Some bands are all business, hell-bent on conquering the world. They release a few radio-friendly singles, climb the charts, get into bed with corporate sponsors. Then there’s Mogwai, who only seem serious about their craft. They’ve been around since the mid-’90s, critical darlings from the start. Mogwai doesn’t make songs you whistle to, and there’s frequently nothing to sing along to, but their music is undeniably beautiful and intense. It may be hard to find the right Spotify playlist for a 16-minute classic such as “Mogwai Fear Satan,” but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong in your rotation. Mogwai plays Hard Rock Live on April 11 ($20).
Lorde, Have Mercy
Our culture worships youth and achievement, so it’s no wonder that Lorde—a mere 17-year-old!—has our full attention. “Royals” was a worldwide smash, but the quality of Pure Heroine—her full-length debut—proved the Kiwi kid was no one-hit wonder. And then she had to go and prove how cool she was by covering the Replacements’ “Swingin’ Party,” for the B-side of her follow-up single, “Tennis Court.” Paul Westerberg sang it as a lament, an ode to misspent youth, but in Lorde’s young, capable hands it becomes a cautionary tale. Platinum records are one thing, but when David Bowie calls you “the voice of tomorrow,” that’s something else entirely. Lorde plays back-to-back shows at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool on April 15-16 ($40).
On Sale Now
Cher brings her Dressed to Kill tour to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 25 ($56-$192), with special guest Cyndi Lauper. Predictions: a career-spanning set list, various headdresses and costume changes (the bead goes on!), an assortment of wigs, bright lights and backup dancers. Cher doesn’t do anything halfway, and the addition of Lauper is inspired.