s played with Bob Marley and innovated the genre on his own. All 13 members of the afrobeat orchestra, Mexico 68, will make the trek from the eastside of L.A. to open the show.
Sept. 4: This date won’t be finalized for the next couple weeks, Farrand said. Stay tuned.
Sept. 11: TCS comes to a soulful conclusion with Charles Bradley. Bradley has a storied past and plays soul and funk that brings you back to the ’60s and ’70s but he’s relatively new to the scene. King James & the Special Men, a New Orleans R&B group, will open the final show.