The Short List: FRB Staff Concert Picks of the Week (May 27-June 3)

Each week, Front Row Boston’s staff gives you our Short List: the bands and musicians in and around town we think you should hear.

Friday, 5/27 through Sunday, 5/29 – Boston Calling – City Hall Plaza

We’ve got Boston Calling covered from a number of angles this week. And rightfully so. This biannual jamboree on City Hall Plaza features its most musically diverse lineup in its four year history this weekend, and it deserves a lot of writing. We’ll have you covered all weekend with daily recaps, photo galleries, and a couple of wrap-ups next weekend. But self-interest be damned, why read what we have to say when you can be there yourself? We’ll see you on the Plaza.

Thursday, 6/2  – Con Brio – Brighton Music Hall

A first listen to Con Brio, the San Francisco soul/funk ensemble, suggests their Bay Area forebears Tower of Power as well as contemporary soul revivalists ranging from to Leon Bridges to Black Joe Lewis. The slow-burn groove that owes as much to Philly and Muscle Shoals as it does to the legacy of Bay funk is what’s new in Con Brio’s style. The horn arrangements are well-appointed, and the scratch-groove guitars layer on top of thumping bass and an in-the-pocket backbeat groove. And that doesn’t even get to frontman  Ziek McCarter’s seductive ebullience and ease at the mic. Brighton Music Hall will sweat on Thursday, with  Boston’s own The New Review supporting the headliners.

Friday, 6/3 – Chvrches – House of Blues

The synth pop trio from Glasgow seem to create some of the most shimmering and glossy pop without going so saccharine as to turn off the indie crowd. That’s no rare feat, and it feeds the troughs of poptimist critics — present company included — to Take Pop Seriously. Their latest singles are staples of pop radio, and “Leave a Trace” is FRB’s nomination for Ear Worm of the Year for 2015. Chvrches plays two nights at the House of Blues next weekend, and their set will be a welcome cure to the post-Boston Calling hangover. With a modern-day Liz Phair/Elastica sound, Potty Mouth supports and balances the ticket with some post-Riot Grrrl rock.