Metro Weekly

I.M.P. presents Bent, Bob, Bianca (& more) this fall

All the highlights from the 9:30 Club, Lincoln Theatre, Anthem, and Merriweather Post Pavilion

Big Freedia
Big Freedia

After nearly 18 months, if you’re ready to rock out in public with fellow fans of your favorite bands at your favorite music venue, you’re hardly alone. Fortunately, many venues are ready to welcome you back — so long as you adhere to heightened social distancing policies similar to those recently instituted at the 9:30 Club, the Lincoln Theatre, the Anthem, and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

All four venues, overseen by I.M.P. Productions, mandate the wearing of masks indoors for everyone at all times except while actively eating or drinking. Furthermore, to gain entry, all adults are required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. (In the rare instance a doctor-certified medical exception is granted, the unvaccinated guest must also show proof of a negative test within the past 48 hours.)

As further incentive to get the shot and wear the mask, there are an impressive number of LGBTQ acts coming this fall to all three I.M.P.-run venues in D.C. By our count, there are at least a baker’s dozen of LGBTQ performers currently listed with ticket availability. First out of the gate at the 9:30 Club, on Saturday, Sept. 4, is the return of the mega LGBTQ dance party Bent, featuring a powerful lineup of DJs, including Lemz, Natty Boom, Wes, JJ202, and Sidekick. Pussy Noir will host alongside special guest Rye Rye and Blaq Milk, Rigatoni, and Bumper will perform.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Bob Mould Band, led by the former D.C. resident and gay alt-rock pioneer, arrives in touring mode to support Blue Hearts, last year’s timely and angsty studio album. The LGBTQ lineup continues with Tinashe, the bisexual-identified R&B artist also known for portraying Mimi in Fox’s Rent: Live (10/3); The Aces, the promising indie-pop female fourpiece with two sisters and three queer members (12/10); and Laura Jane Grace, the prominent transgender Against Me! punk rocker who will open for post-hardcore band Yesterday (12/29).

A few blocks away at the Lincoln, you can still snag tickets to see Bianca del Rio, the Drag Race-winning queen of insult comedy (9/16); Kany Garcia, the multi-Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter from Puerto Rico (9/24); Big Freedia, the New Orleans Queen of Bounce whose local show will feature DJ Lemz (9/29); Adrianne Lenker, the queer Midwestern-reared folk singer-songwriter who also leads indie-rock band Big Thief (11/13); and a holiday show from Drag Race alums Bendelacreme & Jinkx Monsoon (12/18).

Meanwhile, over at The Anthem, tickets remain for Kesha, the pansexual-identified pop star touring with D.C.-popular indie-pop starlet Betty Who (9/8); Rufus Wainwright & José González, an intriguing pairing of two global stars, both musical polymaths and multi-genre dynamos (9/28); Kaytranada, the gay Haitian-Canadian DJ who racked up two Grammys this year, including Best Dance/Electronica Album for Bubba (10/13); and the Brothers Osborne, the Maryland-reared country duo featuring lead singer and newly out heartthrob T.J. (11/19).

Broadening the search to recommend another dozen acts with significant LGBTQ appeal, consider, among those coming to the 9:30 Club, the power-piped soul-pop artist and regular Sara Bareilles-collaborator Emily King (9/15), the Australian power-pop trio Middle Kids (9/22), D.C.’s amusingly named indie-soul band Oh He Dead (9/25), soft-voiced yet edgy, independent-minded alt-pop chanteuse Verité (11/15), and 2018 Capital Pride Mainstage performer and former Nickelodeon star MAX (11/18).

Brothers Osborne
Brothers Osborne

The Lincoln presents British folk-rock star Passenger (10/26), politically progressive country-rock sextet Delta Rae (11/8), and New York ambient/avant-garde electro-pop artist Caroline Polachek (12/3). And the Anthem has the veteran Wisconsin-originating acoustic punk rock band Violent Femmes (9/26), the ’80s-minted Australian/British “neoclassical dark wave” duo Dead Can Dance (10/11), Oklahoma City’s idiosyncratic psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips (11/16), and the Scottish female-led dramatic synth-pop trio CHVRCHES (11/30).

For more information on all these show and ticket availability and pricing, visit

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