The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week
See Tuesday: Lykke Li
Photo by Timothy Norris
Monday, September 22
Drake vs. Lil Wayne
Sponsored by game maker Capcom, the 13-city Drake vs. Lil Wayne Tour finally enters its West Coast phase. The “Street Fighter”–inspired tour features multiple Grammy winners Drake and Lil Wayne battling one another with individual hits, then joining forces to perform their chart-topping collaborations. Through the Drave vs. Lil Wayne app — which attendees are encouraged to download before arriving — fans choose which star they want to give the most energy to. Whichever star receives the most energy performs first. Diamond and Gold ticket packages include swag and exclusive VIP entry to the preshow lounge and show. Tonight’s show likely will include (as did their Atlanta, Chicago and other performances) surprise guest appearances by Los Angeles–based legends. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley
Tuesday, September 23
“I am longing for your poison,” Lykke Li begs on “Gunshot,” from her latest album, I Never Learn. “Lay me down in your ocean, carry me and my burden.” The track goes off like a shotgun blast of echo and reverb, her lovelorn singing rising against a tide of faraway drums and churchy organ. Li’s lonely vocals lie at the heart of it all, wallowing in a deepening sadness despite the grandiose production. The Swedish singer insists that she has a “Heart of Steel,” but she catalogs a nonstop litany of disappointment and heartbreak (emphasized further by the album title’s punch line), until she inevitably finds herself “Sleeping Alone.” Li’s vocals and desperate passion are so stirring that she makes such misery seem involving and cathartic instead of merely bleak. —Falling James
Wednesday, September 24
This summer The Raveonettes went surf — well, more surf than usual — with an out-of-nowhere album called Pe’ahi (after a Hawaiian surf spot nicknamed “Jaws”) that’s soaked in white-noise wave sounds and bubbling with knowing references to Davie Allan and The Beach Boys. The “classic” Raveonettes are still in there, especially on a song such as “A Hell Below,” but there are some unexpected things happening, like the David Axelrod–esque drums-and-xylophone beat on “Wake Me Up.” There are some potent and powerful ideas swimming around in Pe’ahi, and a bittersweet mood at work beneath the distortion. So let’s call it the Santo & Johnny & Jesus & Mary Chain: an album made for a night dive in the kind of sea that can get rough with no warning. —Chris Ziegler
Thursday, September 25
As evidenced by their first three albums, England’s Kooks can craft charming, often plaintive Britpop ditties seemingly at will. For their fourth full-length, the just-released Listen, lead Kook Luke Pritchard seems to have switched things up almost for the sake of doing so, embracing a much more percussive (and much less Kinks-y) approach with help from upstart London hip-hop producer Inflo and new drummer Alexis Nunez. Yet Pritchard’s innate, laddish sense of nostalgia still seeps through on tunes such as “Westside” and single “Around Town,” the latter replete with gospel choir. Bouncing back after the career-threateningly aimless Junk of the Heart, Listen is to The Kooks what Rocky Steady was to No Doubt — both a return to form and an invigorated, rollickingly rhythmic reinvention. —Paul Rogers
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