The Big Gigs for June 28-July 4: Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Polyphonic Spree and more

  • Updated: June 27, 2013 - 2:29 PM
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Tom Petty

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Not exactly one to reinvent himself, Rock Hall of Famer Tom Petty has been re-examining his repertoire on tour this year. He recently did a run of theater shows, punctuated with deep album cuts and a night of refunds in Los Angeles after a fire marshal cut the show short for being overcrowded. Now Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers have launched the arena leg of their tour, still featuring some less visible tunes, including “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” from Petty’s Traveling Wilburys days. Opening are the Smithereens, those 1990s Jersey alt-rockers known for “A Girl Like You” and “Top of the Pops.” (7:30 p.m. Sat., Target Center, $23-$97.50.) Bream

POP/ROCK

A raspy voiced MTV star in the 1990s, Melissa Etheridge impressed once again on last year’s “4th Street Feeling,” her 12th studio disc. Celebrating her 25th year in the music biz, the 52-year-old Grammy and Oscar winner delves into smoky soulfulness, exploring her childhood roots in Leavenworth, Kan. The title track feels like an introspective Tina Turner ballad. Etheridge demonstrates a new-found swampiness on the spooky “The Shadow of a Black Crow” and the wah-wah flavored “Be Real.” The bloated rocker “A Sacred Heart” sounds hopelessly self-indulgent, perhaps influenced by the rock drama of her stint on Broadway in Green Day’s “American Idiot.” More convincing is the slow-burn country- blues seduction “Rock and Roll Me.” (7:30 p.m. Fri., Minnesota Zoo, $64 & $70.) Jon Bream

 

Sheryl Crow’s gone country. This week, she performed at the Country USA Festival in Oshkosh, Wis., and announced a fall tour with Gary Allan. She’s about to drop her first Nashville album, “Feels Like Home,” on Sept. 10. Meanwhile, she’s released a new country single, “Easy,” which mentions such Music City requisites as beer, tequila, sunsets and Mexico. But the Nashville resident, who won nine Grammys in the pop world, knows how to rock, as she demonstrated last month sitting in with the Rolling Stones in Chicago. (8 p.m. Fri., Mystic Lake Casino, $69-$114.) Bream

 

With a flowery look and sunshine-day sound that belies the blah concrete landscape of its native Dallas, the Polyphonic Spree has never won over hard-nosed indie-rock cynics, but it has maintained a faithful fan base and influenced many a trendier band with its ambitious orchestral and choral rock arrangements. Former Tripping Daisy rocker Tim DeLaughter and his 20-odd bandmates enter their second decade with another Bonnaroo performance under their belt and a new Kickstarter-funded album on shelves, “Yes, It’s True.” Paul Simon’s promising son Harper Simon opens. (8 p.m. Fri., Varsity Theater, $17-$30.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

They’ve both enjoyed multiple-night runs at First Ave and played many a festival around the country, but modern-day Minnesota music giants Atmosphere and Trampled by Turtles have never co-headlined a show, as they’re doing in the latter band’s hometown. Of course, that’s because one is a hip-hop act and the other is a bluegrassy string quintet, a point underlined by the cheeky concert poster featuring a turntable inlaid in a banjo. Still, it somehow makes perfect sense, especially since it’s happening in the most perfectly Minnesotan location. Duluth acts Southwire and Moon & Pollution open. (6 p.m. Sat., Bayfront Festival Park, downtown Duluth, $25-$30, free for kids under 12.) Riemenschneider

 

They’re not Mumford & Sons or the Dave Matthews Band, but the Avett Brothers fall somewhere in between musically, and are a big enough fixture on the outdoor summer concert circuit for Somerset Amphitheater to build a mini-fest after them. North Carolina’s rootsy balladeers and bluegrassy rockers are playing summer gigs leading up to a fall release of the follow-up to last year’s Grammy-nominated album “The Carpenter,” this one also produced by Rick Rubin. They’re meeting up in Wisconsin farm country with celebrated Seattle singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, whose rabid Twin Cities fan base rivals the Avetts’, plus fun-bopping Philly hippie rockers Dr. Dog, whose “Be the Void” was the catchiest rock album of 2012. Avetts-like Texas pickers the Wheeler Brothers open. (4:30 p.m. Sat., Somerset Amphitheater, 715 Spring St., Somerset, Wis., $47-$87, kids $35, Ticketfly.com; campsites at SomersetAmphitheater.com.) Riemenschneider

One of two ’90s bands coming to town over the next week and a half despite the fact that their original singers died of heroin (see also: Alice in Chains), Sublime With Rome is down to one surviving member of the ska-poppy, “What I Got” hitmaking band Sublime, following the departure of drummer Bud Gaugh. Bassist Eric Wilson is carrying on with singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez and ubiquitous replacement drummer Josh Freese, of Guns N’ Roses and a dozen other well-known bands. They were a fan favorite at last year’s River’s Edge Festival in St. Paul. John Wayne & the Pain and Iration open. (8 p.m. Sat., Myth, $39.) Riemenschneider

 

He started a well-read music blog when he was only 12, and now AreYouRocking.com founder Max Timander truly is rocking at 16. The south Minneapolis teen sings and plays guitar in a promising new trio called Stereo Confession. After opening for Brooklyn buzz band Parquet Courts last week, the babyfaced pop/punkers fill out their what-we-did-for-summer-vacation folder this week by dropping a six-song debut EP, “First Communion,” recorded by Ed Ackerson with echoes of Ted Leo and pre-Broadway Green Day. Old farts Alpha Consumer and Word Party open the EP release party. (5 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry, all ages, $5.) Riemenschneider

 

She’s the voice, he’s the guitar. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, wife and husband, have been rocking together since 1979 (they married in ’82), and he’s played on all of her albums. Judging by her performance at the State Fair last year, the pixie-ish, Grammy-winning singer still has her “Love Is a Battlefield” pipes and Giraldo’s guitar work still impresses. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Minnesota Zoo, $60 & $72.50.) Bream

 

Already love-’em-or-hate-’em performers individually, indie-rap visionary Aesop Rock and Moldy Peaches anti-folkie Kimya Dawson are all the more polarizing and fascinating as the Uncluded. The unlikely duo — connected by their suburban New York upbringings and playfulness with words — turned to local label Rhymesayers Entertainment to issue their debut album, “Hokey Fright,” and 89.3 the Current is one of the few stations adventurous enough to play its charmingly warped, odd-duck, tale-filled tracks. In May, Dawson’s microphone unluckily cut out when she joined Aesop at Soundset in Shakopee, but no chance of that here. New York’s acoustic-punk storyteller Hamell on Trial, discovered by Ani DiFranco in the mid-’90s, is a must-see opener. (8 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $15.) Riemenschneider

  • related content

  • Sheryl Crow performs Friday at Mystic Lake Casino.

  • Polyphonic Spree performs Friday at the Varsity Theater.

  • Marilyn Manson plays the Myth on Tuesday.

  • Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson team up as the Uncluded, which performs Sunday at the Cedar Cultural Center.

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