The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week
Concert highlights for May 5-11 include the Biebs, Interpol, Snoh Aalegrea, Tai Verdes and the Under the Canopy series kickoff.
Thursday, May 5
Under the Canopy kickoff: Conceived and warmly received as a safe, diverse, community-oriented outdoor music option last year, the Hook & Ladder’s Under the Canopy series returns with a bigger capacity and more room to dance starting with a KFAI-produced Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring Javier Trejo’s new group Caballo Cósmico (7 p.m. Thu., free tickets via kfai.org). The series continues with piano legend Cornbread Harris’ 95th birthday bash featuring a special guest (7 p.m., Fri., $15-$20) and then two by rap-rocker Heatbox (5 and 7:30 p.m., $15-$20). Davina & the Vagabonds, the Belfast Cowboys and International Reggae All-Stars are all set to perform on subsequent weekends in May. (Hook & Ladder Theater, 3010 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls., thehookmpls.com)
Interpol: Before pairing up with Spoon for a summer co-headlining tour and dropping a new album in July, the moody and stormy New York rockers are warming up after the COVID lull with a short spring tour. Paul Banks and his consistently powerful live unit are previewing some of the new songs on the jaunt but also heavily revisiting their debut “Turn on the Bright Lights,” which turns 20 this year. Electronic producer Tycho and Texas strummer Matthew Dears open. (8 p.m., Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $50, axs.com)
Also: Masterful singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega brings her intimate 2020 live album, “An Evening of New York Songs and Stories” (7 & 9 p.m. Dakota, $30-$50); local jazz singer Joyce Lyons (6:30 p.m. Crooners, $20-$25); Cuban jazz pianist Jore Luis Pacheco (7 p.m., KJ’s Hideaway, $15); Virginia’s Basement, Jacquie Pine and comedians perform for the Cinco Alternativo party (8 p.m., White Squirrel Bar).
Friday, May 6
Justin Bieber: A pop star for nearly half his life, the Biebs, 28, has gone from a cute Canadian teen to a tattooed Hollywood husband with a newfound religious commitment. On his first tour since 2016-17, he is promoting last year’s hit-filled “Justice.” Despite the title and a couple samples of Martin Luther King speeches, this is mostly a collection of pop and R&B-tinged love songs. With the new disc, Bieber become the first male artist to have his first six studio albums debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart. Material from “Justice,” including “Ghost” and “Peaches,” will dominate the concert setlist. But Bieber hasn’t forgotten about “Baby” and “Sorry.” Opening are Eddie Benjamin, Teo and Jaden, son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. (7:30 p.m. Fri. Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls., $62.50-$202.50, axs.com)
Kassa Overall: The mixing of hip-hop and jazz has evolved into an organically soluble genre of its own, and Overall is in the vanguard of it. The Seattle-raised, Brooklyn-based drummer-rapper-producer studied at Oberlin with current master drummer Billy Hart and has forged his own path since his 2019 debut, “Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz.” During the pandemic, Overall released two remix albums in homage to DJ-producer Madlib. By turns playful, political and sonically profound, “Shades of Flu” puts songs by everyone from Jon Batiste to Archie Shepp in a blender without sapping their essence. (8 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S, Mpls. $28.50-$30. walkerart.org)
Also: Minneapolis’ rootsy dance groups the Ukrainian Village Band and Orkestar Bez Ime pair up with SlowCzech for the Musicians for Ukraine benefit concert (7 p.m. the Dakota, $25+); Kansas City indie-rap hero Tech9ne returns on his Asin9ne Tour (7 p.m. Myth in Maplewood, $40, all ages); Americana strummer Ben Rector is touring behind his ninth album, “The Joy of Music” (7 p.m. Armory, $37 and up); Chicago wordsmith and Chance’s the Rapper’s “Angels” collaborator Saba (7 p.m. First Ave, $25, all ages); Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard explore the dark humor of Randy Newman songbook (8 p.m. Crooners, $25 and up); Willie Wisley returns with fellow ’80s/’90s scene vets the Scarlett Goodbye and Cindy Lawson (8 p.m., Turf Club, $15);
Saturday, May 7
Janiva Magness: The heralded blues-rock singer, who spent her salad days in St. Paul and won the 2009 Blues Foundation entertainer of the year prize, is preparing to drop her 16th album, “Hard to Kill,” on June 24. She has previewed the 11 new originals with the stomping “Don’t You Forget About Me” and the smoldering “If Your Heart Needs a Hand.” Maybe she’ll bring copies of her candid 2019 memoir, “Weeds Like Us,” to sign and sell. Opening is Minnesota’s own rising blues star, Annie Mack. (7 p.m. Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. $35-$45, dakotacooks.com)
The Singers: “Considering Matthew Shepard” is an oratorio created by Minnesota-born, Grammy-winning choral composer and conductor Craig Hella Johnson, reflecting upon the University of Wyoming student who was murdered in 1998 for being gay. The Singers will perform a work that employs elements of J.S. Bach’s passions, gospel, blues and musical theater to explore not only the tragedy but a path toward forgiveness. (7 p.m. Kracum Performance Hall, Carleton College, free; also 3 p.m. Sun., St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 900 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi, $5-$35; 7 p.m. May 14, St. Michael-Albertville High School Performing Arts Center, 5800 Jamison Ave. N.E., St. Michael, free; 3 p.m. May 15, Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 Fourth St. S., Mpls., $5-$35; singersmca.org.)
Also: Dublin’s post-punky quintet Fontaines DC are back in America after going to No. 1 on the U.K. charts with their new album “Skinty Fia” (8 p.m. First Ave, $25); England’s “If You Leave” hitmakers Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark celebrate their 40th anniversary (7 p.m. the Fillmore, $45+); Metal vets Godsmack’s 2020-announced tour finally lands with Three Days Grace, Asking Alexandria and more (5 p.m. Target Center, $20); Iowan/Kansas folk music and alt-twang hero Iris DeMent with Texan troubadour Ana Egge (8 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $38); Western swing purveyors Asleep at the Wheel tout their expansive new album “Half a Hundred Years,” a celebration of their 50th anniversary with founder Ray Benson joined by guests Willie Nelson, George Strait, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Bill Kirchen and others (8 p.m. Hopkins Center for the Arts, $45-$55); local indie-rock vets Run Westy Run (7 p.m., Palmer’s Bar, $20); British prog-rock guitar hero Steve Hackett revisits Genesis’ “Seconds Out” album (8 p.m. Pantages, $39.50-$79.50); longtime Minnesota favorite Martin Zellar, who commutes from Mexico, rocks the outdoor tent (6 p.m. Crooners, $25); stellar Marine on the St. Croix singer-songwriter John Gorka makes a rare home state appearance (8 p.m. Parkway Theater, $25-$35); Remo Drive (8 p.m., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, $18); Son Lux (9 p.m. Fine Line, $22+); emo-y punk vets Self-Evident return with Dead History opening (9 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $10-$15); dramatic rocker Cassandra Cole celebrates her new album “Steps” for Rock the Cause Records (6 p.m., KJ’s Hideaway, $15).
Sunday, May 8
Snoh Aalegrea: Now based in Los Angeles, the Swedish singer created enough buzz to be named best new artist at the 2020 Soul Train Awards and best new R&B artist at 2021’s iHeartRadio Music Awards. Mentored by Prince for a time, she embraces the au courant chill R&B on her latest, 2021’s “Temporary Highs in the Violet Skies,” addressing a turbulent relationship with grace instead of volume. Tyler, the Creator ups the energy with a verse on the breezy “Neon Peach,” her latest single, and adds to the highlight, the lusciously melodic “In the Moment.” (8 p.m. Armory, 500 6th S. St., Mpls., $34 and up, ticketmaster.com)
Stewart Copeland: The Police’s drummer has had a long career scoring music for film and television. But he’s also composed operas and oratorios. He’s coming to Minneapolis because VocalEssence is performing his “Satan’s Fall,” based on Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” He’ll talk about the piece before the concert. To show that he knows where his bread is buttered, Copeland also will participate in a free Police sing-along at 2 p.m. Sat. at Mall of America. Read an interview at startribune.com/variety (3 p.m. Sun. Central Lutheran Church, 333 S. 12th Street, Mpls., $20-$40, vocalessence.org)
Band-Aid for Ukraine
A cool swath of Twin Cities rock and Americana music vets are banding together to raise money for Ukrainian war relief, including Lennon tribute dean Curtiss A, piano-boogie queen Davina Lozier, traditional country darlings Trailer Trash, garage-rock howlers the Hypstrz, Mia Dorr & the Funkin’ Bluesers, the Jiggs Lee Invasion and Harrison Street. The Ukrainian Village Band is hosting, and all profits go to standwithukrainemn.com. (3:30 p.m. Sun., Minnesota Music Cafe, 501 Payne Av., St. Paul, donations at door or online)
Also: Cult-loved New York singer/songwriter Walter Salas-Humara and his folk-rock band the Silos hit the Palmer’s patio with Marin Devaney’s Folios following Cornbread Harris’ weekly gig (7 p.m., Palmer’s Bar, $20); the Chico Chavez Orchestra, Cuerdas de Acero and K-Libre play a Cinco de Mayo party at Minnesota’s only Latino-owned brewery (noon-8 p.m.); La Doña Cerveceria, free); British “X-Factor” winner and “Say You Won’t Go” hitmaker James Arthur (8 p.m. the Fillmore, $35+); California bedroom-pop singer Ashe, who’s a protégé of Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas (7 p.m., $35, all ages); underrated and soulful Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. (9 p.m. Fine Line, $30+); members of the Big-Wu and other local jammers will recreate the Grateful Dead’s Cornell ’77 concert (7:30 p.m., Hook & Ladder, $15); Robert Robinson leads a Mother Day’s brunch (12:30 p.m. the Dakota, $20); Ohio folk-rock pickers Over the Rhine (7 p.m. the Dakota, $40-$50).
Monday, May 9
Rootsy Nashville singer-songwriter Darrell Scott, a first-call picker who was part of Robert Plant’s Band of Joy (7 p.m. Dakota, $30-$40); former teen pop star Jesse McCartney has graduated to “The Masked Singer” and adult stardom, behind his first album in seven years, “New Stage” (7 p.m. Fillmore, $30 and up).
Tuesday, May 10
Tai Verdes: The liveliest young newcomer at the KDWB Jingle Ball last December — one that actually did perform “live,” too — this 26-year-old California singer/rapper is coming back around for an overdue headlining set. His Michael Franti-flavored rap/pop hybrid “A-O-K” became a well-timed breakout hit last summer to capture people’s easing COVID tensions. He and his band have plenty more feel-good songs and a mighty wacky stage presence, too. (7 p.m. Tue., Varsity Theater, 1308 SE 4th St., Mpls., $48-plus, ticketmaster.com)
Also: The Southside Aces play a New Orleans-themed supper-club show (8 p.m. Icehouse, $12); Georgia hip-hop duo Earthgang (7 p.m. the Fillmore, $35); sunny hippies Iration (7:30 p.m. First Avenue); Uncle Jesse’s Comb continues a May residency following the usual Trevor McSpadden and Mary Cutrufello happy-hour set (10 p.m., White Squirrel Bar, free).
Wednesday, May 11
Last seen opening for Jason Isbell at the Armory, powerful Indiana rocker Timothy Sholwater aka Strand of Oaks returns for a headlining date (8 p.m. Turf Club, $18-$22); Pink Martini, the multi-lingual, multi-genre, ultra-cool mini-orchestra with fab vocalists China Forbes and Storm Large, bring the stylish party (7:30 p.m. Pantages, $60-$75); Philly rockers MeWithoutYou say farewell (8 p.m. Varsity Theater, $30).