Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered; here are this week’s top picks for entertainment in the Yakima Valley.
■ The Lightweight Champs, Atlas Radio, Take Back
5-7 p.m. Friday; Off the Record, 1513 Summitview Ave.; free; www.facebook.com/thelightweightchamps, www.facebook.com/takebackisback, www.facebook.com/AtlasRadioBand, www.facebook.com/OffTheRecordYakima, 509-453-8652
One thing that’s absolutely clear about Tacoma power-pop trio The Lightweight Champs is that they have a good time playing. If you saw them last year at Yakima Maker Space (with Gloom and Indigo Kidd), you remember the energy. This is a band with solid pop songcraft and a contagious sense of fun. They’re joined this time around by a pair of local favorites, Atlas Radio and Take Back. The former is a punk-indie hybrid I used to call the best Yakima act you haven’t heard yet. (I say “used to” because you’ve probably heard them now.) The latter is a pop-punk stalwart of the Yakima scene, a band you can rely on for a consistently solid set.
■ Yakima Uncorked
5 p.m. Saturday; Millennium Plaza in downtown Yakima; $15 advance, $20 day of; www.yakimauncorked.com
This event, now in its fifth year, is all about local wine, beer and food. There’s music, too, but it’s not the star of this show. (For the record, it’s Heart by Heart, a Heart tribute band featuring two members of Heart but neither Ann nor Nancy Wilson; and Perfect by Tomorrow, a reggae-jam-band-type outfit whose members are probably very nice people.) The wine on offer is the highlight, including pours from Gilbert Cellars, Fortuity Cellars, Kana Winery and other favorites. And the beer selection ain’t too shabby, either, including Single Hill Brewing, Cowiche Creek Brewing Co. and Ellensburg’s outstanding Whipsaw Brewing, among others. Having all of those local beverage-makers in one spot is plenty enough reason to attend.
■ Shannon Labrie, Alicia Michilli and Emily Otteson
Billed as The Nashville Experience, this show combines three solid Music City singer-songwriters. Labrie is probably the best of them, combining a barroom chanteuse vocal style with straightforward, emotionally rich songs. Michilli, whom you may remember from a 2015 run on “America’s Got Talent,” does more of a soul-pop thing. And she’s got the vocal power to pull it off. Otteson has the sound closest to the classic country you’d expect out of Nashville. But it’s also got elements of folk, gospel and pop-soul. None of the three will disappoint you. And the venue, in the old Creekside West spot, has a great patio for this sort of thing. Could be one of those classic Yakima evenings.
■ Zion I, Equipto, High Step Society, Vocab Slick, DJ True Justice
7 p.m. Saturday; The Seasons Performance Hall, 101 N. Naches Ave.; $16.01, $25, 21 and older only; www.zionicrew.com, www.highstepsociety.com, www.vocabslick.com, www.twitter.com/EQUIPTO, www.facebook.com/justeyecee, www.theseasonsyakima.com, 509-453-1888
The Seasons Performance Hall, founded as a venue for jazz and classical music way back in 2005, has over the years hosted some straight-up great hip-hop shows. This promises to be another. Billed as The Underground Railroad Tour, it brings together a lineup of Bay Area acts that have already found varying degrees of success and seem primed for more. The big name is Zion I, but that’s a little misleading; the Zion I duo that made a splash back in 2000 is now just the rapper and MC Zumbi. Still, he’s a solid, well-regarded artist. The rest of the lineup is a little less well-known outside of the Bay Area but is stocked with the sort of talent that’ll move your spirit. That’s appropriate. Before The Seasons was a jazz and classical venue, it was a church.
■ Kirko Bangz and Devour
Here’s one from the whatever-happened-to-that-guy file. You may remember Kirko Bangz as the Houston rapper who seemed ready to climb all the way to the top of hip-hop mountain back in 2011. His single “Drank in My Cup” blew up, reaching the top of the U.S. rap Billboard chart. But that big-time career never materialized. Bangz has said in interviews that the drank, and his affinity for it, were a big reason why. But he’s cleaned up since then and has gotten back to the studio plenty in the intervening years. And, though he hasn’t had another platinum hit, he’s still a big name with big skills.
— Pat Muir