The week's best concerts: Sept. 2-8



  • Patti LaBelle $45 7:30 p.m. Wed. Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

  • Christian Mistress $8 8 p.m. Wed. Triple Rock Social Club

  • Transmission free 10 p.m. Wed. Clubhouse Jager

  • Twin Shadow $20-$25 6 p.m. Thu. The Varsity Theater

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd $42 7:30 p.m. Thu. Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

  • Andrew W.K. (solo show) $20 7:30 p.m. Thu. Triple Rock Social Club
Forever Young Back 2 School Bash


Nostalgia. Clickbait. A DJ whose name is literally an emoji. Perhaps no dance night has been more perfectly formulated for millennials and the unnamed, Tumblr-addled generation that's followed than Radio K's back-to-school edition of Forever Young. Operating under the ViralNova-esque tagline "music from the TRL era you forgot you loved," DJS Flipstyle and CLOUD (whose actual name can't be typeset) will turn the Mainroom into a Saved by the Bell-era time capsule with boy bands, neo-soul, R&B, and new jack swing. Students with valid ID get $3 off entrance, so even those who were fetuses during the decade from 1996 to 2006 can get their dance on for cheap. Gen Xers can sit this one out. 18+. $8. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-332-1775. – JERARD FAGERBERG

Reel Big Fish


With the "Macarena" months away, everybody in 1995 was doing the fish. Reel Big Fish — the big kahunas of the short-lived ska-punk craze — are still tootin' and up-strokin' away, and they should find plenty of Gen X and older millennial fans at the fair. Remember when the 1997 Florida Marlins anointed “Trendy” as their team anthem? Remember the SoCal band’s appearance in BASEketball? Of course you do! In those halcyon days, you were gonna be young forever and ska would never die. And while the genre battles on in obscurity, every original and heyday member of RBF outside of frontman Aaron Barrett has since jumped ship. A soon as the horn blasts from “Sell Out” and “Beer” hit, though, you won’t find a cynic amid the skanking, fedora-clad crowd outside the Leinie Lodge Bandshell. RBF’s eighth and latest full-length, Candy Coated Fury, came out in 2012. Free. 8:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-288-4427. – JAY BOLLER

The Avett Brothers and Preservation Hall Jazz Band


On its face, this is a quirky matchup for the State Fair Grandstand. But both the Avett Brothers and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are essentially offering American roots music on a stick. Both bands are steeped in traditional music, which they treat with due but hardly stultifying reverence. North Carolina’s Avetts tap Appalachian folk, country, and bluegrass. For half a century, Preservation Hall on New Orleans’ St. Peter Street has been a bastion of trad jazz and its touring bands have been ambassadors for keeping the music alive. The Avetts’ metaphorical stick is their deft fusion of the rootsy stuff with pop and rock elements, which has elevated them to kingpins on the Americana festival circuit. Similarly, PHJB leader Ben Jaffe has reinvigorated Preservation Hall, which recently hosted the Foo Fighters, with cross-genre collaborations, odd covers of pop tunes, and the band’s first album of all original material, 2013’s That’s It!. $35-$45. 7:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-288-4427. Minneapolis – RICK MASON

Adam Booker


Although Unraveled Rival is University of Minnesota Duluth prof Adam Booker’s first album as leader, the double bass ace has been around the proverbial block. Before winding up in Duluth, where he teaches bass and jazz studies, Booker was a teenaged pro in San Antonio, did a stint with the U.S. Navy Band in New Orleans, and became a stalwart on the busy Austin, Texas, scene. He recorded the album in Texas with fellow UMD prof Ryan Frane and a cast of longtime associates. Frane and other Twin Cities jazz luminaries will be at new St. Paul venue Vieux Carré to celebrate the album’s release on local label Shifting Paradigm. Booker’s rich, melodic, and deliciously woody bass is the surreptitiously enthralling heartbeat of the UR tunes, a handful of originals sandwich between stylish, straight-ahead arrangements of Joe Zawinul’s “Birdland” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” Other standouts include the tasty, simmering swing of “Point” and the rambunctious “Section 8.” $10. 9 p.m. 408 St. Peter St, St. Paul; 651-291-2715. – RICK MASON

  • Four Year Strong $17-$20 5 p.m. Fri. Triple Rock Social Club

  • Jack and the Coax (CD release) $13-$18 8 p.m. Fri. Turf Club

  • Eric Mayson (CD release) $8-$10 8 p.m. Fri. 7th St. Entry

  • Prof Outdoors 2 $25 4:20 p.m. Sat. Cabooze 

  • Huey Lewis and the News $49-$59 8 p.m. Sat. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel 

  • Steve Earle and the Dukes $48.50-$58.50 8 p.m. Sat. Pantages Theatre 


Like the desert-tempted Middle Eastern messiah before him, soul/R&B superstar D'Angelo emerged from exile last year, with Black Messiah, his first album in 14 years. The record had critics drooling, notching a 95 out of 100 Metacritic score, D'Angelo's 2013 show at First Avenue with Questlove more than lived up to the hype. The once-chiseled force behind iconic 2000 album Voodoo will return to First Ave on Sunday with his band, the Vanguard. The tour is dubbed the Second Coming, which may or may not be a sexy R&B euphemism. In June, D'Angelo told Rolling Stone he's in the process of recording a "companion piece" follow-up to Black Messiah. He also said his love for music was sparked by Prince ("It was love at first bite") and that, similar to the Purple One, he thinks faith and music can coexist ("I see making love as a form of worship"). 18+. Sold out. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-332-1775. – JAY BOLLER

  • David Grisman Bluegrass Experience $50-$40 8 p.m. Sun. Fitzgerald Theater

  • Safe In Sound Festival $39.50-$79.50 2 p.m. Sun. Fine Line Music Cafe

  • Home Free free 8:30 p.m. Sun. Leinie Lodge Bandshell
Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson


This grand, genuine country Grandstand lineup is a throwback to the days when the fair was more about rototillers than kimchi on a stick. Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson are both in their late 70s, both superb songwriters and iconic country artists, both still unfurling their banners in all their ragged glory. They’re maybe a little worse for wear vocally, but each is still aglow with that smoldering outlaw spirit. Haggard collaborated with old pal Willie Nelson on new album Django and Jimmie, which is full of reminiscences and gritty reflections as fine as aged sippin’ whiskey. Kristofferson’s last studio effort, Feeling Mortal, addressed the age issue with solid new tunes and appropriate obstreperousness (“You Don’t Tell Me What To Do”). Together, backed by the Hag’s band, the Strangers, the pair will swap tunes from songbooks as deep as they come, from Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee” to Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” The big bonus here is 37-year-old opener Sturgill Simpson, who’s also a fine, adventurous songwriter. $35. 7:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-288-4427. – RICK MASON

  • Victor Wooten $40-$30 7 p.m. Mon. Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • Dave King Trucking Company $15 8 p.m. Mon. Icehouse
  • Dr. Mambo's Combo $7 9:30 p.m. Mon. Bunker's Music Bar & Grill
  • Terakaft $28-$30 7 p.m. Tue. The Cedar Cultural Center
  • Barb Wire Dolls $12-$15 8 p.m. Tue. Amsterdam 
  • Radkey $8-$10 6 p.m. Tue. 7th St. Entry