Heiroglyphics and more

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

For this particular Friday, which just so happens to be this writer's birthday, I can't think of a better way to celebrate than seeing the legendary electrofunk R&B prowess of Morris Day & the Time live in the great outdoor setting of the zoo's amphitheater. For some, the Time is a reflection back on the days when Minneapolis's funk scene was hotter than First Avenue in August with the AC on the fritz; for others they are simply part of the pop culture phenomena that anyone who's seen Purple Rain can attest to. But from their rip-roaringly awesome showing on the 2008 Grammy Telecast to their performance of "The Bird" on Leno last month, they have proven they still have the goods and are all about a no-BS good time—including ass-shaking and slow-jam smooth grooves. With Alex Rossi, Root City. $39. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. Jen Paulson

 

SATURDAY 8.16

Joe Bonamassa

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

This modern day bluesman's talents rely heavily on his scorching guitar solos, along with his compellingly strong and unique voice. Incredibly reminiscent of the classic rock sound that was pioneered by the British blues-bred legends of the '60s like Jeff Beck and fellow Yardbirds alum Jimmy Page, he draws even stronger and more passionate comparisons to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Having said that, Bonamassa's long solos and extended jams are nothing short of electrifying to the true believers, of which there are plenty. He might not be a household name, but he's got more than enough cred in the guitar world to make many Best Guitarist lists and be just as lauded by critics as he is by his peers. Summon your best rock face as you take in the guitar god glory of this immensely talented musician. With Papa Mali. $25. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Jen Paulson

 

MONDAY 8.18

Rodrigo y Gabriela

First Avenue

Take one pair of Mexican heavy-metal rockers, transplant them to Ireland, hand them a couple of acoustic guitars, and see what they come up with; that's the recipe for Rodrigo y Gabriela, a duo whose blazing fingers and tightly interwoven arrangements alternate between laconic ear-tickling and a hectic energy more likely to be found in punk rock than in an acoustic ensemble. They hunch over their instruments with the intensity of pinball wizards, Rodrigo Sanchez's left hand spiraling up and down his fretboard, laying out lush melodies, while Gabriela Quintero's right hand works in a blurred arc, simultaneously strumming and tapping out subdivided rhythms on the body of her guitar. Heavy-metallurgists are famous for their mathematically layered scales and arpeggios, and RyG have brought that etudinal mindset to their acoustic endeavors. But de-electrified and undistorted, the flood of notes carries more impact for its clarity, especially in lovingly performed covers of Metallica's "Orion" and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Seeing the pair live, it might seem, is less about enjoying a flashy stage show and more about proving to one's self that such sound could be produced by only two little boxes of wood. With Lovers Duo. 18+. $28/$30 at the door. 7:30 p.m 701 1st Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ward Rubrecht

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