Summer in Japan means peak festival season, with Fuji Rock, Summer Sonic and a number of smaller festivals all happening around the same time. However, festivals aren’t for everyone — for some they’re too expensive; for others, they’re just too big. We’ve compiled a select list of July concerts happening around Tokyo which are more convenient, relatively intimate and in most cases cheaper.

dimitrifromparis

Dimitri from Paris
July 5

The eccentric Frenchman returns to Tokyo for a night at Shibuya club Contact. Famous for his seminal debut album Sacrebleu! he’s branched out recently into disco, remixes, contemporary house music and soundtracks for fashion houses around the globe. Dimitri values performance, preferring intimate club gig environment rather than larger festival shows, so it’s good news for house fans on a budget who want to experience Dimitri’s genre-blurring sets and fluid blends of mainstream and underground. Good times are guaranteed.

10pm
¥1,000 – ¥3,500
Contact
2-10-12 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
Shibuya

 

July Recommends

The Wedding Present
July 9 — 10

Leeds indie legends The Wedding Present arrive in Tokyo for two shows. July 9 at Zher the Zoo Yoyogi and Tsutaya O-Nest on July 10. The Yoyogi gig is scheduled to be a trip through the band’s expansive back catalogue while the O-Nest concert will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their widely praised Bizarro album. Frontman David Gedge has told us that, despite the change in members over the years, he thinks the lineup will recreate the feel and mood of the original album pretty accurately. So if you’re a long-term fan, prepare for a kick of nostalgia.

7:30pm
¥5,800
July 9 at Zher the Zoo
1-30-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Yoyogi

and

July 10 at Tsutaya O-Nest
2-3 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku
Shibuya

 

mitsume

mitsume
July 10

Four-member indie rock band mitsume formed in Tokyo back in 2009. Since then, they have experimented with blends of laidback guitar melodies and simple beats; supported bands such as Summer Camp and Ykiki Beat, and earned themselves a place in the mainstream music scene. The band released their latest album, Ghosts, earlier this year and will be introducing some of its new tracks at Tokyo’s Liquidroom this month.

Open: 6:30pm. Start: 7:30pm
Advance tickets: ¥3,500
Liquidroom
3-16-6 Higashi, Shibuya-ku
Ebisu

 

chinese football, emo, post punnk, Japanese tour, chinese music

Chinese Football
July 21 — 23

Summer Sonic 2018 welcomed Chinese hip hop group Higher Brothers, which turned out to be one of the highlights of the festival. Although the Asian music scene has been gaining more traction over the last few years, it hasn’t reached its peak – just yet. Chinese Football, who owe a lot to legendary emo band american football, is a post punk/indie rock band from Wuhan, China. The band is returning to Japan for its third tour of the country alongside Owen (frontman) from american football acting as support act for the final date of the tour. This is the very first time that american football and Chinese Football will play together. For music lovers into Yo La Tengo, toe and Ghost and Vodka, this is an unmissable event.   

July 21
Open: 4:30pm. Start: 5pm
Advanced tickets: ¥3,000. Door: ¥3,500
Lush Shibuya
1-10-7 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku

July 23
Open: 6:30pm. Start: 7pm
Advanced tickets: ¥3,500. Door: ¥4,000
Live House Fever
1-1-14 Hanegi, Setagaya-ku
Shindaita

 

Luby Sparks

Luby Sparks
July 22

Luby Sparks’s eponymous debut album made sizeable waves in the indie scene when it was released last year. The young band from Tokyo are regulars on the Tokyo livehouse circuit and their sound recalls the output of acclaimed British label 4AD. Fans of shoegaze, indie rock and dream pop should give them a listen.
Doors open at 6:30pm

¥3,500
Live House Fever
1-1-14 Hanegi, Setagaya-ku
Shindaita

JanelleMonae_A5_2_0719

Janelle Monae
July 24

Janelle Monae requires no introduction. After storming the last day of Glastonbury this summer, the American pop diva will be coming to Japan to perform at Fuji Rock for the first time ever. Before that though, she’s taking some time to get to know Tokyo with a concert in ZeppDiverCity on July 24. The set will include songs from her new album, Dirty Computer, as well as old favorites from her previous albums.

6pm – 11pm
¥7,500
Zepp DiverCity
1-1-10 Aomi, Koto-ku
Tokyo Teleport

 

tokyo summer music events in july

Jason Mraz
July 29

Jason Mraz and his simple melodies have soothed their way into many pop fans’ hearts since the beginning of his career. The singer-turned-actor is taking time off the stage at Broadway to return to his roots for an extensive tour that includes Fuji Rock Festival and a concert at Nakano Sun Plaza, a venue which promises to be more appropriate for his feel-good, acoustic tunes. There are still some tickets available even though Japan Concert Tickets marks them as sold out, but they will no doubt sell fast.

Open: 6:30pm. Start: 7:30pm
¥9,000 – ¥12,000
Nakano Sun Plaza
4-1-1 Nakano, Nakano-ku
Nakano

 

weezer

And here’s one to consider in August:

Weezer
August 14

Weezer has as many super fans as it has critics, but whether you’re one or the other, its 90s hits are probably already playing in your head as you read this. Before the band’s appearance in Summer Sonic, it will be playing at Toyosu PIT. This is the perfect chance to catch the band and its reminiscent Californian rhythms in a proper venue, without having to rush through their set or compete with other stages for its sound to come across the crowd. Tickets are expected to sell out fast so don’t hang around.

August 14
6:30pm
¥ 8,000
Toyosu PIT
6-1-23 Toyosu, Koto-ku
Toyosu or Shijo-Mae

*At the time of publication, these concerts still have tickets available through various sites and resale avenues.