by Andre Gospe / Special to The Seattle Times
Memorial Day weekend means it’s time for Sasquatch! and Folklife, but there’s no need to go to the Gorge or Seattle Center to see live music. This week — Thursday, May 22 – Wednesday, May 28 — features a spate of big names, the son of a Beatle, a three-day punk festival and one of electronic music’s strangest producers.
1 Backstreet Boys
6:30 P.M. THURSDAY, MAY 22, AT WAMU THEATER, 800 OCCIDENTAL AVE. S., SEATTLE; $71.30 (206-381-7555 OR WWW.WAMUTHEATERSEATTLE.COM.) WITH AVRIL LAVIGNE
During its late-’90s heyday, Backstreet Boys bristled at being called a boy band, seeing itself instead as a vocal harmony group, a la Boyz II Men. Now that its youngest member is 34, the label doesn’t make much sense, anyway. The group has been performing with all five original members since Kevin Richardson rejoined in 2012.
2 Sean Lennon: The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
8 P.M. THURSDAY, MAY 22, AT THE CROCODILE, 2200 SECOND AVE., SEATTLE; $14 (206-441-7416 OR WWW.THECROCODILE.COM). WITH SYD ARTHUR
Unlike his father, Sean Lennon isn’t trying to change the course of popular music. But even if he’s not rewriting history, he mimics it expertly: this latest project is delicate, well-crafted psychedelic pop that wouldn’t sound out of place in Laurel Canyon circa 1968.
3 Iggy Azalea
8 P.M. THURSDAY, MAY 22, AT THE NEPTUNE THEATRE, 1303 N.E. 45TH ST, SEATTLE; $25 (1-877-784-4849 OR WWW.STGPRESENTS.ORG).
Azalea, who moved from Australia to the United States at 16 to pursue music, is having her moment. Last month saw the long-delayed release of the rapper’s debut album “The New Classic,” and boisterous (if wholly unoriginal) single “Fancy” is a top-five hit.
4 Aloe Blacc
8:30 P.M. FRIDAY, MAY 22, AT EMERALD QUEEN CASINO, 2024 E. 29TH ST., TACOMA; $39–$55 (253-594-7777 OR WWW.EMERALDQUEEN.COM).
In the past year, soul singer Aloe Blacc has broken out on the strength of two hugely popular songs. He sings on Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” an EDM anthem that was a smash hit internationally; his own “The Man” stars in those ubiquitous Beats By Dre headphone commercials.
5 Rain Fest
8 P.M. FRIDAY, MAY 23, AT NEUMOS, 925 E. PIKE ST., SEATTLE; $30–$80 (206-709-9442 OR WWW.NEUMOS.COM).
For fans of heavy music, Memorial Day weekend marks not the return of Sasquatch!, but Rain Fest. This year’s iteration of the three-day punk and hardcore festival features big-name headliners Converge, Andrew WK and 7 Seconds.
9 P.M. FRIDAY, MAY 23, AT CHOP SUEY, 1325 E. MADISON ST., SEATTLE; $12 (206-324-8005 OR WWW.CHOPSUEY.COM). WITH J.ALVAREZ, THALO
Anonymous and mononymic, this producer emerged from the depths of the Internet last June with “Bipp.” As catchy as it is weird, the song deftly inverts pop and club-music conventions; it’s electro-pop skewed through a funhouse mirror. This is an exciting new voice in electronic music.
7 Christina Perri
7 P.M. SATURDAY, MAY 24, AND SUNDAY, MAY 25, AT THE NEPTUNE THEATRE, 1303 N.E. 45TH ST, SEATTLE; $30 (1-877-784-4849 OR WWW.STGPRESENTS.ORG). WITH BIRDY
A modern analogue to adult-contemporary stars like Jewel or Sarah McLachlan, Christina Perri writes big, dramatic ballads about heartbreak and loss. She’s touring in support of her second album “Head or Heart.”
8 P.M. SATURDAY, MAY 24, AT THE CROCODILE, 2200 SECOND AVE., SEATTLE; $8 (206-441-7416 OR WWW.THECROCODILE.COM). WITH MASTER MUSICIANS, THE HOOT HOOTS, SISTERS
These locals, a self-described “Cascadian treepunk tribe,” make music that’s youthful, percussive and energetic. This show comes on the heels of a Friday appearance at Sasquatch! and marks the release of debut album “Rituals, Trances & Ecstasies For Humans in Face of the Collapse.”
9 Robert Fripp
8 P.M. SUNDAY, MAY 25, AT WASHINGTON HALL, 153 14TH AVE., SEATTLE; $30 (206-316-7613 OR WWW.WASHINGTONHALL.ORG).
Best known as the founder of ever-outre progressive-rock band King Crimson, Robert Fripp takes a similarly avant-garde approach when performing with his Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists, as he will here. The acoustic guitar ensemble dabbles in classical, rock, drone and minimalism, all under Fripp’s careful guidance.
10 Lana Del Rey
6:30 P.M. TUESDAY, MAY 27, AT THE WAMU THEATER, 800 OCCIDENTAL AVE. S., SEATTLE; SOLD OUT (206-381-7555 OR WWW.WAMUTHEATERSEATTLE.COM.)
Elizabeth Green’s nostalgia-seeped balladry became an Internet sensation in 2011, and it became a real-life one nearly as quickly. The forthcoming “Ultraviolence” was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.
11 Jacques Green
9 P.M. WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, AT Q NIGHTCLUB, 1426 BROADWAY, SEATTLE; $15 (206-432-9306 OR WWW.QNIGHTCLUB.COM). WITH EVIAN CHRIST, KID SMPL, DUTTY WILDERNESS
This Montreal producer and DJ’s emotive dance music is an amalgam of house and R&B that plays to the strengths of both. He’s appearing here at Customs, a new weekly DJ night at Q that spotlights forward-thinking club music.
12 Lady Gaga
7:30 P.M. WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, AT KEY ARENA, 305 HARRISON ST., SEATTLE; $35–$200 (206-684-7200 OR WWW.KEYARENA.COM).
Gaga’s fans can look forward to the singer’s trademark elaborate stage show at this concert, part of the “ArtRave: The Artpop Ball” tour; later this year, they can do the same for an album of jazz duets with Tony Bennett.