10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week
Thursday August 25
1. Cultural Club: Duran Duran was washed down last weekend, so fans of MTV-backed 1980s UK New Wave can get their fix with Boy George and his pals (original members Roy Hay and Mikey Craig remain). It’s always a treat to hear “Karma Chameleon”, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”, but half the fun of a Culture Club concert these days is in the unpredictable statements that come out of Boy George’s unfiltered and often sassy mouth. (Mystic Lake Casino showroom at 8 p.m., Prior Lake, $49-$129, ticketmaster.com)
2. Leon Bridges: When he emerged from Houston in 2015, he was a delicious soul man in the spirit of Sam Cooke. It has evolved, as shown in “Gold-Diggers Sound” last year, his third feature film. It favors a relaxed, slowed-down, almost conversational flavor of modern R&B. He received help from jazz stars Robert Glasper and Terrace Martin, singer Jazmine Sullivan and Minneapolis songwriter Dan Wilson. Expect Bridges to feature material from her new album as well as her fancy dance. Little Dragon opens. (8 p.m. The Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., $67 and up, ticketmaster.com)
Also: The State Fair series kicks off with a ’90s rock flashback featuring the revival of Jerry Cantrell’s Alice in Chains and Gavin Rossdale’s Bush as well as 2000s hard rock hitmakers Breaking Benjamin (5:30 p.m., 36 $ to $79); Oklahoma Americana singer-songwriter Parker Millsap is touring behind his fifth album, “Be Here Place” (8 p.m. Turf Club, $22); Twin Cities R&B/blues stylist Joyann Parker and Beau Baker Band are featured on the Lowertown Sounds series (6 p.m. Mears Park, free); Minneapolis soul/jazz stalwart Ginger Commodore presents music inspired by the Oscar-winning documentary “Summer of Soul” (8 p.m. Crooners, $25 and up); the nonprofit Minnesota Music Coalition is hosting a cool showcase with Diane, Cindy Lawson and Junior Choir (7:30 p.m. Hook & Ladder outside, $10-$15); Rap veteran Crescent Moon and rap-rock instrumentalists Big Trouble play a concert too rare to greet a friend together (8 p.m., White Squirrel Bar).
Friday August 26
3. Kamasi Washington: After working his way up the Icehouse ranks at The Palace and Rock the Garden over the past seven years, the otherworldly LA saxophonist and his cosmic-funk band are making a rare comeback to the clubs to play jazz the most popular in the Twin Cities. place before a larger concert at the Sacred Rose Festival in Chicago. He debuted a bold new track earlier this year, “The Garden Path,” but his last album was the 2020 score to Michelle Obama’s documentary “Becoming.” So who knows what to expect from this weekend’s four intimate sets? Which adds to the excitement. (6:30 and 9 p.m., also Saturday, The Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $50-$80, dakotacooks.com)
Also: It’s a double bill of notable ’90s alternative rockers who are still making new music, featuring Counting Crows and the Wallflowers (Minnesota State Fair Grandstand at 7 p.m., $34-$51); Martina McBride brings a powerful ’90s country twist to the hippodrome with “A Broken Wing” and “Independence Day” (7 p.m. Canterbury Park, $40-$70); Pat Hayes delivers the endless boogie with Lamont Cranston (7 p.m. Belvedere tent at Crooners, $35 and up); the harmonious folk-rock trio Turn Turn Turn with the Honeydogs’ Adam Levy is paired with Pixar’s musical “Soul” on the Star Tribune Music & Movies series Lakeside (6:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, free); glam-metal grinders All Pretty Horses play outside with Duluth’s Stardust Collective (6 p.m. Palmer’s Bar); Utah indie-pop duo IDKHOW are on tour with energetic Rochester, NY rockers Joywave (7 p.m., The Fillmore, $33 and up).
Saturday August 27
4. Ramstein: What’s a German metal band with few US radio shows or mainstream chart success that tours stadiums across North America? The answer lies entirely in the band’s large-scale, cinematic, pyrogenic live show, which is so ambitious it takes four days to put together and requires a stadium-sized space to expand. After a nearly three-year wait due to COVID delays, fans in Minnesota finally got to experience the carefully crafted tour, which will feature songs from the meanwhile-released album, “Zeit,” which means “time.” . It’s definitely a good time. French classical pianists Duo Jatekok open; No kidding. (7 p.m., US Bank Stadium, 401 Chicago Av., Mpls., $26-$146, ticketmaster.com)
5. Caitlyn Smith: The Cannon Falls, Minn.-based singer-songwriter found a career in Nashville even though she never scored a radio hit under her own name. (She wrote the Meghan Trainor/John Legend winner “How I’m Gonna Lose You.”) Last year, she collaborated with Old Dominion on “I Can’t,” which caused quite a stir, and this year, she dropped an eight-song EP, “High,” featuring clever verses and explosive Nashville choruses by the numbers. The standout track is the ballad “Nothing Against You” with the winning line “I don’t want to blame you for anything but me”. (8:30 p.m. also Sunday Leinie Lodge Bandshell, Minnesota State Fair, free with admission)
6. Saint Paul and the broken bones: Following their thrilling debut as the lost children of Otis Redding and the Stax sound in 2014, Paul Janeway and friends embark on experimentation on this year’s “The Evil Coast,” their fourth album. They expand their palette with different sounds, including atmospheric synths, psychedelic rock and hip-hop elements. The content focus also evolved, with Janeway exploring Greek mythology as well as real historical issues. But he still manages to unleash his inner-man soul on the disco-y, Bee Gees-ish “The Last Dance” and the dreamy falsetto ballad “Love Letter from a Red Roof Inn.” Fresh off a European tour, gospel-loving Janeway, always dramatically seductive in concert, returns to sanctify, uh, St. Paul. (8:00 p.m. Palace Theater, 17 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul, $33-$55, first-avenue.com)
Also: Five years after their falsetto hit “Feel It Still” made it to the radio Top 40, groovers from Oregon to Portugal. The Man headlines 89.3 the Current’s annual Music-on-a-Stick party with the Manchester Orchestra, the U2-ish Atlanta band behind “Bed Head” and local fun trio Bad Bad. Hats (State Fair Grandstand 7 p.m. $27-$37); The Twin Cities duo Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs revisit the Summer of Love, which was in 1967, with the Mamas & the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane and others (8 p.m. the Belvedere tent at Crooners, $20-$30); Twin Cities soul rocker Mae Simpson and her fast-paced band wrap up a summer of gigging in the Midwest with a big hometown set, also featuring the Shackletons and Karate Chop (7 p.m. Hook & Ladder outside, $15 to $20).
Sunday August 28
Pitbull World Sensation keep the party going until the grandstand fireworks, featuring opener “Fancy” Iggy Azalea (Minnesota State Fair grandstand at 7 p.m. $39-$84, etix.com); New York shoegazer-y co-ed rock duo Cults are finally coming to town in support of 2020’s underrated “Host” LP (8 p.m. Turf Club, $21-$25); famed “Come On Get Higher” hitmaker Matt Nathanson just released his 13th album, “Boston Accent” (3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. the Fillmore, $57.50); former “American Idol” finalist Crystal Bowersox has a new album, “Hitchhiker” (7 p.m., Dakota, $30-$45); local rock-turned-cabaret-jazz revisionists, the New Standards, perform a rooftop concert (7 p.m., Hewing Hotel, $45-$50); the Endless Summer bash features a fun lineup of local garage and punk bands, including the Silverteens, Rank Strangers, Favorite Things and the 99ers (noon-8 p.m., Broken Clock Brewing).
Monday August 29
7. Dire Straits Legacy: Originally promoted as Dire Straits without frontman/guitarist Mark Knopfler, this band has revamped its staff since forming in 2013. Original DS keyboardist Alan Clark is still on board, as are longtime members Mel Collins, Phil Palmer, Danny Cummings and Jack Sonni. On bass is Trevor Horn of Yes and Buggles (“Video Killed the Radio Star”). The repertoire is classic-rock gold with “Money for Nothing” and “Sultans of Swing” as well as “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes. (8:30 p.m., also Tues. Leinie Lodge Bandshell, Minnesota State Fair, free with admission).
Also: The Beach Boys and the Temptations, led by 80-year-old co-founder Otis Williams, led by Mike Love, bring relentless nostalgic joy, with the opener of funky horn band Tower of Power (7 p.m. Minnesota State Stand Fair, $37-$50).
Tuesday August 30
8. Shame: Like fellow UK blasters Idles, this South London quintet put a fresh, modern, youthful spin on the gnarly, edgy post-punk sounds of bands like Fall and Gang of Four. Just like Idles, their live shows are extremely energetic and crazy. They’re finally coming up with a second album to promote, “Drunk Tank Pink,” which adds a little Talking Heads-esque groove and COVID-tinged manic depression to the mix. Highly recommended. (8 p.m. Fine Line, 308 1st A VN, Mpls., $16-$18, axs.com)
Also: British pop singer Callum Scott, who caused a stir on “Britain’s Got Talent,” is coming to the US to promote his sophomore album, “Bridges” (7:30 p.m. Varsity Theater, $42+); Rich-voiced New York cabaret artist Dawn Derow presents her show “My Ship: Songs from 1941” with tunes from Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, the Andrews Sisters and more (7 p.m. on Dakota, $25 at $35).
Wednesday August 31
9. Connie Low Cut: The happiest surprise among State Fair open stage bookings this year, this boogie-rock band from South Philly canceled a grandstand gig last year as a COVID precaution and are catching up with a two-night adventure this year . Piano frontman Adam Weiner — part of Springsteen, Little Richard and New York Doll — is an Atlantic City-style showman with lackluster blue-collar songwriting talent, especially evident on 2020’s double LP ” Private Lives”. Find out why he and his rowdy, soulful band’s concerts have become a staple for many Twin Cities music lovers. (8:30 p.m., also the following Thursday, Leinie Lodge Bandshell, Minnesota State Fair, free with admission)
10. Florida-Georgia line: Is this the last rodeo for this successful country duo? Brian Kelley released a solo album last year and Tyler Hubbard signed a solo deal with EMI Nashville in May, just released a single, “5 Foot 9” and announced a solo tour. After 14 No. 1 country songs, five albums, and four CMA awards, FGL has announced a hiatus after its 2022 tour. So it’s one more chance to hear “HOLY,” “Cruise,” and “This Is How We Roll.” “. Country streaming star Bailey Zimmerman opens. (7 p.m. Minnesota State Fair grandstand. $75-$106, etix.com.)