First Avenue on Saturday 6.11

Panic! at the Disco (the exclamation point has found its way back) aren't embarrassed by their pop aspirations. For most bands, that translates simply to being catchy, but Panic! are invested in pop to the point that their rock songs carry the heft and production hallmarks of the slickest R&B-flecked modern radio cuts. It's a crowd-pleasing tactic that shoves past accessibility and moves straight toward world domination, huge overdrive choruses burrowing their way into your brain and nesting somewhere near your cerebral cortex. It's not subtle or nuanced in any way, but subtlety doesn't matter much when you're going straight for the jugular. With Fun and Funeral Party. All ages. $25. 5:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

Okkervil River

First Avenue on Sunday 6.12

He's got the funk!
Michael Weintrob
He's got the funk!

Location Info


First Avenue

701 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)

Most descriptions of Okkervil River include some variant of the "folk" label, and whether that makes you prick up your ears or groan in disgust, it stops short of what the band actually does. Yes, acoustic guitars make their appearance, and yes, there's an earnestness that grabs for your heartstrings, but the modesty and middling tempos that are usually at play in folk music are tossed out in favor of a rollicking grandiosity. Nothing in OR's repertoire is played completely straight; it's fractured and rebuilt larger than you thought it could be.  In this case, bigger is most certainly better. With Titus Andronicus and Future Islands. 18+. $17/$18 at the door. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

The Go-Go's

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater on Tuesday 6.14

Nothing about the Go-Go's' "Our Lips Are Sealed" seems to have aged in 30 years, its oddly complacent beauty and conspiratorial sisterly aura as shimmering as ever—except now the jelly-shoe synthesizers signify nostalgia and endless summer as much as the surf guitars and girl-group harmonies ever did. Seven other great Go-Go's pop singles followed in the '80s, each holding up as well because the cheeriness in Belinda Carlisle's singing felt earned and paid for, her punk toughness more apparent with distance. They quit after three albums, but keep reuniting, recording, and touring—there they were, rocking like the Soviettes on the Dancing With the Stars finale a few weeks ago. All ages. $58. 8 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Peter S. Scholtes

Taylor Swift

Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday 6.14 and Wednesday 6.15

She's the bestselling digital artist of all time not only because middle-schoolers buy that way but because her hold on that group is total: Has there been a point of consensus as strong since moonwalk-era Michael Jackson? She's tasteful Nashville country filtered through R&B-loving pop and pop-punk as Top 40 digests it, but with a personal and compassionate streak; a good role model for a phenomenally famous young person and a great POV lyricist, plus more proof that kids are kinder and more feminist than adults credit. If we sing her at weddings some day, you can bet it won't be premature ones. All ages. $27-$71.50. 7 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Pete S. Scholtes

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