The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend

Steve Aoki -- See Friday
Steve Aoki -- See Friday
Dove Shore

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Friday, November 15

Beats Antique

THE FONDA THEATRE

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There's a lot going on during Beats Antique's live shows, but the single most important element might be dancer Zoe Jakes' hips, which have become a staple of the band's exotic live shows and are one of many reasons why Beats Antique sets are more performance art than just rote performance. Founded in 2007, the Bay Area band's backstory reads like the plot of a road movie; Burning Man, belly dancing and a tour around the country in a veggie oil-burning van all factored into the musical synthesis of the hip, hippie trio and its cross-cultural fusion of Afro-beat, Middle Eastern folk, electronica, hip-hop and kitchen sink. The group's old-world aesthetics, Jakes' moves and the guys' moody gypsy music all regularly transform the stage into a bewitching blend of lights, music and sensual physicality. Their latest LP, A Thousand Faces, was released last month. --Kelsey Whipple

Steve Aoki

SHRINE AUDITORIUM

Whether supporting then-mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti at City Hall events or doing "Aoki jumps" across the globe (he's jumped into more than 500 audiences), EDM monarch Steve Aoki always throws one hell of a fiesta. Famous for his relentless touring, the Grammy-nominated DJ also keeps himself busy with his record label, Dim Mak, and musical collaborations with artists including Tiesto, Bloc Party, MSTRKRFT and, as most recently rumored, Big Sean. This year, Aoki's tour has developed a new aesthetic, which the DJ describes as "neon future technology" in preparation for his forthcoming album, Neon Future. Stage props include CO₂ cannons, confetti blasts, Champagne sprays and Aoki's one-of-a-kind glowing headdress and matching, light-up shoes. Performing in his hometown of L.A., Aoki's special guests tonight include Iggy Azalea, Waka Flocka Flame, trap trio Keys N Krates and Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, all ensuring a wild and sonically well-rounded dance party. --Britt Witt

See also: Waka Flocka Flame Goes Deep

Charles Lloyd & Friends

ROYCE HALL

Saxophonist Charles Lloyd has been a fixture in jazz since the late 1960s, when he became the first jazz act to appear at the legendary Fillmore West in San Francisco and was one of the first U.S. artists to play independently in the Soviet Union. Lloyd's musical career has seen numerous twists and turns, while his bands have been proving grounds for musicians who have gone on to stellar solo careers, including Keith Jarrett and French pianist Michel Petrucciani. Tonight at UCLA's Royce Hall, Lloyd gathers together Americana guitarist Bill Frisell along with the young rhythm section of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland for his latest explorations of avant-garde jazz mixed with music from around the world. --Tom Meek

Saturday, November 16

Nik Turner's Space Ritual

THE SATELLITE

Space is still the place for Nik Turner, who traveled freely across the galaxy in the '70s and early '80s with the English psychedelic troupe Hawkwind before leaving the solar system altogether via various outré solo projects in the ensuing eons. For the past decade, the singer-saxist-flutist has been conducting his Space Ritual -- named after the 1973 Hawkwind album -- with several key ex-members of Hawkwind, who are featured on his aptly titled latest adventure, Space Gypsy. With its whooshing rocket sounds, whirring synthesizers, punk guitars, free-jazz sax and Turner's low, mournfully alien vocals, the new single, "Fallen Angel," comes off like Joy Division and Roxy Music joining forces to reinterpret "Space Oddity." Sinister guitars creep out of "Time Crypt," while Turner's bubbling sax washes like lava over the cold, remote starlight transmissions of "We Ride the Timewinds." --Falling James

 

Brett Dennen

TROUBADOUR

Following the success of 2011's Loverboy, Brett Dennen retreated to the mountains of Northern California for some reflection. Upon returning from his self-imposed sabbatical, Dennen joined forces with producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars) and headed to Nashville to record his fifth album, Smoke and Mirrors, with many of the songs inspired by his time spent in the great outdoors. The result? A diverse mix of the redheaded singer's lyrically driven songs, which combine elements of the delightful acoustic rock that has been his calling card with the delicate melodies that have made him a favorite with the coffeehouse types. Returning to Los Angeles, Dennen is refreshed and recharged, proving that taking time off after a half-decade of relentless recording was a wise decision. --Daniel Kohn

Sunday, November 17

Wire

THE ECHOPLEX

It's a rare-ish thing for a band to improve with age, and in Wire's case that's saying a lot, since the English art-punk godfathers have been smashing boundaries since their now-canonical first album, Pink Flag, came out in 1977. A searing, 21-song suite of rude aggression and simultaneous cool detachment, the critically hailed (and low-selling) LP was enormously influential; most every punk band in the Minor Threat/Minutemen/Black Flag mold lifted at least a little something off it. But core members guitarist-singer Colin Newman, bassist-singer Graham Lewis and drummer Robert Grey (aka Robert Gotobed) changed direction following Pink Flag's release, with subsequent albums departing punk's rigid formats via complexly structured and synth- and effects-laden investigations that almost single-handedly created the post-punk genre and beyond. The band has evolved in fascinating ways since then, exploring most recently a brutal yet lyrical minimalism that can be heard on its latest, Change Becomes Us, a crushing set of reshaped, previously unrecorded material. --John Payne

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