TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, N.A.S.A.
No disrespect to Toots & The Maytals, but if the past several Twilight Concerts have killed your endurance for large crowds, consider skipping the headliner and showing up only for tonight’s opening act, N.A.S.A (North American/ South American). The hip-hop duo’s debut Spirit of Apollo sparked divisive reviews with the negative criticism centered on their “too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen” approach to recording. The album features more than 40 guest appearances including contributions by David Byrne, Method Man, Karen O and others. It’s far from the acrid bile sites like Pitchfork made it out to be—“Gifted,” featuring Kanye West, Santigold and Lykke Li is pretty sweet—but it should be interesting to see how well the producers recreate their studio magic in a live setting. Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, 7 p.m. All-ages. Free.
SNOWBIRD TENT REVIVAL
“This may be the last time, I don’t know,” the Blind Boys of Alabama sing with Anthony Hamilton in Freedom Songs: Soundtrack for a Revolution, a PBS documentary spotlighting the passionate artists who raised their voices against racial injustice on the civil-rights battlefield. In the film, the group— which dates back to ’39—performs updated versions of the era’s most triumphant songs alongside fellow performers Joss Stone, The Roots and John Legend. This weekend, its six current members will contribute to a celebration of gospel music drawing on a wide range of cultural expressions that help inform the backbone of American music. The 2009 Tent Revival lineup also features Mavis Staples, Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue featuring the McCrary Sisters, JJ Grey and Mofro, The Legendary Soul Stirrers, The Sacred Shakers, Cory Mon & the Starlight Gospel, and The Calvary Baptist Choir. SnowbirdRC.org (through Sunday)
GREEN DAY, FRANZ FERDINAND
How many people pegged Green Day as a flash-in-the-pan outfit poised to crash and burn as their target demographic graduated to adult contemporary or classic rock? Surely no one predicted the group of modern-day punks would—a decade after their major-label debut—release a rock opera? Or that five years after that, the rock opera would undergo plans to hit Broadway (or off-Broadway, outcome pending)? Over the years—with decidedly mixed results—Billy Joe & Co. have managed to remain not simply relevant but fresh and unpredictable. Not sure if the same can be said of Franz Ferdinand, but our fingers are crossed for a more impressive follow-up to their most recent release. EnergySolutions Arena, 301 W. South Temple 8 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 801-325-7328
THE DEAD WEATHER
Ever since their first single leaked, The Dead Weather have inspired some debate over whether the so-called supergroup is quite as super as they’re cracked up to be. Great expectations are a bitch, especially for someone like Jack White, who set the bar high as one-half of the White Stripes before launching extracurricular projects, first with The Raconteurs followed by tonight’s headlining act featuring The Kills’ Alison Mosshart on vocals, The Raconteurs/Greenhornes’ Jack Lawrence on bass, Queens of the Stone Age’s Dean Fertita on guitar, and White—further demonstrating his uncanny musical prowess—on drums. Their debut, Horehound, is a solid piece of kick-ass, no-fuss rock and blues with a surprising splash of dub (“I Cut Like a Buffalo”) tossed in because … well, why not? No matter what your opinion of the record, it’s hard to argue with the type of electrifying performance they bring to every live show. There’s something so pure about Mosshart’s down-and-dirty stage presence that makes all analysis of Dead Weather’s relative importance seem like a total waste of time. The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m. Tickets: DepotSLC.com
Like Polaroid cameras, Wurlitzer-brand instruments are no longer in production but, despite contention over their value—particularly Wurlitzer’s portable electric pianos and how rock & roll they are versus Hammond and Rhodes organs—they continue to circulate online, at garage sales and antique shops. Very rarely, though, does one stumble upon the Mighty Wurlitzer, which uses a central console to mimic a full orchestra (the nickname is also used as a term to describe shady media/intelligence agency relations). Now, you can experience its bright, expansive sound via a refurbished model featuring original pipes, chest work, percussion and blower paired with a new computer-controlled system. Even those who care little for the mechanics and history that go into this powerful organ will enjoy today’s Wurlitzer-powered performances of show tunes and American standards. Come on, feel the vibrations. Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 1 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com
Iron & Wine, Okkervil River (Gallivan Center, Aug. 20); Uncle Uncanny’s Music Festival (Rivers Edge, Aug. 20-23); Down, Melvins (In the Venue, Aug. 21); The Octopus Project (Urban Lounge, Aug. 21); Toby Keith, Trace Adkins (Usana Amphitheater, Aug. 22); The Pretenders, Cat Power, Juliette Lewis (Red Butte Garden, Aug. 23); Jackson Browne (Deer Valley, Aug. 25); The Avett Brothers, The Heartless Bastards (Red Butte Garden, Aug. 25); Depeche Mode (E Center, Aug. 25); The Phenomenauts (Club Vegas, Aug. 26)