The best Twin Cities concerts of the week: 3/17-3/23

Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes -- See Friday
Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes -- See Friday

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, March 17

Augustines swing for the indie-rock fences throughout their self-titled sophomore album. Up-tempo rockers like "Nothing to Lose But Your Head" are beefed up with stacks of harmony vocals and orchestral overdubs. Weepier ballads are similarly gussied up. All the fishing-for-fist-pumps production touches steer the newly Seattle-based trio's record in a needlessly maudlin direction. A shame, as their 2011 debut proved anthemic minus all the accoutrement. These new songs will undoubtedly shine stripped back to their essence on stage. With My Goodness. 18+. - Rob van Alstyne

Celtic Woman
$41-$101, 7 PM

Gaelic Storm
18+, $32/$35, 7:30 PM

Tuesday, March 18

Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino, a.k.a. actor/comedian Donald Glover, doesn't deserve the hate he gets for his supposed dabbling in rap. Too many of the reviews dissing December's Because the Internet focused on the album as a multimedia project -- with its bonus short film Clapping for the Wrong Reasons and an interactive screenplay -- and not as a rap album. The music itself is all over the place stylistically, and Glover delivers an ill-advised line here and there. Otherwise, it's a record well-equipped with hooks and Glover's hyperlink charisma, with guests like Chance the Rapper and Jhene Aiko, and producers Christian Rich and Thundercat. Honest? Gambino can't carry a 58-minute album by himself. His back pages, though, between 2011's Camp and 2012's Royalty mixtape, are strong enough that his setlists are effective throughout. -Michael Madden
$30, 6:30 PM

Demi Lovato
$29.50-$65, 7 PM

Fat White Family with Bear the Sound
18+, $10, 8 PM

Wednesday, March 19

Junior Brown
Junior Brown is a genuine character: Armed with a white cowboy hat, remarkable baritone voice shaded by that of idol Ernest Tubb, ready "Mrs." (Tanya Rae) who chimes in on rhythm guitar and harmonies, and his trademark, patented (literally) guit-steel contraption, he's a virtuoso musician and country throwback all rolled into one. Brown's clever original tunes could be right out of the Tubb songbook; country-noir epics sometimes doused in blazing irony or matter-of-fact melodrama like "My Wife Thinks You're Dead," "Venom Wearin' Denom" or "Hang Up and Drive," the latter from his recent EP Vol. 10. As a guitarist, Brown is a fleet-fingered phenomenon who has seemingly mastered every genre from honky-tonk and western swing to surf, blues, rock'n'roll and most in between. -Rick Mason
$35-$40, 7 PM

Guerilla Toss, Ryan Power, Botzy
$8, 7:30 PM

The Ragbirds with Birds of Chicago
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

Welaware (CD release) with Wesley Church & the Fabulous Vanguard and Puff Puff
Free, 9 PM

Antioch & Northstar Wisdom (album release) with Christopher Michael Jensen, Nicky Gwiggs w/ SOFTPORECORN, Apollo B, and DJ Adatrak.
18+, $5, 9:30 PM

Thursday, March 20

Electric Six with Yip Deceiver
18+, $12/$15, 7 PM

Communist Daughter with Fathom Lane and Taj Raj
$10/$12, 7 PM

Howler (album release) with Frankie Teardrop and Whatever Forever
18+, $10, 8 PM

Beware of Darkness with Business Man and Verretta
18+, $10, 8 PM

The Ataris with Authority Zero, Drag the River, Gasoline Heart
15+, $20, 8 PM

Friday, March 21

Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes 
Proffering smoothly polished piano pop of the highest order, Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes sophomore album, Kid Tiger, blends the stately sounds of latter-day Ben Folds ("Waves") with edgier guitar-driven tunes ("Fits and Starts"). The Nashville-based quartet is simultaneously smooth enough to fit in on adult contemporary FM radio and interesting enough to warrant love from the NPR crowd, and Minnesotans will no doubt be eager to bestow honorary local status upon the group based upon Ellsworth's Minnesota roots should the band break out. With J.E. Sunde. - Rob van Alstyne
$10, 8 PM

The Sing-Off Live Tour
The Minneapolis a cappella quintet Home Free won the competition on the fourth season of TV's The Sing-Off in December, collecting cash, a Columbia recording contract and headline status on this show-related tour. Joining Home Free on tour are runners-up the Filharmonic, out of L.A., and Orlando's VoicePlay. Home Free's origins stretch back about a decade to brothers Chris and Adam Rupp's music studies at Gustavus Adolphus and Mankato State. They and the rest of the talented vocal group (Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Tim Foust) call themselves a country a cappella band (they also range into pop), specializing in sparkling vocal harmonies and creative arrangements, plus Adam Rupp's amazing vocal percussion effects. Unfortunately, their Columbia debut, Crazy Life, has neither. It's devoid of spirit thanks to energy-sapping production, making Home Free sound like Oak Ridge Boys lite. Catch them live for the real article. 15+. -Rick Mason
15+, $35-$49.50, 8 PM

Bassgasm 10 with TWRK, Tommy Four Seven, Lady Faith, Aaron Lee, Digital Rust, and more
18+, $15/$20, 6 PM

All ages, $20, 5 PM

Apollo Quad (record release) with No Bird Sing, Lake Avenue, and Earth Insight
$7/$10, 7:30 PM

Saturday, March 22

Johnette Napolitano
$23/$25, 7 PM

ZZ Ward
18+, $22/$25, 7 PM

Band of Heathens with Johnny and Molly
$12/$15, 8 PM

Ron Pope with Von Grey
18+, $15, 8 PM

18+, $20/$25, 8 PM

The Sudden Lovelys (CD release)
$12/$15, 10:30 PM

Sunday, March 23

Ecstattic Fest
Ecstattic Studio is an eccentric professional recording studio based out of engineer Ali Jaafar's attic that has worked with an impressive roster of Twin Cities musicians. This Sunday the Turf Club will host Ecstattic Fest, a 10-band, two-stage celebration of Ecstattic's new cassette compilation release. Dark psychedelic shoegazers Fire in the Northern Firs will also be releasing a new vinyl EP. They will be joined on the main stage by Jaafar's gloom pop outfit Hollow Boys, fuzz rock Best New Bands of 2013 performers Fury Things, the Okerlunds, and Up the Mountain Down the Mountain. The side stage will feature the ever-evolving hardcore and math metal influenced local underground favorites Bouncer Fighter, accompanied by Strange, Acres, Naptaker and HACK. Tapes, vinyl and zines from the label will be available. -Sarah Stanley-Ayre
$8, 7 PM

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas
$22/$25, 7PM

Rick Springfield
$53.50-$104, 7 PM

The Crash Bandits (CD release) with Dan Mariska & the Boys Choir, The Person & the People, and Glow Mechanics
18+, $5, 7 PM

Danny Brown's Triple Rock show sparks unseemly oral sex controversy
Brother Ali: My fans are kicking the sh*t out of me over Trayvon Martin

Top 20 best Minnesota musicians: The complete list

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >