The Big Gigs for the week of 8/19

  • Article by: STAR TRIBUNE STAFF , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 18, 2011 - 1:54 PM

Jeremy Messersmith at the Zoo; Adele and Katy Perry at the X

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Katy Perry plays the Xcel on Tuesday.

Photo: Kristian Dowling, PictureGroup

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POP/ROCK

Jeremy Messersmith and Chris Koza emerged on the scene a half-decade ago in their mid-20s with little more than a knack for writing sophisticated, tender pop melodies and an adopted hometown that kept them holed up all winter. Since then, they have become two of the Twin Cities' most reputable singer/songwriters. Koza's profile continues to rise with his orchestral twang-pop band Rogue Valley, which completed an ambitious four-album cycle this year and is still adding polish on stage. Messersmith put out last year's most critically acclaimed local album, "The Reluctant Graveyard," and has his own ace backing band -- now featuring Rogue Valley guitarist Peter Sieve, who's pulling double duty at another great zoo twofer. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Minnesota Zoo amphitheater. All ages. $19.) Chris Riemenschneider

Musically, Janet Jackson hasn't done much for us lately. So the timing is right for her to step away from arenas and present her Number Ones: Up Close and Personal Tour. She still promises dancing, costume changes and a parade of hits but more intimacy than ever before. Read an interview with her at www.startribune.com/music. (8 p.m. Fri., Orpheum Theatre, $57.50-$97.50.) Jon Bream

Rarely has a concert been more grossly mismarketed than Hippiefest 2011. Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals and Rick Derringer of the McCoys may have made their marks in the 1960s, but neither they nor their music was the stuff of pot and flower power. Dave Mason, of the trippy Traffic and "Feeling Alright" fame, might have deserved the hippie label. But Gary Wright is better known for his 1970s solo work than his Spooky Tooth tunes in the '60s. Nonetheless, these aging rockers should be a fun blast from the past for baby boomers. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Minnesota Zoo, $52.) Bream

Any band can open for a movie, but not many could actually perform with a film as well as Dark Dark Dark probably will for the finale of the Walker Art Center's Music & Movies series. The wily, worldly chamber-folk ensemble -- which has also done work for modern museums in Massachusetts and the Netherlands -- was commissioned by the Walker to create a score for Fritz Lang's truly dark, dark, dark 1928 visual masterpiece "Spies." Judging from a short teaser video the band posted online earlier this week, the performance will include a bunch of guests and not a lot of the rules of conventional movie scoring. It sounds so promising that the Walker is moving the event out of the usual Loring Park locale onto its Open Field and opening its galleries for free starting at 6 p.m. (8:30 p.m. Mon., Walker Art Center. All ages. Free.) Riemenschneider

Who received the most MTV Music Awards nominations this year? Katy Perry, with nine. On a roll with five consecutive No. 1 pop smashes, she delivers the sassy, suggestive spectacle that MTV loves, but also the sweet and colorful that top-40 kids crave. Certain aspects of her concert might require parents to talk to their young kids afterward -- Perry can be as bawdy as she is bubbly. The pop tart postponed this show last month because of food poisoning; tickets for the July 9 show will be honored. Opening are DJ Skeet Skeet and Natalia Kills. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Xcel Energy Center, $25-$47.) Bream

Release the Sunbird is the rather flighty moniker of Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue's rather earthy new side project. The Bay Area indie-rocker -- who has retained a soft-guy, big-heart charm throughout a variety of musical manifestations -- mellows out and gets his folk on for "Come Back to Us," his new album for Jack Johnson's Brushfire label. On tour, he is playing the songs in a stripped-down set with harmonizing partner Kate Long. (9 p.m. Wed., Turf Club. 21 & older. $12.) Riemenschneider

After two cancellations at First Avenue due to laryngitis, Adele is stepping up to where her popularity demands -- a sold-out Xcel Energy Center (actually the theater setup, holding about 10,000). Her "21" is the biggest selling album of the year, on the impetus of the chart-topping "Rolling in the Deep" and "Rumour Has It." Arenas, however, may not be a good fit for her artistry. Adele has a special, soulful voice but the 23-year-old Brit has demonstrated nervous energy and a chatty stage fright in her two previous Twin Cities appearances, both in small theaters. Her handpicked opening act is rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, who was a little bit rock, a little bit country and all charmer two weeks ago at the Minnesota Zoo. (7:30 p.m. Wed.) Bream

Stevie Nicks' first album in 10 years is easily her strongest solo effort since "Bella Donna" in 1981. "In Your Dreams" is strikingly versatile, covering love and politics, dreams and poems, rock and pop. Props to producer Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and to Nicks for inviting ex-beau Lindsey Buckingham to play on "Soldier's Angel" and for recording "Secret Love," which she wrote during Fleetwood Mac's "Rumour" period. Nicks is so proud of this new album that she's willing to play outdoors in her witchy wardrobe in the heat of the summer. Read an interview with the Fleetwood Mac siren in Monday's Variety section. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Mystic Lake Casino amphitheater, $33-$46.) Bream

COUNTRY

In her first State Fair appearance since 1999, enduring country queen Reba McEntire, who has scored No. 1 hits in four consecutive decades, will be joined by an old friend launching a new venture: Ronnie Dunn of duo kings Brooks & Dunn, who's going solo on the strength of a well-crafted self-titled debut. Nothing like a couple of country stalwarts to kick off this year's grandstand series. (7:30 p.m. Thu., State Fair grandstand, $45 & $55.) Bream

FOLK

Now ensconced in New Hampshire, singer/songwriter Red Gallagher is back in town all August to do 34 "community shows," entertaining the very old in nursing homes, and the very young at preschool gigs. Thankfully, he has one public gig with a little band, a night featuring his clever "Humortunes" song parodies. Can't beat the price. (8 p.m. Sat., Riverview Cafe & Wine Bar, no cover.) Tom Surowicz

Barb Ryman's voice has never sounded lovelier, more pliant and soothing than on the 14 tracks of her new CD, "Catch the Sunset." It's beautifully produced in a cozy Red House Records kind of way, by all-pro percussionist Marc Anderson, and has a great supporting cast, including Peter Ostroushko, Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard and even John Munson of Semisonic, who turns up to do some charming whistling on the album's most idyllic, poppy number, "Picture Us." Yet for all its prettiness and polish, the irony is that "Catch the Sunset" largely features Ryman's poignant and downbeat side, with songs about war, death, corporate greed, isolation and the meaning of it all. You might want to bring a hanky to her CD release party this weekend, ready to whip out when she performs "Confession" or "Arms Across the Sea." (7 p.m. Sun., Bryant-Lake Bowl. $10-$12.) Surowicz

It's great to see Loudon Wainwright, one of the few 1970s singer/songwriters who never slowed down, wimped out or dried up, getting the living-legend treatment on a new box set. "Loudon Wainwright III, 40 Odd Years" -- co-produced with filmmaker Judd Apatow -- is a cornucopia for fans, with 91 audio tracks, 22 of which are rare and unreleased, a delightful 40-page book, a 60-minute Dutch documentary called "One Man Guy," and more than two hours of scarce concert and TV appearances. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Cedar Cultural Center, $25-$28.) Surowicz

BLUES

A spirited live performer and searing guitar soloist, "Braille blues daddy" Bryan Lee now features former Minnesotan Sam Joyner on keyboards. Currently living in Baton Rouge, La., Joyner has traveled all over the globe, including long stays in Asia, since the days when he worked locally with Sue Ann Carwell, Alexander O'Neal and Prince. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Wilebski's Blues Saloon.) Surowicz

Blind Pig recording artists Magic Slim & the Teardrops are one of Chicago's great, no-nonsense blues bands. They shuffle, they boogie, you dance, you smile. (7 p.m. Sat., Wilebski's Blues Saloon, $12-$15.) Surowicz

R&B

What time is it? Time to present the Minneapolis Sound at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Prince has never accepted the fair's overtures, but Morris Day & the Time did. The cartoonish gigolo is still c-o-o-l working with original Time members Jellybean Johnson and Monte Moir. Just don't ask about the status of the original Time reunion album that has been in the works since 2008. (8:30 p.m. Thu. & next Fri., State Fair bandshell, free.) Bream

JAZZ

The Who famously sang, "The Kids Are Alright." Now the jazz kids are taking over. Once the youngest and shortest drummer in town, Miguel Hurtado is now a fast-track Manhattan School of Music grad who's enjoyed quite the growth spurt, both physically and aesthetically. He'll lead a sextet Friday and a quintet Saturday, both featuring Chicago buddies Marquis Hill on trumpet and Chris McBride on alto sax. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists' Quarter, $12.) Surowicz

The grande dame of Minnesota jazz, Jeanne Arland Peterson is celebrating her 90th birthday surrounded by her five children, grandson, nephew and other musicians. Peterson still sounds grand on the piano, as evidenced on her 2009 CD "88 Grand" and recent performances. Like Eubie Blake and Pinetop Perkins, she's still a master of the 88s in her 90s. See Saturday's Variety section for a story about her. (6:30 p.m. Sun., Old Log Theater, Excelsior, $23.) Bream

Two legends of Midwest jazz join forces for what should be a fun gig. Headliner Ben Sidran, a mere 68 years of age, has a milelong résumé that includes not just the usual bevy of albums and teaching gigs, but also writing books, hosting radio and TV shows, scoring film soundtracks, plus running a few record labels. His special guest, Irv "Mr. Smooth" Williams, has been a force in Twin Cities jazz since the year before Sidran was born. Irv recently turned 92 -- but who's counting? (7 p.m. Mon., Dakota Jazz Club, $25.) Surowicz

In 2008, Return to Forever reunited for its first extensive work since its late 1970s heyday. Now Chick Corea's jazz-rock fusion group is back, with a new lineup. Joining him and bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White are French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, known for Mahavishnu Orchestra and his own bands, and Aussie guitarist Frank Gambale, who plays in Corea's Elektric Band. Although it has an updated moniker (Return to Forever IV) the quintet still sounds stuck in the 1970s, according to a recent New York Times review -- and that's a good thing. Opening is Zappa Plays Zappa, Dweezil Zappa's band that plays the music of his late father, Frank. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Orpheum, $53.50-$104.) Bream

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