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This weekend's best concerts: Aug 2-4

Idles are at First Ave on Saturday.

Idles are at First Ave on Saturday. Publicity photo

We have now officially entered that part of the year that many refer to as "Counting Crows SZN."

Friday 8.2

Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss @ Target Center
Outlaw country icon, weed connoisseur, octogenarian, and renowned redheaded stranger Willie Nelson rolls on like devilish tumbleweed. Initially recognized as a master songwriter (“Crazy,” “Night Life”), Nelson long has crafted music drawn from an extraordinarily nuanced sweep of honky-tonk, blues, pop, jazz, and folk. Following a somewhat surprising Sinatra tribute, Nelson’s latest (Ride Me Back Home) includes sly, dusty originals plus covers of Guy Clark, Billy Joel, and Mac Davis. Singer/fiddler Alison Krauss’ bluegrass roots still inform her now wide ranging music. Dan Smalley opens. 7:30 p.m. $39.50—$250. 600 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Steve Earle & the Dukes @ Minnesota Zoo
Over his 30-plus year career, Steve Earle has veered from fierce, country-saturated rocker to folkie busker with bluegrass, blues, and other stops along the way. His Texas roots are always evident, whether identifying early on with Austin renegades or later paying tribute to mentors Townes Van Zandt (2009’s Townes) and now Guy Clark, whose band Earle played in for a spell. Guy covers Clark essentials with affection and a bit of melancholy, the latter emphasized by Earle’s weathered voice and the Dukes’ twangy, sighing arrangements. The Mastersons open. 7:30 p.m. $47.50—$60. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. More info here.—Rick Mason

Minnesota Orchestra plays Golijov with Luciana Souza @ Orchestra Hall
After La Pasion segun San Marcos received a 30-minute standing ovation at its world premiere in the summer of 2000, New Yorker writer Alex Ross wrote that it “drops like a bomb on the belief that classical music is an exclusively European art.” Osvaldo Golijov’s ambitious 87-minute opus on the last days of Christ incorporates the Afro-Brazilian martial art and dance of capoeira and the Yoruban religious and musical practice of Santeria. The Minnesota Orchestra is doing it justice, deploying conductor Maria Guinard, to whom Golijov dedicated the premiere, and renowned jazz mezzo Luciana Souza among a huge cast that also includes the Minnesota Chorale, the BorderCrosSing Choir, Alumni of the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, and various local and international dancers and musicians abetting the core orchestra. Also Saturday. 8 p.m. $12-$97. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson

Complete Friday music listings here.

Saturday 8.3

Idles @ First Avenue
Adam Devonshire and Jon Beavis’s deep, murky, whomping rhythm section and Joe Talbot’s barked, slurred singing combine to produce a direct, clunky, industrial cadence that doesn’t rock so much as stomp. Last year’s Joy as an Act of Resistance collects ostensibly disapproving portraits of gross men and the societal conditions that produce them, although the energy with which they roar suggests a certain relish. With A Place to Bury Strangers. 18+. 8 p.m. $16/$18. 701 First Ave. N. More info here.—Lucas Fagen

Santana @ Xcel Energy Center
A half century after electrifying Woodstock’s throngs with his fluid, incendiary guitar exploits and blistering Latin-rock, Carlos Santana has released one of the most artistically adventurous albums of his career. Sizzling with uncompromising passion, spinning off the Santana band’s Latin-jazz-soul elixir, Africa Speaks is an inspired tribute to African musical roots. It’s also a collaboration with Concha Buika, a Majorcan native with Equatorial Guinea roots. Her sinuous, multifaceted lead vocals and sharp lyrics in English, Spanish, and Bube, conspire with Carlos’ scintillating guitar to ignite transcendent sparks. The Doobie Brothers open. 7 p.m. $26.50 & up. 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. More info here.—Rick Mason

Steve Kenny @ Black Dog
Kenny is a stalwart presence on the local jazz scene, curating series at Jazz Central and the Black Dog on a weekly basis for years now, as well as seasonal shows at Studio Z. For decades, he’s also been a crackerjack brass (trumpet and “flumpet”) player, composer, ensemble leader, and sideman. All these come into play on his Shifting Paradigm release, Quartets, a broad yet concise snapshot of some of his favorite performances and original tunes, anchored by the half-hour “Ghost Suite,” originally written for Zeitgeist and featuring saxophonist Brandon Wozniak. 8:30 p.m. $20 for reserved seat or tip jar for general admission. 308 East Prince St., St. Paul. More infohere.—Britt Robson

Hazelfest 2019 @ Hazelden Campus
Twin Cities indie-pop star Jeremy Messersmith will headline the seventh edition of this annual sober music fest, and locally rooted artists who've appeared on NBC's The VoiceChris Kroeze, Jesse Larson, Kat Perkins, and Nicholas David—will also rock the recovery-themed outdoor party. Other main stage acts include Corey Medina & Brothers Band, Annie Mack Trio, Lydia Liza, and Dusty Heart. Local nonprofit Dissonance will host a 500-seat storytelling/music panel, and former Current DJ and current Hazelden staffer Dave Campbell will host alongside KARE 11's Jana Shortal. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $20/$30. 15251 Pleasant Valley Road, Center City. More info here.—Jay Boller

Complete Saturday music listings here.

Sunday 8.4

Complete Sunday music listings here.