The Big Gigs: March 8-14

  • Updated: March 8, 2013 - 4:47 PM
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Las Vegas-based rock band Imagine Dragons. (Photo by Al Powers/ Powers Imagery/Invision/AP)

POP/ROCK

Well received when they performed between local faves Motion City Soundtrack and Now, Now at the Varsity last fall, Philadelphia piano-pop trio Jukebox the Ghost are still in motion behind last year’s Ben Folds-flavored third album “Safe Travels.” This time their opener is Philly vet Matt Pond, who dropped the “PA” band moniker for his more solo/singer-songwriterly new album, “The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand.” Ohio quintet the Lighthouse and the Whaler also performs. (9 p.m. Fri., Fine Line, $14.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

A hit at last summer’s Basilica Block Party, Las Vegas’ Imagine Dragons have been riding high on the smash single “It’s Time,” which has a bit of the Mumford & Sons’ hand-claps-and-mandolin vibe before it explodes into something of an anthem for the misunderstood. On the best-selling “Night Visions” album, the versatile I-Dragons also suggest Passion Pit and the Killers. The radio-savvy newcomers — who injected their current single “Radioactive” with the still-trendy dubstep — have landed atop the coolest radio-boosted bill of the winter, along with Australia’s hipster quartet Atlas Genius, featuring the three Jeffery brothers and the head-bobbing hit “Trojans” (they have their own headline gig scheduled June 4 at the Fine Line), and the aggressive, arty L.A. alt-rock quartet Nico Vega. (7 p.m. Fri., Varsity Theater, sold out.) Jon Bream

 

Fresh from Carnegie Hall comes Princess, Maya Rudolph’s Prince tribute band. Backed by Roots drummer Questlove and various veterans of the Minneapolis Sound, Princess will headline ex-Prince & the Revolution drummer Bobby Z’s second annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association. The drummer suffered a near-fatal heart attack two years ago. He’s assembled an all-star lineup including “The Voice” finalist Nicholas David, Alexander O’Neal, Stokley Williams of Mint Condition and Prince alums Andre Cymone, Dez Dickerson and Dr. Fink. The night ends with a DJ set by Questlove. Read an interview with Rudolph and Questlove. (8 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $65.) Bream

 

Dar Williams is back at the Cedar, a year after performing there upon the release of her 10th album, “In the Time of Gods,” a collection inspired by Greek mythology — “I had such a crush on Hermes,” the always literate New York singer/songwriter told the Wall Street Journal. Her sound is dark and moody, her images rich and heavy, her voice pretty and passionate. Opening is accomplished Milwaukee singer/songwriter Willy Porter. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $31-$36.) Bream

 

In dress and sound, Los Angeles’ Vintage Trouble harks back to another era. Frontman Ty Taylor suggests Jackie Wilson backed by a punk-funk Black Crowes. This quartet, which last time through town opened for the Who, knows how to blend rock and soul into a seamless, knockout show. (9 p.m. Sat., Mill City Nights’ Nether bar, sold out.) Bream

 

Who the hell is Hoodie Allen, and how did he manage to sell out First Avenue? If you have to ask, you’re probably not part of the carefully and wisely chosen college-girl demographic that this Long Island-reared pop-rapper has targeted like the smoothest of pickup artists. The real-life Steven Markowitz, 24, won an mtvU new-talent competition, quit his job at Google and applied his Wharton School-learned marketing skills to become a Web-based star. His formulaic white-boy bro-rap — he’s the one who frequently brings up his whiteness, by the way — makes fellow dorm-room rap star Macklemore look like John Lennon compared with his Davy Jones. His Cruisin’ USA Tour also features AER and Jared Evan. (7 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, sold out.) Riemenschneider

 

Texas hard-rock bands Flyleaf and Drowning Pool also share the distinction of carrying on without their original lead singers. Flyleaf’s powerhouse frontwoman Lacey Sturm sang on last year’s album, “New Horizons,” but quit to focus on motherhood. New singer Kristen May seems to be getting good marks. “Bodies” hitmakers Drowning Pool are working with their third fill-in singer since the 2002 death of Dave Williams, to whom they paid tribute with last year’s single “In Memory Of.” Stars in Stereo open. (6 p.m. Tue., First Avenue, $20.) Riemenschneider

 

You’ve seen them on PBS and perhaps at Mill City Nights last year, so what can you expect from Brit Floyd this time around? Recent set lists from the preeminent U.K. Pink Floyd tribute band — not counting Roger Waters’ own entourage, of course —have featured full album sides played chronologically, starting with “Dark Side” on up to “Division Bell.” These blokes deliver on both the musical and visual front. (8 p.m. Thu., State Theatre, $39-$49.) Riemenschneider

BLUES

The accolades for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Buddy Guy keep on coming. Last year, he received Kennedy Center Honors and added bestselling author to his glorious résumé with his autobiography “When I Left Home: My Story.” The 76-year-old blues-rock showman always gets fired up when sharing a bill with his buddy Jonny Lang. Their collaborations were among the brightest highlights at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010. The Minneapolis-launched sensation, now 32, has been tearing it up during his full-length sets on the Guy tour. His band still features the Minneapolis rhythm section of bassist Jim Anton and drummer Barry Alexander. (7 p.m. Sun., State Theatre, $53.50-$104.) Bream

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