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SEVEN IN SEVEN: Flaming Lips, Polyphia among this week’s best concert bets

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WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media

Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday we take a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock and roll, jazz, heavy metal, singer-songwriter or indie, there’ll always be something to check out in the coming days.
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning Feb. 26:
Ro James – Feb. 26 at The Foundry
Living in Indiana, Ro James faced a devastating breakup, decided to put his heartache to music and made the move to New York City. The R&B singer adjusted to big city life with his funky, individual style radiating throughout a competitive music scene. Led by his influences, which range from Lenny Kravitz to D’Angelo to Johnny Cash to Prince and the gospel music he grew up singing in his dad’s churches, James put out his debut LP Eldorado last May, and then embarked on a summer tour with Maxwell. Now he’s headlining, ready to take his career to another level.

SOUNDCHECK
Listen to these tunes:
Ro James – “Permission”
Polyphia – “Euphoria”
Black Atlass – “Paris”
Save Ferris – “The World Is New”
Anvil – “Metal on Metal”
The Knocks – Trouble [Feat. Absofacto]
Flaming Lips – “Do You Realize?”

Polyphia – Feb. 28 at The Foundry
Blending technical, weaving instrumentations with surprising hip-hop, jazz and R&B influenced grooves, Polyphia has created an impressive sound that is all their own, coming closest to progressive metal. At an average age of just over 21-years old, the group established themselves early on as a force to be reckoned with as a band that holds a truly massive amount of potential. The Dallas, Texas based instrumental outfit last year released their sophomore effort, Renaissance, material of which they’ll be showcasing at the Foundry gig.
Black Atlass – March 2 at Voltage Lounge
Black Atlass is the creation and alter ego of young singer, songwriter and producer Alex Fleming. The Ontario youngster has built a carefully crafted body of work, delivered it to the world, and has quickly turned from one of the underground’s best kept secret to a traveling from dance floors to runways across the globe. He brings together hip-hop, synthesizers and R&B elements for a unique sound that drew in the attention of Louis Vuitton, who licensed “Paris,” one of Fleming’s songs, for a short-film the top-tier fashion house was putting together. Not a bad way to start for someone who started out posting YouTube videos of himself hoping someone would notice.
Save Ferris – March 2 at Underground Arts
One of the more popular acts to ride the mid-to-late 90s ska revival wave with a hint of punk was Save Ferris. Taking their name from the hit 80s film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the Los Angeles based outfit had a hit with a remake of the Dexys Midnight Runners’ classic “Come on Eileen.” Having built a dedicated fanbase, it was a major disappointment when they called it a day in 2003. Thankfully, a decade later, Save Ferris brought back the ska-punk for adoring audiences and continue to this day, showing no signs of slowing down.
Anvil – March 4 at Johnny Brenda’s
Nine years ago, when the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! was released, there were a lot of people who thought they were getting punked. What other explanation could there be to have a band that hardly anyone heard of getting accolades from the likes of Slash and Metallica, having played in front of millions of people, who made missteps that make Spinal Tap look like a drama and were then floundering in obscurity? It was all true though, and what the film did was bring attention to the Canadian metal outfit that just never had a break come their way. Now, with some recognition, audiences are realizing just how good Anvil were – and still are.
The Knocks – March 4 at The Foundry
The Knocks are one of the most buzzed-about electronic acts these days – hands down. The duo made up of James “JPatt” Patterson and Ben “DJ B-Roc” Ruttner are turning the genre on its ear. JPatt’s background in soul and funk and B-Roc’s years spent immersed in trip-hop and hip-hop beats have allowed them to quickly ascend the production ranks. Jet-setting around the globe for DJ gigs, the duo have shared stages with the likes of M.I.A., Ellie Goulding, Two Door Cinema Club and Chromeo. 2016 was a breakout year for them, as the pair was not only selling out headlining shows; they were the direct support on Justin Bieber’s European leg of his Purpose tour. Back to headlining, the Knocks are promoting their ridiculously danceable single, “Trouble.”
The Flaming Lips – March 4 at The Fillmore
There’s no act that comes close to the combination of musicianship and theatrics pulled off by the

The Flaming Lips
Photo by George Salisbury

Flaming Lips. The band has cornered the market on over the top concerts from singer Wayne Coyne’s plastic ball, which he climbs into and walks out over the crowd, to the more tame streamers and confetti that fall throughout the show. Last month, the band released their latest album, Oczy Mlody. It’s their 14th effort and like so many others in their catalog, received rave reviews for its blend of dreamy pop and experimental rock.

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