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The week's 27 best concerts: March 22-28

OG Maco

OG Maco

Rounding up the week's best concerts in the Twin Cities.

  • JAY SOM March 22, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY AND THE ASBURY JUKES March 22, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • DEAN MAGRAW AND BUTCH THOMPSON March 22, 8:00 p.m. at Vieux Carre

OG Maco
Cabooze, Wednesday 3.22
OG Maco’s most popular song by far, “U Guessed It,” is one of those tracks its creator comes to loathe for the deceptive (and maybe off-putting) impression it can give casual listeners. The piano-tapping, shout-rap viral hit from 2014 presented Maco as an heir to peak-era Waka Flocka Flame or even Mystikal, but the Atlantan knew its aggro energy was almost anti-lyrical, and he became intent on proving his legit musical skills afterward. Sometimes, he’s gone for social commentary (“Black girls was twerkin’, they was screamin’, ‘Whores!’/But Miley did it and she got a tour,” went “Riot”), but mostly he’s let his unusual set of influences (from Black Sabbath to Kid Cudi) and underrated skill set do the talking. Though he’s collaborated with Migos and superproducer Zaytoven, Maco thrives on bucking convention, and that powers his long-awaited project Children of the Rage, a potent mixture of rap and rock released earlier in March, a little more than half a year after Maco was in a serious car wreck. Young Greatness and Levi Carter open. 15+. 6:30 p.m. $15. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-6425. —Michael Madden

Portugal. The Man
First Avenue, Wednesday 3.22
Psychedelic bands like Portugal. The Man are almost obligated to keep rock music feeling adventurous. After releasing five albums in as many years on relatively small labels, the Alaska-born outfit made the major-label leap to Atlantic for 2011’s In the Mountain in the Cloud. It was a strong record, as its predecessors had been, but their next move overhauled and revitalized their sound: In 2013 they teamed with superproducer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton and released their seventh studio album, Evil Friends. Burton expertly shaped the band’s dense sound, adding a refined balance and allowing frontman John Gourley’s flair for pop songwriting tricks to come to the fore. P.TM’s upcoming eighth album is called Woodstock, with the recent single “Feel It Still” offering a taste of what’s to come. With HDBeenDope. 18+. 7 p.m. $25. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

  • RAILROAD EARTH March 23, 7:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • BIG BLISS March 23, 8:00 p.m. at Eagles Club #34
  • WEBSTER March 23, 7:30 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center

Las Cafeteras
Ordway, Thursday 3.23
Roots-based Chicano sextet Las Cafeteras are all about dissolving physical and metaphorical borders, with a strong emphasis on promoting human rights and social justice. The band hit the road just ahead of the release of their second album, Tastes Like L.A., and their infectious, dance-inducing music is an antidote to Trump’s bumbling toxicity, as is the bilingual “If I Were President,” chosen as the album’s first single after the election debacle. Live, audience members will be able to add their ideas to the band’s progressive litany. Relying primarily on acoustic, traditional instruments, Las Cafeteras play son jarocho, a genre originating from Veracruz, Mexico, that links indigenous, Caribbean, and African influences. Their update of this style also takes in contemporary folk, hip-hop, and rock. Las Cafeteras’ first album, It’s Time, included “La Bamba Rebelde” (“Rebel La Bamba”), a take on the most famous son jarocho song, which includes the provocative lyrics “I don’t believe in borders/I will cross.” With local Latin roots band Alma Andina. 7:30 p.m. $27-$32. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. —Rick Mason

  • TECH N9NE March 24, 6:00 p.m. at Myth
  • DAYA March 24, 6:30 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • THE BELLAMY BROTHERS March 24, 7:30 p.m. at Medina Entertainment Center

Kneedelus: A Collaboration Between Kneebody + Daedelus
Cedar Cultural Center, Friday 3.24
Kneebody is an all-instrumental, experimental electric-jazz quintet that’s been around since the turn of the century. Its members have deep jazz roots, but they’ve participated in numerous side projects and collaborations with such chart climbers as John Legend, De La Soul, and Pearl Jam. Essentially, Kneebody plays 21st-century jazz-rock: high-caliber post-bop with chamber music finesse and rock crunch amended by electronics, funk, and hip-hop. Daedelus is an innovative L.A. producer, electronica artist, and multi-instrumentalist who creates lithe mashups that dive deep into extravagant fantasies. Band and producer collaborated on the 2015 album Kneedelus, which they’ll reprise in this Walker-co-sponsored show. The joint venture, grounded in the theory of technological singularity, pushed each in new directions while keeping a surprising emphasis on potent organics, as Daedelus’ supple, mischievous electronic pulses and washes fused naturally with the fervent tendrils of improvisational jazz. 8 p.m. $28. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Rick Mason

  • THE TWILIGHT HOURS March 25, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • ALEX WILEY March 25, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • AMIENSUS March 25, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club

Francis and the Lights
Icehouse, Saturday 3.25
Francis Farewell Starlite, the man behind the Francis and the Lights project, is a New York art-pop experimentalist with detectable influences like Prince and Peter Gabriel. After his prolific previous decade, Starlite had a momentous 2016, contributing to both “Summer Friends” on Chance the Rapper’s Grammy-winning Coloring Book and “Close to You” on Frank Ocean’s long-awaited opus Blonde. Inevitably, those appearances boosted anticipation for Francis’ debut album, last September’s Farewell, Starlite!, which smartly contrasted his soaring, otherworldly vocals with minimalist beats. In addition to the stunning Bon Iver collab “Friends” (Francis’ biggest song to date), other highlights, such as “It’s Alright to Cry,” which turns the clichéd titular statement into a powerful declaration, convey Starlite’s knack for intense emotion. Serpentwithfeet and Velvet Negroni open. 21+. 10 p.m. $5 with RSVP, $15 without. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-276-6523. —Michael Madden

  • GEORGE THOROGOOD AND THE DESTROYERS March 26, 7:00 p.m. at Historic State Theatre
  • KATIA CARDENAS March 26, 4:30 p.m. at Icehouse
  • ORM-D March 26, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

Regina Spektor
Palace Theatre, Sunday, 3.26
Still quirky after all these years, Regina Spektor continues whimsically stretching the parameters of her alternative pop even while gaining more mainstream traction. Besides releasing her seventh album, Remember Us to Life, last fall, Spektor sang “Dear Theodosia” on The Hamilton Mixtape at the invitation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and contributed a shamisen version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” to the animated film Kubo and the Two Strings to build on the attention she’s received for her theme song (“You’ve Got Time”) to the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Spektor’s charming eccentricities flourish on Life, her idiosyncratic phrasing and melodies flirting with arrangements that drift from piano pop to chamber folk to florid orchestration. “Small Bill$” has uncharacteristic touches of off-kilter funk and hip-hop, while the stark, apocalyptic “The Trapper and the Furrier” is the darkest song on an album laced with melancholy and often focused on outsiders. But the lovely ballad “The Light” reveals the sun with a warm synthesis of memories and dreams. 7:30 p.m. $51. 17 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-502-2259. —Rick Mason

  • BON JOVI March 27, 7:30 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center
  • DAVID SANBORN March 27, 9:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • BEN CAPLAN & THE CASUAL SMOKERS March 27, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • MADELEINE PEYROUX AND RICKIE LEE JONES March 28, 7:30 p.m. at Ames Center
  • CAMERON AVERY March 28, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • A GREAT BIG WORLD March 28, 8:00 p.m. at Skyway Theatre