Fall Concert Guide 2017: The 20 best and biggest upcoming shows

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire GUY AROCH

There's a typically jam-packed concert calendar this fall. Here are a handful of the shows that people will be talking about. Click here to see our 20 top picks for arts and events.

Roy Wilkins Auditorium
Gorillaz, the “virtual band” of Blur frontman Damon Albarn and visual artist Jamie Hewlett, debuted in 2001 with their self-titled album, a twitchy blend of alt-rock and trip-hop. They returned in 2005 with Demon Days, which established the mixtape-like template Gorillaz have used for their albums ever since, featuring cameos from a menagerie of guests including De La Soul on the hit “Feel Good Inc.” Days' long-awaited follow-up, 2010’s Plastic Beach, was an even stronger record overall, with appearances from the likes of Lou Reed and Snoop Dogg, but after 2011’s underwhelming iPad-recorded experiment The Fall, Gorillaz were inactive for nearly five years. Humanz, which arrived this April, features everyone from incisive Long Beach rapper Vince Staples to Albarn’s former Britpop rival Noel Gallagher, helping to carry out the Gorillaz vision of a party in the face of our nightmarish political climate. Staples and zany Detroit rapper Danny Brown open Wednesday’s show. 7:30 p.m. $101-$315. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-265-4800. September 20 —Michael Madden

  • THE WEEKND Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center
  • FLEET FOXES Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. at Palace Theatre
  • CHRIS STAPLETON Oct. 7, 7:00 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center
  • THE WAR ON DRUGS Oct. 18, 8:00 p.m. at Palace Theatre
  • COURTNEY BARNETT & KURT VILE AND THE SEA LICE Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. at Palace Theatre
  • BOB DYLAN Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center

Arcade Fire
Xcel Energy Center
Since 2004, Arcade Fire have consistently pulled off displays of indie-rock grandeur with (mostly) excellent results. The Montreal band’s profusely acclaimed debut, Funeral, launched them to indie fame almost overnight, with their passionate, anthemic, and baroque sound soon finding a fan in David Bowie. Over the next decade, the band extended its winning streak, releasing an era-defining album once every three years. There was 2007’s densely orchestral Neon Bible, ’10’s Grammy-winning slow-burner The Suburbs, and ’14’s more groove-driven Reflektor, co-produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. Butler, wife Regine Chassagne, and the rest of the band returned earlier this year with their major-label debut, Everything Now. The first Arcade Fire album to be widely received as a disappointment (partly due to ill-advised stylistic experiments, like the awkward faux-reggae of “Chemistry”), it’s better than you may have heard. The band is at their sweeping best on the title track and their most danceable on “Creature Comfort.” The Breeders open. 7:30 p.m. $23.50-$272.50. 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-265-4800. October 29 —Michael Madden

  • LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM AND CHRISTINE MCVIE Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m. at Northrop
  • MICHAEL MCDONALD Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. at Historic State Theatre
  • TEGAN AND SARA Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m. at Historic State Theatre

LCD Soundsystem
Roy Wilkins Auditorium
Led by James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem first made waves in 2002 with the witty, self-deprecating “Losing My Edge.” The band’s excellent self-titled debut album arrived three years later, establishing LCD as a supremely smart and cool, yet easily accessible, dance-rock outfit. As clever and inventive as Murphy and company are, many of their best songs are as earnest as they are danceable, from “All My Friends” in 2007 to “All I Want” and “I Can Change” in 2010. LCD disbanded within a year of the release of 2010’s This Is Happening, but two years ago, reports began circulating that LCD Soundsystem were mapping out a reunion. They released a holiday single called “Christmas Will Break Your Heart” at the end of 2015, and they began playing shows again in March 2016. Now they’re back in full swing. Released at the top of September, the fourth proper LCD album, American Dream, features the superb singles “Call the Police” and “Tonite.” 7 p.m. $54.25. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-265-4800. November 9 —Michael Madden

Kamasi Washington
First Avenue
This might be the single most anticipated jazz show to come through the Twin Cities this year. There’s an increasing sense that Los Angeles bandleader and saxophonist Kamasi Washington is a special case—you’re clearly doing something right when serious jazz critics are calling you a modern-day Coltrane. Performing with Snoop Dogg and Raphael Saadiq earlier in his career kept Washington busy but unable to truly flourish until 2015, when he exploded to a new realm of renown. Two months after his noted contributions to Kendrick Lamar’s dizzyingly ambitious conscious-rap opus To Pimp a Butterfly, Washington released The Epic, a deeply spiritual three-hour odyssey. Washington’s virtuosic playing dazzles throughout, bolstered by powerful soul singing from Patrice Quinn and liquid electric bass from Thundercat. Outside of his own music, Washington’s services continue to be in demand, as he played on Run the Jewels 3 and Lamar’s Damn. The 36-year-old is currently readying a new EP called Harmony of Difference, out September 29. 18+. 7 p.m. $30-$35. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. November 9 —Michael Madden

  • LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Nov. 9, 7:00 p.m. at Roy Wilkins Auditorium
  • IBEYI Nov. 11, 8:00 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • WILCO Nov. 15-16, 7:00 p.m. at Palace Theatre

St. Vincent
Palace Theatre
It’s hard to argue that rock music is in a static place with artists like St. Vincent around. Since she arrived with her debut album 10 years ago, the multi-instrumentalist born Annie Clark has had a way with turning art-rock experimentation (particularly her twitchy, crunchy guitar riffs) into what are more or less pop songs. Her breakthrough came in 2011 with Strange Mercy, featuring what remains the definitive St. Vincent song, “Cruel,” a perfect marriage of Clark’s pop instincts and idiosyncratic guitar heroics. Clark released a decent full-length with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne in 2012 before returning with her self-titled solo album in 2014. Her upcoming album, Masseducation, was produced by Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff and is due on October 13, preceded by the single “New York,” a lovely piano-based ballad featuring exquisite use of the word “motherfucker.” 18+. 8 p.m. $40. 17 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-266-8989. November 18 —Michael Madden

  • THE MOUNTAIN GOATS Nov. 18, 8:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • HALSEY Nov. 18, 7:00 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center
  • LIAM GALLAGHER Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m. at First Avenue