Big Gigs: Sarah McLachlan, the Hold Steady, Gavin DeGraw and much more

  • Updated: July 4, 2014 - 7:22 AM

Lilith Fair goddess Sarah McLachlan has returned with another album of deeply thoughtful piano pop, “Shine On,” her first record in four years. As the title suggests, McLachlan sounds optimistic despite the occasional sadness here, following the death of her father and the breakup of her marriage. Highlights include the buoyant “In Your Shoes” and the soulful “Love Beside Me.” (8 p.m. Tue. State Theatre, $49.50-$84.50.) Bream

POP/ROCK

The location is new, but the July 4th music lineup at Taste of Minnesota is mainly oldies rockers, with the long-ago-fizzled Starship (of “We Built This City” notoriety) for a pre-fireworks headliner, plus the Marshall Tucker Band and the western burbs’ own resident British rock vet, Joey Molland of Badfinger. Saturday has a lively young headliner in Halestorm, led by budding metal queen Lzzy Hale, plus Tom Keifer of ’80s hair band Cinderella and a local flashback of Gypsy and Crow. Sunday goes country with Arkansas yahoo Joe Nichols and local twanger Tim Sigler. (11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sun., Carver County Fairgrounds in Waconia, free before 3 p.m., $10 after.) Chris Riemenschneider

The annual answer to whether or not one of the Twin Cities’ greatest punk bands is still a band, Dillinger Four regroups for another “D4th” mini-fest. Other groups of note in the two-day blowout include Masked Intruder, a pop-punky Madison quartet signed to Fat Wreck Chords that’s about to join the Dwarves and Queers on tour; Night Birds, a surfy hardcore band from New Jersey; the very D4-like Illinois group the Brokedowns, and Vulgaari, the new doom-metal band led by ex-Powermad guitarist and Surly brewmaster Todd Haug. D4 is scheduled to play both nights. (9 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Triple Rock, $15/night.) Riemenschneider

Funny how the Hold Steady’s semi-homecoming gigs each summer seem well-timed to the Twins’ own home stands, this one aligning with the biggest of ’em all (Yankees!). We know where the Brooklyn rockers’ allegiance lies, just as we know where they’re coming from on their first album in four years, “Teeth Dreams,” a return to the punky roots and blurry street scenes of their early-’00s discs but also a new kind of showcase for dueling guitarists Tad Kubler and Steve Selvidge. Their first local date behind the record is also their first time playing the zoo. Michigan openers Cheap Girls recalls melodic ’90s roarers Buffalo Tom. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Minnesota Zoo amphitheater, $45.) Riemenschneider

On his aptly titled fifth album “Make a Move,” piano popster Gavin DeGraw made a move toward artisanal folk with the single “Best I Ever Had.” While he strives for a more contemporary sound, rest assured that he’ll still play such old favorites as “I Don’t Want to Be” and “Chariot.” Singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson, he of the yuck-inducing between-song patter, is a good fit with DeGraw with such adult pop songs as “Run” and “Come on Get Higher.” Plus, both East Coast singer-songwriters received career boosts from airplay on such TV series as “One Tree Hill,” “Scrubs” and “NCIS.” Opening is Mary Lambert, the powerhouse voice on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love.” (7:30 p.m. Sun., Myth, $39.50.) Jon Bream

Gillian Welch’s old-timey songs and hard-timey voice can make tough men weep, and she and her ace-picker partner David Rawlings proved their own toughness last time in town in July 2011, when they put on a stellar show at the Fitzgerald Theatre despite a lack of air conditioning, giving it an all-too-real Dust Bowl feel. They have natural ventilation working in their corner this time and no new material or opening act, so it should be truly a golden oldies affair. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Minnesota Zoo amphitheater, $37-$49.50.) Riemenschneider

With apologies to Pink, Andy Grammer urges “raise your glass” at the beginning of “Back Home,” his feel-good new single. The song is featured on his overdue second album, “Magazines or Novels,” out Aug. 5. Expect a preview of the “Keep Your Head Up” hitmaker’s first album in four years. Opening are Andrew Ripp and Brendan James. (7 p.m. Tue., Varsity, $22-$35.) Bream

Last year, the four original members of Veruca Salt, one of Chicago’s great contributions to 1990s alt-rock, announced their intentions to reunite. There had been personnel changes over the years and a hiatus of several years, but frontwomen Nina Gordon and Louise Post are back with drummer Jim Shapiro and bassist Steve Lack. “Museum of Broken Relationships,” one of the band’s two comeback singles, may be Veruca Salt’s best tune since the classic “Seether.” (8:30 p.m. Wed., Varsity, $20-$30.) Bream

HIP-HOP

He lost to Drake for best male hip-hop artist at last weekend’s BET Awards, but Future is at least enjoying Drake-level critical praise for his second album, “Honest,” which dropped in April with the Pharrell-accompanied single “Move That Dope” leading the way. The record varies widely from harder-edged slingers to mellower but still raunchy jams such as “I Won,” in which the Atlanta rapper holds his own alongside Kanye, bragging about great he is. Rico Love, Que and Bando Jonez open. (10 p.m. Wed., Mill City Nights, $32.) Riemenschneider

JAZZ

It’s smooth jazz sax on parade: Dave Koz brings Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot and Gerald Albright for a saxophone quartet. They all played on Koz’s 2013 “Summer Horns,” which included interpretations of classics by Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears and Sly & the Family Stone with such guest vocalists as Michael McDonald, Jeffrey Osborne and Jonathan Butler. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Mystic Lake Casino, $46-$55.) Bream

Shy guy guitar hero Bill Frisell is back, this time with a take on baby boomer music called “Guitar in the Space Age.” Expect idiosyncratic, compelling covers of 1950s-60s favorites by the Beach Boys, Link Wray, Pete Seeger, Junior Wells, Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry, Merle Travis and Duane Eddy, plus the Chantays’ classic “Pipeline.” It’s great material, though mostly far removed from the jazz and improvised music canon. But Frisell could offer a night of Backstreet Boys interpretations and make it interesting, especially with such talented bandstand mates as Kenny Wollesen (drums), Greg Leisz (guitar and pedal steel), and Tony Scherr (bass). See an interview in Sunday’s Variety section. (7 & 9 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $30-$40.) Tom Surowicz

A mix of preacher, R&B singer, jazz vocalist, trombonist and New Orleans musical history lesson, Glen David Andrews is a sweaty showman, entertainer and improviser. He has a Louis Armstrong rasp, an Al Green falsetto, a Thomas Dorsey sense of spirituals, James Brown moves with the microphone stand, trombone licks a la Trombone Shorty (his cousin) and Robin Williams-like manic energy. Look for Andrews to showcase material from this year’s commendable “Redemption,” whose highlights include the funky “Bad by Myself” and the breezy, gospelly “Movin’ Up.” (7 & 9 p.m. Thu., Dakota, $20-$25.) Bream


 

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