Lionel Richie: He is officially an American music institution. After all, in 2017, he received Kennedy Center Honors and last year he wrapped his residency in Las Vegas (and recently released a live album to commemorate it). The affable Motown alum can croon "Easy" and "Hello" and party with "Brick House" and "Dancing on the Ceiling." The Grammy and Oscar winner closes his North American tour at the State Fair. (7:30 p.m. Fri., grandstand, $57-$67)

Tony! Toni! Toné!: While co-founder Raphael Saadiq just issued a must-hear new solo album, his brother D'Wayne Wiggins is still driving their old R&B trio with Amar Khali as lead singer and set lists featuring such early-'90s hits as "Feels Good," "Anniversary" and "If I Had No Loot." (8:30 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Leinie Lodge Bandshell, free.)

First Ave Goes to the Fair: Minneapolis' legendary rock club curated a two-night, revue-style lineup of rappers, rockers and R&B singers to reflect its eclectic vibe for its first fair installation. Journeyman Al Church will lead a house band backing the Bad Man, Dwynell Roland, Har Mar Superstar, Lady Lark, Mark Mallman and Mina Moore on Night 1, followed by Brother Ali, Dem Atlas, Haley, Jack Klatt, Maurice Jacox, and Seaberg. (8 p.m., Schell's Stage at Schilling Amphitheater, free.)

Brandi Carlile: After thrilling with three shows at the State Theatre last fall and then grabbing three Grammys this winter, the Americana star is back to play a big gig in her biggest market. Carlile's "By the Way, I Forgive You" was not only her best album but one of the best of 2018. As part of 89.3 the Current's annual Music on a Stick bill at the grandstand, this show will feature gospel-pop icon Mavis Staples, the spirited Rock Hall of Famer who is still making new music about social issues, and Americana newcomer Savannah Conley. (6:30 p.m. Sat., grandstand $51-$76)

Dessa: She's got her own flavor of espresso-infused Izzy's ice cream at the Hamline Dining Hall, so why not throw in a pair of free band shell gigs, too? The chameleonic Twin Cities hip-hop star last played in her hometown with her old crewmates of Doomtree, and before that she recorded a live album with her new crew in the Minnesota Orchestra, due for release Nov. 8. This time she's playing with MONAKR as her backing band. (8:30 p.m. Sun. & Mon., Leinie Lodge Bandshell, free; Dessa will also stopy by the Star Tribune booth for a live interview, 4:30 p.m. Sun.)

ZZ Top/Cheap Trick: Both of these Rock Hall of Fame bands have been resourceful in recent years about playing bills with other big names. ZZ Top is celebrating its 50th anniversary (with the original lineup, no less) playing Texas blues like "Tush" and "La Grange" along with old MTV classics like "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs." Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen remains an animated guitarist while Robin Zander still offers his Lennonesque voice on "Surrender" and "Dream Police." (7 p.m. Mon., grandstand, $39-$49)


Under Violet: Satin pillow-voiced singer/songwriter Sara Bischoff has charmed Twin Cities indie rockers with her prior groups Web of Sunsets and Heavy Deeds, and now she's taking on a hazy alt-country/neo-twang sound with mesmerizing results in her new band, which also features Poliça's Chris Bierden. Their eponymous debut album is a mellow, plush and outright gorgeous record suited for zoning out late-night. Holly Hansen's newly reborn/revived Zoo Animal and Molly Dean open the release party. (8 p.m. Fri., Parkway Theater, all ages, $10-$15.)

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats: After triumphing last fall at St. Paul's Palace Theatre, this Colorado Americana outfit returns for an outdoor performance in support of last year's "Tearing at the Seams" album. If they seemed like Van Morrison lost in Stax Records on their 2015 eponymous debut, then this time they've found more of their own voice without losing their love for vintage horn-fueled soul music. Recent set lists have leaned heavily on the new album. Opening is North Carolina alt-country vet Hiss Golden Messenger. (5:30 p.m. Sat. Surly Brewery Field, Mpls., sold out)

Mark Knopfler: On what he's calling his final tour, the tastiest of guitar colorists is offering something of a career retrospective. He's playing hits and a deep cut or two from Dire Straits as well as selections from many of his 10 solo albums (including last year's understated and often jazzy, trumpet-spiked "Down the Road Wherever") and even his movie soundtracks. As always, he has a top-notch band, with a newly added horn section. (8 p.m. Fri. Orpheum Theatre, $82-$207)

Eddie Palmieri: Hoping to create awareness for the ongoing post-hurricane struggles of his homeland of Puerto Rico, the nine-time Grammy-winning pianist will explore the expansive, percussive sounds that have made him a Latin jazz icon. At age 82, the Nuyorican is not slowing down. Last year, he released two albums, "Full Circle," on which he re-imagined eight compositions from his salsa era, and "Mi Luz Mayor," on which he chronicled his love story with his late wife, with a little help from guitarist Carlos Santana and vocalist Gilberto Santa Rosa. Palmieri's appearance is the fourth and final night at the Dakota exploring Latin jazz piano. (7 & 9:30 p.m. Sat. Dakota, $30-$50)

Jon Spencer & the Hitmakers: After the movie "Baby Driver" introduced his old band the Blues Explosion's high-velocity to a new generation, the veteran New York indie rocker has issued a solo album, "Spencer Sings! the Hits," loaded with trashy, gritty, wild garage rock. The Demolition Doll Rods open. (8 p.m. Sun., Turf Club, $18.)

Velvet Negroni: Fresh off opening for Tame Imapala at Madison Square Garden and singing on the new Bon Iver album under his latest alias, Minneapolis sonic quilter Jeremy Nutzman of Spyder Baybie and Bight Club notoriety returns to the Entry with friends to tout his new album for 4AD Records, "Neon Brown," a truly unique mashup of electro-rap, neo soul and art rock. (9 p.m. Mon., 7th St. Entry, $13-$15.)

Tyler, the Creator: The onetime ringleader of Los Angeles' Odd Future collective has carved out a solo career successful enough to have seen his third album, "IGOR," debut at No. 1 when it came out in May. It's a surprisingly romantic and pop-flavored collection that suggests the bratty and bawdy rapper is going soft, but there's still a charming juvenile and playful side to his lyricism, and no doubt he's still a wild card in concert. Blood Orange, GoldLink and Jaden Smith (Will and Jada's son) are touring as his openers. (7 p.m. Mon., the Armory, all ages, $57-$68.)

Squeeze: Reunited since 2007, veteran Brit hitmakers Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook returned to recording with 2015's "Cradle to the Grave" and quickly followed with 2017's "The Knowledge," a sophisticated and eclectic pop exploration with predictably clever lyrics by Difford. However, concert set lists seem to draw heavily from vintage Squeeze, including the early '80s faves "Tempted," "Black Coffee in Bed" and "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)." Opening is KT Tunstall, known for the mid-'00s hits "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and "Suddenly I See." (8 p.m. Tue. State Theatre, $39-$65)

Glen Hansard: The Irish folk rocker, who first gained indie fame with the Frames and then charmed Oscars viewers as the star of "Once," is back on the road touting a dramatic and rather bleak new solo album, "The Wild Willing," which dabbles in electronic and jazzy experimentation with varying results. Harmonious Chicago duo OHMME opens. (7 p.m. Wed., State Theatre, $39-$64.)

Pat Metheny: The celebrated jazz guitarist is calling this his Side-Eye Tour because he's collaborating with newer musicians who have caught his eye. The 10-time Grammy winner and 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master is working with drummer Marcus Gilmore, grandson of the great drummer Roy Haynes, and keyboardist James Francies, a protégé of Minneapolis-bred Bobby Lyle. (7 & 9:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu. Dakota, $65-$100)

Kesha: As her nearly two-year Rainbow Tour winds down, the don't-mess-with-me pop star has dropped two recent singles, the buoyant, optimistic "Best Day" from "The Angry Birds Movie 2" and the sarcastic commentary "Rich, White, Straight Men." But in concert, she's still emphasizing her hits, including "Tik Tok," "Timber" and "Praying," though she's never afraid to speak her mind in song or conversation. (8 p.m. Thu. Mystic Lake, $74 and up)