- Classic Albums Live
Certainly, Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around food and family. But that doesn't mean you have to spend all weekend trapped inside playing Scrabble or hovering over the deep-fryer; the Thanksgiving weekend offers plenty of cool concerts if you want to get out of the house, whether you're looking for a way to bond with your kid brother or just to escape that creepy relative you wish you didn't have to make small-talk with.
Thursday, Nov. 24, at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, FREE!
Quiet weekends like Thanksgiving are a good time to remember the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, which hosts free shows every day of the year -- even days when most people are sitting at home eating turkey. The Thanksgiving performance at the Millennium Stage is part of the Kennedy Center's recent Swing, Swing, Swing festival; Chicago native (and Howard alum) Daryl Davis is performing with his band. There will be two free performances (5 PM and 8:30 PM), and both will feature dance instruction by Gottaswing.
Friday, Nov. 25, at the Music Center at Strathmore, $28-38
It seems to be all the rage for bands to perform their classic albums, with every track played note-for-note and in album sequence. For bands who can't or won't do that themselves, there is the group Classic Albums Live, which travels the continent playing its repertoire of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eagles, and CSNY records. The group is making its Strathmore debut with the Beatles' last proper album, Abbey Road. There are some hits here, for sure -- George Harrison's lovely "Here Comes the Sun," the Lennon-McCartney track "Come Together" -- and while I hesitate to sink to the cliché "fun for the whole family," the success of Rain and other Beatles tribute bands here shows there is certainly a generation that could get seriously lost in this nostalgia trip.
Saturday, Nov. 26, at Lisner Auditorium, $45 ($36 for GW students)
There's inevitably someone in your extended family who's a huge Tool fan, and this show is for them: Puscifer is the solo project of Tool/A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan. In contrast to the metal of Tool and the rock of APC, Puscifer is almost a cabaret act, giving Keenan a platform to perform -- with his rotating cast of collaborators -- basically whatever genre strikes his fancy at any given time: usually synth-based rock, sometimes electronic, and almost always somewhat offensive. (Note: the Puscifer website is mostly useless, but it does confirm that there is a Puscifer retail store in Jerome, Ariz. Road trip, anyone?)
Sunday, Nov. 27, at the 9:30 Club, $30
Atlanta's Mastodon has taken a new tack with its latest album, The Hunter. Where the metal quartet had previously delved headfirst into proggy concept albums (its first four were devoted to fire, water, earth, and "the ether") with intricate album art to match, its most recent release is -- gasp! -- just a collection of good songs. While it feels a little weird not to have songs linked by some overarching concept or story line, Mastodon's solid songwriting is incredibly on point here. It's a softer approach for the band; the layered vocals are tons less raw than on previous releases, and gone are the lengthy, epic compositions that stretched over 10 minutes in length. Still, even with a more polished approach, Mastodon still roars.
These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.