The best Twin Cities concerts of the week: 6/23-6/29

Categories: Concert Preview
Robert Redfield
Mac DeMarco -- See Monday

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, June 23

Mac DeMarco with Calvin Love and Meatbodies
British Columbia singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco, 24, is the class clown of indie-rock freshmen. Sometimes the dilemma is whether to listen to his records or watch his hilarious interviews on YouTube. Despite DeMarco's smirking boyishness, he's already released a ton of music, including three albums. His outgoing nature comes across in his gently swaying lounge pop (or "jizz jazz" as he's so memorably called it), and that nonchalance is the basis of gems like his 2012 cigarette song "Ode to Viceroy," an earworm that even our surgeon general would approve. DeMarco's latest album is April's Salad Days, and poised songs like "Brother" and "Let My Baby Stay" show another side of his songwriting, albeit one that's no less personable. Keep your fingers crossed in hope that he sticks a drumstick in his ass -- it's happened before, you know. -Michael Madden
18+, $16, 8 PM

Deafheaven with Pallbearer and Wreck and Reference
Possibly more than the San Francisco unit's music itself, Deafheaven's rise to prominence was one of metal's hot topics throughout 2013, when their eclectic second album, Sunbather, inspired discussion about what can and can't be "metal." The band's pounding 2011 debut, Roads to Judah, was plenty promising, but Sunbather was a thrilling leap forward starting with the nine-minute opener, "Dream House." The band employ heavy influences from black metal, and the metallic intensity carries through the lyrical content. Frontman George Clarke writes about the past mistakes that have made him the contentedly flawed human he is today. -Michael Madden
18+, $15, 8 PM

John Hiatt & the Combo with Robert Cray Band
The dynamic duo of John Hiatt and Robert Cray -- plus their bands -- should incite plenty of righteous howls at the zoo. Both are touting new albums featuring their customarily exceptional songwriting, but also with relatively surprising fresh twists from each. Bluesman Cray, whose contemporary touches have sometimes helped him climb the charts, digs into Memphis soul on In My Soul, stirring up a Stax/Hi vibe on band originals while also covering Isaac Hayes and Otis Redding. Hiatt, who's always messing around with some combination of rootsy rock, country, and blues, dives head first into gritty, acoustic blues on his forthcoming Terms of My Surrender. He even dusts off his harmonica and goes all Little Walter on a few cuts. As always, his clever lyrics tell vivid tales of love, redemption, and pain, laced with biting satire, poignancy, and scathing commentary, exemplified by the apocalyptic "Wind Don't Have to Hurry."
$54, 7:30 PM

Neon Trees with Smallpools and Nightmare & the Cat
All ages, $22, 5:30 PM

$28.50, 8 PM

Tuesday, June 24

Rufus Wainwright
$39, 7:30 PM

Delhi 2 Dublin
$15, 7 PM

Dianne Schuur
$30-$40, 7 PM & 9 PM

Skinny Lister with Onward, Etc. and Marah in the Mainsail
18+, $10, 7 PM

Courtney Barnett
18+, $13/$15, 7:30 PM

Wednesday, June 25

Cut Copy with Classixx and Nile Delta
Through four studio albums, Australians Cut Copy have retained their penchant for throbbing alt-rock grooves and now specialize in near-tropical dance rock. Plenty of material from 2011's Zonoscope and last fall's as-utopian-as-the-title-suggests Free Your Mind are festival bangers, and a similar atmosphere can be expected at First Ave. Partly nurtured at producer Dave Fridmann's forest headquarters and featuring uninhibited bongo work, it has a fizzing energy led by poptimistic frontman Dan Whitford. It would be pure hypocrisy if the band had anything less than a great time while performing it. With Classixx and Nile Delta. -Michael Madden
18+, $25, 8 PM

Blueprint with Count Bass D, DJ Rare Groove, and RP Hooks
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

Albert Lee & Cindy Cashdollar
$25-$35, 7 PM & 9 PM

New Century Sessions: Chastity Brown with BBGUN
$15-$22, 7:30 PM

Totally Gross National Product Night
$5, 10 PM

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