The week's best concerts: Sept. 23-29

ZZ Ward and her trademark hat

ZZ Ward and her trademark hat

Bryan Adams $45-$99.50 7 p.m. Wed. Northrop

Transmission FREE 10 p.m. Wed. Clubhouse Jager

Years & Years $18-$20 7 p.m. Wed. The Varsity Theater

Toro y Moi


Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, was originally lumped in with the mid-’00s chillwave movement. The briefly trendy, ill-fated genre featured was characterized by glowing, homespun sonics and nostalgic lyrics, as typified by songs like Toro's “Blessa,” Neon Indian's "Should Have Taken Acid with You," and Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around.” But since incorporating live instrumentation on 2011's Underneath the Pine, Bundick has stuck around and thrived. On his latest album, the stomping, streaking What For?, highlights include the smooth, elegantly arranged disco of “Buffalo” and the driving psych-rock of “Empty Nesters.” Whatever Bundick’s feelings toward chillwave are — one would guess he's grateful for the success it brought him, but bummed to be caged by its rigid aesthetic — those songs and the rest of the album propel him further away from his tragically chill genesis and into present-day legitimacy. With Astronauts, etc., who just collaborated with Toro on a cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man" for this tour. 18+. $20-$28. 8 p.m. 111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis; 612-333-3422. –- MIKE MADDEN

Shemekia Copeland $38 7 p.m. Thu. Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Tech N9ne $35 7 p.m. Thu. Myth TICKETS

The Reverend Horton Heat $20 7 p.m. Thu. First Avenue

ZZ Ward


Zsuzsanna Ward, the story goes, grew up in Oregon equally influenced by blues and hip-hop. But in fact, there are a wealth of stylistic inspirations in Ward’s voice that go beyond bluesy growls and hip-hop cadence, ranging from gritty rock ’n’ roll to soaring soul, pop permutations to classic girl group feistiness. Even with shadows of Janis and Aretha, none of it sounds affected, which, combined with her sultry tone and smoldering performances, made the arrival of her 2012 debut album, Til The Casket Drops, something of a sensation. Her sophomore follow-up, This Means War, isn’t due until March. But in the meantime, she’s on the road with a new EP, Love & War, whose four songs seem to grapple with romantic dependency. On the loping, hip-pop number “Love 3X” Ward sings, “You make me ill but it’s such a thrill,” while on the blues-pop stomper “Marry Well” she announces, “I buy my own diamonds, they don’t come with no vows.” Marc Scibilia and the Young Wild open. 18+. $25. 7 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. –- RICK MASON

12th Planet


Legendary drum 'n' bass-cum-dubstep personality 12th Planet has been making thumpy electronica since before they had a name for the genre. Known early on as Infiltrata, real-life L.A. native John Dadzie has been something of a mentor to dubstep figurehead Skrillex and shared producer credits with Rusko, Pretty Lights, and Kill the Noise. That misguided rebranding of Korn nowithstanding, Planet's track record is flush with bangers like "Reasons" and "Bass Saly." The EDM veteran’s Game Day Tour will bring his prestige womps to the Skyway's sister venue this Friday alongside West Coast trap duo gLAdiator, who just wrapped recording their latest EP. In June, 12th Planet dropped new single “Big Riddim Monsta,” a collaboration with Dodge & Fuski. 18+. $20-$30. 711 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-6100. – JERARD FAGERBERG

U of M Homecoming 2015 Concert feat. Big Sean $40/$20 7:15 p.m. Fri. TCF Bank Stadium

Stone Temple Pilots $35-$40 7 p.m. Fri. Myth

On An On $12-$14 8 p.m. Fri. Turf Club



Even when densely entwined in the abstract artscapes unfurled on Braids’ third album, Deep in The Iris, there’s a warm, organic allure that contrasts with the stark frostiness of 2013’s Flourish / / Perish. The Montreal trio seeks a fundamental serenity on Iris, but it’s not easily achieved despite singer with singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston declaring her intent on the opening track, “Letting Go.” While sighing ethereally and slipping among clusters of swirling rhythms, she negotiates a jumble of emotions, from resentment to redemption, while the music pulses and spirals, ultimately grounded by sunny melodies and reassuring acoustic piano. Opening act Tasseomancy is the duo of Canadian twin sisters Sari and Romy Lightman, whose second album, Palm Wine Revisited, is a fascinating mix of haunting, moody chamber folk, gothic electronica and avant-pop. The twins’ vocals are vaguely disquieting, shifting between echoey, siren-like, resonant, and ethereal. 21+. $10-$12. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. – RICK MASON



Dan Bejar’s Destroyer project convenes many sounds and inspirations, such as Bruce Springsteen on his recent single “Dream Lover” and Spanish songwriter Antonio Luque throughout 2013's Five Spanish Songs tribute EP. But the Vancouver artist still manages to sound thoroughly idiosyncratic, bringing an unpredictable blend of pop, rock, and folk. For one thing, there’s Bejar's intellect, which manifests in fascinatingly allusive lyrics. For another, there’s his distinct voice, reminiscent of both Frank Sinatra's authority and David Bowie's flamboyant animation. Returning to the public eye four and a half years after his 2011 breakthrough Kaputt, and having found time in between to work on the New Pornographers' Brill Bruisers, Bejar is back with the ornate new album Poison Season. Standouts include that bustling Springsteen homage, “Dream Lover,” which compares to '70s Boss, and the saxophone-splatted “Times Square,” which is one of three Poison Season songs set in New York City. With Jennifer Castle. 18+. $20-$35. 9 p.m. 318 N. 1st Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. – MIKE MADDEN

Symphony X $27 8:30 p.m. Sat. Mill City Nights 

Ariadne auf Naxos $25-$200 8 p.m. Sat. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Step Rockets $6-$8 9 p.m. Sat. Triple Rock Social Club

Zappa Plays Zappa $35-49.50 7 p.m. Sun. The Varsity Theater 

Cody Simpson $17-$20 5:30 p.m. Sun. First Avenue

A Place To Bury Strangers $12-$14 7:30 p.m. Sun. Turf Club 

Frution $12-$15 8 p.m. Mon. Mill City Nights

Tenenbaums $8-$10 7:30 p.m. Mon. 7th St. Entry

The Roe Family Singers FREE 9 p.m. Mon. 331 Club

Mark Knopfler


On new single “Beryl,” a tribute to the late Liverpool writer Beryl Bainbridge, Mark Knopfler offers a tantalizing dose of the silvery guitar licks and roiling, mercurial majesty that once was Dire Straits. Clearly evoking “Sultans of Swing,” he ventures into territory usually only visited these days when cranking up old Straits classics live. Otherwise, Knopfler has recast himself as a master of subtlety and a superb storyteller, lacking DS’s cinematic scope and fire perhaps, but making up for it in craftsmanship and depth. The power of Tracker, his latest solo effort, is in its tasty understatement and eloquently searing songs, mostly rootsy assemblages of pub rock, English folk, Celtic elements and folk-rock. Some are reflective, such as “Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes.” Others portray indelible characters like poet Basil Bunting, or pay stylistic tribute to late friends like J.J. Cale. Wrapping it up is a wistful love song, “Wherever I Go,” featuring a gorgeous duet with singer Ruth Moody. $59.50-$109.50. 9 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. – RICK MASON

Ride $35-$40 8 p.m. Tue. Mill City Nights

JR JR $16 7:30 p.m. Tue. Turf Club

Hollywood Undead $25 5 p.m. Tue. First Avenue