Steve Winwood @ The Space at Westbury
250 Post Ave. 8 p.m. $125, $85, $69.50. 800-745-3000
After sinking from sight following a decade where he sold his creative soul for beer-commercial dollars and a forgettable Traffic reunion, (if you can call an album cut with only the late Jim Capaldi a reunion), Steve Winwood dropped out of sight for almost seven years. Following a hiatus that found Winwood looking to Latin jazz for inspiration on 2003’s most excellent About Time, the former child prodigy has been content to play live, with his last recordings being 2008’s Nine Lives and 2009’s Live from Madison Square Garden with ex-Blind Faith bandmate Eric Clapton. With Marc Scibilia.
Richard Thompson @ the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts
37 W. Main St. 8 p.m. $65, $60. 631-969-1101
This rare solo acoustic show is a chance to bask in the brilliance of this British guitar master who is equally adept at dabbling with rock, country, classical and Celtic influences with a hint of Middle Eastern phrasing thrown in for good measure. Riding on the critical acclaim of last year’s Acoustic Classics, expect a mix of witty stage patter and exquisite musicianship that’s been expected from this recent OBE (Order of the British Empire) recipient over the past four-plus decades.
April 24 & 25
Beach Boys & America @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury
960 Brush Hollow Rd., 8 p.m. $74.50, $63. 877-598-8497
One of the more surprising musical developments of 2012 was Brian Wilson’s return to The Beach Boys on the road and in the studio with That’s Why God Made the Radio, the band’s twenty-ninth studio album. Not only did it coincide with the group’s fiftieth anniversary, but it was the first to feature original material in two decades and the first recording since the 1998 death of founding member Carl Wilson. And while the band’s creative mastermind Brian Wilson even went out with the band for a slew of dates, he along with Al Jardine and David Marks was uninvited off the road by Wilson’s cousin Mike Love, who decided to return the band to the pre-reunion line-up that also includes Bruce Johnston and will be hitting Westbury’s revolving stage. Complimenting the bill is America. Ignore the notion of this outfit being soft-rock has-beens. Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell have kept America a lean and tight outfit via a couple hundred live dates a year. With 2007’s comeback project, Here & Now, America’s sound was revitalized with contributions from folks like Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, ex-Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, Maplewood and Ryan Adams. More recently, America released 2011’s Back Pages, an all-covers project featuring the duo interpreting songs by a number of other artists including Mark Knopfler, Fountains of Wayne, Paul Simon and of course, Bob Dylan.
April 24 & 25
Widespread Panic @ Kings Theatre
1027 Flatbush Ave., 8 p.m. $88.35. 929-210-8419
Often mentioned in the same breath as Phish, the Athens outfit has been plying its trade since 1986. In addition holding the record for the number of sold-out performances at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Panic has also dropped 11 studio efforts with the latest being 2010’s Dirty Side Down.
Primus @ The Paramount
370 New York Ave. 8 p.m. $92, $71.25, $59.75, $54.25. 631-673-7300
Primus has always had a skewed approach to music that’s found them sounding like a Bizarro World mashup of Frank Zappa and Rush with a healthy dose of The Residents and Pink Floyd thrown in for good measure. So why be surprised when you find out that the band’s latest outing is Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, a reimagining of the soundtrack from the 1971 film Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. And yes, Primus leader Les Claypool does have the Chocolate Factory featuring the Fungi Ensemblein in tow to guarantee maximum replication of the album.
Martha Davis & The Motels @ the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts
37 W. Main St. 8 p.m. $40, $35. 631-969-1101
Having emerged from the late ‘70s L.A. punk scene as The Go-Go’s, The Motels eschewed their roots and had mainstream success in the early ‘80s with hits like “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.” With numerous lineup changes that wound up with singer Martha Davis being the sole constant, the timing for this southern California outfit just so happened to be concurrent with the emergence of MTV. Nearly three decades later, Davis is still calling the shots, recent years have found the band touring with its old friends in the Go-Go’s and there is even talk of a new record set to drop soon.
Ronan Tynan @ The Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts
71 E. Main St. 7 p.m. $150, $58, $48, $38. 631-207-1313.
Paralympic gold medal winner, respected physician and notable member of The Irish Tenors, Ronan Tynan has experiences for at least three people’s lifetimes. A regular guest vocalist at numerous sporting events ranging from Yankees games to Buffalo Sabres tilts and the Belmont Stakes, Tynan has also struck a balance between recording with the Tenors and his own solo work. For this particular event, a full night is planned for a small group of ticket holders at the $150 Gala Level which includes sound check in the balcony from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., a cocktail party backstage from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and a dessert reception in the lobby following the performance from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Gala ticket holders may come to one or all of the planned events.
Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals & Vanilla Fudge @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury
960 Brush Hollow Rd., 8 p.m. $63. 877-598-8497
It’s no surprise that acrimony was more than abundant in the post-breakup world of The Rascals going so far as to both separate factions laying claim to the band name through much of the ’90s. But with avowed Rascals fan Little Steven Van Zandt on the scene, the Springsteen sideman got all the original members together for the biographical concert/theatrical event The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream. Following a successful Broadway run, the quartet deigned to take the on the road. For this go-round, founding member Felix Cavaliere will be swinging through his adopted hometown with a crew of topflight sidemen. (To read a full feature with Felix Cavaliere, click here. To find out his favorite Rascals songs, click here.) Bookending the bill are Long Island Music Hall of Famers Vanilla Fudge, (who Cavaliere inducted). who made its mark as a psychedelic pop band whose penchant for playing other artist’s music got them defined as a glorified cover band with a label deal.
They Might Be Giants @ the Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. Sixth St. 8 p.m. $25. 212-486-5400
Given how They Might Be Giants have been bouncing between quirky alt-pop progenitors of hooky songs like “Don’t Let’s Start” and “Birdhouse In Your Soul” and kid’s music albums like the most recent, 2009’s Here Comes Science, it’s oftentimes hard to say which version of TMBG will be showing up at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. For this particular outing, expect playfulness and childlike wonder from the band’s two Johns, Flansburgh and Linnell along with the intelligence and sense of humor normally found in the songs they’ll be playing off the duo’s self-titled 1986 debut and the newest edition of Dial-a-Song and more.
Ben Folds With yMusic @ Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., 9 p.m. $35. 866-858-0008
It’s easy to try and boil Ben Folds down to the composite of his heroes—the North Carolina native has Billy Joel’s chops, Joe Jackson’s attitude, Randy Newman’s cynicism and Todd Rundgren’s pop sense. But Folds has always been one of these guys who always zigged when people expected him to zag. No one else was lugging a piano around when guitars where the instrument of choice during the grunge and post-punk eras of the ‘90s. After a stint as a judge for The Sing Off and a brief reunion with Ben Folds Five bandmates Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee, the North Carolina native is back on the solo beat. Not only is he out in support a yet unnamed recording that is a digital-only release with New York City-based yMusic, but he’s released Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, which he recorded with symphony orchestras around the world. (Also appearing on April 28 at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St. Williamsburg. 212-486-5400 www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com.)
Kesha @ The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
720 Northern Blvd., 8 p.m. $30. 516-299-3100
Having gone from Ke$ha to her birth name of Kesha Rose Sebert, the California native has enjoyed quite the rollercoaster ride of success in the past decade. After getting signed to a contract by pop producer Dr. Luke when she was 18, Sebert has landed 9 American Top 40 hits, a pair of charttoppers (“Tik Tok,” “We R Who We R”) and worked with a slew of big names including Flo Rida, Pitbull, 3OH!3 and Taio Cruz). Her sophomore bow and most recent studio album, 2012’s Warrior, found her working the rock side of the street thanks to guest appearances by Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips and Iggy Pop. Early reports on Sebert’s tour are that she’s gone back to her pop ways, with plenty of choreography mixed in with some acoustic numbers that will sate fans of any portion of the pop star’s two-album career.