Since the decade is coming to a close and we get to hit a new big refresh once the year turns over, it’s time to let loose and have some fun in the meantime. What better way to do so than indulging in the best music Columbus has to offer? Starting the fun, Safety Squad’s funky release show and The Floorwalkers’ annual holiday excursion are two shows where you can escape the holiday stress and get lost in some amazing jams. Paisha Thomas and Sarob will also be around in December to warm hearts as well, this time with a touch of soul. Or you could always enjoy a trio of Columbus’ best rock acts at The Shrunken Head. Whatever your cup of tea is, there are plenty of chances to get down and enjoy yourself with some of the premier local talents before 2019 wraps up.
Read more below on the local concerts you need to bookmark in December.
Soul Sunday: Paisha Thomas @ Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
There may not be a more fitting pick for Natalie’s Soul Sunday series than singer-songwriter Paisha Thomas, especially due to the fact that she emcees the event the first Sunday of every month. Joining Paisha for the performance—which she is describing as “Ohio River soul vibe combining influences from gospel, funk, folk and early country music”—will be Stan Smith (guitar), James Gaiters (drums), Jake Young (banjo), Nic Lacey (violin), Robert Mason (keyboard) and Phil Maneri (bass). Soul Sunday also includes brunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. with performances by the Derek DiCenzo TRio and the Gospel Soul Brunch.
Time: 8 p.m. | Date: Sunday, Dec. 1 | Address: 5601 N. High St., Worthington | Admission: $12 reserved / $10 GA
The Turbos / Girl Fox / Courtney From Work @ The Shrunken Head
Aside from being the most stacked lineup on this month’s concert breakdown, this show will also serve as The Turbos’ first home turf performance since coming back from a two-month third leg of their 2019 tour. Hometown heroes, alternative rockers Girl Fox and Courtney from Work—who released their first full length earlier this May—will be holding down The Shrunken Head as well. Being a bastion for some of the best local rock acts for some time now, it makes sense that these three groups are playing a show together at The Shrunken Head.
Time: Doors 8 p.m. | Date: Friday, Dec. 6 | Address: 251 W. 5th Ave. | Admission: $10
Sarob @ The Basement
Named to the 2018 roster of the Columbus Alive Bands to Watch list, hip-hop and soul musician Sarob has been a big part of the local music conversation since he dropped his debut EP in 2017. Returning to The Basement after headlining a 2018 show, Sarob will again be accompanied by his ever-popular band and background singers. Being able to switch styles from song to song and even within songs, Sarob is one of the most versatile budding artists in Columbus. Make sure to check out the crooner’s most recent single, “Where,” in anticipation of his show.
Time: Doors 7 p.m. | Date: Saturday, Dec. 7 | Address: 391 Neil Ave. | Admission: $12 adv. / $15 DOS
Safety Squad ALBUM release @ Woodlands Tavern
Safety Squad has been one of the most amusing parts of the Columbus music scene over the past four or so years. After dropping the eight-minute adventure “Bear Fight” this past October, you can most likely expect more groovy and passionate tunes from the group’s upcoming six-song project. The group’s take on jazz is one of the most unique around town and is best enjoyed live. Joining Safety Squad for the album drop is six-piece funk outfit Funk Worthy.
Time: Doors 8 p.m. | Date: Friday, Dec. 13 | Address: 1200 W. 3rd Ave. | Admission: $10
The Floorwalkers Annual Holiday Show @ Rumba Cafe
What is becoming the essential Columbus holiday show, The Floorwalkers have been bringing their soulful spirit to Rumba Cafe every December for a few years now. A true local grassroots story, The Floorwalkers consist of some of the most talented and well-versed musicians around town. The Cleveland-born, Columbus-bred group has only played a handful of shows in 2019, however, they usually thrive during the end-of-the-year holiday stretch. With that said, don’t miss your chance to see them before the year’s end at either (or both) of these shows, performances that will surely leave you in good spirits yourself.
Time: Doors 8 p.m. | Date: Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21 | Address: 2507 Summit St. | Admission: $15 / U21 pays additional $2
Sgt. Peppercorn’s 10th Annual Marathon @ The Bluestone
You read it right. Celebrating a decade of Sgt. Peppercorn’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—a The Beatles tribute group consisting of Columbus musicians—the gang is once again back to pull off a 12-hour marathon of all of the Fab Four’s officially released music in chronological order. Beginning with the debut studio album Please Please Me and ending with Abbey Road sometime around midnight, this is a unique performance that you need to check out at least once in your lifetime. The 215-song performance will also feature solo material and rarities that will without a doubt get some of the super fans going.
Time: 12 p.m. | Date: Saturday, Dec. 21 | Address: 583 E. Broad St. | Admission: $25