The week's best concerts: April 27-May 3





With her extraordinary career now well into its second half-century, Judy Collins is doing something she’s never done before: co-writing songs with another artist, then singing them together on record and tour. Collins, of course, is the crystalline-voiced folk, pop, cabaret, and art song icon and definitive interpreter of such tunes as “Both Sides Now,” “Suzanne,” “Send in the Clowns,” and “Amazing Grace.” Her new collaborator is Ari Hest, a New Yorker with a particularly fine, textured tenor voice and a penchant for writing thoughtful, introspective songs over his 15-year career. Hest’s “Strangers Again” was the title tune of Collins’ fall 2015 album of duets with a variety of male singers — ranging from Jimmy Buffett to Willie Nelson — and will be a bonus cut on their joint album, Silver Skies Blue, due out in June. Together Collins’ and Hest’s voices are an exquisite complement of ethereal and earthy. The sound is folk-informed pop and the mood is often reflective. Collins and Hest will each do a solo set followed by a joint performance. $60-$75. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —RICK MASON

  • Courtney Barnett: With Bully., 7:30 p.m. Wed., $27.50-$30. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,

  • Frightened Rabbit: With Caveman., 7 p.m. Wed., $25-$28. The Varsity Theater, 1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis, 612-604-0222,

  • Motion City Soundtrack: With Have Mercy, and Light Years. All ages., 6:30 p.m. Wed., $29.50-$35. The Varsity Theater, 1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis, 612-604-0222,


Who is Umphrey and what does possession of a McGee have to do with anything? Elusive as the answer may be, it’s probably the easiest thing to nail down about these eclectic, mercurial, prolific veteran survivors of the jam band circuit, who defy categorization while constantly juggling a dizzying array of projects. If you must keep score, UM takes considerable inspiration from progressive rock. Its members are prodigious improvisers whose widespread influences are scattered through their music like so much fairy dust. UM’s ninth studio album, The London Session: A Day at Abbey Road Studios, is a mix of new, old, and road-tested tunes cut in one 12-hour marathon session. Appropriately for the historic locale, included is a relatively faithful version of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” Not incidentally, the band’s three nights here arrive just before their ultimate high wire act, UM Bowl VII in Vegas, where fans interactively dictate what they play. 18+. $32.50-$35. Three-day pass $79.50. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. — RICK MASON

  • The Lowest Pair (Album Release Show): With Adam Kiesling., 7 p.m. Thu., $12-$15. The Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-2674,

  • Aaron Carter: 9 p.m. Thu., $20-$25. Mill City Nights, 111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis, 612-333-3422,

  • C. Spencer Yeh: 6 p.m. Thu., free. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7600,


When he released his debut album, 1991’s I Wish My Brother George Was Here, Del the Funky Homosapien’s claim to fame was his creative relationship with an older cousin: Ice Cube. While that opened the door for the younger rapper/producer to dive headlong into the mainstream, Del’s experimental tendencies have led him in all kinds of weird musical directions over the past quarter century. In the ’90s, through his solo music and work as a member of the Hieroglyphics collective, he introduced the rap world to his elastic and (yes) funky vocal style over upbeat drums and warm bass lines. Since then, Del has been restlessly open-minded about new projects, teaming with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala for Deltron 3030 and their eponymous 2000 indie-rap opus, then featuring on Gorillaz’ 2001 singles “Clint Eastwood” and “Rock the House.” Del’s latest release is 2014’s rumbling LP Iller Than Most. His dense, humorous lyrics, combined with his inventive flows, make him one of the most underrated and adventurous MCs ever. With DJ Shiftee and Sean Anonymous. 21+. Sold out. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. — MICHAEL MADDEN

  • Reviler's 6 1/4 Year Anniversary Show: Featuring Kill the Vultures, Crown Larks, MaLLy, American Cream, and Reviler DJs., 9 p.m. Fri., $8-$10. Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-333-7399,

  • Coasts: With Knox Hamilton, and Symmetry., 7 p.m. Fri., $15. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,

  • Corey Palmer & Love Trade (Album Release Show): With Peter Wolf Crier., 10:30 p.m. Fri., $8-$10. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-276-6523,


Holly Lapsley Fletcher, or just Låpsley, might bring to mind Adele for the combination of her English background, her soaring vocals, and her XL Recordings contract, but her knack for developing a oneness between her voice and any number of electronic production styles is uniquely hers. The 19-year-old prodigy navigates explosive synthpop, flickering ballads, and more with equal grace. While her technical abilities are impressive, they’re made more effective when paired with the lyrics of heartbreak and longing on standout songs like the intense “Hurt Me” and the disco-influenced “Operator (He Doesn’t Call Me).” Låpsley’s debut album, March’s Long Way Home, expands on the promise of her early EPs, frequently delivering results that are as emotionally substantive as they are sonically stylish. The Entry can contain her songs for now, but Låpsley is rising at such a rate that her next Minneapolis show could easily be in First Avenue’s mainroom. Local rising star Morly opens. 18+. $15.50. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —MICHAEL MADDEN

  • Fraea (EP Release Show): With Andrew Broder., 11 p.m. Sat., $8-$10. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-276-6523,

  • African Music Ensemble Concert: 8 p.m. Sat., free. Macalester College Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul,

  • Behemoth: With Myrkur. 16+., 7:30 p.m. Sat., $22-$25. Mill City Nights, 111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis, 612-333-3422,


More so than the arm-windmilling guitar playing and instrument destruction of yore, the Who’s enduring appeal as live performers comes from the expansive, arena-ready nature of so many of their songs. Is there another song intro in rock history, for example, more suitable for the arena atmosphere than the start of Who’s Next opener “Baba O’Riley”? Not likely. Considering that 2006’s Endless Wire is the band’s most recent album, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and Co. won’t be performing much new material. Rather, this stop at Target Center, rescheduled following the cancellation of an October show in light of Daltrey’s bout with viral meningitis, will serve as a whirlwind series of classic Who songs. Their setlists so far this year have been virtually identical, all featuring around 20 songs that shaped the course of rock history. Sunday will mark the band’s first Twin Cities show since their November 2012 performance at Target Center. With Slydigs. $39.50-$139.50. 7:30 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-673-1300. —MICHAEL MADDEN



Twenty-five years after his first solo album, the Wu-Tang Clan’s oldest member and “spiritual head” still holds his own in the infinitely influential hip-hop group. GZA’s 1991 debut, Words from the Genius, actually came out before the Wu cliqued up, so 1995’s supremely grimy Liquid Swords became his first official entry in the Wu solo catalog, and a classic one at that. The rapper born Gary Grice has a run of non-group material, including low-key but impressive outings like 2005’s DJ Muggs collab GrandMasters, that almost matches the more storied discographies of Wu crewmembers Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. As the Wu have gone through creative differences and tension between members over the past decade, GZA has maintained his composure. He played an important role in some of the highlights on their spotty latest album, 2014’s A Better Tomorrow, adding cerebral verses onto the end of “Keep Watch” and “Necklace.” A “special guest” will open the show. 18+. $20-$30. 7 p.m. 10 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-991-2685. —MICHAEL MADDEN

  • White Denim: With Sam Cohen., 7:30 p.m. Sun., $15-$17. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486,

  • Eli's 32 Birthday Party Featuring Bloodnstuff: With Red Daughters, Honeystick, and Jermaican Jake., 8 p.m. Sun., $5. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,

  • Robert Meany (Album Release Show): All ages., 6:30 p.m. Sun., $8. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-276-6523,


After establishing himself as something of an indie-pop savant with Wild Nothing’s first two albums, Jack Tatum (who did most things himself on both LPs) expressed concern that he’d get stuck in a stylistic rut. But WN’s subsequent new album, Life of Pause, shows marked growth as the native of Virginia continues expanding his musical palette, yielding ever more sublimely intricate, multilayered arrangements. Tatum’s referential starting point is often new wave-era pop anchored by shimmery synths and dreamy, atmospheric vocals, deftly complicated by luxuriously unfurling melodies and rich fathoms of intrigue. On the refreshing Pause, marimbas inject effervescence into the synth cloud that opens “Reichpop,” then percolate through the rest of the tune, giving it a Tropicália flair. Saxophones lurk deep in the slyly soulful “Whenever I” while synth probes zing by like distant meteors. The shadowy, euphoric “To Know You” features slashing guitars that warp around melting vocals amid relentless rhythms. Whitney opens. 18+. $15. 7:30 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-333-7399. —RICK MASON

  • Cross Record: With Roniia, and Maggie Morrison., 7:30 p.m. Mon., $8-$10. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,
  • Nekrogoblikon: With Psychostick. 15+., 5 p.m. Mon., $15. Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-6425,
  • Tim Kliphuis and Sam Miltich: 7 p.m. Mon., $25. Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-332-1010,
  • The Besnard Lakes: With Jaill, and Chatham Rise., 7:30 p.m. Tue., $12-$14. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486,
  • Chris Pureka: With Anna Vogelzang., 7:30 p.m. Tue., $15-$18. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,
  • Davina and the Vagabonds: With social hour at 6 p.m. Tue. featuring free hors d'oeuvres and cash bar., 7 p.m., $22; $12 students. Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Main St., Hopkins.