The best concerts in the Twin Cities this week: 12/25 - 12/31

Photo By Erik Hess
Dawes are set to play two nights at Varsity Theater to close out 2013

Happy Holidays, internet pals! While not too many acts are playing venues this Christmas, plenty of bars are still open for business. There's also plenty of places to ring in the New Year, including First Avenue's Dance Night, The Turf Club's Cover Band Show, Davina and the Vagabonds at the Dakota or Solid Gold at the Icehouse (plus MANY more). Either way, if you're going out, be sure to celebrate with the people (or cats) you love and have a happy holiday season! 

Wednesday 12.25.2013

Merry Christmas! 

Thursday 12.26.2013

The Bad Plus
Dakota Jazz Club THURSDAY 12.26 - SUNDAY 12.29
Not your everyday avant-garde-jazz-punk-classical-garage trio, the Bad Plus return for their annual extended Christmas visit to the Dakota, their sleigh undoubtedly packed with deliriously twisted baubles to be meted out over the first three eves of their residency. That could mean deconstructed covers of anyone from Nirvana to Ornette Coleman to Roger Miller, plus equally quirky originals. But the spectacular gift, the Plus's equivalent of the Red Ryder BB Gun, is reserved only for Sunday: the run through Igor Stravinsky's groundbreaking The Rite of Spring. The aim of Ethan Iverson, Dave King, and Reid Anderson usually is unerringly true, so there's little chance they'll shoot their eyes out.  --Rick Mason
All Ages, $40, 7PM + 9 PM

Grant Hart with Catbath and Frankie Teardrop 
Triple Rock 
Hüsker Dü Solo 
18+, $10, 8 PM

Midwest Assembly's Funky Christmas II with Dead Larry, Headband Jam, Shakedown City and Space Monster
7th Street Entry
Post Holiday Tunes
18+, $8, 8 PM

Friday 12.27.2013

Run Westy Run
First Avenue
The mid-'80s were a great time for ragged-but-right rock in the Twin Cities. It's easy to remember Soul Asylum and the Replacements, but the scrappers in Run Westy Run made up an equally strong band that somehow fell between the cracks. With just three records over the course of their decade-long stint, their recorded legacy is admittedly a bit too small and spotty to claim legendary Minnesota-music status on its own, but their reputation as a live band is on par with the biggest names of the era. Friday: With San Dimas and the Goondas. --Rob van Alstyne
18+, $20, 8 PM

Varsity Theater
Pop Punk
18+, $20/$24, 7:30 PM

The Giving Tree with Ginstrings and The Last Revel
7th Street Entry
Brotherly Love
18+, $10, 8 PM

Arcwelder with Self-Evident and Delta Lyrae
Turf Club
All Encompassing Rock
21+, $8, 8 PM

Saturday 12.28.2013

AQ's Final Weekend Jam
Artists' Quarter, FRIDAY 12.27 + SATURDAY 12.28
Faced with the imminent passing of a Twin Cities institution, the local jazz community should be out in full force for this final weekend of the venerable Artists' Quarter. A lot of history has been made over the years at the AQ, a host of memorable gigs and notable recordings while owner/drummer Kenny Horst kept the torch burning against all odds. No one knows for sure who will lug their instruments into the AQ for a final go-round, but the last chapter's almost guaranteed to add to the joint's legend. As jazz connoisseur Pat Courtmanche wrote in the AQ's last calendar: "One can only imagine the combination of fireworks and waterworks."  --Rick Mason
$10, 9 PM

Nicholas David with Ashley Dubose
First Avenue
Vibrant and Dynamic
18+, $20/$25, 7:30 PM

Likehell with Neil Dynamite & the Heartlights, Young & Tender and Terry Hughes Music
7th St Entry
Dark and Brooding
18+, $10/$12,  8 PM

The Sudden Lovelys with The Sunny Era
Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Agressive Folk
21+, FREE, 9 PM

Lizzo Lizzobangers release show
Triple Rock 
Lizzo's evolution in the Twin Cities music scene has been so rapid that every show, every single, every collaboration, and every wig expresses something different than her last time out. Lizzobangers, her collaboration with Doomtree's Lazerbeak, is her growth and raw potential captured in loud, bold strokes. As a rapper, the 2013 Picked to Click champ is unfiltered, funny, and reflective in a single line from "Batches & Cookies," and "Go" shows she sings from the heart. But don't take the record as anything close to the full picture. As her bubbly persona as part of the Chalice and GRRRL PRTY already has established, Lizzo is to be experienced in the front row. This will be a party to remember. With Plain Ole Bill and Lazerbeak.  --Reed Fischer
18+, $12/$15, 8 PM 

Run Westy Run with San Dimas and the Tisdales
Turf Club
Night Two
21+, $25, 8 PM

The Big Wu and Refriderager
Fine Line 
Jam Band
21+, $12, 8 PM

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