The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week (2024)

Thursday, June 13

1. Hauser: After going the classical crossover route — i.e., performing pop music on traditionally classical instruments — some musicians never return to the classical repertoire. But Croatian cellist Stjepan Hauser has. The founding member of 2Cellos may have gone viral with that group's version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" and toured with Elton John, but his "Classic" solo albums with the London Symphony Orchestra have found him doing for the cello what Joshua Bell did for the violin: summoning up a swoon-ready romantic soundtrack with the music of several centuries. (8 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $59.50-$99.50, hennepintheatretrust.org)

Also: Veteran soul star Peabo Bryson returns with "You Can Stop the Rain," "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" and some Disney movie themes (6:30 & 9 p.m., also Fri., the Dakota, $55-$70); country trio Lady A is back on the road following singer Charles Kelley's rehab stint (8 p.m. Mystic Lake amphitheater, $49-$385); St. Paul's Lowertown Sounds series continues with a set apiece by longtime collaborators and pals Erik Koskinen and Molly Maher, each gifted Americana/roots-rock songwriters and guitarists (6:30 p.m., Mears Park, free); the Hook & Ladder Theater will stand in for a vintage country dancehall with a twangy twofer featuring Trailer Trash and Honky-Tonk Jump (7:30 p.m., $15-$20); 24kGoldn, known for 2020 hit "Mood" and his host duties on SiriusXM's Hits 1, is supporting his introspective EP "Growing Pains" (7:30 p.m. 7th Street Entry, $23 and up).

Friday, June 14

2. Winstock 2024: It's the 30th edition of the little country festival that could. Winstock is a fundraiser for the Holy Trinity School in Winsted, Minn., where the two-day country-and-camping hoedown is held. Headlining on Friday is Cole Swindell, who's scored nine No. 1 Nashville hits including "Single Saturday Night" and "She Had Me at Heads Carolina." Those appearing before him include Ashley McBryde, Tracy Lawrence and Tigirlily Gold. Topping Saturday's bill is Jason Aldean, whose "Try That in a Small Town" should resonate in a town of 2,200. The rest of the lineup includes Jon Pardi, Russell Dickerson, Sara Evans and Josh Turner. (4:30 p.m. Fri. & noon Sat. Winstock, 3233 230th St., Winsted, Minn. $180, winstockfestival.com)

3. Pryes Block Party: Minneapolis' first big music-centric block party of the summer is usually one of its best, too, with its large setup outside the riverfront brewery and ample sampling of the hosts' renowned beer. Texas' rowdy and biting blues-rock howler Black Joe Lewis is the main act to catch midafternoon Saturday, when he'll be preceded by local groovers Javier Trejo and Lighter Co. and followed by Massachusetts' hippie reggae rocker Joe Samba and Minneapolis DJ/producer Gigamesh. Friday night's lineup features psychedelic jammers Papadosio and the Histronic. (4 p.m. Fri. & 11 a.m. Sat., Pryes Brewing Co., 1401 West River Road, Mpls., $12/two-day, free 17 & under, pryesbrewing.com)

4. Minnesota Orchestra: After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the Minnesota Orchestra made a commitment to perform more music by African American composers, and its second Juneteenth concert will offer an evening of such works. Jonathan Taylor Rush returns to conduct music of the 20th century (William Grant Still and Margaret Bonds) and the 21st, as the orchestra collaborates with spoken word artist Wordsmith and "America's Got Talent" all-star Jimmie Herrod and it also performs recent pieces by Omar Thomas and Carlos Simon, composer of last year's breathtaking "Brea(d)th." (8 p.m. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. $33-$68, minnesotaorchestra.org)

5. The Shackletons: The Twin Cities rock scene has gotten kind of mellow and frilly in recent years, but it's happened no thanks to this fiery, back-to-basics Stillwater-reared band of brothers. Bandleader Colin Campbell — whose high-wired howl is as potent as his tender emoting, like a young Paul Westerberg — has played gigs with the likes of Ike Reilly and Lucero over the past year. Those acts' songwriting talent has discernibly rubbed off on his band's latest album, "Formerly the Albatross," a true turn-it-to-11 collection produced by Soul Asylum and Semisonic collaborator John Fields. Creeping Charlie opens the release party. (8 p.m. Green Room, 2923 Girard Av. S., Mpls., $15-$20, greenroomn.com)

6. Pvris: Since opening Fall Out Boy's tour in 2016, Lynn Gunn and her Boston area band have followed Paramore's lead to bring feminist attitude and a counterbalance to Blink-182′s genitalia jokes in the too-often-boneheaded pop-punk world. Last year's album, "Evergreen," added more of an electronic whir and danceable grooves to the group's canon. They're headlining clubs this summer before joining Smashing Pumpkins on tour this fall. (7 p.m. Uptown Theater, 2900 Hennepin Av., Mpls., $48-$76, all ages, ticketmaster.com)

Also: Quirky New York folk-rock vets They Might Be Giants of "Birdhouse in Your Soul" fame are playing their first of three very different shows in town this weekend, each featuring an eight-piece band and deep dive into their discography; this one is the only one not sold out at press time (8 p.m., also Sat., First Avenue, $40; 8 p.m. Sun., Fitzgerald Theater); the Minnesota Zoo's Wild Nights series — which has been scaled back to feature fewer groups this year — kicks off with the tribute bands Pop Rocks and High & Mighty (5-8 p.m. zoo access, 8-10 p.m. music, $30-$40); former Black Crowes drummer turned KQRS-FM morning show host Steve Gorman is bringing his band Bag Men to town, also featuring North Mississippi All-Stars leader and ex-Crowe Luther Dickinson (8 p.m. Turf Club, $25-$30); local all-star jazz unit the Atlantis Quartet returns to Berlin (8 p.m., $25); the R Factor, one of the Twin Cities most experienced variety bands, presents a program of funk classics (8 p.m. Belvedere tent at Crooners, $30-$40).

Saturday June 15

7. Iron & Wine: After stripping back to the hushed solo-acoustic sound that first made him famous while on tour last year, poetic bard Sam Beam returns to the road this year with a full-scale orchestral-folk band befitting the sound of his elegant new record for Sub Pop, "Light Verse." He's also touring with the Chicago-based video/visual company Manual Cinema providing a backdrop of film and shadow puppetry. The album's first single, "All in Good Time," is gaining viral and radio traction thanks in part to Fiona Apple serving as Beam's duet partner in it. Oklahoma's Ken Pomeroy opens. (8 p.m. Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $50-$75, axs.com)

Also: Acoustic strummer Ben Rector and his Nashville pal Cody Fry join the list of pop figures teaming up with the Minnesota Orchestra (7 p.m., also Sun., Orchestra Hall, $42-$92); the Stone Arch Bridge Festival offers two days with two stages filled largely with singer/songwriters, starting with Colin Bracewell, Bev, Matt Jennings, Luke LeBlanc and more (11 a.m., downtown Minneapolis riverfront, free); the Shock! Punk! And Metal! Fest takes over the patio and indoor stage at Palmer's Bar with Impaler, Fret Rattles, New Rocket Union and more (7 p.m., $15); the Wood Brothers — that's Chris of Medeski, Martin & Wood and his bro Oliver — test a new outdoor St. Louis Park venue with their rootsy folk-rock (8 p.m. ROC, $39.50 and up); the funky Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio evokes the days of Booker T & the MGs (6:30 & 9 p.m. the Dakota, $20-$45); Denver guitarist Dave Devine brings his jazz/rock trio to Minneapolis' North Loop to tout the new album "Hive Mind" (8 p.m. Berlin, $25).

Sunday, June 16

What a great pairing of cult-loved singer/songwriters: storied '70s folk hero Loudon Wainwright III, who is following his musical daughters to the Parkway Theater, is on a short tour with late-'80s alterna-picker Wes Stace, aka John Wesley Harding (7 p.m., $29-$49); it'll be "Uncontrollable Urge" vs. "Out of Control" as HiFi Hair & Records' popular Back Alley Series continues with the tribute bands Revo and Rattle and Hum (4 p.m., donations requested); Day Two of the Stone Arch Bridge Festival features Samantha Grimes, Lowray, Matt Catflisch, Dan Israel and more (11 a.m.-5 p.m., free); Dosh's experimental Sunday residency series continues with the Nunnery (7 p.m. Berlin, $15).

Monday, June 17

8. Connie Han Trio: The Los Angeles-reared pianist told DownBeat magazine that jazz needs more provocative personalities. She certainly gets attention for her striking outfits and her platform shoes with stiletto heels. But she deserves recognition for her masterful technique and remarkable inventiveness. The classically trained daughter of two Chinese folk musicians turned to jazz as a teenager, and now, at 28, she's developed into a composer and pianist as serious and intense as death metal (her favorite genre in high school). Han gigs with her former high school teacher Bill Wysaske, her drummer, producer, mentor and composer. (7 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $30-$35, dakotacooks.com)

Tuesday, June 18

9. Janet Jackson: The Rock Hall of Famer brings her Together Again Tour back to town a year after her last visit. Following concerts in the Philippines, Japan and Bahamas this year, she returned to the States this month. Expect less elaborate dance numbers than Jackson delivered in her heyday, but a hits-filled concert with the likes of "Rhythm Nation," "Miss You Much" and "Control," her 1986 declaration of independence recorded in Minneapolis with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Sing-songy rapper Nelly opens by revisiting "Hot in Herre" and "Cruise." (8 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $55-$1,950, ticketmaster.com)

Also: Veteran Brazilian pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias will preview her June 28 release, "Time and Again," featuring her warm vocals in English and Portuguese on eight originals (6:30 & 8:30 p.m. the Dakota, $40-$45).

Wednesday, June 19

10. Joe Jackson: Like fellow Brit Elvis Costello, Jackson started out in new wave (remember "Is She Really Going Out with Him?") and branched out into more genres than you can count on one hand. Remember "Steppin' Out"? How about his Duke Ellington tribute? Or his classical projects? Jackson's latest is "What a Racket," about the fictional Max Champion, a British music hall performer who died while fighting in World War I. While the album at times feels like it's either satire or tongue in cheek, "Racket" is a joyful noise full of ribald puns and alcohol-powered sing-alongs. Look for one set of Jackson old favorites and another set of "Racket" with a nine-piece band. (8 p.m. Uptown Theater, 2900 Hennepin Av. S. Mpls., $65-$120, ticketmaster.com)

Also: Some of the Twin Cities' greatest R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop and gospel acts are playing free sets for the Soul of the Sounthside Juneteenth Festival, including James Grear & Co., Illism, MMYYKK, Nunnabove and Kevin Washington & RA Spirit (noon-8 p.m., inside and outside Hook & Ladder); Grammy-winning Mississippi bluesman Cedric Burnside, grandson of RL Burnside, is moving up from gritty juke joints to a fancy supper-club gig (7 p.m. the Dakota, $40-$45); reputable jazz bassist Ted Olsen leads his namesake quartet with singer/songwriter Hemma (8 p.m. Aster Cafe, $12); Dr. Mambo's Combo, the long-lived funky band with which Prince used to sit in, pays tribute to the Purple One (7:30 p.m. Parkway Theater, $40-$45).

Classical music critic Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week (2024)
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