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

See Sunday: Jimmy Cliff
See Sunday: Jimmy Cliff
Photo courtesy of the artist

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, July 18

Masters of Ceremony ?Hip-Hop Reunion with DMX, EPMD, Rakim
Formulated by music industry vet and b-boy–at-heart Adam Torres, the Masters of Ceremony Hip-Hop Reunion comes to Los Angeles after a highly lauded stint in January at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The lineup, which reads like a primer on hip-hop cultural history, features performances by Doug E. Fresh, Rakim, Naughty by Nature, Biz Markie, Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane, among other golden-era and post–golden era luminaries. In March, Torres told All? “These artists have given us unforgettable compositions that have marked a time in music history, earning them the title of Masters of Ceremony.” Can’t argue with that. Tonight’s show is the only L.A. stop on the six-date national tour. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

In a mere two years since releasing his first EP, 24-year-old Canadian producer Edmond “Overwerk” Huszar has taken the EDM world by storm with a sound that’s two parts Justice and one part Hans Zimmer. Mixing dramatic, orchestral passages with the usual serrated synths and dive-bombing basslines, Overwerk tracks such as “Daybreak” and the aptly named “Conquer” make you feel as if you’re storming the dancefloor with a Middle-Earth army at your back. It’s a sound that has attracted both brands and bros: Overwerk’s most epic tracks have been licensed by everyone from Lamborghini to Prada to GoPro cameras. At his best, Huszar balances the big-room dynamics of electro with a film composer’s attention to emotion and detail, creating builds and drops that feel more well-earned and exhilarating than those of most EDM crowd-pleasers. This is his first time playing L.A. but certainly not his last. —Andy Hermann

Golden Sombrero
The Gun Club epitomized Los Angeles’ early-’80s, postpunk vortex, and while the band’s lurid, posthumous mystique centers on late singer Jeffrey Lee Pierce, guitarist Ward Dotson (featured on their first two albums) was co-architect of the band’s jittery, provocative trashbeat sound. A brilliant yet low-key visionary, Dotson rocked on with his Pontiac Brothers and Liquor Giants but had completely dropped out of sight by the century’s turn. His recent re-emergence as one third of Golden Sombrero (along with former Pontiac Brothers cohort Steve K. and jazz-informed trapsman Charles Maxey) finds Dotson exorcising a fixation with late-’50s/early-’60s pop, and the band chews through the classic material with an exhilarating mixture of deliberate relish and slightly demented, garage-rock glee. They don’t take any of it too seriously, except the degree of pleasure it brings, and the results are invariably thrilling. —Jonny Whiteside
Saturday, July 19

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band
Good vibes abound at the mythical mop-top’s all-star confabs — where we all get a chance to see a real, live Beatle in action, sure, but really dig that Mr. Starkey puts together a helluva band to rock the classics. This is the same lineup Ringo has played with since 2012, featuring certifiable pop legend Todd Rundgren on guitar and vocals, ex-Toto guitar whiz Steve Lukather, Mr. Mister singer-bassist Richard Page, keyboardist Gregg Rolie of Santana and Journey, sax ace Warren Ham and veteran session drummer Gregg Bissonette. These heavy friends all do a sampling of their own hits as Ringo, looking healthy and happy — and still a criminally underrated drummer! — whacks the tubs and takes the odd lead warble on a few Beatles choons and Ringo Starr originals. Peace and love! —John Payne

Quetzal’s 2012 album, Imaginaries, won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album, a zenith for the 20-year-old band, which almost disbanded when leader Quetzal Flores and lead singer/percussionist Martha Rodriguez decided to focus more on graduate studies and raising a family. Luckily for their ardent fans, the Grammy has given them newfound vigor, as they continue to make music that reflects the diversity and eclecticism of L.A.’s Chicano-American community. Recent performances of music from their upcoming album, Quetzalanimales, reveal a mature band comfortable with its identity, with an even stronger emphasis on traditional Mexican folk rhythms from guitarist Flores, percussionist Alberto Lopez and bassist Juan Perez, elegantly supported by enchanting violinist Tylana Enomoto and smiling cellist Peter Jacobsen. —Gary Fukushima

Sunday, July 20

Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy, Don Carlos and the Dub Vision Band
In the late 1970s, Jimmy Cliff was considered a relative lightweight compared with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, whose music often was more overtly political and spiritually momentous. But Cliff’s songs have endured and taken on an even deeper impact over the decades. The Jamaican singer was, of course, the star of the classic 1972 film The Harder They Come, and his contributions to the soundtrack have become iconic, often-covered anthems, particularly the title track and the world-weary yet ever-hopeful ballad “Many Rivers to Cross.” On his most recent album, 2012’s Rebirth, Cliff collaborates with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and puts his sweetly yearning vocal delivery to work on The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton.” Tonight’s bill includes the “Boombastic” party-time crooning of Shaggy and the dancehall stylings of former Black Uhuru vocalist Don Carlos. —Falling James

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

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