Soundtrack of a City: Metro Detroit's September Concerts

Get ready to rock, Metro Detroit—September 2023 is shaping up to be an epic sonic journey that you won't want to miss! From the iconic strums of Peter Gabriel to the genre-bending beats of Macklemore, the Motor City is turning into Music City this fall, offering a kaleidoscopic array of sounds that promises to electrify your soul. Whether you're a die-hard fan of classic rock, a hip-hop head, or an alternative aficionado, there's something in the air—and it's not just the autumn leaves. Buckle up, because this September, the concert scene in Metro Detroit is about to explode in a symphony of epic proportions.


Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin 
Pine Knob | September 1st

Kicking off the month at Pine Knob on September 1st are Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin, two titans in the alternative metal scene. Disturbed, formed in 1994, catapulted to fame with their 2000 album "The Sickness," featuring the hit single "Down with the Sickness." Since then, they've maintained their high standing in the ranks of alternative metal, continually pushing the boundaries of the genre.

Breaking Benjamin, another stalwart in the alternative metal community, will share the stage with Disturbed. Known for their emotive lyrics and intricate musical compositions, they've carved out a unique space for themselves in the metal world. Their collaboration for this concert promises a night of intense, high-energy performances that will leave audiences awestruck.

Pine Knob | September 2nd

The following night, September 2nd, Pine Knob will host the inimitable Beck, a multi-instrumentalist and singer whose career has been a kaleidoscope of musical exploration. Beck first gained widespread attention with his 1996 album "Odelay," which featured the iconic track "Loser." Since then, he has released over 14 albums, each a testament to his diverse musical prowess.

Beck's discography is a journey through alternative rock, folk, hip-hop, electronic, and experimental sounds. Each album marks a different phase in his artistic evolution, showcasing his ability to adapt and innovate. Critics and fans alike have lauded his work, cementing his status as one of the most versatile and inventive musicians of his generation.


Boyz II Men 
Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre | September 3rd

On September 3rd, the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre will be graced by the soulful harmonies of Boyz II Men, a group that has become synonymous with R&B excellence. Bursting onto the scene in 1991 with their debut album "Cooleyhighharmony," the group quickly rose to prominence with hit singles like "Motownphilly" and "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." Their vocal prowess and emotive performances have not only earned them numerous awards but also solidified their place as R&B royalty. For fans of soulful, harmonious music, missing this concert would be a disservice to one's musical palate.

The Pretenders 
The Shelter | September 5th

Closing out the first week of September at The Shelter on the 5th are The Pretenders, a band that may not be on everyone's playlist but has cultivated a fiercely loyal following since their inception in 1981. With five albums under their belt, including "Pretenders II" (1981) and "Learning to Crawl" (1984), the band has showcased their staying power in the rock scene. Their hits like "Back on the Chain Gang," "Middle of the Road," and "I'll Stand by You" have become anthems for their dedicated fan base.

The Pretenders' music is a blend of rock, punk, and new wave influences, creating a sound that is both timeless and evocative. Their longevity in the industry speaks volumes about their musical craftsmanship and the emotional depth they bring to their songs.


Rob Zombie + Alice Cooper 
Pine Knob | September 5th

Sharing the stage at Pine Knob on September 5th are two legends of the rock and metal world: Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper. Rob Zombie, initially known for his work with the band White Zombie, went solo in 1998 and has since dabbled in filmmaking as well. His breakout hit "More Human than Human" remains a staple on many a rock fan's playlist, capturing the raw energy and theatricality that define his career.

Alice Cooper, often referred to as "The Godfather of Shock Rock," complements Zombie's style with his own brand of theatrical rock and roll. Known for his elaborate live shows, Cooper's influence on the genre is immeasurable, making this concert a must-see for fans of hard-hitting, dramatic performances.

Finger Eleven 
District 142 | September 6th

Also performing on September 6th, but at District 142, is Finger Eleven, a band that has faced its share of ups and downs before finding mainstream success. Their journey to recognition was a long one, marked by setbacks and challenges. However, the release of their self-titled album in 2003 changed their fortunes dramatically. The hit single "One Thing" received extensive airplay, catapulting the band into mainstream popularity not just in their native Canada, but internationally as well. 

the Smashing Pumpkins + interpol 
Pine Knob | September 6th

The following night, Pine Knob welcomes alternative rock icons The Smashing Pumpkins. Formed in Chicago in 1988, they became one of the defining acts of the '90s. Led by frontman Billy Corgan, the band's unique blend of grunge, goth-rock, and psychedelic influences captured the zeitgeist of a generation. Their seminal albums, "Siamese Dream" and "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," are considered masterpieces, featuring iconic tracks like "1979," "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," and "Tonight, Tonight." Over the years, the band has undergone various lineup changes but has never lost its ability to create emotionally resonant and complex music. With a career spanning over three decades, The Smashing Pumpkins remain a compelling force in the rock world.

Also gracing Pine Knob on September 6th is Interpol, an American rock band that has been a significant influence on the indie rock and post-punk revival movements since their formation in 1997. Known for their atmospheric, post-punk sound, Interpol has carved out a unique niche in the rock landscape. While they may not be on everyone's radar, their ability to fill up venues like Pine Knob speaks volumes about their enduring appeal and the depth of their fan base.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus 
The Loving Touch | September 8th

On September 8th, The Loving Touch will host The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, a band that gained recognition with their anthem "Face Down," a song that has become synonymous with standing up against domestic violence. Known for their high-energy performances, the band has been a staple at various festivals, delivering shows that are as emotionally resonant as they are musically compelling.

Greta Van Fleet 
Little Caesars Arena | September 8th

Also performing on September 8th, but at Little Caesars Arena, is Greta Van Fleet, a rock band that hails from Frankenmuth, Michigan. Often compared to Led Zeppelin for their vintage rock sound, the band has been both praised and criticized for their bluesy undertones, heavy guitar riffs, and vocals that are eerily reminiscent of Robert Plant. Despite their relatively young age, the members of Greta Van Fleet have a deep-rooted appreciation for the rock music of the '60s and '70s, which is evident in their style.

Whether you view them as Led Zeppelin copycats or as a fresh take on a classic sound, there's no denying the band's talent and the passion they bring to their performances. Their almost-local status adds an extra layer of appeal, making their concert a highly anticipated event for rock aficionados in the Metro Detroit area.

Three Days Grace 
Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre | September 12th

Also performing on September 12th, but at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre - better known as Freedom Hill, is Three Days Grace, a Canadian band that has been a staple in the alternative rock and post-grunge scenes since 1997. Their 2003 self-titled debut album featured hit singles like "I Hate Everything About You" and "Just Like You," establishing them as a rising force in the rock world. The band's raw and relatable lyrics have struck a chord with listeners, making them a beloved act in the genre.


Shinedown + Papa Roach 
Pine Knob | September 12th

On September 12th, Pine Knob will host a double-bill featuring Shinedown and Papa Roach, two bands that have left an indelible mark on the alternative rock and post-grunge scenes. Shinedown is known for their emotionally charged lyrics and dynamic sound, often exploring themes of personal struggles, self-empowerment, and human connection. Their music is a compelling blend of alternative rock, post-grunge, and hard rock, making them a versatile act that resonates with a broad audience.

Papa Roach, sharing the stage with Shinedown, has also garnered a massive following since their inception. Known for their radio hits and energetic performances, they've carved out a unique space in the rock world, making this concert a must-see for fans of the genre.

Bowling for Soup 
St. Andrews Hall | September 14th

On September 14th, St. Andrews Hall will welcome Bowling for Soup, a band perhaps best known for their hit song "1985." However, their accolades go beyond this single; they were nominated for a Grammy for "Girl All the Bad Guys Want." More recently, their music has found a new audience through TikTok, where user @fntmsage showcased a well-received remake of their work.

Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre | September 14th

On September 14th, the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, also known as Freedom Hill, will host the soulful and introspective Hozier. The Irish singer-songwriter gained international acclaim with his 2013 debut single "Take Me to Church," a powerful anthem that tackles themes of love, human rights, and social issues. The song, in particular, addresses the condemnation of the LGBTQ+ community by certain religious institutions. Hozier's performances are known for their emotional depth and musical intricacy, making this concert an anticipated event for fans of thoughtful, socially conscious music.


Toad the Wet Sprocket 
Royal Oak Music Theatre | September 15th

The following night, September 15th, the Royal Oak Music Theatre will welcome Toad the Wet Sprocket, an American alternative rock band formed in 1986. Known for their heartfelt lyrics, lush harmonies, and jangly guitar-driven sound, the band has a devoted following. Their breakthrough album, "Fear," released in 1991, included hits like "All I Want," "Walk on the Ocean," and "Fall Down," solidifying their place in the alternative rock scene. The band's name, inspired by a fictional band mentioned in a Monty Python sketch, hints at their quirky sense of humor, adding another layer to their appeal.

Puddle of Mudd 
The Machine Shop | September 16th

Rounding out the mid-September lineup is Puddle of Mudd, performing at The Machine Shop on the 16th. While they may not be everyone's cup of tea, there's no denying the band's following. Known for their post-grunge sound, Puddle of Mudd has carved out a space for themselves in the rock world, appealing to fans who appreciate their particular brand of angst-ridden music.


Little Caesars Arena | September 16th

On September 16th, Little Caesars Arena will host Bastille, a British band that burst onto the music scene in 2013 with their hit single "Pompeii" from their debut album "Bad Blood." Formed in London in 2010, the band has since released three more successful albums, each spawning multiple hit singles. Known for their anthemic pop-rock sound, Bastille has garnered a large following, making them one of the standout acts of the modern pop landscape.

Duran Duran 
Little Caesars Arena | September 16th

Also performing at Little Caesars Arena on the same night is Duran Duran, an English new wave and synth-pop band that became an iconic force in the 1980s. Formed in Birmingham in 1978, the band's name is inspired by a character from the science fiction film "Barbarella." With hits like "Ordinary World," "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio," "Girls on Film," and "The Reflex," Duran Duran's influence on pop culture is undeniable. Their blend of new wave and synth-pop elements has made them a staple in the music world, and their upcoming performance is highly anticipated.

Flogging Molly 
The Fillmore | September 16th

Rounding out the September 16th lineup is Flogging Molly, performing at The Fillmore. While they may initially come across as another pop-punk band from the '90s LA scene, Flogging Molly sets themselves apart by incorporating elements of Irish folk music. Their lineup includes unconventional punk instruments like the violin and accordion, adding a unique flair to their sound. "Drunken Lullabies," the title track from their 2002 album, encapsulates the band's signature blend of Celtic folk and punk rock. With energetic instrumentals and spirited vocals from front man Dave King, the track has become one of their most iconic songs.

50 Cent + Busta Rhymes 
Pine Knob | September 17th

On September 17th, Pine Knob will be the stage for a night of foundational rap and hip-hop with 50 Cent, featuring Busta Rhymes on the Final Lap Tour. 50 Cent, born Curtis James Jackson III, burst onto the rap scene in the early 2000s with his groundbreaking album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," featuring iconic tracks like "In da Club" and "21 Questions." The album quickly went multi-platinum, solidifying his position as a major player in the rap industry. Notably, 50 Cent's rise to fame was catalyzed by his friendship and signing with Shady Records, the label founded by rap legend Eminem. This partnership not only gave 50 Cent a platform but also added a layer of credibility that helped propel him into the mainstream consciousness. Over the years, 50 Cent has diversified his portfolio to include acting and business ventures, but his impact on the rap game remains indelible.

Busta Rhymes, a foundational figure in the rap world, burst onto the scene in the 1990s as part of the group Leaders of the New School. His unique voice and rapid-fire delivery quickly caught the attention of fans and critics alike. Going solo in 1996 with the release of "The Coming," Busta Rhymes solidified his place in hip-hop history. The album featured hits that have since become classics, showcasing his lyrical prowess and innovative style. Over the years, Busta Rhymes has continued to be a force in the industry, collaborating with a wide range of artists and consistently delivering tracks that push the boundaries of rap music.

Death Cab for Cutie + Postal Service 
Meadow Brook Amphitheatre | September 17th

Also on September 17th, but at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, is a performance by Death Cab for Cutie, commonly known as Death Cab. Formed in Bellingham, Washington, in 1997, the indie rock band gained commercial success with their 2005 album "Plans," featuring the hit single "Soul Meets Body." The band's name is derived from a song title by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, adding a quirky touch to their identity. Their music is known for its emotional depth and lyrical nuance, making them a beloved act in the indie rock scene.

Coheed and Cambria 
Royal Oak Music Theatre | September 18th

Rounding out the September 18th lineup is Coheed and Cambria, performing at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. Coheed and Cambria defies easy categorization, blending elements of progressive rock, post-hardcore, and alternative rock into a unique and compelling sound. Formed in 1995 in Nyack, New York, the band is known for its intricate song structures, technical musicianship, and the narrative storytelling of lead vocalist Claudio Sanchez. Each of the band's albums serves as a chapter in a science fiction saga called "The Amory Wars," penned by Sanchez, adding an extra layer of depth and complexity to their music. With a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim, Coheed and Cambria have carved out a distinct niche in the rock world, celebrated for their dynamic live performances and their ability to blend complex musical arrangements with emotive storytelling.


Aerosmith + The Black Crowes 
Little Caesars Arena | September 18th

Also on September 18th, Little Caesars Arena welcomes rock legends Aerosmith for their Farewell Tour. Aerosmith, often dubbed "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band," burst onto the music scene in the early 1970s and quickly became a household name. Formed in Boston in 1970, the band—led by the charismatic Steven Tyler and virtuoso guitarist Joe Perry—blended bluesy undertones with hard rock swagger and a touch of glam. Their breakthrough came with their third studio album, "Toys in the Attic" (1975), which spawned iconic hits like "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way." The latter track gained a second life in the '80s when it was remixed in a groundbreaking collaboration with Run-DMC, bridging the gap between rock and hip-hop. With a career spanning over five decades, Aerosmith has weathered lineup changes, shifts in musical trends, and personal struggles, yet they remain a vital force in rock music, known for their electrifying live performances and a catalog of hits that have earned them a permanent place in the annals of rock history.

The Black Crowes, a band that blends Southern rock, classic rock, and blues into a unique and compelling sound. Known for hits like "Hard to Handle," originally written by Otis Redding, as well as "She Talks to Angels," "Remedy," "Thorn in My Pride," and "Wiser Time," the Black Crowes have carved out a distinct niche for themselves. Their music is a throwback to the classic rock and blues traditions, yet it feels fresh and contemporary, making them a must-see act for fans of these genres.

Willie Nelson 
Pine Knob | September 22nd

On September 22nd, Pine Knob will host a living legend of American music: Willie Nelson. With a career spanning over six decades, Nelson is a cornerstone of country music and a leading figure in the outlaw country movement. One of his most iconic albums, "Red Headed Stranger," released in 1975, featured hit singles like "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and "Remember Me." The album's success not only catapulted Nelson to stardom but also solidified his place as a seminal figure in country music history.

For those who haven't yet had the chance to see Willie Nelson perform, this concert offers a unique opportunity. Given his age and the span of his career, seeing him live is not just a concert experience but a brush with musical history—something to tell the grandkids about.

Gym Class Heroes 
The Fillmore | September 22nd

Visiting The Fillmore on September 22nd is Gym Class Heroes, an American alternative hip-hop band known for their genre-blending style. Formed in Geneva, New York, in 1997, the band incorporates elements of hip-hop, rock, and pop into their music. Their 2006 album, "As Cruel as School Children," featured the hit single "Cupid's Chokehold," which sampled Supertramp's classic "Breakfast in America." The song became a massive hit, topping charts in several countries and catapulting Gym Class Heroes to international stardom.


Ludacris + Lil Jon + Juvenile 
State Fairgrounds | September 23rd

The following night, September 23rd, the State Fairgrounds will be the backdrop for the 97.9 Block Party featuring Ludacris, Lil Jon, and Juvenile. Ludacris burst onto the hip-hop scene in the late 1990s with his independently produced album "Incognegro." Quickly catching the attention of Def Jam South, he released his major-label debut, "Back for the First Time," in 2000. The album featured hit singles like "What's Your Fantasy" and "Southern Hospitality," catapulting Ludacris into the spotlight and establishing him as a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop community. Known for his rapid-fire lyrical flow and charismatic stage presence, Ludacris has since become a multi-faceted entertainer, branching out into acting while continuing to make a significant impact on the music industry.

Lil Jon, born Jonathan Smith, is an American rapper, producer, and DJ who became a prominent figure in the early 2000s, largely credited with popularizing the crunk music genre. Known for his energetic stage presence and signature shouts of "Yeah!", "Okay!", and "What?", Lil Jon gained fame as the frontman for the group Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz before venturing into a successful solo career. His collaborations with artists like Usher on "Yeah!" and collaborations with the Ying Yang Twins on "Get Low" have solidified his place in hip-hop history. Beyond music, Lil Jon has also dabbled in acting and business, but it's his indelible impact on the rap and hip-hop scenes that make him a lasting cultural icon.

Juvenile, a rapper hailing from New Orleans, burst onto the hip-hop scene in the late 1990s with his groundbreaking album "400 Degreez," which featured the iconic hit "Back That Azz Up." Known for his gritty lyrics and Southern flow, Juvenile became a key figure in the Dirty South movement, contributing to the mainstream acceptance of the subgenre. Over the years, he has released multiple albums and collaborated with various artists, solidifying his place as a veteran in the hip-hop community. With a career spanning over two decades, Juvenile remains a relevant force, continually evolving while staying true to his roots.

The Psychedelic Furs 
The Fillmore | September 23rd

On September 23rd, The Fillmore will host The Psychedelic Furs, a British post-punk and new wave band that has been a topic of conversation for years. Formed in London in 1977, the band's breakthrough came with their second album, "Talk Talk Talk," released in 1981. The album featured the hit single "Pretty in Pink," which later inspired the title and soundtrack for the 1986 John Hughes film of the same name. While the movie version of the song was re-recorded, the original track remains one of The Psychedelic Furs' most iconic songs, making them a band worth exploring for those who haven't yet delved into their discography.

The Fillmore | September 27th

Closing out the month at The Fillmore on September 27th is Macklemore, who, along with producer Ryan Lewis, gained international fame with their debut studio album, "The Heist," in 2012. The album was a commercial and critical success, featuring hit singles like "Thrift Shop," "Can't Hold Us," and "Same Love." "Thrift Shop" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned the duo multiple Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. For fans of hip-hop with a pop sensibility, this is a show not to be missed.


Peter Gabriel 
Little Caesars Arena | September 29th

On September 29th, Little Caesars Arena will host the iconic Peter Gabriel, a musician whose career has spanned multiple decades and genres. Initially gaining fame as a member of Genesis during their early progressive rock years, Gabriel contributed to seminal albums like "Trespass," "Nursery Cryme," "Foxtrot," "Selling England by the Pound," and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." He embarked on a solo career in 1975 and achieved massive success with hits like "In Your Eyes," "Solsbury Hill," "Sledgehammer," and "Don't Give Up." For fans of both classic rock and innovative pop, Peter Gabriel's concert promises to be a memorable experience.

Neon Trees 
St. Andrews Hall | September 30th

Closing out the month on September 30th at St. Andrews is Neon Trees, an American alternative rock band from Provo, Utah. Formed in 2005, the band gained widespread recognition in the late 2000s and early 2010s with their catchy, energetic, and radio-friendly sound. Known for their dynamic live performances, Neon Trees have garnered a reputation for delivering a great show. The band's name, inspired by the neon signs in their hometown, reflects their vibrant and electrifying stage presence.


As the final chords of September's musical odyssey reverberate through the Motor City, one thing is clear: Metro Detroit has proven itself to be a pulsating heartland of diverse sounds and unforgettable performances. From living legends like Willie Nelson. Rob Zombie and Aerosmith to the modern maestros like Macklemore, Shinedown b and Neon Trees, this month has been nothing short of a sonic feast for the soul. So, as the autumn leaves begin to fall, let the memories of these electrifying nights be the soundtrack to your season. Metro Detroit, you've not just heard the music; you've felt it, lived it, and for a glorious month, you've been part of a universal rhythm that knows no bounds. Until the next encore, keep the vibe alive and the speakers loud.


Posted by Michael Perna on
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