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

Viet Cong play the Echoplex on FridayEXPAND
Viet Cong play the Echoplex on Friday
Photo by Colin Way

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, March 6

Viet Cong
THE ECHOPLEX
Viet Cong are from Calgary in Canada, but their sound is decidedly British. On the quartet’s self-titled debut album, singer-bassist Matt Flegel declaims tracks such as “Bunker Buster” with the robotically icy delivery of an early-’80s English postpunk vocalist, tinged with hints of David Bowie. Guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen churn together jagged Gang of Four–style riffs that give way to glimmerings of Cure-like jangle, with Munro occasionally layering things with a coating of shiny synthesizer. Drummer Mike Wallace, Flegel’s former partner in the art-rock combo Women, launches the album with the thunder of foreboding tom-toms, which segue into Munro’s candied keyboard chimes. The whole thing eventually culminates in the flickering guitar spirals and inexorable subway-train momentum of the 11-minute album closer, “Death.” — Falling James

Tiga
SOUND
Whether crafting DJ sets that seamlessly blend house, disco, techno and electro-funk or producing his own irresistibly slinky tracks, Tiga’s greatest weapon is his wit. When he name-drops the rarefied sports car on “Bugatti,” it’s not a high roller’s boast but a satirist’s sly wink. Tiga originals such as “Shoes” and “Sex O’Clock,” as well as his famously deadpan remix of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” are full of similar laugh-out-loud moments, but not at the expense of sustaining hypnotic, hip-shaking grooves. With help from a new version featuring rapper Pusha T and a relentless acid house remix by Boys Noize, “Bugatti” is blowing up, so a chance to hear this Montreal mixmaster in Sound’s intimate, acoustically pristine confines is not to be missed. — Andy Hermann

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Enslaved
EL REY THEATRE
This Norwegian act has spent the last 20 years setting the blueprint for bands that start out full of pure black-metal mayhem and then transition seamlessly into a well-oiled progressive-metal machine. On albums such as 1994’s Frost, Enslaved were contemporaries of fellow Norwegian black-metal acts such as Emperor and Mayhem. As time passed, the band evolved into an outfit equally adept at integrating ornate prog-rock elements and clean vocals into a black-metal framework. The group’s newest album, In Times, showcases a band that is perfectly comfortable blurring together multiple genres of metal. Unlike Swedish counterparts Opeth, Enslaved refuse to leave their extreme-metal past completely. Instead they continue to integrate black metal with catchy keyboards and guitar solos that stand alongside those from current progressive metal greats such as Porcupine Tree. — Jason Roche

Benefit for Mike Hudson
LOADED
Like their contemporaries The Dead Boys, Cleveland punks The Pagans left a big, boisterous mark on rock music. Even after they disbanded, singer Mike Hudson kept the noise alive as a journalist and with his autobiography, Diary of a Punk. Hudson was in a serious car accident in January, so his punk pals are helping him out under the name “The Messed-Up Friends,” featuring bandmates and local luminaries such as Adolescents’ Tony Cadena, Little Caesar’s Ron Young, The Doughboys’ John Kastner, The Dogs’ Loren Molinare and many, many more. Openers The Stitches, Fame Whore and White Murder rev up the night and The Punk Museum’s Taquila Mockingbird hosts this eve of caustic music for a good cause. — Lina Lecaro

Chris Brown co-headlines the Forum with Trey Songz on Sunday
Chris Brown co-headlines the Forum with Trey Songz on Sunday
Photo by TImothy Norris

Saturday, March 7

Chris Montez, The Randy Fuller Four
JOE'S GREAT AMERICAN BAR & GRILL
The 1966 death of Bobby Fuller remains one of rock & roll’s most enduring mysteries. The body of the El Paso singer, who crooned the immortal anthem “I Fought the Law,” was found battered and soaked in gasoline in his car outside his Hollywood apartment. The local authorities claimed that Fuller’s death was a suicide, but rumors have persisted that the singer was murdered by the mob or even Charles Manson. Bobby’s younger brother, Randell “Randy” Fuller, has finally shed some light on the matter in a fascinating new memoir, I Fought the Law: The Life and Strange Death of Bobby Fuller, co-written with Norton Records’ Miriam Linna. Following a daylong celebration, which starts with a book signing at La Luz de Jesus Gallery and continues with a hair-styling event (!) at Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop, Fuller performs his brother’s hits at Joe’s, alongside a set by Chris “Let’s Dance” Montez. — Falling James

The Donny McCaslin Group
COLBURN SCHOOL OF MUSIC, ZIPPER CONCERT HALL
Tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin has been well-regarded for years for his work with trumpeter Dave Douglas, bandleader Maria Schneider and countless other movers and shakers in the modern New York jazz environment. Many years before then, McCaslin was a California teenager whose musical heroes included Tower of Power, Weather Report and Aphex Twin. The formative inspiration of those groups has drawn McCaslin back to an electronica state of mind, with a couple of albums (Casting for Gravity in 2012 and Fast Future, due out soon) unapologetically exploring at once the great fusion albums of the past and the current wave of EDM. The band for this Jazz Bakery “Movable Feast” concert includes three musicians with the street cred to venture into this electric wonderland: keyboardist Jeff Babko, drummer Nate Wood of Kneebody, and Tedeschi Trucks Band bassist Tim Lefebvre. — Gary Fukushima

Sunday, March 8

Chris Brown, Trey Songz
THE FORUM
After being pushed back due to Chris Brown’s latest legal troubles, the Between the Sheets Tour finally comes to Inglewood, with Trey Songz joining Brown as co-headliner. Both singers hit the road in support of their respective sixth studio albums. While Brown’s blend of hip-hop and R&B on X was a stark improvement from his previous dud, Fortune, Songz continues to showcase his talents as one of the brightest voices in R&B on the unapologetically commercial Trigga. In late February, opening act Tyga joined forces with Brown for Fan of a Fan: The Album, so don’t be surprised to see a couple of collaborations over the course of the night. — Daniel Kohn


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