The Polyphonic Spree

Updated 6/26/2013

FRIDAY: Sunshine-y, cultish indie collective visits Varsity. Plus: Above & Beyond and Sheryl Crow.

The Polyphonic Spree
Photo courtesy Lauren Logan

The Polyphonic Spree

8 p.m. • Varsity Theater • 18-plus • $17-$30

With a flowery look and sunshine-day sound that belie the blah concrete landscape of its native Dallas, the Polyphonic Spree has never won over hard-nosed indie-rock cynics. But the group has maintained a faithful fan base and influenced many a trendier band with its ambitious orchestral and choral rock arrangements. Former Tripping Daisy rocker Tim DeLaughter and his 20-odd bandmates enter their second decade with another Bonnaroo performance under their belt and a new Kickstarter-funded album on shelves, “Yes, It’s True.” Paul Simon’s promising son Harper Simon opens. Chris Riemenschneider

Above & Beyond

9 p.m. • Myth • 18-plus • $25-$30

Proving its Above & Beyond moniker isn’t just a cheesy line from a motivational poster (well, that is where they got it), the U.K. dance savants transcended electronic bounds playing three London acoustic shows in June. It wasn’t the first time the titanic trance trio traded its computers for pianos, cellos and guitars. In 2009, A&B took their acoustic act to the skies for a gimmicky promo gig performing in a hot-air balloon. Word is the latest shows were recorded for later release, but in the meantime the group is out touting its label-showcasing “Anjunabeats Volume 10” mix. Michael Rietmulder

Sheryl Crow

8 p.m. • Mystic Lake Casino • $69-$114

Crow’s gone country. This week, she performed at the Country USA Festival in Oshkosh, Wis., and announced a fall tour with Gary Allan. She’s about to drop her first Nashville album, “Feels Like Home,” on Sept. 10. Meanwhile, she’s released a new country single, “Easy,” which mentions such Music City requisites as beer, tequila, sunsets and Mexico. But the Nashville resident, who won nine Grammys in the pop world, knows how to rock, as she demonstrated last month sitting in with the Rolling Stones in Chicago. Jon Bream

Melissa Etheridge

7:30 p.m. • Minnesota Zoo • $64-$70

A raspy voiced MTV star in the 1990s, Etheridge impressed once again on last year’s “4th Street Feeling,” her 12th studio disc. Celebrating her 25th year in the music biz, the 52-year-old Grammy and Oscar winner delves into smoky soulfulness, exploring her childhood roots in Leavenworth, Kan. The title track feels like an introspective Tina Turner ballad. Etheridge demonstrates a newfound swampiness on the spooky “The Shadow of a Black Crow” and the wah-wah flavored “Be Real.” The bloated rocker “A Sacred Heart” sounds hopelessly self-indulgent, perhaps influenced by the rock drama of her stint on Broadway in Green Day’s “American Idiot.” More convincing is the slow-burn country-blues seduction “Rock and Roll Me.” J.B.

Twin Cities Jazz Festival

Fri.-Sat. • various locations • free

Since moving primarily to St. Paul’s Mears Park and getting a boost in funding from the city and nonprofits beginning in 2010, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival has generally fostered the magical ingredients that can make a jazz festival truly memorable. This year’s run will be defined by the extraordinary slate of pianists on tap, including nationally renowned artists Jon Weber (Fri.-Sat.), Kenny Werner (Fri.) and Cyrus Chestnut (Sat.). Other standouts include saxophonist Walter Smith III with drummer Matt Slocum (Sat.), plus dozens of other performers throughout St. Paul. Britt Robson