Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Musical Notes: October Ambiance

Ah, what a festive fall month we have ahead. It seems like there’s no shortage of good entertainment in and around Harrisburg this time of year, and, as usual, we’ve got a lot of shows to choose from.

This month, Whitaker Center will show two special cinema features that double as live concerts. First up is the iconic Roger Waters on Oct. 2, a one-night-only showing of footage from his solo touring in Amsterdam, titled “Roger Waters Us + Them.” Featuring music from his Pink Floyd days and solo work, the show is coupled by some sick audio-visual effects for a vibrant soundscape of a live performance.

The second show is S&M², the second incarnation of Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony. This special screening will be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original S&M concerts and albums performed together under conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. If you’re less of a cinema-goer and here to read up on some in-the-flesh live bands, we’ve got plenty to satisfy whatever musical mood you might be in.


XIU XIU, 10/3, 8PM, THE ABBEY BAR, $12
Back in April 2017, Xiu Xiu graced the stage at Der Maennerchor, and now they’re back for more, this time at the Abbey Bar. This underground indie band has been busy since then, featuring a fresh lineup, including two members of the band SWANS, and releasing a new album this year, “Girl with Basket of Fruit.” I recommend their track “Pumpkin Attack on Mommy and Daddy” for its strange samples woven into an intense sound tapestry. Their earlier stuff is pretty good, too, especially their famed alt rock album “Forget.” If you like “Twin Peaks,” they’ve done a spectacular album homage that I’m very fond of, “Plays the Music of Twin Peaks.” Sharing the stage, Baltic Noise, an ambient group from Lancaster, is set to open on what is sure to be one knockout of a show.

LAKE STREET DIVE, 10/15, 7:30PM, WHITAKER CENTER, $36.95-59.95
Indie pop? Folk rock? Alt jazz? Whatever this multi-genre group goes by, Lake Street Dive is undeniably unique to themselves. They formed in 2004 while studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and worked their way up to a record deal with Nonesuch Records in 2013. Their debut album on their new label, “Side Pony,” was a smash hit, earning praise from Rolling Stone and the Boston Globe. “Free Yourself Up” is the band’s latest album, featuring rock that’s soulful swagger. Appearing with Lake Street Dive for the show is singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham, a 22-year-old musical prodigy with a debut album coming out this year. Two cool things about their tour is that they’ve teamed up with Mission Impact Partners and Cool Effect. These organizations will help to connect the band with local nonprofits along their tour and fund environmental projects to offset their carbon emissions generated along the trip. If it wasn’t already a good idea to buy a ticket, Lake Street Dive’s positive tour projects make this show even sweeter.

AQUEOUS, 10/30, 8PM, XL LIVE, $12
First off, it’s pronounced “ay-kwee-us.” Second off, these jammy dudes from Buffalo really know how to rock. Specializing in improvisational styles and creating some truly groovy sounds, their tunes’ tempo can range from laid-back to the heavier, intense side. Like any good improv group, guitarist Mike Gantzer, guitarist and keyboardist David Loss, bassist Evan McPhaden and drummer Rob Houk have developed their own understanding of each other and their sound. Playing together since 2006, they seem to have an almost psychic musical sense that comes in handy when creating intricate music together. Aqueous makes its way to XL’s impressive stage the night before Halloween, resulting in a great musical way to kick off your Hallow’s Eve activities.


Black Dahlia Murder, Oct. 3, H*MAC Capitol Room;
Uncle Kracker, Oct. 4, XL Live;
Rivers, Oct. 4, The Abbey Bar;
Solar Federation, Oct. 5, The Abbey Bar;
Shawan & The Wonton, Oct. 10, JB Lovedraft’s;
Marc Cohn, Oct. 18, Whitaker Center;
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Oct. 28, H*MAC Capitol Room

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