Ledisi Bayou Music Center, May 16
Though a true breakthough into the mainstream pop world has thus far eluded her, New Orleans native Ledisi (born Ledisi Young) has clandestinely become a star among fans who love little else than to dim the lights and turn up the grown-folks music. (She also has a pretty influential fan in her corner: First Lady Michelle Obama.)
Now based in Oakland, the fortysomething singer-songwriter recently notched her fourth straight Top 10 debut on Billboard's Hot R&B Albums chart with The Truth, which again shows off how fluidly Ledisi can move between jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul and classic R&B -- look for more on this talented spirit elsewhere today on Rocks Off. Opening are Houston native and HSPVA alum Robert Glasper, whose group the Experiment has the prime support slot on her spring tour, and Shaleik. CHRIS GRAY
Jimmy Eat World House of Blues, May 16 It's been a spell since emo had its day in the mainstream sun, but if you're the type who still gets nostalgic for breakup mixes and regrettable Livejournal posts you'll be happy to know that Jimmy Eat World still rule. In the decade since 2004's Futures (which, for the record, is way better than Bleed American) the band has released three albums, all of which have added to their canon of "great songs to sing out loud in concert."
Though the group currently lacks a record label, their shows still feature the songs that got them their brief period of early-'00s MTV rotation, including the "Don't Stop Believing" of emo, "The Middle," alongside fan favorites like "A Praise Chorus" and "23." So yes, you probably still know all the words and yes you should still sing them all back. Nostalgia won't let you down. With Stagnant Pools. CORY GARCIA
Eels House of Blues, May 17
Alt-rock staple Eels are as much a collaborative project as they are a proper band. The only permanent member is multi-instrumentalist and front man Mark Oliver Everett, aka E; the other personnel fluctuates as Everett's vision for Eels changes. Eels' mainstream success has ebbed and flowed since the band's mid-'90s inception, with 2005 LP Blinking Lights And Other Revelations bowing to little fanfare but 1996 debut Beautiful Freak and last year's Wonderful, Glorious enjoying better receptions. It's tough to tell where Eels' 11th album to date, last month's The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett, will fall on that continuum, but Everett seems equally content either way. ANGELICA LEICHT
More shows on the next page.