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From Lizzo to Carly Rae Jepsen, here are fall’s can’t-miss concerts

Carly Rae Jepsen performs at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Carly Rae Jepsen performs at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

The concert calendar is back to normal. Scratch that. The concert calendar is better than normal.

The MGM Music Hall next to Fenway Park is open (with a full fall slate from Demi Lovato to Jeff Beck to Arcade Fire). The TD Garden will present 10 concerts this autumn starting with Post Malone and wrapping up with Andrea Bocelli. Clubs, bars, theaters and lounges of every size and stripe will be crowded with ace acts.

So what’s the can’t-miss stuff? Glad you asked.

New Order and Pet Shop Boys, Leader Bank Pavilion, Sept. 19

Greatest tag team since Hulk Hogan and Mr. T? Yes. Legacies that have aged better than Hulk Hogan and Mr. T? Definitely. This will be synthpop heaven with heavyweights New Order and Pet Shop Boys — two acts who never gave up on innovating dark discotheque jams.

Carly Rae Jepsen, Sept. 26, Roadrunner

With respect to Dua Lipa, Carly is the queen of candy-coated, shut-up-and-dance pop. Yes, yes, 90% of the world only knows “Call Me Maybe.” But go spin “Run Away from Me” from 2015’s “Emotion” or “Now That I Found You” from 2019’s “Dedicated” or the slammin’-n-funky new single “Move Me” or … Trust in the beat and believe in CRJ.

Japanese Breakfast, Sept. 29, Roadrunner

It’s hard to match sappy string sections with big, buzzing beats. Rather, it’s hard for people who aren’t Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner. Strings, ringing guitars, washes of echo and Zauner’s dreamy vocals combine in this smart, feverish indie pop band. Shorthand: Yo La Tengo opens the show, that’s how much faith the underground rock community puts in the skills and style of Zauner.

Lizzo, Sept. 30, TD Garden

In a minute (actually in a couple of weeks), Lizzo is gonna need a couple thousand sentimental men and women to pump her up. About damn time we got an arena spectacle from the pop-r&b-hip-hop champion.

L’Rain, Sept. 30, Institute of Contemporary Art

Taja Cheek, aka L’Rain, bends and blends genres. No, wait, that’s too reductive. The multi-instrumentalist experiments with streams of jazz, soul, gospel and electronica then washes the creations in marvelous avant-garde impulses and adds little pop calculations. Cheek’s music is unexpected but familiar, jarring but not alienating, hard to define but easy to love. This ICA event is like nothing else this fall, or year.

Ali McGuirk, Oct. 7, Crystal Ballroom, Somerville

McGuirk is about to go global. Well, more global — she did tour Europe with Session Americana earlier in 2022. Boston’s very own indie soul singer-songwriter has signed with Massachusetts’ Signature Sounds, the record label behind the boom of Lake Street Dive. With all the hooks of LSD but more earthy tenderness and smart introspection, McGuirk will be the Bay State’s next big export.

Sudan Archives, Oct. 10, the Sinclair, Cambridge

Singer, songwriter, producer and violinist Brittney Parks makes music as Sudan Archives. That music can look to the past — see the North African-style of violin that appears on 2019 debut “Athena.” But it can also be strikingly futuristic. New single “Home Maker” mixes a chill vibe with the click and thump of modern club music.

Brandi Carlile, Oct. 21, TD Garden

Rock on the big stage is dead? Well, what about Brandi Carlile? She’s the biggest rock star of 2022, the baddest singer-songwriter of 2022, the coolest folk artist of 2022, the future of country music, and on and on and on.

Rina Sawayama, Nov. 4, Roadrunner

It’s hard to tell if Rina Sawayama is trying to add a little weirdness to the straight pop of Carly and Dua or trying to subtract a dash of strangeness from Lady Gaga and Robyn. Maybe we all dance for two solid hours at Roadrunner and decide after getting kicked out?

Beabadoobee, Dec 4, Roadrunner

Bea keeps diving deeper into her love of ’90s rock. And with each fresh splash, she’s gotten bigger. The Philippines-born, London-raised singer-songwriter-guitarist coos and crescendos like the best of them. Cut with an eye toward smart songcraft, new album “Beatopia” will dazzle fans of Juliana Hatfield, the Cardigans and the Beths.



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