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Indianapolis Music Events 5/6 to 5/9: Pearl Jam, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Band of Horses

This weekend in Indianapolis music, the Indianapolis 500 Festival kicks off at full steam, and that means tons of bands will come pouring in to the Circle City from every corner of the United States and Indiana. A festive spirit will be running through Naptown; local artists will be out in droves. May means tourism for Indianapolis, so all your favorite Indianapolis music venues will be packed with Indianapolis bands looking to show those out of town crowds how Indy really sounds. Though there are literally dozens of great shows going on this weekend around the Indianapolis cultural districts, there are a few standout Indianapolis events that you should definitely check out.

First off, on Friday, an unlikely pairing will step into the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville: Pearl Jam and Band of Horses. Yes, 90’s grunge rockers Pearl Jam (who just released a new album, Backspacer) will be joining forces with Band of Horses, the reverb soaked Americana group that made an impression on indie rockers with their hit 2006 song, “The Funeral.” Their third album, Infinite Arms, is set for a May 18 release, but if you go to the show you can probably catch a few new tracks. Pearl Jam will at least be worth a walk down memory lane; who knows, you might win some free flannel.

Later on Friday, you should make the trip back to downtown Indianapolis, because Radio Radio will be hosting a couple bands that promise to be a sweaty, glee filled good time. Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Prizzy Prizzy Please, and Totally Michael will be sharing the stage at the vintage Indianapolis bar. Stardeath and White Dwarfs recently teamed up with The Flaming Lips to cover the entirety of The Dark Side of the Moon; coincidentally, the singer of Stardeath is the nephew of Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. Whether or not you’re down with Pink Floyd, Stardeath and White Dwarfs still play some bombastic, funky space rock.

And if you know anything about Totally Michael, you know that his live show is incomparable. If you’re looking for things to do in Indianapolis on Friday night, Totally Michael should be your only option. This goofy songwriter with a penchant for theatrics slings songs that have enough hooks in them to gut a blue whale. His lyrics are raunchy and hilarious, and a Totally Michael show is a participation only affair. Hipsters be warned: standing with your arms crossed and your head bobbing will not be enough at Radio Radio on Friday night.

On the slightly more distinguished side of things, but no less weird, is the “Night of Vonnegut” taking place at the Athenaeum Building on Saturday. A memorial to one of the finest authors in the Indianapolis arts community, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., the Night of Vonnegut will feature music by the Tim Brickley Trio, a Vonnegut look-alike contest, readings from Vonnegut’s works, a panel discussion of Vonnegut’s life, and even a trivia game. If you know who Kilgore Trout is, this Indianapolis event might be for you.

If none of the events above struck your fancy, don’t worry: there are plenty of Indianapolis attractions for music fans of all shapes and sizes this weekend. Check out the show calendar below to see which acts might fit your bill:

Thursday, May 6
Truth and Salvage Company, Andrew Bean @ Birdy’s Bar & Grill

Video of Truth and Salvage Company playing “Pure Mountain Angel” live; Truth and Salvage Company will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Soul Bus @ The Slippery Noodle Inn

Video of Soul Bus performing live; Soul Bus will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


The Avatour w/ You, Me, & Everyone We Know, We Are in the Crowd, Breathe Electric, Stay, The Red Wire, Sweatshirt Weather @ The Emerson Theater

Video of Breathe Electric playing live; Breathe Electric will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Ribs N’ Bone @ Champps Americana Restaurant

Video of Ribs N’ Bone performing live; Ribs N’ Bone will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Midwest Avengers, High Treason, DJ’s Jin-xs @ The Melody Inn

Video of Midwest Avengers performing live; Midwest Avengers will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Happy Hour with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra w/ Matt Scarano, Time for Three @ Hilbert Circle Theatre
Branch Gordon, The Front Porch Swingers @ The Monkey’s Tale

Video of Branch Gordon covering “Margaritaville” live in Indianapolis


Voodoo Rose Productions @ Rock Bottom Brewery
Friday, May 7
Pearl Jam, Band of Horses @ Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana

Video of Pearl Jam playing “Alive” to thousands of people; Pearl Jam will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Prizzy Prizzy Please, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Totally Michael @ Radio Radio

Video of Stardeath and White Dwarfs playing “Age of the Freak” live; Stardeath and White Dwarfs will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Permacrush, Rotovox, Smoke Ring, Blue Luster, Five Til Dawn @ The Vogue Theater

Video of Rotovox performing live; Rotovox will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Robert Bruce Scott @ Indianapolis Artsgarden
The Bigger Lights @ Emerson Theater

Video of The Bigger Lights playing “Apocalypse!” live; The Bigger Lights will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Wildflower @ Chateau Thomas Winery in Plainfield, Indiana
Blair Clark @ The Jazz Kitchen

Video of Blair Clark performing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in Indianapolis


Why I Like Robins, Spare Time Killer, Ringer for a Ringer @ Birdy’s Bar

Video of Why I Like Robins playing live at The Black Sparrow in Lafayette; Why I Like Robins will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Zanna-Doo @ Champps Americana

Video of Zanna Doo performing live at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis


Living Proof @ Ale Emporium

Video of Living Proof performing live in Indianapolis


Jared Thompson and Premium Blend @ Chatterbox Jazz Club

Video of Jared Thompson and Premium Blend performing live at the Chatterbox Jazz Club in Indianapolis


Jeff Stone, Jennie DeVoe @ Rathskeller Restaurant

Video of Jennie DeVoe performing live in Danville, Indiana; Jennie DeVoe will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Same as Sunday, Between the Trees @ ES Jungle

Video of Same as Sunday performing live in Franklin, Indiana; Same as Sunday will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Jamie Nichole @ Indianapolis City Market

Video of Jamie Nichole playing at the Indy Acoustic Challenge in Indianapolis


Bobbie Lancaster @ The Phoenix Theater

Video of Bobbie Lancaster singing “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis


Saturday, May 8
A Night of Vonnegut w/ Tim Brickley Trio @ The Athenaeum Theater
Chad Mills, Jenn Cristy, Finest Grain @ Birdy’s

Video of Chad Mills performing “Murder in the City” live in Indianapolis


Punk Rock Night w/ The Mentors, Honah Lee, Scarlet Veil, General Bastard @ Melody Inn

Video of Honah Lee playing live at the WTSR Concert Series; Honah Lee will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Eastern Wing @ 8 Seconds Saloon

Video of Eastern Wing playing live in downtown Indianapolis


Anarbor, Automatic Love Letter, Remember Paris, News From Verona @ The Emerson

Video of Automatic Love Letter performing live; Automatic Love Letter will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Dark House Sweet @ The Rathskeller
Gin Blossoms, Red Moon @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Music video for “Hey Jealousy” by Gin Blossoms; Gin Blossoms will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


A Tribute to Cole Porter with the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra @ The Athenaeum Building

Video of the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra backing The Four Freshmen in Indianapolis


Steve Allee Quintet @ Jazz Kitchen

Video of the Steve Allee Quartet performing live with Rob Dixon at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis


Frank Bradford Band @ The Music Mill
Monika Herzig’s Acoustic Project @ Chatterbox Club

Video of Monika Herzig performing at the Indiana University Student Union in Bloomington, Indiana; Monika Herzig will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Ellusion, Back Alley Band @ The Slippery Noodle
Red Planet Radio, Kingsley Street Band, Fredericks Martinez, Outlaw Tuners, Periphonic @ 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

Video of Periphonic playing live at Birdy’s Bar & Grill in Indianapolis


Drew Bowman @ Monkey’s Tale
Sunday, May 9
Charlie Wilson @ Old National Centre (formerly the Murat Centre)

Music video for “There Goes My Baby” by Charlie Wilson; Charlie Wilson will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Fall Creek Band @ Indy Artsgarden


Indianapolis Music Venues

8 Seconds Saloon | Big Car Gallery | Birdy’s Bar & Grill | Chatterbox Jazz Club | Emerson Theater | Jazz Kitchen | Old National Centre | Radio Radio | The Vogue | More Indianapolis Music Venues

Indianapolis Bands

Amanda Overmyer | Cathy Morris | Flynnville Train | Gwen Stacy | The Elms | Haste the Day | Jennie DeVoe | Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s | Mudkids | Murder by Death | Sloppy Seconds | Straight No Chaser | More Indianapolis Bands

Indianapolis Musical Organizations

Arts Council of Indianapolis | Capital City Chorus | Ensemble Music Society | Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis | Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra | More Indianapolis Musical Organizations

Indianapolis Musicians

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds | Freddy Hubbard | Wes Montgomery | Cole Porter | James Spaulding | More Indianapolis Musicians

Indiana Music by City

Avon Music | Brownsburg Music | Carmel Music | Danville Music | Fishers Music | Greenfield Music | Greenwood Music | Martinsville Music | Mooresville Music | Noblesville Music | Plainfield Music | Westfield Music | Zionsville Music | More Indiana Music