This weekend's center of the universe attraction is the 20th anniversary edition of Essence Festival — with the purple king Prince headlining Friday, July 4. Other headliners include Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, Nile Rogers, Nas and a dozen others. Find a rundown of more noteworthy concerts for your three-day weekend below.
Thursday, July 3
Portland, Oregon garage-punk outfit P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. is at Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.) at 10 p.m. Stream the band's 2011 album Make It Through the Night here — a blast of high voltage, leather-clad rock 'n' roll. The show also is the debut of King Louie Bankston's latest, Lord High Panther. Tickets $5.
At 10 p.m. at Tipitina's (501 Napoleon Ave.), Living Colour's Doug Wimbish performs with an all-star lineup, with Big Sam Williams, Khris Royal, Josh Connelly, Nigel Hall and Terrence Houston, among others. Tickets $18.
Friday, July 4
Sean Ardoin — grandson of legendary Creole musician Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin — performs at 10 p.m. at d.b.a. (618 Frenchmen St.). Tickets $10.
Classhole, Mountain of Wizard and Texas punk band Saif Word are at 5 p.m. at Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.), followed by a late-show bounce party at 10 p.m. with Katey Red, Cheeky Blakk and Hot 8 Brass Band, among others.
As part of its Foundation Free Fridays concert series, funk supergroup New Orleans Suspects performs a free show at 10 p.m. at Tipitina's (501 Napoleon Ave.).
Record label Pelican Pow Wow holds the first of its two-day garage rock and punk festival at 8 p.m. at Saturn Bar (3067 St. Claude Ave.), with New Orleans garage-punks Buck Biloxi & the Fucks as well as nots, Golden Pelicans and The Planchettes.
Jittery Montreal art-punk outfit Ought, in the tradition of The Feelies and Gang of Four, headlines Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St.) at 8 p.m. with Dub Thompson. Tickets $8. Watch the video for Ought's "The Weather Song" from the 2014 debut More Than Any Other Day:
Saturday, July 5
New Orleans metal stalwart Goatwhore celebrates the release of Constricting Rage of the Merciless (Metal Blade Records), the band's fourth studio LP due out July 8, with a hometown gig at Southport Hall (200 Monticello Ave.) Tickets $18. Stream the pummeling thrash track "FBS" here.
The Pelican Pow Wow POW WOW continues at Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.) with Memphis' psychedelic punk band Manateees and sloppy garage-pop outfit Heavy Lids, as well as Mac Blackout Band and Trampoline Team.
Saxophonist Donald Harrison, ambassador of cool jazz and Mardi Gras Indian culture, performs two sets at Snug Harbor (626 Frenchmen St.) at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets $25.
Mike Patton of ex-pat pop-punk band The Robinsons performs at 10 p.m. Circle Bar (1032 St. Charles Ave.) and again at Buffa's at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 6, with Richard Bates.
Sunday, July 6
Seattle prog-funk band SpaceWaster and New Orleans experimental rockers Autotomii are at Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St.) at 9 p.m. Tickets $5.
Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue holds down its weekly spot at 8 p.m. at Chickie Wah Wah (2828 Canal St.).
Donald Harrison closes out the weekend with sets at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday, July 6 at Little Gem Saloon (445 S. Rampart St.). Tickets $20.