Thursday, August 23
American Idol’s first and still brightest star, Kelly Clarkson has gifted the world “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” which make great karaoke songs. She’s playing Jiffy Lube Live in advance of her next album, set to drop sometime next year. The Fray, no slouches themselves, open.
7 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $26 to $71.
Frankie Valli is pushing 80, but he’s still touring with the Four Seasons. They’ve enjoyed a recent resurgence due to Jersey Boys, which still sells out shows everywhere. If you haven’t seen them, might as well get it out of the way now.
8 PM at Wolf Trap, $25 to $45.
Friday, August 24
Blessed with a seemingly impossible yet kind-of-clever last name, Jason Mraz sure has milked the Mr. A-Z thing. He once made catchy, fun songs like “The Remedy” and “Geek in the Pink”—but lately, he’s been on a boring, Jack Johnson-y kick, with lighter songs like “I’m Yours” and “I Won’t Give Up.” He’s also lost his lame fedora and now looks like a homeless person. Just sayin’.
6 PM at Merriweather, $40 to $60.
You’ve got two rap options tonight: Diggy Simmons, Rev. Run’s 17-year-old kid who’s already well versed in womanizing, price-gouging fans, and other rap pastimes; or Meek Mill, Wale’s far superior label mate. Mill’s song “Amen” is blowing up rap radio right now, and he goes harder than Wale could ever dream of.
Diggy Simmons: 7 PM at Constitution Hall, $51.
Meek Mill: 8 PM at the Fillmore, $43.
Prez Obama did a nice rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” earlier this year, but we’re betting the soul legend himself can do it better. Find out for yourself at Wolf Trap.
8 PM at Wolf Trap, $25 to $45.
Saturday, August 25
George Washington University is hosting the first ever Foggy Bottom Music Festival, featuring more than 20 local musicians and Chicago it-band Maps & Atlases, who play sometimes-dancey indie rock.
11 AM to 10 PM at University Yard, $10.
Outside of Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley has probably been the hottest country singer of the past couple years. Like Chesney, he makes songs that are generally playful and poppy enough to appeal to people who don’t normally listen to country. The Band Perry and Easton Corbin are playing first, so arrive early and get more for your money.
4:30 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $30 to $65.
Sunday, August 26
R&B’s elder stateswoman, Mary J. Blige, is still making hits—her latest, “Mr. Wrong,” with an assist from Drake’s popularity is blowing up the radio. Ms. Blige returns to DC for the first time since she helped open the Fillmore about a year ago.
7 PM at Verizon Center, $50 to $170.
Monday, August 27
Nayan Bhula, a “nonresident Indian” formed the NRIs, a band not full of nonresident Indians but rather violins, standup basses, and plenty of acoustic guitar. They play kind-of-folky rock songs good for clapping along to.
8 PM at Black Cat, $8.
Tuesday, August 28
For his face-melting riffs and intricate solos, guitar virtuoso Steve Vai has won three Grammys and sold more than 15 million albums. He’s played in Whitesnake alongside David Lee Roth, and with Frank Zappa. Now he just tours around playing the six-string better than perhaps anyone on the planet.
8 PM at the Howard, $50.
Wednesday, August 29
With House all wrapped up, it looks like Hugh Laurie has some time on his hands. He’s also an impressive blues musician, and has some pipes, as well. Just don’t ask him to diagnose that weird lesion you’ve been picking at.
7:30 PM at the Birchmere, $54.