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.

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Cibo Matto is back.

Photo: Photo by Sean Lennon,

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POP/ROCK

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, Ticketfly.com.) 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

COUNTRY

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

FAMILY

A big to-do for activity-starved, culture-feeding parents every winter, 89.3 the Current’s Rock the Cradle boasts a strong lineup led by 2012 Grammy winners the Okee Dokee Brothers, previewing their new mountain-hiker album; chant-rap duo Koo Koo Kanga Roo; Gustafer Yellowgold, the sun dweller who split for the Minnesota woods; sisterly indie-folk duo the Ericksons, plus the usual dance-floor-shredding, drum-banging extracurriculars that keep MIA staffers on edge all day. (11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Children’s Theatre, 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls., Free.) Riemenschneider

FOLK

Collaborators for 40 years, “Prairie Home Companion” favorites Adam Granger and Pop Wagner team again for “Happy Landings,” a generous collection of folk, blues and country favorites — including classics from the catalogs of Reverend Gary Davis, Merle Travis, the Carter Family and Grandpa Jones — that closes with a smile-inducing tribute to the late Bill Hinkley. It’s the next best thing to having Pop and Adam pickin’ and croonin’ in your living room. (7 p.m. Sun., Celtic Junction, 836 N. Prior Av., St. Paul, $12-$15, 651-330-4685.) Tom Surowicz

WORLD

The young Irish musicians of FullSet are creating a stir on both sides of the pond, and one listen to such rousing instrumental tracks as “The Glen Road to Carrick” will show you why. But they can also do a tender ballad from our neck of the planet — check out their gentle reprise of Bill Staines’ gem “Roseville Fair,” with flutist/singer Teresa Horgan. The HiBs (pronounced “High Bees”), featuring Jode and Kate Dowling, open. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$20.) Surowicz

Two years short of their 30th anniversary, New York’s Klezmatics have always had a great sense of musical adventure (mixing avant-garde jazz with Eastern European Jewish music) and a great sense of humor (their albums include “Rhythm and Jews” and the gospelly “Brother Moses Smote the Water”). They still feature co-founders Lorin Sklamberg, lead singer and multi-instrumentalist, and trumpeter/keyboardist Frank London, who has played with everyone from Mel Torme to LL Cool J. (7 p.m. Sun., Dakota, $35.). Bream

JAZZ

When Manhattan Transfer had two subs for their holiday show at the Pantages, reports weren’t so favorable. With this Grammy-winning vocal quartet, it’s about the vocal blend. Tim Hauser is back after spinal surgery, but Cheryl Bentyne is still undergoing cancer treatment, so Katie Campbell — who has worked with Bobby McFerrin, Josh Groban and Sheryl Crow — will sit in. (7 & 9 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $40-$60.) Bream

CLASSICAL

Sarah Hicks, principal conductor for pops and presentations, gets her first Minnesota Orchestra gig since the recent troubles were settled. She will lead the band in “West Side Story,” playing Leonard Bernstein’s gorgeous score as the film version (with instrumental parts stripped out) plays on a big screen. This has become a popular gambit for orchestras across the country. Minnesota performed Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” and “The Wizard of Oz” a few years ago. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Orchestra Hall, $26-$84, 612-371-5656 or minnesota orchestra.org) Graydon Royce

 









 

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