The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week
Friday, March 4
First Avenue’s Best New Bands: Don’t worry, the two-month postponement of this annual roundup of Minnesota buzzmakers didn’t take away any of the “newness” of it. There’s an even stronger buzz now for brother/sister rock band Durry, whose TikTok-viral slacker anthem “Who’s Laughing Now?” continues to pick up steam. The rest of the lineup includes dynamic soul-rocker Evv, jazz-pop trio Honeybutter, electro hip-hop/R&B artists Kokou Kah and Papa Mbye, Duluthian neo-twanger Lanue and spazzy rockers Vial. See our thorough rundown of all the bands from before the postponement. (7 p.m., First Avenue, Mpls., $12-$15, first-avenue.com)
Rick Wakeman: Even though he played on David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” the British studio keyboardist rejected a chance to join Bowie’s band and instead went with a new ensemble simply called Yes. He lasted only about three years with the prog-rockers, exiting after the tour behind 1973’s disjointed double album “Tales from Topographic Oceans.” Over the years, though, he has been in and out of Yes. Now he’s flying solo on the Even Grumpier Old Rock Star Tour, playing material by Yes, the Beatles, Bowie and others as well as selections from his solo works. (8 p.m. Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $45-$69, ticketmaster.com)
The Beths: While their homeland of New Zealand was spared from COVID lockdown, Elizabeth Stokes and her Aukland-based pop/punk band recorded a hard-blasting live album to liven things up for the rest of the quarantined world. They’ve since put out one of this year’s best rock singles, the Superchunk-flavored “A Real Thing,” ahead of their U.S. return. (9 p.m. Fri., Fine Line, Mpls., $20, axs.com)
Also Friday: Darius Rucker offers his sunny pontoon country plus a few Hootie & the Blowfish tunes (8 p.m., Orpheum Theatre, $40-$130); folklorist Dom Flemons, formerly of Carolina Chocolate Drops (7 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$45); the second night of Khruangbin (8 p.m., Palace Theatre, $50-$75); Minnesota Bluegrass Weekend with Mile Twelve (through Sun.,); Mayday Parade (7 p.m., Varsity Theater, sold out); Winger and Dokken’s George Lynch (7:30 p.m., Medina Entertainment Center, $34-$44); Who Are They? and Kinda Kinky (7:30 p.m., Uptown VFW, $18-$22).
Saturday, March 5
Derecho does Chapin: A mostly-for-fun instrumental funk band started by Minneapolis musical alchemist Al Church and Low’s Alan Sparhawk to kick out their Curtis Mayfield jams and other psychedelic grooving, Derecho is getting more serious this weekend and will perform a score to the 1936 Charlie Chaplin classic film “Modern Times.” It’s part of Church’s monthly live score series dubbed “Major Major Minor Minor.” (8 p.m., Parkway Theater, $15-$21)
Also Saturday: Jazzy Ginger Commodore celebrates her birthday with a parade of Twin Cities guests including Gary Hines, Thom West and Adi Yeshaya (7 p.m. Dakota,$15-$20); Postmodern Jukebox (8 p.m. Mystic Lake Showroom, $25 and up); Surge & the Swell album release party (8 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, $22-$27); Purple Funk Metropolis and Porky’s Groove Machine (7:30 p.m., the Hook & Ladder, $10-$15);
Sunday, March 6
VocalEssence & the Aeolians: For its annual concert celebrating African-American musicians and history, VocalEssence has invited the Aeolians of Oakwood University, a historically black college in Huntsville, Ala. Named “Choir of the World” at the 2017 World Choir Games, the group led by conductor Jason Max Ferdinand is known for its expertise with everything from baroque to spirituals to contemporary works by Black composers. A young people’s concert will be livestreamed at 10 a.m. Friday. (4 p.m., Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $10-$40, 612-371-5656 or vocalessence.org)
Illuminati Hotties: After several years of serving as a studio producer and engineer for other people’s records (a hard gig for women in rock to come by), Sarah Tudzin started making her own poppy recordings under this cheeky band name. Her second LP, “Let Me Do One More,” made many indie tastemakers’ year-end lists with its echoes of the sunny but punky vibes of her Los Angeles predecessors like Best Coast and the Go-Go’s. (8 p.m. Sun., 7th St. Entry, Mpls., $18-$20, axs.com)
Also Sunday: Literate singer-songwriter-playwright Jonatha Brooke (7 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$35); Charanga Tropical’s salsa dance matinee (5 p.m., Icehouse, $10).
Monday, March 7
Connie Han Trio: Since self-releasing her debut at 19, the Los Angeles wunderkind has built a buzz with not only her respect for post-bop jazz piano traditions (echoes of Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea) but also for her willingness to expand the vocabulary in nuanced ways. The 26-year-old works closely with her former high school music teacher, Bill Wysaske, her drummer/producer, who collaborated on their third album, 2020’s satisfyingly mainstream “Iron Starlet.” (7 p.m., also Tue., the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $25-$35, dakotacooks.com).
Also Monday: Buzzy Philly band Sports (8 p.m., 7th St. Entry); Arkansas countryman Joe Purdy (7:30 p.m., Parkway Theater, $25); funky Canadian experimentalists BadBadNotGood (8 p.m. Mon., Varsity Theater, $26).
Tuesday, March 8
Dua Lipa: After collecting the Grammy for best new artist in 2019, the British pop star backed up the accolades with the blockbuster sophomore album “Future Nostalgia.” The effervescent, Grammy-winning neo-disco disc offers such winning bops as “Don’t Start Now” and “Levitating,” the biggest single of 2021. In the tradition of Madonna and Ariana Grande, Lipa promises a colorful, poppy spectacle with a phalanx of fabulous dancers. Opening are alt-pop singer Caroline Polachek, the voice of the beguilingly minimalist “Bunny Is a Rider,” and Lolo Zouai, a collaborator with H.E.R. (7:30 p.m. Tue. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N., Mpls., $41-$112.50, axs.com)
Also Tuesday: Married alt-twang duo the Mastersons (7:30 p.m., Hook & Ladder, $15-$20); dramatic Atlanta rockers Manchester Orchestra with notable openers Foxing and Michigander (7:30 p.m., First Avenue, $29-$33); St. Dominic’s Trio (8 p.m., Driftwood Char-Bar, donations).
Wednesday, March 9
Kiss the Tiger’s “Stone Baby:” Fresh off February tour dates with Low Cut Connie and the breakout local success of last year’s album “Vicious Kid,” the Twin Cities’ classic-leaning but forward-thinking rock band will be back in town all month to try something new: a weekly musical stage production with Trademark Theater (postponed from January), in which frontwoman Meghan Kreidler weaves rock ‘n’ roll stories around her band’s already story-filled songs. (7:30 p.m. every Wed. in March, Icehouse, Mpls., $20-$35, icehousempls.com)
Amy Helm: After being featured in the old-timey ensemble Ollabelle, the Woodstock singer-songwriter has dropped her third solo album. The daughter of the Band’s drummer/singer Levon Helm and singer/songwriter Libby Titus has delivered an Americana gem, intimate, searching and deeply soulful. Amid all the warm, rootsy material, she cuts loose on the rambling garage rocker “Sweet Mama.” (7 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $40-$45, dakotacooks.com)
Also Wednesday: Lost Dog Street Band (Turf Club, $15).