MUSIC

Sam Smith

Their concert is filled with aching ballads, dance-floor delights, gender-blending outfits, writhing dancers and a message of freedom. That's what the Grammy-winning British singer projects in a show in three acts — Love, Beauty and Sex — featuring the hits "Stay With Me," "I Know I'm Not the Only One" and "Unholy," the Kim Petras collab that went to No. 1 in fall 2022. Opening is Canadian singer Jessie Reyez, who is featured on Smith's recent single "Gimme." (8 p.m. Wed., Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $29.50-$320, ticketmaster.com)

JON BREAM

Jason Aldean

Cancel culture seems to backfire when it comes to country music. After CMT dropped Aldean's controversial pro-gun video for "Try That in a Small Town," fans rallied behind him and consumed the song so many times that it not only shot to No. 1 on country charts but also on the pop list. For one week this month, Aldean was hotter than Taylor Swift and Morgan Wallen. The "My Kinda Party" hitmaker now has two dozen No. 1 Nashville songs, dating back to "Why" in 2005. With special guests Mitchell Tenpenny, Corey Kent and Dee Jay Silver. (7 p.m. Sat., Treasure Island Casino Amphitheater, 5734 Sturgeon Lake Road, Red Wing, $45 and up, ticketmaster.com)

J.B.

Sylvan Esso

After performing at Lollapalooza and Hinterland last weekend in Midwest cities cool enough to host big music festivals, the North Carolina-based electro-pop duo with Wisconsin ties is circling back our way for its largest local headlining show to date. Ex-Mountain Man singer Amelia Meath and her loopy producer, bandmate and husband Nick Sanborn sound happily wed to sonic experimentation and madcap beats on last year's album, "No Rules Sandy," adding some wild, new touches to their ultra-charming live shows. Fellow N.C. musician Indigo De Souza opens. (8 p.m. Sat., the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., all ages, $40-$148, ticketmaster.com)

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

St. Paul & the Broken Bones

Ain't no party like a St. Paul party. Powerhouse soul man and showman Paul Janeway and his large, funky, Alabama-based ensemble have been dazzling local crowds for a decade with their retro, Stax-stacked sounds. Their new album, "Angels in Science Fiction," is a love letter of sorts to Janeway's new daughter and tries a little more tenderness and neo-soul slow-jamming. Their appearance in the well-received Sparkyard Sound outdoor concert series is a warmup gig to a full tour behind the new LP. Bluesy Chicago singer Elizabeth Moen and local R&B belter Jaedyn James open. (6 p.m. Thu., Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 NE. Tyler St., Mpls., $45-$135, etix.com)

C.R.

Lakes Area Music Festival Finale

A month of music in the Brainerd Lakes region concludes for dozens of musicians from America's top orchestras. And they're going out with a concert full of grand orchestral showpieces conducted by music director Christian Reif, including Richard Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan and Isolde" and Dmitri Shostakovich's 15th and final symphony. And soprano Felicia Moore sings French Romantic Augusta Holmès' "La Nuit et l'Amour." (7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts, 702 S. 5th St., Brainerd, free-$50, lakesareamusic.org)

ROB HUBBARD

A Musical Field Guide to Minnesota Wildflowers

Twin Cities composer Jonathan Posthuma has created a work for winds that will be premiered at three local concerts featuring a variety of combinations of two woodwind trios, Texas' Plumeria Winds and Minnesota's Reed⁵. On display at each concert will be KT Thompson's watercolor paintings inspired by the piece. The Friday concert also features new works by Samantha Hogan, Elizabeth King and Jared Steven Coffin. (7 p.m. Thu., Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., St. Paul; 7 p.m. Fri., Zion Lutheran Church, 1697 Lafond Av., St. Paul; 11 a.m. Sun., White Bear Center for the Arts, 4971 Long Av., White Bear Lake, free-$20; https://www.facebook.com/events/252792167579440/)

R.H.

THEATER

'12x12'

In his first year as the artistic director of Mixed Blood Theatre, Mark Valdez embarked on a campaign to take art to a dozen Twin Cities communities. He commissioned playwright Katie Ka Vang, poet Joe Davis, chef Yia Vang and multimedia artist Hawona Sullivan Janzen to celebrate resilience in places like Little Mekong, north Minneapolis and St. Paul's Rondo. The commissions also extended to Maplewood, Woodbury and Brooklyn Center, with programs that included synchronized swimming, temporary tattoo arts and ice-skating. This weekend the artists and their community partners will come together for a shindig at Mixed Blood. Valdez said the goal is to keep arts organizations relevant by being of integral service to communities. (Noon-6 p.m. Sat. & Sun., Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls. Free. 612-338-6131, mixedblood.com.)

ROHAN PRESTON

'Cheaper Than Hamilton'

The Brave New Workshop is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a retrospective of the most memorable skits and sketches from its historic run. Longtime director Caleb McEwen returns with a veteran cast that includes Lauren Anderson, who has been with the company since 2004. Please note: This show has nothing to do with Alexander Hamilton, although rumor has it he might have enjoyed a beer or two with late founder Dudley Riggs. (7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., Dudley Riggs Theatre, 824 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $23-$43. Show times vary; ends Nov. 4. hennepintheatretrust.org)

NEAL JUSTIN

DANCE

Soiled Dance Series

Jennifer Glaws, founder of Jagged Moves, brings an immersive dance experience to the Gale Woods Farm, with a series of site-specific works. Glaws and six other Minnesota-based choreographers will address topics such as land history and sustainability in the series amid the agricultural background. It all takes place on the working farm that hosts educational programs. DelSur Empanadas will serve Argentinian fare. (7 p.m. Thu., Fri. & Sat., Gale Woods Farm, 7210 County Road 110 W., Minnetrista. $20, $38 performance plus picnic, jenniferglaws.org)

SHEILA REGAN

'Wild Knowing'

Mirage Performing Arts returns to Peavey Plaza for a ballet set to classical music atop the park's idyllic water feature. Choreographer Yuki Tokuda will perform her lyrical contemporary ballet style to works by European, American, Finnish and Japanese composers and music by pianist Rie Tanaka and cellist Jesse Nummelin. Also, folk tales from around the world will fuel the work, with an added visual contribution by Finnish fiber artist Anita Jain. (6 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat., Peavey Plaza, 1101 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. Free, www.greenminneapolis.org)

S.R.

FAMILY

Black Entrepreneur State Fair

It's an affair for the culture to bring black-owned businesses into the spotlight. Local entrepreneurs who may not have brick and mortar stores are able to exist in a space to bring awareness to their products and services. Throughout the eight-day event there will be a drumline competition, birria taco contest, panel discussions, skating party and more. Because it wouldn't be a fair without food, local vendors with sweet and savory foods from throughout the diaspora provide tasting options. (Sun.-Aug. 27, times vary, see website for details. $5-$7. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Mpls. blackstatefair.org)

MELISSA WALKER