The weekend's 6 best concerts: Sept. 28-30

Manuel Gagneux of Zeal & Ardor

Manuel Gagneux of Zeal & Ardor Photo provided by the artist

How have your allergies been this week? Mine are killing me.

Friday 9.28

Justin Timberlake @ Xcel Energy Center
If my Twitter feed is any indication, it’s apparently a revelation to many smart and usually attentive people that this boy band alum, Fallon bud, and Trolls voice actor is some kind of cornball. His idea of naughty (poking at her “pink” with his “purple”) still feels geared toward a very young, very suburban, very drunk bachelorette party; his personality remains a unique mix of fratty-smug and puppyish-needy. And now that music is a distraction from his day job as multimedia celebrity, his ability to somehow try both too hard and not hard enough has never been more jarring. But until an earnest yawn of a home stretch that climaxes with Justin somehow botching the song to his son—the lowest hanging fruit in the grove of pop authenticity—he half-asses the much-mocked hick-hop concept of his latest, Man of the Woods, to coax a weird incoherence from esteemed over-the-hill collaborators Pharrell and Timbaland that I’ll take over the sleek retro synthesis of Grammy-sponge Bruno Mars. Also Saturday. 7:30 p.m. $52.50 to infinity. 1999 W. Kellogg Blvd. More info here.—Keith Harris

Complete Friday music listings here.

Saturday 9.29

Dem Yuut @ Icehouse
Four-piece Dem Yuut first showed up on the Minneapolis scene in 2016, scoring a local hit with their first single, “Dawn / Sea.” Their long-awaited debut album, Liberator, is finally set to release this week, coinciding with this show at Icehouse. Kicking off with “Dawn / Sea,” it’s a fully formed debut from frontman Danny O’Brien and co., glinting with bright, propulsive pop and R&B textures reminiscent of acts like Purity Ring and How to Dress Well. With Ysheyellin, aka Mina Moore. 21+. 11 p.m. $10/$12. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden

Lucero @ First Avenue
Among t he Ghosts, Lucero’s ninth album, is indeed haunted by Southern gothic yearning, regret, and dire reckonings, but also tautly wired by raw, lightning-like energy. Ben Nichols’ gruff vocals grapple with the Devil, loneliness, fierce devotion, “misery and blood,” while the tighter-than-ever band whips up a noirish, mongrel blend of rock and hard country. Bleak wistfulness seeps into tunes like “Bottom Of The Sea,” but most are dark tales about souls adrift, ringing as true as the electric guitars’ sculptural eloquence. A spark of hope lights the punkish maelstrom “For the Lonely Ones” with a rare touch of hometown Memphis soul. Brent Cowles opens. 18+. 7 p.m. $25. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Honey Island Swamp Band @ Hook and Ladder
Take doses of the Stones, the Band, the Allmans, Little Feat, and swamp pop, stir them up in a spicy roux of bubbling New Orleansiana, and you’ve got the Honey Island Swamp Band’s bayou Americana. The Crescent City quintet’s latest, Demolition Day, produced by North Mississippian Luther Dickinson, simmers and sizzles on an eclectic, adeptly seasoned potion of rootsy rock’n’roll, funky second line beats, wicked slide and doubled up guitars, honky-tonk piano, slithery horns, and eccentric NOLA storytelling. One highlight, “Head High Water Blues,” vividly recalls the trauma of Katrina amid deliciously slinky R&B. 8 p.m. $18-$22. 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Shakey Graves @ Palace Theatre
The nom de guerre of Texas actor Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Shakey Graves has evolved from one-man-band folk-blues to kaleidoscopic rock, pop, lingering Americana, and experimental conspiracies with cinematic sweep. His latest, Can’t Wake Up, is deftly layered, littered with quirky hooks and clever, metaphor-rich lyrics, inhabiting a realm where dreams and nightmares clash. From the folky anomie of “Dining Alone” to the Looney Tunes metal of “Albohphobia” to the lush “Backseat Driver,” Graves’ languid, haunting vocals explore twisted memory and desires culled from the brink of consciousness. The Wild Reeds open.18+. 8:30 p.m. $30-$50. 17 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Saturday music listings here.

Sunday 9.30

Zeal & Ardor @ Skyway
Manuel Gagneux’s soulful metal project is such an odd amalgam of styles, you might not be prepared for how accessible it is. Yet there are moments on Zeal & Ardor’s second album, Stranger Fruit, that an inattentive listener might mistake for the Black Keys—until the blast beats, Gregorian chants, and echoes of Negro spirituals dispel the illusion. The lyrics are dark and thoughtful; the closing track, “Built on Ashes,” riffs off the classic lynching ballad “Strange Fruit” and insists “you are bound to die alone.” With Astronoid. 18+ 8 p.m. $16. 711 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris

Complete Sunday music listings here.