.Hit List: Best Music, Arts & Culture July 13-19

Classic rock, big EDM drops, bigger laughs and some serious mosh pit action. This week’s Hit List is brimming with great shows and performances, including AC/DShe at Music in the Park, The Chainsmokers at Great America, Mike Epps at The Improv and punk rock veterans Strung Out at The Ritz.
Confederates
Wed, 8pm, $35-$59
Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto
Anyone paying attention to the current race for the White House will find parallels between the real world absurdities of the 24-hour news cycle and the fictitious universe created by Suzanne Bradbeer in her ambitious play, Confederates. In this TheatreWorks production, a young journalist named Will uncovers a juicy secret about the daughter of a presidential candidate. There’s just one problem: he and the young woman have a history and the rookie reporter must decide whether to run with the story or spike it, raising questions about journalistic ethics and exploring the absurd world of contemporary politics. Click here for showtimes and tickets. (MH)
AC/DShe
Thu, 5:30pm, $11.75
Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose
Since 1999, San Francisco natives AC/DShe have been covering Australian hard rock icons AC/DC. The ladies claim to be pioneers of the all-female tribute band model. That may be true, but what matters more is the energy they put into each performance and their pride in honoring Bon Scott, AC/DC’s original lead singer. In fact, they only play pre-1980s, pre-Brian Johnson tunes (sorry, no Back in Black). Opening for AC/DShe are the Killer Queens, who will provide an appropriately sparkly and studded tribute to Queen. (MH)
Sting & Peter Gabriel
Thu, 8pm, $45-$250
SAP Center, San Jose
Two of the biggest musical acts of the ’80s and ’90s are teaming up to delight audiences all over North America. It’s only natural that Sting and Peter Gabriel are touring together. After all, both were born into modest, working-class English families; both took the world by storm in collective bands, before launching highly successful solo careers; and both used synthesizers, drum machines and prog-rock knowhow to create a new musical language—paving the way for new wave and alternative rock in the process. (MH)

Willow
Thu, 8:30pm, Free
Courthouse Square, Redwood City
Come early to secure a spot for this week’s outdoor movie, Willow. The 1988 cult classic combines elements of the myth of Moses, the The Lord of the Rings and all the campiest trappings of 1980s action-fantasy films. For the uninitiated, a brief synopsis: The Ron Howard-directed and George Lucas-produced film will be presented in glorious surround sound. Willow, a little man with a big heart is tasked with returning a baby with a great destiny back to her people. Joined by a sardonic swordsman and a sultry sorceress, Willow must give his all to save the baby from the evil forces who seek to destroy her. (MH)
The Chainsmokers
Fri, 7pm, $40
Great America, Santa Clara
Great America and 99.7 NOW! are throwing a party. Summer Splash 2016 will be headlined by Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, better known as The Chainsmokers. The New York electronic duo have maintained a presence on the pop charts since 2014, when they released their first hit, “Selfie.” They followed that up with “Roses” in 2015, and “Don’t Let Me Down” has been bouncing around near the top of the Billboard 100 this year. Charlie Puth, Daya, Marc E. Bassy and Melanie Martinez share the bill. (MH)

David Brookings
Sat, 4pm, Free
Streetlight Records, San Jose
After opening for Bryan Adams at the KBAY Big Bang on the Fourth of July, David Brookings is bringing his band, The Average Lookings, to Streetlight. A student of classic pop songwriting, Brookings made a name for himself by covering 209 Beatles songs in as many days and publishing the performances on YouTube. He’s also known for landing a job at Apple after impressing Steve Jobs with his knowledge of early blues and rock. But that’s neither here nor there. Brookings is excited about his new self-titled album—and with good reason. It’s shimmering, jangly tribute to the kind of early pop tunes that once ruled the AM airwaves. (MH)
Mike Epps
Sat, 7pm & 9:15pm, $35-$50
San Jose Improv
Mike Epps knows how to play to his audience. His highly expressive voice works just as well when he’s keeping it PG as when he’s letting F-bombs fly. In 2000, he shared the screen with Ice Cube in Next Friday. In 2001, he joined Eddie murphy in Dr. Dolittle 2, voicing Sonny the Bear. Epps is plays the titular character in the ABC series Uncle Buck and has been cast to channel the iconic Richard Pryor in that comedian’s biopic. Expect a bit of everything when he swings through San Jose this weekend. (MH)

Strung Out
Sat, 8pm, $15-$20
The Ritz, San Jose
Rock & roll is a volatile thing. Some groups harness the energy of instability, while others disband as quickly as they form. After keeping quiet for close to six years, it seemed that Strung Out might never make music again. But with their 2015 release, Transmission.Alpha.Delta, and recent performance at Canada’s Amnesia Rockfest, the band has shown that they still know how to channel the chaos. Since 1989, they’ve blended heavy metal, punk rock and progressive rock to create their own distinctive sound. This summer, the SoCal quintet will tour Europe and return to the States in the fall with Pennywise and Unwritten Law. (ST)

Comedians @ Red Rock
Sat, 8pm, Free
Red Rock Coffee, Mountain View
Kevin Wong has honed his stand-up skills in dive bars, coffee houses and laundromats. Now he’s working on producing and hosting group shows. In 2014 Wong founded his first weekly comedy night—“The Secret Show”—at The Swingin’ Door in San Mateo. Since then, he’s rolled out two additional programs: “Comedians at Rail,” at Rail Club in San Carlos and “Comedians at Red Rock” at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View. Wong’s shows aren’t amateur hours. Most of the comics who take the mic have already appeared at the Punch Line, Cobb’s Comedy Club and the Improv in San Jose. (DM)

The Hit List is a weekly roundup of the hottest concerts, new music, art exhibits, parties and events in Silicon Valley. Be sure to check in with to this weekly feature on Metro’s Activate blog to stay up on the latest and greatest in entertainment news in the South Bay.

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