One final hot streak
Big names and local acts crowd the schedule before fall’s onset
If you haven’t taken advantage of the summer months to see some live music, the week ahead presents plenty of opportunities. We’re inching closer to the last gasp of summer, and in anticipation of the end of festival season, the music gods have granted us a week so jam-packed with music that it’s almost overwhelming.
Here are some of your best live music options in the coming days, from burgeoning local artists to Grammy-winning superstars.
Arcade Fire, with the Antlers, 7:30 p.m. today, Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Road, George, Washington. Montreal’s Arcade Fire has embraced their sweeping, operatic style since their first LP “Funeral” hit the indie rock scene like a thunderbolt in 2004. (To give you an idea of their particular brand of quirk, their most recent release, the extravagant double album “Reflektor,” was recorded in an abandoned castle in Jamaica.) Frontman Win Butler and his band have never had a Top 40 hit, and their surprise win for the Best Album Grammy in 2010 inspired countless viewers to inquire “Who is Arcade Fire?” But they’re one of few working groups to earn respect from both erudite music critics and discriminate mainstream listeners, and their live shows have become legendary for their energy and theatricality. Oh, and the band strongly encourages concertgoers to dress up: Whether you choose formal wear or an elaborate costume, just be sure you can dance freely. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Bruno Mars, with Nico and Vinz, 7 p.m. Saturday, Gorge Amphitheatre. If you’re in the mood for a particularly good one-two punch, camp out at the Gorge over the weekend and see chart-topper Bruno Mars the night after Arcade Fire. Starting as a prominent producer and engineer before debuting as a solo artist in 2010, Mars and his instantly catchy blend of bubblegum pop, blue-eyed soul and singer-songwriter sentiments became instantly popular: He’s released seven Top 10 singles (including inescapable radio hits “Just the Way You Are,” “Grenade” and “Locked Out of Heaven”), received two Grammy Awards and co-headlined this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Mama Doll, with Dova, 8 p.m. Saturday, The Bartlett, 228 W. Sprague Ave. In terms of local shows, you won’t find a better one than this. The folky quartet has quietly developed from an acoustic two-piece into one of the best local bands out there. Saturday’s headlining concert at the Bartlett celebrates both the release of their debut album “As the Crow Flies” and serves as the kickoff for a short summer tour. The show is all ages; tickets are $12 at the door.
Robert Cray Band, with Sammy Eubanks, 8 p.m. Monday, Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave. It was this time last year that blues singer-guitarist Robert Cray came through the Inland Northwest, performing free shows in Liberty Lake’s Pavillion Park and at Coeur d’Alene’s Long Ear Records. Here’s your chance to see him with a full band in a more formal setting, playing tracks from his newest album “In My Soul.” Tickets are available through TicketsWest. (Opener Sammy Eubanks plays the previous afternoon at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, 4705 N. Fruit Hill Road, at 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.arborcrest.com for details.)
Against Me!, with Creepoid and Venus de Mars, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Knitting Factory, 919 W. Sprague Ave. Florida punk band Against Me! has been around since the mid-’90s, but they made headlines in 2012 when frontman Tom Gabel revealed he was transgender and was now identifying as Laura Jane Grace. The band’s sixth album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” which deals candidly with Grace’s identity issues, was released early this year to strong reviews. Tickets are available through TicketsWest.
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, with Galactic, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, War Memorial Field, 855 Ontario St., Sandpoint. Every year, the Festival at Sandpoint books an impressively eclectic group of artists, and Trombone Shorty (real name Troy Andrews) will deliver a high-spirited mix of Louisiana jazz, funk and hip-hop that, along with Mardi Gras funk openers Galactic, should inspire a great late summer party atmosphere. Tickets start at $39.95 and can be purchased through www.festivalatsandpoint.com.