- Tonight, the National warms up Merriweather for this weekend's V-Fest. (publicity photo)
You may be devoting a good chunk of time over the next few days to poring over the schedule for this Saturday's Virgin Free Fest, and figuring out a plan of attack for running between two stages and a dance forest. Good! You should definitely be doing that. But, if you can rip yourself away from V-Fest prep, there are definitely some shows worth seeing this week.
The National at Merriweather Post Pavilion
Bret Michaels at the Birchmere
The former Poison frontman has gotten more press in recent years for his reality show and heart troubles (both literal and figurative) than he has for his music, but he can still sing the hell outta "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." 7:30 p.m. $59.50.
J. Mascis at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
The Dinosaur Jr. founder, whose latest solo effort is this year's acoustic-ish LP Several Shades of Why, gives a free show at KenCen. 6 p.m. Free.
Nnenna Freelon at Strathmore Music Center
The renowned jazz singer, who literally spends her free time soothing babies with her lovely voice, is in town giving a show to benefit Bowie State University's general scholarship fund. 7:30 p.m. $40.
Jean Carne at Blues Alley
The legendary vocalist, known for both her solo releases and her (mostly uncredited) work with Earth, Wind & Fire, begins a four-night engagement at Blues Alley on Thursday. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows each night. $25.