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Indianapolis Music Events 9/23 to 9/26: Built to Spill, Mass Ave Festivall, Elf Power

This weekend in Indianapolis music, college rock icons debunk popular antagonist myths at one of the oldest Indianapolis music venues, jazzy jam bands fill the air of Mass Ave with patchouli and guitar solos, and a long lost pachyderm makes an appearance in Bloomington. Once again, it’s a fantastic weekend for Indianapolis nightlife in Central Indiana; there are lots of concerts, shows, and other exciting Indianapolis events to capitalize on this weekend, so get out on the town!

On Thursday, Built to Spill and Revolt Revolt will be playing at The Vogue. Built to Spill has been around for what seems like forever; they were all over the college airwaves in the late 90’s after their first two albums, Perfect from Now On and Keep it Like a Secret, garnered them critical praise and a dedicated fan base. Now they’re touring in support of their newest, There Is No Enemy, a tighter, more structured affair than the band is used to. Fans attending the show can expect plenty of the barbed hooks, mile long solos, and idiosyncratic lyrics that Built to Spill is known for. Opening act Revolt Revolt won’t turn any heads with their originality, but they’re a solid group with plenty of energy. This one is shaping up to be one of the best concerts of the weekend.

If you’re rather sit outside and take in the sights and sounds of one of the six Indianapolis cultural districts, the Mass Ave Festivall might be the place for you. Taking place on Friday outside of the Indianapolis Fire Fighters Museum (the same place as the Survive Alive Village), the Mass Ave Festivall is a true celebration of Indianapolis arts, featuring six jam bands from across Indiana, including some familiar Indianapolis bands. Funk/jazz trio The Twin Cats (regulars at The Mousetrap) will be there, as will fire breathing favorites The Leisure Kings, classic rockers Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, psychedelic pop group Ladymoon, and several more. Add Sun King beer, outdoor vendors, and real time mural painting, and you have an Indianapolis event worthy of Mass Ave.

On Sunday, an indie pop gem of a show will be going on at The Bishop in Bloomington, where Elf Power will be playing with Arrah and the Ferns. Elf Power belongs to the lauded Elephant 6 collective based out of Athens, Georgia, a label that spawned several of the top “indie” bands of the 90’s, many of whom are still around and making music. The Apples in Stereo, The Olivia Tremor Control, Of Montreal, and Neutral Milk Hotel were all Elephant 6 bands at one point. Elf Power always erred more on the side of 60’s sunshine pop than the other groups (even the Apples in Stereo, whose influences are firmly rooted in the Summer of Love), but their two latest albums, Back to the Web and In a Cave, attempted to explore different musical territory with mixed results. Piano pop group Arrah and the Ferns (originally from Muncie, Indiana) are the perfect compliment for an evening of jangling acoustic guitar and three part harmonies.

There are plenty of other great shows going on this weekend in Indianapolis bars and other places around the city, so take a look at our show calendar below to plan out your weekend in downtown Indianapolis:

Thursday, Sept 23
Brave Combo @ The Rathskeller Restaurant

Video of Brave Combo covering “Louie, Louie” live; Brave Combo will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Built to Spill, Revolt Revolt @ The Vogue Theater

Video of Built to Spill performing “Else” live; Built to Spill will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys @ Radio Radio

Video of Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys performing live; Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


The Seedy Seeds, Loyal Divide @ Locals Only Art and Music Pub

Video of The Seedy Seeds performing “The Little Patton” live; The Seedy Seeds will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


W.T. Feaster Band @ Slippery Noodle Inn

Video of the W.T. Feaster Band performing “Born Under a Bad Sign” live; the W.T. Feaster Band will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


CA3 @ Indianapolis Artsgarden
Sam King @ The Britton Tavern
Afton Showcase w/ FrankenTwerp, Joe Hamgeri Contingency, One in the Same, Jump Eli Black, Crossville, Nervous Hermus, Joe Paulson @ Birdy’s Bar & Grill
Sour Mash @ Champps Americana Restaurant and Bar
The Glass Identity Crisis, Simeon Soul Charger, The Icy Shores @ The Melody Inn

Video of The Glass Identity Crisis performing “Miss Sunshine” live at Birdy’s Bar & Grill in Indianapolis


Friday, Sept 24
Blue Moon Revue @ Locals Only Music Pub

Video of Blue Moon Review performing live; Blue Moon Revue will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Jai Baker @ Britton Tavern

Video of Jai Baker performing “Harder and Harder to Breathe” live; Jai Baker will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Jay Dowell & the Wrongly Accused @ Slippery Noodle Inn

Video of Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys performing “Slow Burn” live; Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Jane Jensen @ Artcraft Theatre in Franklin, Indiana
Battle of Birdy’s Round 1 Week 8 w/ The Post Script, Casanova Vega, Nightjar, Plan B, One-Eyed Dog, Shadel, Malachai @ Birdy’s Bar
Zanna-Doo @ The Moon Dog Tavern

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


Lemon Wheel @ Mickey’s Irish Pub in Carmel, Indiana

Video of Lemon Wheel performing “Hot Child in the City” in Greenwood; Lemon Wheel will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Living Proof @ Champps Americana
We Are Hex, Neon Love Life, Learner/Dancer @ Melody Inn

Video of We Are Hex performing “Cutter/Giver” live at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis


Loo Abby @ That Place in Greenwood, Indiana

Video of Loo Abby performing “Acoustic Court” live at CT Peppers in Indianapolis


Mass Ave Festivall w/ Twin Cats, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, and more @ Indianapolis Fire Fighters Museum

Video of The Twin Cats performing live at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis


The Breakdown Kings, Echomaker, DJ Deadrisk @ The Jazz Kitchen

Video of Breakdown Kings, DJ Deadrisk, and others performing live at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis


Saturday, Sept 25
Rocky Ripple Arts Festival @ Rocky Ripple Park

Video of Hyryder performing “Goin’ Home” and “Viola Lee Blues” live at the Rocky Ripple Arts Fest in Indianapolis


Groovin’ in the Garden w/ Tonos Triad @ Easley Winery
Indianapolis Parks Summer Concert Series w/ Donn Smith @ Ellenberger Park
Sarah Scharbrough @ Jazz Kitchen

Video interview with Sarah Scarbrough about the Indy Jazz Fest; Sarah Scarbrough will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Foster’s Branch @ The Britton

Video of Foster’s Branch covering “She Said” live in Indianapolis


Sunday, Sept 26
Elf Power, Arrah and the Ferns @ The Bishop

Video of Elf Power performing “The Arrow Flies Close” live; Elf Power will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


W.T. and L.B. @ Slippery Noodle
Norbert Krapf and Gordon Bonham @ The Artsgarden

Video of Gordon Bonham covering “Treat Me So Low Down” live; Gordon Bonham will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Indy Parks Summer Concert Series w/ Indy Jazz Company @ Watkins Park
Frontier Ruckus, Digs Bridges, Cory Williams (of Red Moon) @ Birdy’s

Video of Frontier Ruckus performing “Mona and Emmy” live; Frontier Ruckus will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


Devil to Pay, The Resurrection Sorrow, Apostle of Solitude, Oso Bear @ The Melody Inn

Video of Devil to Pay performing “Zealots” live at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis



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