Big Gigs: Matchbox Twenty, Vaccines, Casey James and more

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 7, 2013 - 2:55 PM

Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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On the rebound after a second hiatus, Matchbox Twenty sounded pretty good in a Super Bowl pre-game performance. Rob Thomas still has that slightly raspy made-for-radio voice. But the tunes on last year’s “North” — MB20’s first album of new material in five years — sounded familiar but unmemorable. Let’s hope the set is heavy on “Push,” “3 A.M.” and older numbers. Opening is “American Idol” champ Phillip Phillips, who impressed right away with the smart hit single “Home.” (8 p.m. Fri., Mystic Lake Casino, sold out.) Jon Bream


The Vaccines washed ashore already a tad washed-up in 2010 after generating a boatload of hype back home in England for their debut and the fun, Joy-Division-meets-Blur single “Post-Breakup Sex.” They’re back with less cynicism and a second, slightly better album, aptly named “Come of Age” and produced by Ethan Johns. This time around there’s more buzz for Australian tour partners San Cisco, whose boppy boy/girl single “Awkward” is in steady rotation at the Current and sounds tailor-made for a Target commercial. Local opener France Camp toured with the Vaccines when he was part of Howler. (9 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock, sold out.) Chris Riemenschneider


Like former mentor Brian Eno, Ben Frost makes a refusal to repeat himself part of his ever-evolving style. Not that the Australian composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist spurns constants — few artists can match his genius for balancing beauty and terror — it’s just that his massive musical vocabulary lends itself to constant experimentation. The involvement of kindred spirit/labelmate Paul Corley and master drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Dan Deacon) suggests that Saturday’s performance will skew visceral as hell. (8 p.m. Sat., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, $10, standing room only.) Rod Smith


Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez has one of the biggest voices and heads of hair in hard rock, and his band is in the midst of its most ambitious recording project to date. The New York area quartet just dropped the second half of a two-album series, “The Afterman: Descension,” featuring darker and stormier fare than its predecessor (“Ascension”). They’re halfway through a tour that ends next month at Radio City Music Hall. North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me, recently signed to Metal Blade, open with Russian Circles (6 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $30, all ages.) Riemenschneider


By now, most BoDeans fans know it’s just Kurt Neumann since Sammy Llanas left the band in the summer of 2011. Reports are that the brand, er, band, still delivers, with a bit more aggressiveness and no Llanas tunes. And devotees know that Neumann was always the dominant force in this Wisconsin institution. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Guthrie, $36-$39.) Bream


While his nearest thing to a love song might be “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” alt-rock pioneer David Lowery will spend Valentine’s Day in Minnesota once again celebrating the ties that bind his two bands of lore: ’80s psychedelic gypsy-pop cult fave Camper Van Beethoven and ’90s rock-radio staple Cracker. While Cracker had the hits, including “Low” and“Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” CVB has the strong new album to promote. “La Costa Perdida” shows off how much the band has grown as musicians even as the frontman’s wonderfully oblique writing style remains intact. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Burnsville Performing Arts Center, $35.) Riemenschneider


Lasting longer than a lot of marriages, local folk-rock sweethearts Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles and instrumental doppelgangers Big Trouble are five years into their run as the Cedar’s keepers of the Valentine’s Day flame. The two ensembles meet up again with E.L.nO.’s big head and Current DJ Dave Campbell for another playful run through classic love songs, which this year should include a few selections from the “Minnesota Covers 69 Love Songs” tribute album, whose ringleader Matt Latterell is a Velvet Lapelle. Brian Just and DeVon Gray share in the love. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Cedar Cultural Center, $14-$16, all ages.) Riemenschneider


Four of our scene’s best-known turntablists take center stage once again for the Get Cryphy fifth anniversary party, an offshoot of the dance parties held monthly upstairs in First Ave’s Record Room. The event’s co-founders, Plain Ole Bill and Jimmy 2 Times, will be joined by partners Fundo and Last Word, who have performed behind half of the well-known rappers in town (including P.O.S., Prof, Brother Ali, Desdamona and M.anifest). They’ll be joined by MaLLy and St. Paul Slim here, but mostly the show will be about what happens off-mic. (10 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $8-$10.) Riemenschneider


When Buckwheat Zydeco canceled his winter tour for early-stage cancer treatment — he reportedly expects a full recovery — the Ordway pulled off the zydeco equivalent of replacing the Stones with the Who. C.J. Chenier, who took over the Red Hot Louisiana Band when his father Clifton died in 1987, steps in here as well. Clifton was the first star of the bayouland genre, but C.J. long ago came out from under his dad’s shadow and eats up the spotlight nowadays. Delta-rooted local blues/R&B greats Willie Walker and the Butanes open. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Ordway Center, $20-$38.) Riemenschneider

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