The week's best concerts: Aug. 26-Sept. 1



Mekaal Hasan Band


Pakistani guitarist Mekaal Hasan came to the U.S. to study at Berklee and returned to Lahore to found a band that, 15 years later, plays a remarkably potent and subtle musical hybrid that spans genres, cultures, expectations, and even centuries. On electric guitar, Hasan’s sizzling leads and complex chords put him somewhere between Pat Metheny and Jimmy Page. And indeed, there’s a Zeppelin-esque aspect to the band’s roiling stew, which combines rock rhythms, prog structures, sophisticated jazz harmonies, and Eastern classical music, with lyrics often based on ancient Sufi poetry. Adding to the intrigue is the juxtaposition of Hasan’s guitars and classical master Muhammad Ahsan Papu’s flutes. A key new element on the band’s 2014 album, Andholan, is Indian singer Sharmistha Chatterjee, whose ringing, ornamented vocal undulations add multiple dimensions. Punjabi rock may be the shorthand for what Hasan’s band does, but its rich, exotic multicultural explorations dig far deeper. All ages. $20-$25. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. – RICK MASON

  • Ben Sidran •  $25 •  7 p.m. Wed. •  Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant 

  • Transmission •  free •  10 p.m. Wed. •  The Varsity Theater

  • Davina and the Vagabonds •  $5 •  6 p.m. •  Mill City Museum

  • Def Leppard, Styx, Tesla •  $52-$67 •  7 p.m. Thu. •  Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

  • Alejandro Escovedo •  $40-$45 •  7 p.m. Thu. •  The Cedar Cultural Center

  • Circuit des Yeux •  $8-$10 •  8 p.m. Thu. •  7th St. Entry


Recently, Lizzo, La Manchita, and Sophia Eris combined forces again as GRRRL PRTY for a pair of new songs — "Can I Live" and "GRRRL Anthem" — that highlight why they've made such a distinctive impact. Delivering the slick, gritty, and high-energy sound that's propelled their powerful performances since landing on Picked To Click in 2013, the individual artists come through with likeminded attitudes to create a blistering whole. The aforementioned tracks come in preparation for a Mainroom show Friday that touts the crew's other major strengths: curation and collaboration. GRRRL PRTY was built on the foundation of female camaraderie and creative independence, and the stellar and diverse opening lineup — BdotCroc, Mina Moore, Aby Wolf, others — speaks to their range of influences. Coming on the heels of a string of Lizzo festival performances, Sophia Eris DJ sets, and La Manchita solo slots, this party promises to be one of the group's most massive. 18+. $10-12. 8 p.m. 701 1st Ave N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. – JACK SPENCER

The 4onthefloor & Smokey & the Bandit


All in? All in. Lake Harriet's twofer music/movie nights close with a pair of dusty classics, as Minnesota down-home rockers the 4onthefloor stomp out the intro to 1977 car-chase classic Smokey and the Bandit. This final edition of August Music & Movies will marry the cowboy boots of 4otf frontman Gabriel Douglas and with those of Smokey leading man Burt Reynolds in what has to be the most copasetic pairing of the summer series. The 4onthefloor — fresh off their 2015 ass-kicker All In — will man their four-barrelled bass drum attack in the Bandshell until the sun dips low enough to start the projector. From then on out, it's Sally Field and Co. getting into shenanigans while trying to smuggle bootleg Coors into Georgia. Smuggle a few brews of your own, and you've got yourself a perfect salute to summer. All Ages. Free. 7:30 p.m. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis – JERARD FAGERBERG

  • Mick Sterling & the Irresistibles •  $12 •  8 p.m. Fri. •  Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

  • Anonymous Choir with Ventures Cover Band • $7 • 11:30 p.m. Fri. • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant 

  • Rachel Roberts (CD Release Show) • $8-$10 • 8 p.m. Fri. • Amsterdam
The Tallest Man on Earth


On paper, there’s nothing spectacularly interesting about indie songwriter Kristian Matsson. Over the last decade as the Tallest Man on Earth, the unassuming Swede has built a respectable catalog of earnest folk ditties that hark back to the early traditions of Americana. Dark Bird Is Home, Matsson's latest effort, isn't so much a departure as much as it is an evolution. Enlisting a full backing band, the album showcases his intrinsic knack for penning songs that are at once evocative and meticulously crafted without ditching the signature folk-poet vibe. From the breezy "Sagres" to the Dylan-esque piano number "Little Nowhere Towns," the Tallest Man on Earth seems to be at the height of his creative prowess. Lady Lamb opens. 18+. $30. 8 p.m. 701 1st Ave N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. – RAGHAV MEHTA

Carrie Underwood


Given the bro-y state of modern country radio, it’s remarkable to think that Carrie Underwood, with her belting and caterwauling, has become a “real country” star. The girl who got her start on American Idol made a name for herself on the country charts with catchy, pop-influenced songs, a big voice, and an all-American style. She’s racked up an impressive list of honors, too, including seven Grammys and two CMT Artist of the Year Awards. Plus she’s a member of the Grand Ole Opry, so she can’t be all bad. At just 32, the Okie from Muskogee (seriously!) has already put out a greatest hits CD. Watch Carrie and her killer legs blast through hits like “Inside Your Heaven” and “Before He Cheats” at the State Fair, a perfect venue for someone with her crossover appeal. $50-65. 7:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-288-4400. – KARA NESVIG

  • Totally Gross National Party 2015 • $18-$20 Sat. • 2:30 p.m. • Icehouse

  • X • $20-$25 • 8 p.m. Sat. Mill City Nights T

  • SotaFest • $25-$35 • 1 p.m. Sat. Parade Stadium

  • Alan Jackson • $40 7:30 p.m. Sun. Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

  • Slightly Stoopid • $30-$35 4:30 p.m. Sun. Cabooze

  • Mimicking Birds • $10-$12 7:30PM Turf Club T
Terence Blanchard


Breathless, the latest album by trumpeter Terence Blanchard and his new, electric E Collective, was inspired by Eric Garner’s dying words as he was held in a chokehold by an NYPD cop last summer: “I can’t breathe.” With spoken-word musings on the nature of justice, equality, and freedom over a simmering jazz-soul groove, the title track highlights a more politicized tack from a clearly piqued Blanchard, as well as a new foray into a fusion of jazz, R&B, funk, soul, and blues. The New Orleans native is renown as an accomplished post-bop player and for his memorable film soundtracks, particularly for Spike Lee. His fresh, groove-based eclecticism reflects late Miles Davis and bands like the Headhunters. Kicking off the album is a funky, blazing hip-hop/jazz romp through the Vietnam-era sociopolitical classic “Compared to What.” Other material ranges from the hard-edged funk of “Soldiers” to the spacey “Samadhi,” plus covers of Hank Williams and Coldplay. 7 & 9 p.m. $25-$40. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. – RICK MASON

  • Chelsea Wolfe • $14-$16 • 8 p.m. Mon. • Triple Rock Social Club
  • Grant Hart • $5 • 8 Mon. • 7th St. Entry
  • JT's Jazz Implosion • $8 • 9:30 p.m. Mon. • Icehouse
  • Jenny Hval • $10 • 7:30 p.m. • 7th St. Entry
  • Andy Grammer • free • 8:30 p.m. Tue. • Leinie Lodge Bandshell
  • Coloring Time • free • 10 p.m. Tue. Icehouse