Big Gigs: A guide to Twin Cities concerts Feb. 28-March 6

  • Updated: February 28, 2014 - 9:25 AM

Concert spotlights on Cibo Matto, the Sonics, Broken Bells, Trisha Yearwood, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Pink Martini and more.


Cibo Matto is back.

Photo: Photo by Sean Lennon,

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You could feel the Medina crowd waiting with bated breath last winter when Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Eric Burdon and the Animals launched into their best-known hit, “House of the Rising Sun.” Sure enough, the frontman was still able to hit the climactic high notes, and sang most of his other classics with impressive, gut-busting gusto, including “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “It’s My Life.” No wonder they invited him back so soon. Lamont Cranston with Bruce McCabe also make a welcome return as openers. (8:30 p.m. Fri., Medina Entertainment Center, 500 Hwy. 55, $31-$51.) Chris Riemenschneider

Broken Bells made a ho-hum impression on their debut tour in 2010 and have dropped a similarly lackluster sophomore record, but that didn’t stop fans from lining up to catch the band’s two reputable collaborators in action. James Mercer of the Shins steps out from behind the mope and explores his psychedelic-pop and dance-rock leanings in the group with the help of Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, the Gnarls Barkley co-founder and producer for the Black Keys, Norah Jones, Beck and now U2. They seem to be channeling the Bee Gees and Bowie more than the Beatles on their new one, “After the Disco.” Brooklyn dance-pop darlings Au Revoir Simone open. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, sold out.) Riemenschneider

A cool space underutilized by the music scene is being used in a big and adventurous way this weekend for the Southern Theater Sessions, hosted by icy chamber-folk trio batteryboy (who also perform each night) and featuring acoustic sets by a wide range of local rockers. Friday’s lineup has harmonious sister act the Ericksons, indie-rockers the Farewell Circuit and Nick Costa. Saturday is heavy on guitar pop with the Melismatics, Carroll and Fairfax, AK, plus ukulele folkie Katy Vernon. (6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls., all ages, $10/nightly.) Riemenschneider

Richie Ramone was more than just the mid-’80s drummer for the Ramones. He wrote some of the band’s bigger songs from that era, including “Somebody Put Something in My Drink” and “Animal Boy,” and sang lead vocals on a few tracks, including “Can’t Say Anything Nice.” So he’s entitled to title his new solo album “Entitled” and give it a very Ramones-y sound. (8 p.m. Fri., Belmore/New Skyway Lounge, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider

A rare treat for garage-rock lovers, the Sonics presaged Nirvana and the rest of the Seattle/Tacoma sonic boom of the late-’80s by more than two decades with their own brand of grungy guitars and hard-blasting attitude. After modest success in the mid-’60s with the sax-spiked singles “The Witch” and “Have Love, Will Travel,” the quintet earned a cult following that made it a favorite on Little Steven Van Zandt’s radio show and led to a buzz-heavy reunion at South by Southwest in 2009. A sign of their influence, local punk pioneers the Suicide Commandos and Curtiss A & the Jerks lined up to open for them here, and vintage Miami rocker Charlie Pickett is coming to town just for the occasion. (8 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $25.) Riemenschneider

Three philosophy professors from Carleton and St. Olaf sounds like the makings of a hopelessly pretentious rock band, but the Counterfactuals play a coolly laid-back, unflashy blend of twangy Americana and Feelies-like nerd-pop. To mark its debut album, “Minimally Decent People,” the quartet recently packed J Grundy’s Rueb ’N’ Stein in Northfield. Their big-city release party is an opening set for Dewi Saint. (11 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, $5.) Riemenschneider

Not a local band you’re likely to hear in rotation at the Current, Kitty Rhombus plays a freaktastic brand of acid-rock and space-funk, offering equal traces of the Butthole Surfers, Can and Ween under the manic spazz-spaceman musings of frontman Ian Stenlund. Originating from Madison, Wis., the quartet drops its second album, “Spectre at the Feast,” this week in its adopted hometown. (10 p.m. Sat., Hexagon Bar, free.) Riemenschneider

Between the dismal end of Hüsker Dü and the bright beginning of Sugar, Bob Mould holed up on a farm near Pine City and made 1989’s “Workbook,” a dramatic solo debut that is one of the greatest records ever made on Minnesota soil. It produced some of his most oft-played songs (“See a Little Light,” “Wishing Well”) and presaged the incorporation of strings into alt-rock (see: Nirvana, R.E.M., Foo Fighters). Between album cycles with his storming power trio — which has another record in the can for release later this year — Mould is doing a short acoustic tour with bassist Jason Narducy and cellist Alison Chesley tied to the 25th-anniversary expanded reissue of “Workbook.” Paul Metzger opens. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Woman’s Club Theater, sold out.) Riemenschneider

Fresh off a nod in Downbeat magazine’s “new wave of brass bands,” Minnesota’s own Jack Brass Band has become the go-to favorite for local Mardi Gras parties. For Fat Tuesday this year, the eight-man horn section is heading up Naughty Gras at the Amsterdam, which will include Bourbon Street-style vintage burlesque dancers, voodoo-conjuring magicians, a crawfish boil and New Orleans’ Abita beer on tap. This might be the official start of the end of winter. (8 p.m. Tue., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, $12, $50 reserved table, Riemenschneider

Cibo Matto went 14 years between albums but sounds like it never stopped evolving. The New York duo of Japanese expats was a quirky techno-pop/art-rock favorite in the late-’90s following the release of its food-themed debut, “Viva! La Woman,” after which it made a memorable “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” appearance, toured with Sonic Youth and collaborated with Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon. After a decade of other artistic ventures, Miho Hatori and Yuka C. Honda sound like they had a blast blending worldly beats and psychedelic mayhem on “Hotel Valentine” with help from Wilco’s Nels Cline and Glenn Kotsche and other friends. Japanese noise-rock openers Buffalo Daughter once recorded for the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal label. (8 p.m. Tue., Turf Club, sold out.) Riemenschneider

On last year’s eclectic and romantic “Get Happy,” Pink Martini, those multilingual lounge lizards from Portland, Ore., collaborated with, among others, Rufus Wainwright, cabaret singer Meow Meow, Phyllis Diller (in her last recording before her death in 2012) and the Von Trapps of “Sound of Music” fame. The latter collaboration went so well that Pink Martini will not only release a collaboration disc, “Dream a Little Dream,” next week with the five great-grandchildren, ages 19 to 25, of Capt. and Maria Von Trapp, but they are also touring together. (7:30 p.m. Wed. Fitzgerald, $40-$65..) Jon Bream

Following their transition from punky Southern rockers to anthemic Middle America rock stars with the hits “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire” in 2009, Kings of Leon made an even more convincing leap to arena status, providing a rousing mega-show that year. The band of Tennesseean siblings overdid it on the road, though, and coasted into their new album “Mechanical Bull” following a yearlong hiatus. We’ll see if they’ve lost any steam on stage. Texas blues-rocker Gary Clark Jr. is not to be missed as the opener. Read an interview with one of the Kings in Sunday’s Variety section. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Target Center, $29.50-$39.50.) Riemenschneider


It’s been a while since we’ve heard new music from Trisha Yearwood. One of Nashville’s best female voices in the 1990s, she scored five No. 1 songs including “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl).” She’s been busy of late starring in “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” on the Food Network, writing two bestselling cookbooks and hanging out with hubby Garth Brooks and his three daughters. Working on a third cookbook and her first album in nine years, Yearwood has said she’s touring “just because.” (8 p.m. Sat., Mystic Lake Casino, $55-$69.) Bream

Having kicked around North Carolina since the early ’00s, Parmalee is starting to make national waves with the hit single “Carolina.” The band gained notoriety in 2010 when two guys tried to rob them at gunpoint after a college gig. Drummer Scott Thomas got shot and returned fire, killing one robber. Thomas, who was in a coma for 10 days, recovered to rejoin his singing brother Matt to finish the band’s 2013 debut, “Feels Like Carolina,” which suggests Kings of Leon as a contemporary country band fronted by Bob Seger. (9 p.m. Thu., Mill City Nights, $20-$45.) Bream


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