Arts and Entertainment
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Video Games Live: Alongside Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, video games have risen to pop-culture prominence. So why not have a concert based on their classic themes? According to its website, Video Games Live is “an immersive event … featuring the best game music performed by top orchestras and choirs combined with synchronized lighting, video, live action, and audience interactivity.” The New York Times called it a “captivating, proudly bombastic show,” and venues have been selling out. They’ve come a long way since Pong. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4. $38.15-$48.40. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward, Detroit; 313-983-6000.
Michael Bolton: Michael Bolton’s career began in the heavy-metal band Blackjack, opening for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne. But with his song titles like “Love Me Tonight,” “Without Your Love,” and “My World Is Empty Without You,” it’s easy to see how the blond crooner became famous for covering “When a Man Loves a Woman.” What’s not so easy to understand is how Bolton came to collaborate with Lady Gaga and Ne-Yo on his latest album, last year’s One World, One Love. 7 p.m. Nov. 5. $56.85-$72.20. MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River, Detroit; 313-237-7711.
Brendan Benson: Benson grew up in Detroit and New Orleans, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from his music, which would be more appropriate in 1970s England (think: Elvis Costello, Wings, ELO). Benson’s brush with mainstream success has been in the shadow of fellow Detroit native Jack White in the band The Raconteurs. But while White is off doing his thing in his various other projects, Benson is out to prove he is a force to be reckoned with on his own. 7 p.m. Nov. 9. $18-$20. The Majestic Theatre, 4120 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-9700.
The Temptations: There has been much talk lately about what Detroit will be known as in the coming years. The Motor City assembly lines have turned “green,” and many bands are skipping over the Rock City altogether. But thanks to The Temptations, which still feature founding member Otis Williams, the Motown legacy lives on. 8 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13. $25-$65. Andiamo Celebrity Showroom, 7096 E. 14 Mile, Warren; 586-268-3200.
Kate Nash: Kate Nash is so British she calls people “mate” and talks about guys who are “fit.” It’s as cute as her website, which links to cupcake bakeries, a YouTube video of a snoring duck, and a picture of a baby rabbit. The cuteness continues on her new, aptly titled album, My Best Friend Is You. Sorry, fellas, “friend” is all you’ll ever be; Nash has been in a relationship with fellow Brit-rocker Ryan Jarman, of The Cribs, since 2007. 8 p.m. Nov. 12. $17-$20. The Majestic Theatre, 4120 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Josh Ritter: If you squint hard enough, you might be able to see a resemblance, but it’s purely coincidental. Josh has no relation to John Ritter, of Three’s Company fame. In fact, Josh was born to two neuroscientists and almost pursued his parents’ career at Oberlin College, before changing his major to American history through narrative folk music. It’s good to see such a bright, young man actually making a career on his college degree. 8 p.m. Nov. 14. $15-$18. The Majestic Theatre, 4120 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-9700.
John Mellencamp: Not to be outdone by Courtney Cox, the man known as “Cougar” (long before the network TV show dedicated to fierce felines) released No Better Than This in August. The album of folksy Americana was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded on vintage equipment in famous places like Sun Studios and the first African-American church in the U.S. Mellencamp has said that he’s no longer interested in being a rock star, and if this is the result, it may be for the best. 6:30. Nov. 19. $53-$105.60. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward, Detroit; 313-983-6000.
Village People: Though its members didn’t meet at the YMCA — “Macho Types Wanted: Must Dance and Have a Moustache,” read an ad in a music trade magazine that would become the catalyst for the Village People — they must’ve felt some sadness when the Y officially axed the last three letters from its name. Don’t expect a shorter version of the eponymous hit song, though. 8 p.m. Nov. 19. $43.55-46.65. MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River, Detroit; 313-237-7711.
Paul Oakenfold: You can thank Paul Oakenfold for Will Smith’s career. As an A&R rep in the ’80s, the British trance DJ signed DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince to Champion Records. Smith’s career has since turned to blockbuster action flicks, but so has Oakenfold’s. His high-octane jams have been featured in The Bourne Identity, Collateral, and The Matrix Reloaded. 9 p.m. Nov. 20. $29-$47.20. The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward, Detroit; 313-961-5451.
Shawn Colvin: Though Colvin lost to Steve Earle, her 2009 album, Live, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. If you’re interested to know what it’s like to lose to Steve Earle, look for the details in Colvin’s upcoming memoir from Harper Collins. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21. $40. The Ark, 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor; 734-761-1800.
Wolf Parade: Wolf Parade is one of those happy accidents (of the Canadian persuasion, by the way). The band was quickly thrown together by Spencer Krug when he was offered a gig, but had no band or songs to play. Wolf Parade describe their third full-length album, Expo 86, as “a red Ferrari speeding through a dry, sunny desert, creating great billows of dust, with the driver having his/her right hand on the wheel and the other hand jutting out the window giving the “middle finger” to the camera and the surrounding world.” Their words, not ours. 8 p.m. Nov. 24. $18. The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333.
The Gories: In their seven-year career, Detroit garage punk band The Gories recorded three full-length albums. They broke up in 1993, and many would say too soon. Although the band isn’t a household name — even in some parts of Detroit — the various acts that The Gories inspired (The White Stripes, anyone?) are. After nearly two decades apart, the three-piece group reunited last year and sold out the Majestic Theatre. With that kind of outcome, perhaps an annual tradition has begun. 8 p.m. Nov. 26. $15. The Majestic Theatre, 4120 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Johnny Mathis: Mathis is a prime example of stamina. As a star athlete in high school, the singer was a track-and-field and basketball star. When Columbia Records discovered 19-year-old Mathis singing at a jazz club, he was forced to choose between a record deal and Olympic tryouts. His athletic endurance has translated well to music, though. The performer has released more than 130 albums and is still a star after 50 years in the biz. 9 p.m. Nov. 27. $60.72-$86.71 (Canadian) The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, 377 Riverside Dr. E., Windsor; 888-345-5885.
Carrie Underwood: With the exception of maybe Kelly Clarkson, Underwood is one of the most successful American Idol winners. Since taking first place in the show’s fourth season, her first three albums have sold more than 10 million units combined. That’s no small feat for a country girl from Muskogee, Okla. That’s right — Underwood is an Okie from Muscogee. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29. $35.50-$55.50. Palace of Auburn Hills, 4 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills; 248-377-0100.
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