THE BIG GIGS DURING RNC
What: A nonpolitical, free event intended to showcase the Twin Cities arts community over a 24-hour span at one of its most regal venues. Info at spark24.org.
Who: Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, VocalEssence, Children's Theatre, comedy by Brave New Workshop, dance by Ragamala, gospel by James Grear & Co. and lots more, plus a late-night rock marathon with Cloud Cult, the Alarmists and Chris Koza (2-6 a.m.).
When: 5 p.m. Sat.-5 p.m. Sun.
Where: Orchestra Hall and Peavey Plaza, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.
TAKE BACK LABOR DAY
What: Originally a family picnic for the Service Employees Industry Union, it has turned into a music fest with big-name performers voicing the working man's blues. Tickets are $10 through Ticketmaster or TakeBackLaborDay.com
Who: Hip-hop stars Mos Def, the Pharcyde and Atmosphere with rock/folk activists Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer and Billy Bragg.
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.
Where: Harriet Island, downtown St. Paul.
What: Organized by three ambitious University of Minnesota students, it's another free outdoor fest billed as an "intergenerational front ... in the name of positive social and environmental change." More info at RippleEffect08.com.
Who: Reggae/hip-hop stars Michael Franti & Spearhead and Matisyahu with punk firestarters Anti-Flag, rapper Dead Prez, local music stalwarts I Self Devine, Indigo and WookieFoot and activists including Will Steger.
Where: State Capitol lawn, St. Paul.
When: 12:30-7 p.m. Tue.
What: A mostly local concert centered on "peace, people and the planet." Tickets are $20 through Ticketmaster or ProVentionConcert.org.
Who: Nellie McKay, Dan Wilson, Honeydogs, New Standards, Haley Bonar, Jeremy Messersmith and "surprise guests."
When: 7 p.m. Tue.
Where: Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
What: The legendary rap/rock band's first Twin Cities concert in 11 years and third convention performance, following Wednesday's gig in Denver and a riot-sparking 2000 Democratic convention performance in L.A. Tickets are $60 through Ticketmaster. Anti-Flag opens.
Where: Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wed.
"Wake Up World" with "Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead and an all-star Mad Ripple Hootenanny featuring Billy Bragg and Ike Reilly (7 p.m. Tue-Thu., Parkway Theatre, Mpls., $25).
Barackin' the Cities with Bill Mike Band and Seymore Saves the World (8 p.m. Thu., Varsity Theater, Mpls., $10).
Concert for Change with Drift Effect, 3 Pill Morning, Far From Falling, more (1 p.m.-close Thu., Station 4, St. Paul, free).
AND IF YOU'RE PART OF THE IN CROWD...
Here are some of the private gigs in town this week, all of them invite-only.
Sammy Hagar at the Southern Delegation party. (9 p.m., First Avenue, Mpls.) ... Salute to the Screen Actors Guild with an unnamed act. (9 p.m., Fine Line Music Cafe, Mpls.).
Convention kickoff with the Beach Boys. (7: 30 p.m., Atrium at International Market Square, Mpls.) ... Friends of New Orleans all-star jam with Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville and more. (8 p.m., First Avenue.) ... Keeping Florida a Red State with LeAnn Rimes and Bellamy Brothers (Trocaderos, Mpls.). ... Coalitions United party with Smash Mouth. (9 p.m., Aqua nightclub, Mpls.) ... Magnum Entertainment party with Big Head Todd and Bobby Yang (9 p.m., Fine Line).
Texas Honky-Tonk with Gretchen Wilson, John Rich and Cowboy Troy (5 p.m., Trocaderos). ... Agri-Growth party with "Styx Band" (8 p.m., the Depot, Mpls.). ... Magnum Entertainment party with Jack Ingram and Robert Earl Keen (9 p.m., Fine Line).
Music at the Mill with Clay Walker and Gov. Mike Huckabee's band Capitol Offense. (2:30 p.m., Nicollet Island Pavilion, Mpls.). ... The One Campaign and Recording Industry Association of America party with Daughtry. (10 p.m., Epic, Mpls.) ... Creative Coalition Gala with the Charlie Daniels Band (10 p.m., Depot).