When you’ve been—as some of my friends put it—”writing about bands that nobody’s heard of” for a few years, you start to get a little angry when people ignore the free or cheap musical opportunities all around them. It’s summer. If you live in Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, there’s at least one free, outdoor concert series in your town. Go to it. Love it.
“But Jordan, it won’t stop raining. How am I supposed to see free music outside when it’s pouring out.” Well, you could go to an event like Free First Fridays, the new series over at Raleigh’s Pour House Music Hall. Corresponding with the popular Raleigh arts night that also happens on the First Friday of every month, the shows begin at 10 p.m., so attendees can mozy over after getting their fill of other distractions. Each month, the series presents one reliably entertaining local band that will play for you free-of-charge.
The music this month comes from Toon and The Real Laww. This pairing of Durham rappers manages energy that’s catchy and accessible while never forsaking an insistent and gritty intensity. Better still, they’ll be playing the Pour House with their powerful live band, a tight ensemble that manages to make their songs even more seductive and charming. In August, popular Cary ska outfit The Archbishops of Blount Street will play. Raleigh’s annual Hopscotch Music Festival conflicts with the September date, so there is no Free First Friday scheduled.