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July is usually the peak of the music festival season regardless of where you live, but Rhode Island takes this to another level. Everyone knows about Newport's folk and jazz festivals, but a few Providence venues are hosting some festivals of their own, including two that are happening on the same day this year.
Some shows will be bringing some serious amplification, while others are making up for prior postponements due to COVID-19. If you want to be in the know on where to go, here are five shows to check out in the city in July.
Bachfest is a stacked performance
Where: Askew, 150 Chestnut St.
When: July 2, 7 p.m. (18+)
The first of three festivals happening in the city in July, Bachfest has a stacked bill going down during the first Saturday of the month. Local acts including garage rock phenoms Atlantic Thrills, melodic psychedelic rock moodsetters Viking Jesus, funky reggae rockers They Were Robots and indie rock supergroup Happiness, featuring members of Deer Tick & Ravi Shavi, will be joined by Boston punk rock pirates Jonee Earthquake Band and Worcester sleaze rock ensemble Westside Rats. It’s doubtful that ex-Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach will be making an appearance, or that one of the bands will be doing a rendition of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, so I don’t know where this festival got its name, but it looks like a very fun time.
Revival Fest: A massive event with lots of bands to see
Where: July 3 @ Dusk 301 Harris Ave.
When: July 3, 2 p.m. (18+)
Info: On Facebook
The day before the Fourth Of July features not one but two festivals in Providence, and one of them is Revival Fest, happening at Dusk. The seventh edition of this massive event will run all day and all night, featuring local bands Hammer Party, Midnight Creeps, The David Tessier All-Star Stars, Corinne Southern & The Constellation, She Rides and Gnarnia, along with hip-hop artist Jesse The Tree, and that’s only half the acts. Food will be provided by Taino Treats & Puggles Grilled Cheese, and there'll be plenty of beverages available for purchase, so show up hungry and thirsty.
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FX4 Fest: A countercultural music festival
Where: AS220, 115 Empire St.
When: July 3, 3 p.m. (all ages)
Info: (401) 831-3663
The other festival happening on Independence Day eve has more of a countercultural vibe to it, while celebrating the birthday of British punk icon Poly Styrene from the ‘70s band X-Ray Spex. Soul-prog dynamos Bochek, punk rock shredders Challenger, hardcore noise duo Cabaret and experimental artist Dave Public are part of a 19-act lineup. Even though the official price of admission is $20, the festival is adopting a “pay what you can” policy for those who can’t afford the full amount.
Cave In is a talented Boston rock band
Where: Fete Music Hall, 103 Dike St.
Where: July 21, 7 p.m. (all ages)
Tickets: $20 advance, $22 at the door
I’ve been a fan of Boston rock act Cave In since I was a teenager, due to their fusion of early ‘90s alternative rock with the metal and hardcore styles that were prevalent in their home state during the ‘90s and early 2000s.Their seventh album, "Heavy Pendulum," which came out back in May is one of my favorite records so far this year. San Diego’s Author & Punisher, which is the one-man metal band Tristan Shone, will be starting things off, so show up early.
Indie rocker Lucy Dacus plays The Strand
Where: The Strand Ballroom & Theatre, 79 Washington St.
When: July 24, 9 p.m. (all ages)
Tickets: $25 advance, $30 at the door, $37.50 reserved mezzanine
Before her originally scheduled show at The Strand back on March 3, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lucy, and she’s a wicked cool and down-to-earth person, along with being an incredible songwriter. Then, on the day of the show, someone in her backing band tested positive for COVID-19 and everything was postponed. It only feels right to mention her in this column because she’s great live, and her approach to indie rock music is awesome, so check out the show when she comes through in a few weeks.
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: July's top 5 live music shows to go to in Providence