Tour Buzz

SOUL MOOD: If you see one show this week, make sure it’s old-school R&B/neo-soul artist Aloe Blacc at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool (9 p.m. July 26, $20). Blacc delivers original, emotionally stirring material. Although he’s better-known in England, you might’ve heard “I Need a Dollar” during the intro of the HBO show How To Make It in America. He made two different videos for the song. My favorite is the one where Blacc hitches a ride along Interstate 15 to Las Vegas and sings the anxious lyrics: If God has a plan for me/I hope it ain’t written in stone/Because I’ve been working/Working myself to the bone/And I swear on grandpa’s grave/I’ll get paid when I get home. He ends up on the Strip, performing at the Cosmo and spending his last quarter on a slot. Great video, tune and performer.

PIANO MEN: The Cosmo hosts another nifty show the following evening (9 p.m. July 27, $75). Denver’s The Fray bring their piano-rock sound to the Chelsea. Sure, 2005’s “Over My Head (Cable Car)” is overplayed. But The Fray displays a surprising amount of depth, refusing to be saddled as “that band with a few good tunes.” Their last album, Scars & Stories, was released to mixed reviews in February. But their most recent single “Run for Your Life” is excellent. The Fray is joined by Kelly Clarkson, still touring in support of last year’s very strong Stronger album, and by Charleston, S.C., indie-pop band Carolina Liar, who boast that catchy hit “Show Me What I’m Looking For.” In sum, this is a power-pop lover’s wet dream.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Tickets are still on sale for Latin pop singers Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez. Together they’re set to heat up Mandalay Bay Events Center at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 ($45-$250) as part of a 26-date summer tour. Expect a massive stage production and cool costumes and choreography.

Suggested Next Read

No Easy Answers

Movie Review

No Easy Answers

By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

Five years into their marriage, the freelance Toronto writers played by Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in Take This Waltz have drifted, rudderless, into a harbor that is anything but safe. They’re cute together, but the act has begun to curdle: The reflexive baby talk for laughs, the weirdly hostile banter (“I love you so much I’m gonna inject your face with a curious combination of swine flu and ebola”) and a troubling lack of easy intimacy all spell trouble.