Winter Concerts 2016

When I first moved to Prague in the Spring of 1995, we were hard pressed for decent headlining acts. Nick Cave, The Rolling Stones, and Moloko were all memorable events from that era, but disposable income was scarce, and you had to either be well off, or know someone, to even think about getting in.


Well, the times have certainly changed, and Prague is now a regular central European stop on any decent mainstream promoters radar. Part of it is the fact that locals now have that spending power punch, and the venues have evolved to host the Pop worlds varied needs. You’ll be super lucky to catch a premiere act in Lucerna or the Archa theatre as capacity is limited, and some of these entertainers will wisely choose intimacy, over arena style, jumbotron shows.

This Winter’s schedule is packed with some global power acts that I can recommend, but please remember, its only music. Loud Art, subjectivity is the key here.

Most demographics can find their feedbag, with research, and and some legwork. We have a finite number of quality venues, and the expanding market is only getting hungrier.

We’ll start with new kids “Twenty-One Pilots” on November 4th at Forum Karlin. I can describe this Ohio based duo as Ragga-hop-pop-punk. They write infectious and eager, bass driven tunes with passion and pride. After scoring a slot on “The Suicide Squad” original soundtrack, they charted simultaneous hits in the U.S. with their fourth album “Blurryface”. I am looking quite forward to this, as this sparkling new Prague 8 venue is half of the show. Roomy balconies, and high-end concession stands make gigs here a special treat, with the sound quality usually above average. “Kraftwerk” and “Nine inch Nails” shows here took the roof right off, and the tickets prices are generally fair, but I imagine that won’t last long.

Couple nights after that, go see the British Sinatra “Rod Stewart” sing pop and jazz at O2’s arena. This leather-faced gravely pop king deserves your crowns because he understands what audiences want, and always delivers. You’ll here all of Dad’s dinosaur classics, as well as his newer jazz standards.

Okay. Palette cleanser. Wasabi and a Vodka shot everyone. I really need your attention now.

While America burns its democracy down, US Election Day November 8th, will treat us Europeans to an exceptional duo of noteworthy events. Frenchman Jean-Michelle-Jarre, One of the godfathers of Eighties New Age Electronic scene, will play his first Prague show. What this artist has always understood is scale. Go Big! His immersive soundscapes are back in retro vogue again. His shows and fan base, largely in Asia, have featured skyscraper sized building projections a la Blade Runner, and a Visual component grossly lacking with todays musicians. Who know what mind bending eye candy mapping tricks he will delight the arena crowd with? Once you’ve mopped up your brain from the floor, head over to Meet Factory the next night, November 9th for WARP records industrial electronic genius duo “Autecre” Yes. This is an IMPORTANT cool-kids event for young beards, and aging punks, to mingle and discuss the humble nuances of audio sculpting with endless emotional layers. It is also thier very first Prague show.

Sydney based, hard-rock Art band “Wolf Mother” plays Prague One’s Roxy Theatre on November 10th, with a driving seventies vibe of original music. Teenage Beiber fans can then watch the Boy King Drop Crotch deliver his current radio fare at O2 two nights later on November 12th. Say what you want about this kid, but understand that he remains in our diet for a simple reason. Catchy Pop tunes written by talented producers will always be a part of our musical diet.

Colorado Indie folk trio “The Lumineers” play The Big Room at Prague One’s Lucerna Theatre November 20th. Weepy anthemic fare has gone commercial recently, but this acts has stayed true to a simple, soulful style.

British breakthrough stars “Bastille” will play Forum Karlin on November 26th, while Elton John will sell out the O2 the very same night. Again. Understand that promoters plan these gigs demographically. Hipsters and DIY’s will report to Prague 8, while us fossilized types will be drinking Classic Coke to Glam Grandpa in Prague 10. Crossover audience may take the yellow brick road. Angst ridden “Tom Odell” will play Holesevices’ Sportovni Hala for the undecided.

November will round out with British Indie dream-pop sensation “The XX” at Karlins’ Forum November 29th. Bring a Zanex, and a kaleidoscope for next level viewing.

Other mainline acts include chart survivor Enrique Inglesias on Dec 18th at The Tipsport Arena, Green Day, January 22nd, and a personal favorite German Dance artist Mr. Fritz Kalabreener Feb 4th & 5th at The Roxy at Dlouha 33.

Forget the meaningless gifts and office parties, and go cut loose in a live music event this season. Millennials  and oldsters agree that materialism is dead, and experience is forever king!

Tim Otis

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Tim Otis