Wishing you all a very happy and leisurely Labor Day in advance. Everyone except the bosses, that is.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats @ Surly Brewing Festival Field
Nathaniel Rateliff’s abrupt transition from folkish introspection to profusely perspiring soul man paid off big time. He dusted off and pumped up his relatively undertaxed pipes, doused them in gospel, and paired them with the blistering horns of his Nocturnal Moisturizers. The resulting ecstatic evocations of Memphis and Muscle Shoals fueled the band’s infectious debut and 2018’s follow-up Tearing at the Seams. Rateliff’s role as a cultural force also gained a notch last week, announcing the Colorado release of his new cannabis collection under Willie Nelson’s Willie’s Reserve label. Hiss Golden Messenger opens. 18+. 5:30 p.m. 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Mark Knopfler @ Orpheum Theatre
It’snearly impossible for a Knopfler gig not to be suffused with nostalgia, especially now that he’s threatened that this is his final tour. But he works against the mildew, opening with a topical (albeit 16-year old) tune about migration (“Why Aye Man”), touring with robust 10-piece band that includes horns and multiple guitars, and avoiding “Sultans of Swing.” He also has his own distinctive sound on guitar, which is timeless. 8 p.m. $82-$207. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Lionel Richie, Lauren Jauregui @ Minnesota State Fair Grandstand
In the past decade, Lionel Richie has committed himself to reinterpreting and reselling his catalog: In addition to 2012’s Tuskegee, in which he imagines his own hits as contemporary country songs, he’s headlined festivals like Glastonbury and Bonnaroo. Former Fifth Harmony star Lauren Jauregui shares with Richie a fondness for romantic melodrama and solemn synth flourishes—“Strangers” belongs on the same playlist as Richie’s “Running With the Night.” 7:30 p.m. $57-$67. 1265 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Complete Friday music listings here.
Eddie Palmieri Sextet @ Dakota
Salsified Latin jazz doesn’t get any better than this. Palmieri is the seminal Nuyorican keyboardist who revolutionized Latin music forms such as charanga by swapping out strings for horns and accommodating them to jazz improvisation. With a piano style that mixes Monk’s angularity with Tyner’s thunderous chords and a bandleading style that encourages solos and injects distinctive rhythms and harmonies into the charts he is an abiding treasure. At 82, he gets out less frequently, so don’t miss this spangled splendor. 7 + 9:30 p.m. $30-$50. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Brandi Carlile, Mavis Staples, Savannah Conley @ Minnesota State Fair Grandstand
What do Brandi Carlile, Mavis Staples, and Savannah Conley have in common? All three singers excel at both quiet and loud. Carlile’s sixth album, last year’s By The Way, I Forgive You, is most striking when the country-folk singer’s hushed, talky verses soar smoothly into giant belted choruses, combining the fragility of homespun Americana with power ballad volume. Staples’ latest, We Get By, was produced by Ben Harper, who also wrote all 11 of the album’s songs. :30 p.m. $51-$76. 61265 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Complete Saturday music listings here.
Complete Sunday music listings here.
ZZ Top, Cheap Trick @ Minnesota State Fair Grandstand
Somewhat improbably, ZZ Top has survived and thrived for half a century. Now embarked on their 50th Anniversary Tour, the tres hombres of “that little ol’ band from Texas” (also the name of a new film documentary) still churn out trademark boogie and blues rock stoked by raucous energy and just twisted enough humor. Behind cheap sunglasses, the three beards (two long and bushy, plus clean-shaven drummer Frank Beard) have endured by tweaking their hardcore blues to check such vicissitudes as new wave, synths, and metal, as duly noted on their latest compilation, Goin’ 50. Fellow vet rock surrealists Cheap Trick open. 7 p.m. $39—$49. Dan Patch Ave., Falcon Heights. More info here.—Rick Mason
Tyler, the Creator @ Armory
Tyler, the Creator’s swerve from horrorcore-derived crudity to lighter, hazier R&B shimmer, apparently motivated by his increased sexual transparency, has been one of alternative rap’s loveliest developments in recent years. 2017’s summery, lovelorn Flower Boy and 2019’s fragmented, intricate Igor glide with airy dissonance and beauty, mitigated and complicated by Tyler’s blunt, gruff rapping. With Jaden Smith and GoldLink. $57-$164. 6 p.m. 500 S. 6th St. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Velvet Negroni @ 7th St Entry
On singer Jeremy Nutzman’s second album as Velvet Negroni, you can hear him form a symbiotic creative gestalt with producers Elliott Kozel (aka Tickle Torture) and Psymun, as the music emerges with an improvisatory sense of possibility, but with a structural integrity to it. The depths of these tracks are as haunted as anyone familiar with Psymun’s dubby productions would expect, but these poltergeists sound as harmless as they are tricky, squiggles of friendly ghosts peeking from the shadows. Beats skitter away into dark corners of a track like insects when you flick on the light switch, and you can hear the squeak of guitar strings reminding you this was all crafted by humans. But it’s Nutzman’s vocals, sensual but not overtly seductive, that define the mood. His voice shapeshifts as it flows, often aching upwards soulfully, sometimes dissipating in deep echo or electronic crackles, and his lyrics are playful and allusive—“I ride a Taurus, my eye a Horus/Can’t buy divorce/La-la-la-la,” a characteristic bit goes. Read our complete profile here. With Kamilla Love, Muja Messiah, Slauson Malone (DJ set). 18+. 8 p.m. $13/$15. 701 N. 1st Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
Complete Monday music listings here.