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

See Saturday: Danny Brown
See Saturday: Danny Brown
Photo courtesy of Fool's Gold

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, May 2

Mastodon
CLUB NOKIA
Atlanta quartet Mastodon rains down thunderous riffs that are as burly as the beards on its members' faces. Starting off as a thick sludge-metal group in 2000, the Mastodon have evolved over their decade-plus existence into a powerful metallic unit dabbling in prog-rock concepts. But they have not forsaken the riff for the sake of getting lost in progressive metal indulgence. Albums such as 2003's Leviathan and 2006's Blood Mountain are masterful displays of balancing heady lyrical inspirations, a winding road of musical twists and turns, and pure heaviness. Early material from their yet-to-be-released new album, Once More Round the Sun, continues in the more melodic direction of 2011's The Hunter. But Mastodon's modern brand of prog-metal is still suitable for those headbangers whose taste sways more toward Motörhead than Rush. - Jason Roche

Pantha du Prince
THE ROXY
If a rave broke out at a Buddhist monastery, the soundtrack probably would resemble the music of Germany's Hendrik Weber, aka Pantha du Prince. Weber's ambient, abstract approach to techno favors the soothing tones of bells and chimes over the more overtly electronic textures of his peers. As heard on his breakthrough 2010 album, the misleadingly titled Black Noise, the effect is hypnotic, even as the underlying beats urge you to move. It's dance music as meditation, worthier of the name "trance" than the genre that hijacked that term. At this, his only U.S. show of 2014, Weber will augment his minimal bells 'n' techno palette with live guitar and drums, courtesy of Panda Bear collaborator Scott Mou and Norway's Bendik Hovik Kjeldsberg. - Andy Hermann

 

Saturday, May 3

Los Lobos Cinco de Mayo Festival

GREEK THEATRE

Los Lobos' Cinco de Mayo concert at the Greek is turning into an annual tradition, which not only celebrates the venerable East L.A. band but also shines a light on rising new groups who demonstrate the diversity of Latin rock and roots styles. At this third edition, Los Lobos are marking their 40th anniversary and the recent release of Disconnected in New York City , a live CD of favorite selections from the Latin soul/folk/R&B combo's extensive career. They're joined by Ozomatli, who find their Place in the Sun on their latest album with euphoric, reggae-spiked tunes such as "Brighter," and L.A. punks The Bronx, who'll morph into their more traditionally minded incarnation, Mariachi El Bronx. Meanwhile, the plaza stage brims with the percussive gumbo of Kansas City's Making Movies, as well as Euphoria and the Delgado Brothers. - Falling James

Danny Brown
EL REY 
Danny Brown's ascent to global music acclaim was, perhaps, kismet. The high-energy storyteller with the signature missing front tooth (due to a childhood bike accident) harbored aspirations of becoming a rapper from the age of 7. In a 2013 interview with Complex, the Detroit native explained, "My start in rap goes back to my mom reading me Dr. Seuss books. Green Eggs and Ham was probably my favorite." His latest release on the Fool's Gold label, Old, was included among Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of the Year. Tonight's show marks the home stretch of the Old tour. Given the sprightly nature of Brown's live act, attendees should come prepared to mosh and sweat. - Jacqueline Michael Whatley

Sunday, May 4

Far West
THE ECHO
L.A.'s Far West have their share of fast songs and slow songs and good old-fashioned tell-me-a-story songs, but this country-rock quintet may be at their best on their sad songs, at least on new album Any Day Now. Singer-guitarist Lee Briante has a certain John Prine - ian rasp to his voice; "Walk Light on This Poor Heart" isn't far from Prine's heartbroke "Rocky Mountain Time." And he's got some of Prine or Terry Allen's cut-to-the-bone wit: "I'm sorry I'm askin' your forgiveness," from "Words From a Letter," is exactly the kind of paradox that makes perfect sense after a few whiskeys. When they rev up, Far West recall any number of the '70s cosmic cowboy rockers, particularly the underrated Elliott Murphy. But when they break down, well ... that's the real good stuff. - Chris Ziegler

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

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