By Michael Swanger


JJ Grey and Mofro play Nitefall on the River on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Simon Estes Amphitheater. Admission is $12. Cornmeal opens.

Americana guitarist-producer (Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen), Gurf Morlix makes a rare Des Moines performance on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Vaudeville Mews. Brother Trucker opens. Admission TBA.

Grammy Award winning country music veterans Ronnie Milsap and the Oak Ridge Boys play Prairie Meadows’ Events Center on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets, $29 - $74, are on sale through Ticketmaster.

Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra returns to central Iowa with a performance on Friday, June 25 at 7 p.m. at the Simon Estes Amphitheater. Tickets are $20 through Midwestix.

Pop singer-songwriter and TV personality Edwin McCain performs Friday, June 25 at 9 p.m. at People’s Court. Tickets are $20 through Midwestix.

This weekend’s Des Moines Arts Festival to be held Friday, June 25 through Sunday, June 27 in downtown Des Moines includes performances by Iowa artists including Katelyn Epperly, SNAFU, Ortonville Circus, Max Wellman and Tony Williams. Visit

Speaking of the Des Moines Arts Festival, neighboring Blues on Grand hosts free shows by Sumpin’ Doo and the Bob Pace Band on Friday, June 25 at 5 and 9:30 p.m. respectively, as well as one by Kevin Burt on Saturday, June 26 at 9:30 p.m. On Sunday, June 27, zydeco veteran Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band perform at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.

Atlanta hard rock band Sevendust, on tour promoting their new album, “Cold Day Memory,” (see this week’s Sound Check) performs Saturday, June 26 at 8 p.m. at 7 Flags Event Center in Clive. Tickets are $18.

Seminal punk-metal band The Melvins make a rare Des Moines appearance with a show on Sunday, June 27 at 9 p.m. at the House of Bricks. The band is promoting its new album, “The Bride Screamed Murder” (see this week’s Sound Check). Admission is $15.

Dale Watson, arguably the benchmark for traditional country music today (though he’s stopped using the “C” word and now refers to his music as “Ameripolitan”) makes his long overdue Des Moines debut on Monday, June 28 at 10 p.m. at the Vaudeville Mews. Admission is $10. Watson adds to his deep discography in a couple months with his new album, “Carryin’ On.”

Classic British rockers The Moody Blues play Tuesday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. Tickets are $56 - $76 through Ticketmaster.

Pretty Things Peepshow! performs at the Vaudeville Mews on Tuesday, June 29 at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.

Multi-platinum, teen pop star Justin Bieber, who signed his first professional contract at the age of 13, performs Wednesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. Tickets are $30.50 - $50.50 through the box office and Dahl’s Tickets. Sean Kingston opens.

Devo plays July 24 at the Simon Estes Amphitheater. Tickets, $48 (includes new full length CD) and $100 (VIP, meet the band, autographs), are on sale through Midwestix. CV

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