Thursday, Aug. 18
1. Twenty One Pilots: During the pandemic, "Stressed Out" hitmakers Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun worked in their respective studios to craft the long-distance "Scaled and Icy," their sixth studio project. The sound harkens back to TOP's pre-"Blurryface" sound of bright, light, simple synth pop, with "Saturday" and "Shy Away" joining their list of No. 1 alt-rock hits. In concert, expect full-face masks, theatrics, selections from most of TOP's LPs and even an acoustic segment. Peter McPoland opens. (8 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $55-$125, ticketmaster.com)
Also: Former New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook is back with his band the Light playing both of J.D.'s two studio albums, "Unknown Pleasures" and "Closer," with Jake Rudh also DJ-ing (8 p.m. First Avenue, $35); Latino Caribbean groovers Malamanya take over the Lowertown Sounds series with soul-rocker Jaedyn James (6 p.m., Mears Park, free); rising Twin Cities singer Olivia Roosa, another talented scion of the Peterson family (Billy's granddaughter), celebrates her 17th birthday onstage (8 p.m. Minnesota Music Cafe, $10); KARD, a rare coed K-pop group, makes its Twin Cities debut (7:30 p.m. the Fillmore, $65 and up); New York ska vets the Toasters return (7 p.m. Hook & Ladder outside, $15-$20); psychedelic local rockers Solid Gold and Night Moves pair up to play the zoo's Wild Nights series (6 p.m. Minnesota Zoo, $30-$40).
Friday, Aug. 19
2. Duran Duran: Minnesota will be the first stop in North America for these newly elected members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After several gigs in Europe this summer, Simon Le Bon and mates will be showcasing new material from last year's aptly titled "Future Past," which sounds distinctively Duran Duran with a modern twist. Of course, these Brits will dip into their deep catalog for "Notorious," "A View to a Kill" and "Hungry Like the Wolf." Opening act Nile Rodgers and Chic will not only deliver "Le Freak" and "Good Times" but also a sampler of hits he's worked on with Sister Sledge, David Bowie and Daft Punk. Don't be surprised if guitarist Rodgers sits in with Duran Duran on tunes he produced. (7 p.m. Treasure Island Casino amphitheater, 5734 Sturgeon Lake Rd., Welch, Minn., $39 and up, ticketmaster.com)
3. Kehlani: In their first major Twin Cities concert, this Bay Area R&B/hip-hop singer is essentially promoting two albums going back to 2020's breakthrough breakup album, "It Was Good Until It Wasn't," a blunt, playful and often infectious riff on romantic ups and downs. They also just put out the moodier and mellower "Blue Water Road," laden with sexy R&B interludes. It sounds like a good bet the 27-year-old star-on-the-cusp is as alluring in concert as on record. "Smack a Bitch" rapper Rico Nasty opens. (7:30 p.m. the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., $52, ticketmaster.com)
4. Nur-D: His music has always been delivered in living color influenced by comics and video games. For his fourth full-length release, "HVN" ("Here Vs. Not"), the high-energy/high-concept Twin Cities rapper takes on a full-blown, dramatic cinematic vibe. The movies in his head range from dark personal explorations to sardonic social commentary to what sounds a lot like a "Rocky XII" — and a possible rock hit — in "Adamantium." As with his last two reactionary efforts, "38th" and "Chicago Ave," the 32-year-old tackles race and other heavy themes, but he's still a lot of fun. Especially on stage with his band. The album release party will include Sean Anonymous and Ka Lia Universe. (8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $18-$20, axs.com)
Also: After filling Orchestra Hall for three nights this spring to mark the release of its sprawling new album, "Metamorphosis," Minnesota/Wisconsin chamber-rock favorites Cloud Cult wraps up its 2022 tour dates with an always-welcome summer outdoor gig (7 p.m. Canterbury Park, $32.50-$50); deservedly billed as "the godmother of 'W.A.P.,'" costume-loving Canadian indie-pop provocateur Peaches is on tour marking the
20th22nd anniversary of her second album "Teaches of Peaches" (8 p.m. Varsity Theater, $30); on this year's "RGB (Red Green Blues)," each of the three brothers in "MMMBop"-y Hanson produced one-third of the album (7:30 p.m. the Fillmore, $39.50); enduringly hip jazz man Ben Sidran is returning with a new album, "Swing State" (8 p.m. also Sat., Crooners, $40); local all-star tribute band the Shabby Road Orchestra performs the "Let It Be" album (7 & 9:30 p.m. the Dakota, $20-$35); Innocent, Heatbox, Kevin Washington and others perform alongside a dozen THC vendors at the Legalization Celebration (doors at 4:20 p.m. the Hook & Ladder outside, $42 includes edibles); hazy, groovy, Winona-reared indie-rock ensemble Sleeping Jesus celebrates its debut album, "Leave the Party Early," which sounds equal parts Tame Impala and Syd Barrett (9 p.m. Turf Club, $15).
Saturday, Aug. 20
5. Kendrick Lamar: With Jay-Z deep in moguldom and Kanye off the deep end, Lamar has stepped up as rap's most important superstar of the moment. The Compton native's wild new album, "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers," is often biting and a bit boggling, but he's making sense of it on tour with help from a hi-fi stage production, a fleet of dancers and a theme based around a visit to a psychiatrist's office. He's usually a commanding performer, whatever the surroundings. His cousin Baby Keem opens along with another act signed to Lamar's pgLang imprint, Tanna Leone. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Xcel Energy Center, 199 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $75-$209, ticketmaster.com)
6. Chastity Brown: Hard to believe the ruggedly soothing Twin Cities songwriting stalwart has not headlined her own First Ave show before, but the hometown celebration for her first album in five years is a great occasion for the first time. "Sing to the Walls" has earned high praise from NPR and other national outlets for its dramatic yet hopeful spin on the calamity of recent years, and for the way Brown sprinkled in a little Curtis Mayfield-style funky soul to help boost her chief goal of feeling good again. She and her band have been on the road much of the summer and always stretch and elevate her songs onstage. Innovative jazz trumpeter Omar Abdulkarim opens. (8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $20-$25, axs.com)
7. Luminary Arts Center opening: Once, it was the Guthrie Lab, then the Lab Theater. Now Minnesota Opera has spruced up that converted warehouse and turned it into its second performance space, the Luminary Arts Center. The public is invited to come by Saturday and have a look around while enjoying music from a string quartet of Minnesota Opera Orchestra musicians (noon), baritone Mark Billy and pianist Andrew Sun (1 p.m.) and guitarist Daniel Volovets and pianist Joseph Li (2 p.m.). There will be food trucks. (11 a.m.-3 p.m. Luminary Arts Center, 700 1st St. N., Mpls., free, mnopera.org)
Also: Almost two decades since the hit "Take Me Out" made it an in band, Scottish dance-rock band Franz Ferdinand is touring with the new anthology "Hits to the Head" and thus revisiting a lot of old favorites on its first tour in four years (8 p.m. the Fillmore, $40-$82); Twin Cities maestro Andrew Walesch celebrates his new album, "This Funny Thing Called Love: The Songs of Cole Porter," produced by Ricky Peterson (7 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$35); Billy Gibbons continues ZZ Top's endless Texas boogie with Elwood Francis replacing the late Dusty Hill on bass (8 p.m. Mystic Lake Casino showroom, $69-$189); the Suburbs are getting their own beer and helping one of the best suburban breweries celebrate its sixth anniversary with Turn Turn Turn opening (4 p.m., Bald Man Brewing in Eagan, $25); always eager to play here when it's sweatiest back home, the New Orleans Suspects return with their funky Crescent City swamp-rock (7 p.m. Hook & Ladder outside, $20-$32); rhythmic ambient loop maestro Dosh will be joined by Dave King, Tabah and Zac Sally (6 p.m. Palmer's Bar patio, $20); local tribute band ABBAsolutely Fab will prove you can dance in a revived, old neighborhood movie theater (8 p.m. Parkway Theater, $22-$29).
Sunday, Aug. 21
8. A.R. Rahman: From Kollywood to Bollywood to Hollywood, the Indian composer and singer has left an indelible mark. He has snagged two Oscars, two Grammys, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for "Slumdog Millionaire." And he's not just the "Jai Ho" guy. Dubbed "Mozart of Madras," he has won a slew of awards in the Indian filmscape starting with "Roja" in the early '90s. Rahman is not exactly a showman, but he knows how to get a crowd instantly humming, bopping and chair-dancing. Blending Carnatic- and Hindustani-style vocals, exuberant bhangra beats, some hip-hop and techno sounds, he includes classic crowd-pleasers and newer hit songs. After visiting 18 cities in North America, his All Access Tour was supposed to conclude in Minneapolis but now three more cities have been added. (8 p.m. Northrop, 84 Church St SE., Mpls., $59-$199, northrop.umn.edu)
9. Jessie James Decker: She's an entrepreneur, fashion designer, lifestyle influencer, cookbook author, mother of three and reality TV star (with her Minnesota-born husband, ex-NFL and Gopher Eric Decker). Almost forgot that she's been trying to be a country singer-songwriter through it all. Last fall, she released "Should Have Known Better," her first single to make a ripple in Nashville in years. It sounds like a tune Shania Twain might have delivered 25 years ago with a little more attitude. TikTok-launched singer Avery Anna opens. (7:30 p.m. Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul, $39.50-$75, first-avenue.com)
Also: Two of the Twin Cities' finest Brit-rock purveyors, Two Harbors and the Stress of Her Regard, each play a too-rare-of-late set for an alley party off Loring Park (3 p.m., behind Hi-Fi Hair & Records, free); gritty Portland blue-eyed soul man Curtis Salgado is touting his latest full length for Alligator Records, the standout "Damage Control." (Highlight: "You're Going to Miss My Sorry Ass," a piano boogie about two criminals.) The unstoppable Cornbread Harris opens. (6 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $25); Twin Cities piano man Rick Carlson and his quartet celebrate Count Basie's birthday (5:30 p.m. Crooners, $20 and up); HopeFest offers hope and healing with Building 429, Sidewalk Prophets, Plumb, Kat Perkins and Mick Sterling, among others (noon Hilde Performance Center, $35 and up); local do-it-all Al Church will do it again for Surly's garden series (6 p.m., Surly Brewery, free).
Monday, Aug. 22
Here's a double bill of noteworthy local foursomes: jazzy vocalist Sophia Shorai's Quartet and the Neighborhood Quartet, also known as New Standards vibraphonist Steve Roehm's other band (7 p.m. the Dakota, $10-$15).
Tuesday, Aug. 23
Jeremy Messersmith offers a stripped-down set outside one of Minneapolis' distilleries (7 p.m., Twin Spirits, $30); blues guitar slingers Coco Montoya and Ronnie Baker Brooks will pay tribute to Albert Collins, for whom Montoya played drums back in the day (7 p.m. the Dakota, $50-$60).
Wednesday, Aug. 24
10. Seratones: Last seen in town wowing the crowd at the Current's 15th anniversary party just before COVID lockdown, Northwest Louisiana's riveting soul-rock band is finally back with an overdue headlining gig and a new album to boot. Frontwoman AJ Haynes, who's always been part Patti LaBelle and Karen O onstage, branches out even further into breezy disco and psychedelic rock territory on the new LP on New West Records, "Love & Algorhythms." Highly recommended. Very young local buzzers Jackie Kean open. (8 p.m. Turf Club, 1601 University Av. W., St. Paul, $16-$18, axs.com)
Also: KCON U.S. Tour is a spinoff of Korea's popular cultural festival, with Cravity and Lightsum (7:30 p.m. State Theatre, also. Thu. with STYC and TO1, $83 and up); Minneapolis siblings Jearlyn and Fred Steele team up for some soulful duets (7 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$35).
Rob Hubbard and Arthi Subramaniam contributed to this column.