Iowa City Weekender: April 4-7

Emily Wells
Emily Wells is one of many artists featured in “The Drums Inside Your Chest.”

In the spirit of the Mission Creek Festival, this edition of the Weekender highlights a few of the local musical acts that will be performing around the city this weekend. Oh, but that’s not all! There’s a lot going on in Iowa City over the next few days, so keep reading for details on some exciting non-music events as well. Things are finally heating up outside, so this should be the perfect weekend to get out and enjoy downtown Iowa City.


Sweet ChariotSweet Chariot | Gabe’s | 9:00 p.m. | $12

The Sweet Chariot trio have been playing shows in the Iowa City area for years. Brandon Gassman, Zachary Westerdahl and Jackson Isleib come from local bands like Cop Bar, Ten Grand, Kita and Breakdance. Their collective experience really comes through on their all-instrumental Sweet Chariot Winter 2013 demo. In it, they distill the punk and post-hardcore sounds that characterize many of their previous efforts into what they describe on their website as a mix of doom metal, pop, rock, and sludge. Sweet Chariot would be worth seeing on their own, but with Pallbearer headlining the night, this is definitely a show local metal fans won’t want to miss.


Blackbird | Riverside Theatre | 7:30 p.m. | $15-$28

With all the concerts and other festivities happening this week, it can be easy to forget that there are great, non-Mission-Creek-related events taking place as well. The opening of David Harrower’s play Blackbird, directed by University of Iowa Theatre Arts MFA Margaret Eginton is one such event. In this one-act play, a young woman struggles to come to terms with the emotionally damaging events of her childhood.

The New York Times on David Harrower and “Blackbird”


Mission Boutique | Revival, Catherine’s and RSVP | 3:00-6:00 p.m. | Free

These half-hour acoustic sets bring performances into local businesses, reaching audiences during daylight hours with intimate, one-of-a-kind sets. The shows are all free, making the Boutique a fun and inexpensive way to spend your Saturday afternoon. Be sure and stop by the Iowa Music Store at Revival for albums and artwork from the greatest state on earth.

Visit and enter the code IOWA4EVAH for a free sampler!

3:00 p.m. – Revival
John Lindenbaum

3:30 p.m. – Revival
Golden Birds

4:00 p.m. – Catherine’s
Nora Petran

4:30 p.m. – Catherine’s
Brian Johannesen

5:00 p.m. – RSVP
Billy Blake

5:30 p.m. – RSVP
Fort Raccoon


The Drums Inside Your Chest | Englert Theatre | 7:00 p.m. | 18 and under free, Students $10 Adults $15

The Drums Inside Your Chest is a poetry concert series that features some of the best performance poets from across the country.

For Mission Creek, co-founder Amber Tamblyn brings her “shoulder-shaking heart-charging poetry variety show experience” to Iowa City with a cast featuring some of the world’s most formidable performers, including Patricia Smith, Beau Sia, Rachel McKibbens, Derrick Brown, and Jennifer L. Knox. –via Englert Theatre

As if that weren’t enough of a talent-crammed lineup, multi-instrumentalist Emily Wells will also be performing in collaboration with the readers. Wells joins us on the heels of a celebrated release with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, under the monicker Pillowfight. Here she is performing last month in Switzerland:

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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