This week saw everyone in Moscow shiver in the face of the first real cold spell of the winter season. And while the snowfall does help with making the city feel more festive and Christmas-ready, it also makes people cold, traffic worse and just generally dampens spirits. But instead of giving in to the winter blues, I say we fight it — with some great live shows that are in town this weekend. Are you ready?
Friday night has some Celtic flavor, because Flatfoot 56 are in Moscow. This Celtic punk band from Chicago will be bringing their signature Scottish Highlands bagpipe sounds to the stage as part of their month-long tour of Europe and Russia. They are supporting their fifth studio album, "Toil," released in the summer of 2012 to critical acclaim. Flatfoot 56 was formed back in 2000 by three brothers — Tobin, Justin and Kyle Bawinkel, who wasted no time — they started writing songs in the fall of 2000, and were already holding concerts by Christmas that same year. The bagpipes that came to symbolize the band and their style, however, did not come into play until Josh Robieson did, in 2001. After that, the band members hit their stride and recorded both albums and EPs, including their most successful album, "Knuckles Up." Their songs have made it into various charts, including the Billboard 200, and featured in several popular television shows like "Sons of Anarchy." Many also consider the band to be one third of the unofficial 'big three' of Celtic punk, alongside Flogging Molly, who came to Moscow earlier this year, and Dropkick Murphys. So if punk is your scene and you love the sound of bagpipes, this is one show you will not want to miss. Flatfoot 56 are taking to the stage at Plan B club at 7 p.m.
As usual, Saturday will see clubbers hit various spots across the capital because the choices are endless. But most of the focus will probably be on Space, the legendary Ibiza venue that is opening in Moscow this weekend with the help of none other than Tiesto, one of the most well-known DJs in the world. The Dutchman will entrance Moscow with electrohouse and progressive trance beats, so if that sounds like something you would like to experience first-hand, head on over to Space Moscow at 10 p.m. The venue is located at 36 Kutuzovsky Prospekt.
If you are looking for something more rock, however, there is only one place for you to be this Saturday — the Rossia concert hall, because that is where Zemfira is holding her end-of-tour gig, and you can expect it to be nothing short of epic. The Rossia has one of the best sound and light systems in the country; add that to Zemfira's talent and drive for perfection, and you are guaranteed a fantastic night. Tickets were, sadly, sold out a long time ago, so unless you thought ahead, you probably won't make the actual gig — unless you are prepared to buy them off the somewhat shady characters selling tickets outside concert venues just before an event. But the good news is, the demand for her show was so high, Zemfira has arranged to stream the entire concert live on her YouTube page. This in itself is a novelty: Streaming gigs live is relatively new to Russian musicians, but then again, there are not that many who can sell out a stadium two days in a row. The bottom line is, even if you don't have tickets, you can still enjoy the show and the atmosphere, all you have to do is log on to YouTube at 8 p.m., and the lucky ticket holders need to make their way to Luzhniki Stadium around the same time.
Rounding off the weekend will be one Vanessa Mae. Remember her? Insanely popular in Russia a few years ago, the British violinist is back in town with a new show called "The Princess of Violin in the Theater of Dreams," accompanied by a philharmonic orchestra and mixed choir. Her music style is often described as "violin techno-acoustic fusion." A former child prodigy, Mae became a successful crossover violinist with album sales reaching several million, making her the wealthiest young entertainer in Britain in 2006. Vanessa promises to put on a magical show, complete with ballet dancers, actors, beautiful stage decorations and visual effects, so go check it out! She is performing at Crocus City Hall on Sunday, and the show kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets start at 900 rubles.
And that's our weekend, ladies and gentlemen! As always, lots to choose from, so don't dawdle — go out and do something fun!