It’s another inconspicuous August weekend in the Baltic states — the last one of summer, in fact. But while September looks action-packed, August is going out with more of a whimper than a bang.
The biggest names on are the loop-happy Australian street performer Dub FX, Brit folkie Sol Invictus and indie rock sensation Alina Orlova, who plays regularly in her native Lithuania as it is. Estonia has a number of electronic music events going on featuring regional DJs and Latvia has some choir shows.
So as I wrote last weekend, I recommend heading out of town to enjoy the summer weather in the Baltic countryside where the region’s soul resides, deep in the lakes and forests. The temperature has noticeably cooled off from the heat wave at the beginning of the month. It’s only going to get colder.
Another Lithuania rock music festival in the countryside featuring a bevy of talented regional acts like Bix, Skyforger and Viy as well as Brit folkies Sol Invictus, whose pagan convictions will fit in well here. In an excellent example of how Lithuanian concert organizers find ways to not make money, tickets were limited to a meager 1,000 and are unfortunately sold out. However, the organizers left a vague message on the website about how “important foreign guests” may be able to get tickets, so go to the website and either talk yourself up or offer to pay a bit extra and perhaps you’ll be able to get one. How degrading.
Aug. 28, 8 p.m.
Ramybė Club, Palanga
Palanga’s Ramybė Club, which has done a far superior job of booking top acts than almost all Vilnius venues, bring one of Lithuania’s best-recognized artists abroad Alina Orlova on Saturday, doing her cool indie folkie poetry thang. Easily the best thing happening on the coast this week. Tickets: 30 litai (€8.60)
Aug. 29, 5 p.m.
“Nostalgic Bossa Nova”
Šešuolėliai Estate, Širvintos
Hoping to bring a little tropical zazz to the usual Balt sourpuss stupor, a local troupe of classically-trained musicians is putting on their “Nostalgic Bossa Nova” show for the second time this summer. Performing in the beautiful Šešuolėliai Estate in Širvintos, perhaps you’ll find your own “girl from Ipanema” if you don’t already have a date for the romantic locale.
Aug. 27, 9:30 p.m.
Spīķeri Concert Hall, Riga
After putting on an solid line-up of very interesting artists all summer, the Spīķeri Concert Hall in Riga’s warehouse district continues to impress this weekend with two shows, the first being the “Electric Dreams” show which combines a full choir and electronic music for some avant-garde sounds. Tickets: 5-7 lats (€7-€10)
Until Sept. 6
Sacred Music Festival
St. Peter’s Church, Latvia
Riga’s ongoing Sacred Music Festival has a gala event Saturday with the Latvian State Choir and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra performing Verdi and Rossini. Tickets: 5-20 lats (€7-€28)
Aug. 28, 9 p.m.
Spīķeri Concert Hall
Spīķeri’s second show of the weekend is more far-out sounds from the Latvian group Instrumenti who cut and paste musical scenes together using electronic programming and electronic instruments ranging from the guitar to cello to harpsichord all while dressed as Muppets and panda bears. Certainly psychedelic, but it doesn’t drift, there’s emotion and purpose to the “songs.” If you like Björk or the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request album this will be right up your alley — check the video to see what I mean. Tickets: 5-15 lats (€7-€21)
Aug. 27, 9 p.m.
Club Cat House, Tallinn
A group of Ukrainian and Russian DJs as well as some locals are spinning at the Club Cat House in Tallinn on Friday under the KaZantip banner, which if you haven’t heard of it is the wildest electronic music festival in Eastern Europe, held on a beach in Ukraine each summer. Shame if you missed it as it blew away anything happening in the Baltics this summer for electronic music, but here’s a taste. Tickets: 150-350 krooni (€€9.60-€22.40)
Sept. 1, 9 p.m.
Berlin’s DJ Alex Fisher and Vladislav Delay as well as a plethora of local DJs are spinning at the one-day Eclectica Festival in Tartu on Wednesday. Welcome back students! Tickets: 150 krooni (€9.60)
Sept. 1, 7 p.m.
Rock Cafe, Tallinn
Aussie madman Benjamin Stanford, otherwise known as Dub FX makes a stop in Estonia to do his too-cool-to-be-true live looping shows, where he samples and loops his own voice live to produce what you could call acappella dubstep. Tickets: 135-250 krooni (€8.60-€16)