The week's best concerts: Oct. 28-Nov. 3

Janet Jackson doing her best Dr. Evil impression.

Janet Jackson doing her best Dr. Evil impression.



Long-winded metallurgs Deafheaven are certainly an anomaly. Led by vocalist George Clarke's gravelly roar, the San Francisco miserablists blend black metal and shoegaze in a dizzying whir. Somehow, this farrago has landed them widespread commercial appeal and critical acclaim. Their 2014 LP Sunbather was so universally appealing that even the Weezer-loving dorks at NPR gave it their thumbs up. Now, with the release of October's follow-up New Bermuda, which received similar raves, the ethereal, genre-melding Deafheaven have posited themselves as the truest crossover metal artists since System of a Down. Clarke and the gang come through the Fine Line alongside the more traditional Euro-metal stylings of Tribulation, who're promoting their own disasterpiece, Children of the Night. 18+. $16-$18. 8 p.m. 318 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. –- JERARD FAGERBERG

Nathaniel Rateliff & Night Sweats


Rural Missouri native Nathaniel Rateliff has been a fixture in the Denver music scene, fronting a few rock bands and also establishing himself as an introspective, Americana folkie singer-songwriter. But he never quite made that big breakthrough – until now. On a whim, Rateliff started flirting with his love of vintage soul and R&B, wrote a few tunes, dusted off his grainy, Van Morrison-like tenor, recruited some muscular horns, and the Night Sweats broke out. The August release of the Sweats’ thrilling eponymous debut (appropriately on the revived Memphis soul label Stax) and a rousing, exuberant Tonight Show appearance led to sold-out shows across the country, including this one. The Sweats exalt in raw, gloriously ragged, rafter-shaking, horn-swaggering, classic Southern R&B tied to Rateliff’s blistering, soulful shouts about harrowing personal conundrums. It’s a wild ride, juiced by tinkling honky-tonk piano here and vicious guitar licks there, all while Rateliff evokes no less than Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. Denver’s Land Lines opens. Sold out. 7:30 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. – RICK MASON

  • Leon Bridges — Oct. 28, First Avenue, $20-$22

  • Langhorne Slim & the Law — Oct. 28, Triple Rock Social Club, $16-$18

  • Troye Sivan — Oct. 28, Varsity Theater, $14-$16

  • Dave Rawlings Machine — Oct. 29, Fitzgerald Theater, $32

  • Badi Assad and Adrian Legg — Oct. 29, Cedar Cultural Center, $30-$35

  • The Devil Makes Three — Oct. 29, First Avenue, $22.50-$25

  • Walt Mink — Oct. 30, Varsity Theater, $45-$35

  • Marina and the Diamonds — Oct. 30, Northrop, $39.50-$30

  • Gramma's Boyfriend (Record Release Show) — Oct. 30, Icehouse, $10


Zedd is a scary-big deal (requisite Halloween joke). Those of us raised on riffs and raps might not be familiar with the Russian/German electro-house stud, but he’s already spun his way to a war chest of accolades, including a Grammy for last year’s Top 40 thumper “Clarity.” Just 26, the baby-faced knob jockey has fully crossed over from the DJ world into the pop one, as evidenced 2014 jam “Break Free,” featuring treasonous pop princess Ariana Grande. Forbes estimates the real-life Anton Zaslavski makes $21 million each year for his party-starting efforts, so get your tots started on the ones and twos early. Zedd is touring in support of his sophomore album, True Colors, which laughed off its 4.2 critical scalding from Pitchfork on the way to debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard charts. The University of Texas San Antonio recently bested 99 other schools to score Wednesday’s Zedd-headlining Victoria's Secret PINK Nation Game on Bash (we’re told this is also a big fucking deal). — JAY BOLLER

Jeremy Messersmith & Friends Present the Undead Masquerade


Local singer/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith will be the head of the Monster Mash this Halloween at the Cedar, with ghouls like Chris Koza, Lydia Hoglund, Natalie Lovejoy, and Dessa BFF Aby Wolf in tow. The Mez will be playing the entirety of his macabre 2010 LP The Reluctant Graveyard, which one random Amazon reviewer called "spacey, organic, tuneful, and melodic." At any rate, it'll be a rare context wherein you get to experience the Minneapolis folkster revisiting his roots, even if there's not much that's spooky about a baroque troubadour skipping through headstones. Stalkerazzi will also be going bump in the night, and there's a prize in store for the attendee with the best costume. And that’s not part of the costume, folks: Jeremy really did grow back his early career beard. It’s a news story as big as when Dessa got bangs. All ages, $25. 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. –- JERARD FAGERBERG

  • Houndmouth — Oct. 31, Fine Line, $22

  • Halloween Party and Costume Contest — Oct. 31, First Avenue, $10-$20

  • Hard Rockin' Halloween 2015 — Oct. 31, Lee's Liquor Lounge, $6
Janet Jackson


As much as Minnesotans love to brag about the musical contributions of Bob Dylan and Prince, we’re unusually modest when it comes to singing the praises of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The then-wunderkind producers helped Janet Jackson (Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty) craft a manifesto in 1986’s Control, a tremendously influential LP that freed the youngest of the Jackson clan from the creative shackles of her very famous family. Consider it an exercise in familiarity that Jackson, tasked with making her first album since 2008’s hit-or-miss Discipline, returned to her most enduring partnership on sumptuous, slow-jamming new song “No Sleep.” A throwback to the quiet storm of “That’s the Way Love Goes,” the lead single off the forthcoming album Unbreakable is too grown and sexy for modern radio, a calmly defiant, declarative statement of her own legacy. As Jackson hits the road a year shy of 50, it will be interesting to see what time away from the spotlight has done to her famously precise choreography. Whatever the case, you’re guaranteed the jubilant cry of “Minneapolis!” when she gets to “Escapade.” All ages. $29.50-$125. 7 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-673-0900. — MARCUS MICHALIK

The Front Bottoms


Diving headlong into the cross-generational angst apparently endemic to northern New Jersey adolescence, the Front Bottoms have scrambled to get a grip in a quirky, hook-filled, pop-punk context that provides a roiling platform for Brian Sella’s multi-tangential rants. The blustery drive of drummer Mat Uychich, stinging guitars and whimsical bits (ambling synths, the odd celestial choir) are sufficiently catchy and urgent enough to get the blood flowing. But the Bottoms’ lifeline is Sella’s often hapless, slightly adenoidal, quasi-desperate quests for purpose and meaning, whose ambiguous twists of irony and naiveté recall Jonathan Richman. On the Bottoms’ fifth LP, Back On Top, Sella grudgingly concedes that getting older means “acting cool” might not be enough on the opening “Motorcycle,” but then fitfully returns to “gettin’ high and tryin’ to figure it out” and sticking to “The Plan (Fuck Jobs).” It may be a sort of limbo, but the alluring eccentricity of both Sella’s complaints and the music is plenty fascinating. Opening will be Australian folk-punkers the Smith Street Band and moody North Carolina folk-popsters Elvis Depressedly. 16+. $16.50-$20. 7 p.m. 1308 4th St. S.E., Minneapolis; 612-604-0222. –- RICK MASON

  • Family Force 5 — Nov. 1, Triple Rock, $15-$18
  • Here We Go Magic — Nov. 1, 7th St. Entry, $12
  • Charmings — Nov. 1, Icehouse, $8
  • The Milk Carton Kids — Nov. 2, Fitzgerald Theater, $30-$33.50
  • RX Bandits — Nov. 2, Mill City Nights, $22-$25
  • JoJo — Nov. 2, Triple Rock, $20-$25
  • Albert Hammond, Jr. — Nov. 3, Turf Club, $15
  • Lenka Lichtenberg — Nov. 3, Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$20
  • Coloring Time — Nov. 3, Icehouse, free