Sleepy Sun - Sunday, February 16 - Rhythm Room
Northern California psych-rock band Sleepy Sun sound like a younger, fresh-faced version of the Black Angels--they produce a fledgling form of the elder group's muddy guitars and fuzzy melodies--so it was only natural (or perhaps the musical hand of fate) that Sleepy Sun was plucked up by the Angels to open on their 2011 tour. And that's where Sleepy Sun solidified their place in the psych world--though previously touring with Arctic Monkeys, this was an instinctive pairing. -- Erin DeWitt
Imagine Dragons - Monday, February 17 - US Airway Center
Imagine Dragons' debut LP, Night Visions, begins with a guitar intro that might remind you a little of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive." Then it descends into a heavy, current-sounding verse anchored by the stuttery, wub-wubbing bass made famous by dubstep -- or at least movie trailers with dubstep in them. That might not remind you of Bon Jovi right away, but it should. Like Bon Jovi in the '80s, Imagine Dragons produces slick, widely appealing arena rock that hits every trend in popular music on the way to its anthemic choruses. In 1986, it was glam, metal, and synths. In 2014 it's EDM, indie, and, well, synths, along with tossed-off, specific verses that build into enormous, vague choruses.
On songs like "It's Time," which you've heard if you own a TV, they put those pieces together with an unnerving precision. Also like Bon Jovi: They're not breaking any new ground, and their big hit has maybe worn out the welcome you gave it after the first time you heard it in a film trailer. But once you accept that they're a big, broad arena rock band, you'll probably enjoy yourself. -- Dan Moore