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When the pandemic struck, most artists experienced performance withdrawal after COVID-19 forced them off the road. Eric Hilton, one half of the D.C. duo Thievery Corporation, didn’t have that issue. He limited his live appearances years ago and eventually stopped touring altogether. “I didn’t really suffer that way,” admits Hilton, laughing. “In fact, I made three albums in the last year. I have number four ready.” For Hilton, the decision to remove himself from the road was a very easy one. “It’s not creative for me personally because I make music in the studio,” he says. “When we play live, I’m not a live player so I’m there, but I’m not really doing very much. You almost feel like you’re a mascot at that point.” Lucky for us, Hilton has made an exception to this personal rule and will join musical partner Rob Garza when Thievery Corporation play the Entertainment and Sports Arena on July 24. And, for a guy who has avoided performing for the past few years, Hilton sounds borderline giddy when discussing the upcoming show. “We do have a full roster of performers and that is exciting,” says Hilton. “Frankly, I’m just more excited for live music to be returning to D.C. It’s a great milestone.” The duo plays at 8 p.m. on July 24 at Entertainment and Sports Arena, 1100 Oak Dr. SE. thieverycorporation.com. $20–$40.