Big Gigs for Aug. 15-21: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Nicholas David, Kiss, Toby Keith & more

  • Updated: August 14, 2014 - 3:39 PM

KISS headlined the Minnesota State Fair grandstand in 2010. In this photo, original members Paul Stanley, front, and Gene Simmons, left.


CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Will there be a different vibe to Kiss in concert this year? After all, rock’s best three-chord cartoon finally got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and frontman Paul Stanley, above, purged his demons and depression in a compelling, confessional autobiography, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed.” Opening is Def Leppard, with its 1980s “Pyromania” and “Hysteria” heyday lineup intact, and the Dead Daisies, featuring New Zealand singer Jon Stevens and ex-Guns ’N Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed. Read an interview with Kiss’ Gene Simmons at (7 p.m. Sun., Target Center, $49-$151.) Bream


After venturing out to record an album with Cuban musicians, Mexico’s Rodrigo y Gabriela are back working as an acoustic guitar duo, pursuing their rock rather than Latin roots on this year’s “9 Dead Alive,” their first collection of new material in five years. Each selection was inspired by a different person. The shape-shifting “Misty Moses” is dedicated to Harriet Tubman, and the gorgeous and haunting “Megalopolis” is a salute to poet Gabriela Mistral. As always, Rodrigo’s flashy leads and Gabriela’s rhythmic drive impress, but they are astounding live. (8 p.m. Fri., State Theatre, $43.50-$53.50.) Jon Bream


A frequent concertgoer at other artists’ zoo shows, Nicholas David will make his headlining debut at the Twin Cities area’s wildest outdoor stage amid a busy summer that has included recording sessions for his new album and a lot of do-gooder work for the Smile Network and other charities. St. Paul’s happy hippie soul man, who came in third on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012, blends in covers by the likes of Al Green and Hall & Oates along with his own funky originals. Opener David Mayfield is an Americana rocker like his sister Jessica Lea Mayfield. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Minnesota Zoo amphitheater, $32-$45.50.) Chris Riemenschneider


Strand of Oaks’ way-hairy frontman Timothy Showalter looks like an outcast from Mastodon or some other fierce metal band, but the Indiana native is actually a sensitive, introspective singer/songwriter who rocks hard only sporadically. “Goshen ’97,” the single now playing on 89.3 the Current — featuring guest shredder J. Mascis — is one of the heavier gems on his breakthrough album, “Heal,” but other tunes have more of a melodic moodiness that range in style from Jim James-ian jams or a dark beauty reminiscent of Jason Molina, who is the subject of the track “JM.” Firebrand Arkansas tunesmith Christopher Denny opens. (9 p.m. Tue., 7th Street Entry, $12.) Riemenschneider


Amanda Shires was in our neck of the woods just three weeks ago, performing in hubby Jason Isbell’s band, but she’s cutting out on her own once again. The Texas Panhandle native played fiddle in her teens with surviving members of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys. She started earning her own buzz as a singer/songwriter a few years back, pre-Isbell, and sounded like a more dour, poetic Kacey Musgraves on last year’s album “Down Fell the Doves.” Dallas-bred alt-twang songwriter Andrew Combs also performs. (8:30 p.m. Wed., Triple Rock, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider



Respected in the industry but hardly a household name, maverick Jamey Johnson is best known for his CMA-winning hit “In Color.” But he’s released two classic albums filled with self-penned real country songs, including 2010’s knockout double-disc “The Guitar Song.” In concert, the hirsute singer — who looks more like a roadie than a star — is laconic and eclectic, throwing in covers of Bob Seger, Metallica, the Allman Brothers, George Jones and Hank Cochran, the late songwriting great whom Johnson saluted with a 2012 tribute album. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Minnesota Zoo, $49 & $61.50.) Bream


He may not be at the top of the country charts these days, but Toby Keith is No. 1 on Forbes’ list of country’s biggest moneymakers. Take that, Taylor. He rakes it in with endorsements, touring and his businesses (including his Mezcal imprint and the Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar chain). And he’s the kind of guy who will find time to have “Drinks After Work,” the title of his latest album, and enlist his daughter Krystal Keith as opening act. Also appearing is Colt Ford, country’s most determined rapper. Read an interview with Toby Keith in next Wednesday’s Variety. (7:30 p.m. Thu., State Fair grandstand, $49 & $59.) Bream


Americana Music Awards winner Darrell Scott is a name familiar to anyone who peruses liner notes. He was a multi-instrumentalist in Robert Plant’s Band of Joy; his songs have been covered by Brad Paisley, Keb Mo, Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks, and he has played on albums by Steve Earle, Rascal Flatts, Hayes Carll and countless others. He’s a pretty fair singer-songwriter, too, respected enough to get the likes of Pig Robbins, Patty Griffin and Rodney Crowell to join him on 2012’s “Long Ride Home,” a tribute to the kind of country music he grew up on in Indiana. (7 p.m. Thu., Dakota, $30.) Bream



  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


question of the day

Poll: Which of these group inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame most deserves to be inducted for solo work?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters