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)
Sit, then party for playwright Lorraine Hansberry
International artist Alison Saar's sculpture "To Sit Awhile" is touring the country and making a stop at the Pillsbury House + Theatre in south Minneapolis. The sculpture is a tribute to playwright and civil rights activist Lorraine Hansberry, author of "A Raisin in the Sun," and will remain in Minneapolis through Sept. 15 as part of the monthlong celebration featuring works by Black artists, community groups and creative youth. It kicks off Saturday with the "Inside Out Block Party" from 1-6 p.m. on Chicago Av. S. between 35th and 36th streets, and includes roller-skating, button-making, face-painting, a bouncy house, free food and a bike raffle.
Luminary Open House
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. You're 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.; 700 N. 1st St., Mpls.; free; mnopera.org.)
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. Sat., First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $20-$25, axs.com)
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, either. Dubbed "Mozart of Madras," he has won a slew of Indian filmdom awards starting with the film "Roja" in the early '90s. Rahman, who will perform in the Twin Cities for the first time ever Sunday, 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 hitting 18 cities in North America, the All Access A.R. Rahman Tour was to have concluded in Minneapolis but has added three more cities. (8 p.m. Sun., 84 SE. Church St., Mpls., $59-$199, 612-624-2345, northrop.umn.edu.)
An Afternoon of Sound, Scent & Performance at Franconia
With beekeeping workshops, sound and scent walks, and music, the event at Franconia Sculpture Park connects visitors with nature through art and performance. As part of the "4Ground: Midwest Land Art Biennial," activities allow for a better understanding of the art installations. Visit the mobile "Climate Chaser" studio for storytelling about climate change, and experience the "City Lights Orchestra," a sound sculpture made of streetlamp globes created by artist/filmmaker Andy Graydon, activated by composer, improviser and audiovisual artist Sara Pajunen. The event culminates with "Rewilding the Prairie," a participatory performance with Rachel Frank. Audiences will use a horned drinking vessel to "rewild" the prairie grasses. (Noon-4 p.m. Sat., Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer, Minn., free, franconia.org.)
'A Love Song'
You probably know the face if not the name of Dale Dickey, who has played dozens of farm wives, police informants and best friends in movies and TV. She was memorable in the Netflix series "Unbelievable," but she has her best role in the quiet drama "A Love Song," as a woman camping out West, hoping to meet up with a former flame. He shows up eventually, but the deadpan/sweet/goofy interactions that precede his appearance establish the movie's low-key charm. And Dickey's spare, often silent, performance is sensational. (In theaters, showtimes vary.)
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 Place, St. Paul, $39.50-$75, first-avenue.com)
The Great Big Garden Party at Lakewood
Grab your favorite picnic foods for an outdoor lunch at Lakewood Cemetery's gathering. The OK Factor will provide the tunes and horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered as well as arts and crafts activities. Families can honor loved ones by adding ribbons to Lakewood's Living Memory Tree. (4-7 p.m. Sun. 3600 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-822-2171. lakewoodcemetery.com.)