Nipsey Hussle -- See Sunday
Nipsey Hussle -- See Sunday

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

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, February 14

Some of the grand old movie palaces on Broadway downtown have been restored in recent years to their lavish former glory; the United Artists Theatre finally has received the same treatment. Newly reopened as the Ace Hotel Downtown, the 1927 Spanish Gothic - style structure features a renovated version of the United Artists Theatre, one of that studio's first great movie halls, which in the 1990s became televangelist Gene Scott's church. (You might remember the bold, red neon "Jesus Saves" sign, which crowns the edifice to this day.) Tonight, a different group of zealots invades the place, in the form of psychedelic British band Spiritualized. While former Spacemen 3 ringleader Jason Pierce usually dwells in the future, tonight he and the group's latest lineup look backward and linger with a performance (backed by an orchestra and choir!) of Spiritualized's aptly titled 1997 opus, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. Also Saturday, Feb. 15. - Falling James

Jóhann Jóhannsson and ?the American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Icelandic composer-producer - sound artist Jóhann Jóhannsson is a standout among a number of young, rock-related composers pursuing a new-genre approach merging electronic music with symphonic orchestration, minimalism and other contemporary/classical conceptions. His work is texturally artful and skillfully melodious, and it has resonated particularly well in a number of film scores, including the one for last year's Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal thriller, Prisoners. Jóhannsson's achingly gorgeous and slightly disturbing compositions for artist Bill Morrison's 2010 film, The Miners' Hymns, is a strikingly sympathetic aural counterpoint to the grainy, black & white ode to the lost world of the Durham coalfields in northeastern England. Tonight Jóhannsson, on laptop and electronics, is joined by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and the UCLA Brass Ensemble. - John Payne

Saturday, February 15

Amon Amarth, Enslaved
This show will provide ample headbanging opportunity via a double blast of Nordic metal goodness. Sweden's Amon Amarth have carved out a comfortable niche for themselves by focusing their efforts solely on crafting hearty, melodic death-metal anthems to Vikings, Norse gods and other great warriors and beings of Scandinavian lore. After a 20-year career, it's stunning that the formula is still riveting on 2013's Deceiver of the Gods, although it helps that the band's source material is undeniably metal as fuck. On the other hand, Norway's Enslaved have evolved immensely throughout their two-decade career. Starting off as a caustic, black-metal tornado on early genre classics such as 1994's Frost, they have taken a markedly more progressive turn during the second half of their tenure, making music similar to that of the Swedish great Opeth. Occasional bursts of the group's demonic origins, however, add extra flavor to prog-metal jams like those on 2012's RIITIIR. - Jason Roche

Paul Simon and Sting
It's not too often you get to see two headlining Rock and Roll Hall of Famers on tour together. This easy-listening twin billing provides the perfect Valentine's Day gift for adult contemporaries looking to have a romantic Saturday at the recently remodeled Forum. What is there to say about Simon and Sting that hasn't been said before? They will play separate solo sets, which undoubtedly will incorporate hits from years past, and also will join forces for a collaborative set wherein fans likely will get to see rare, reworked versions of their biggest hits. With both singers' penchant for incorporating experimental instrumentation, fans should be excited for the endless possibilities the evening's music might offer. - Daniel Kohn

See also: Some Penetrating Thoughts on the New Forum

Sunday, February 16

Nipsey Hussle
Only a few months ago, it seemed as though Nipsey Hussle was at a career crossroads. While his mixtapes and guest spots had people predicting big things, the rapper was in danger of becoming known for his guest spots and underground work rather than for parlaying his great talents into widespread fame. Yet with the October release of his eighth official mixtape, Crenshaw (a compilation featuring guests including Rick Ross, Dom Kennedy and Slim Thug), Hussle once again reminded fans why they became enthralled with him in the first place. With Nip Hussle the Great: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, both released on iTunes around the same time as Crenshaw, the 28-year-old put himself back on the path to mainstream fame that many foresaw for him. Add this to the impending release of his ballyhooed debut solo effort, confidently entitled Victory Lap, and it's clear that Hussle is likely to take over 2014 in a big way. He starts tonight with this headlining gig at the Sunset Strip House of Blues. - Daniel Kohn

See also: It's Crunch Time For Nipsey Hussle

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

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