@ Joe Louis Arena
When you think Bon Jovi, you think big hair, leather, tight pants, and great radio music. What better way to say goodbye to Joe Louis Arena than to see Bon Jovi perform their greatest hits? The classic rock, chart-topping hair band garnered fans with hits like “Wanted” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.” The band’s penultimate album, Slippery When Wet, defined a generation of music, and has remained a mainstay as to what people think of when they think ’80s rock.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; 19 Steve Yzerman Dr., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; tickets are $19.75-$149.75.
Thur, 3/30-Sun, 4/2
Freep Film Festival
@ Various locations
The Detroit Free Press knows the work of documentarians is as important as that of journalists, which is why they created the Detroit Film Festival. This annual celebration of nonfiction films that focus on Detroit, metro Detroit, and Michigan features over 20 films, some of which will see their national and international debuts here. This year’s offerings include 12th and Clairmount, a film made from home footage provided by metro Detroiters; Dinner in Abruzzo: A Journey Home with my Culinary Godfather, a flick created by the Free Press’ Mark Kurlyandchic about Mabel Gray’s James Rigato; and White Boy, a documentary about White Boy Rick, the legendary 17-year-old Detroit drug kingpin.
Times vary; for schedule check freepfilmfestival.com; tickets can be purchased for individual events.
@ El Club
Tackling subjects like depression, abortion politics, war, police brutality, and Hello Kitty’s friend Pandapple, Xiu Xiu has become one of the most unique bands out there, with 10 full-length albums under their belts, as well as six collaboration albums, and 15 7-inches. Their style is original and hard to define, since it’s an odd blend of rock ’n’ roll, synth pop, post-punk, and a hodgepodge of everything else. The trio — Shayna Dunkelman, Angela Seo, and Jamie Stewart — stay busy, and put on awesome shows.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; elclubdetroit.com; tickets are $13-$15.
Whipstitch: The State of Contemporary Textiles
@ Ann Arbor Art Center
Exploring the centuries-old tradition of making and using textiles, this exhibit serves to showcase the foundation on which it was built — namely, the concepts of embroidery, quilting, weaving, and mixed media sculpture. In the age of technology, these traditions are aided by digital languages, tools, and machines, which artists are using to push boundaries and create a commentary on the process of making and the purpose of textiles. Featured artists will include Alexa Adams, Isabella Amstrup, Libs Elliot, Reed Esslinger, Flora Gill, Erika Lynn Hansen, Heidi Kumao, Rebecca Ringquist, Michelle Stephens, Esteban de la Torre and Judit Eszter Karpati, and Anna Von Mertens.
Starts at 6 p.m.; 117 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; annarborartcenter.org; 734-994-8004; free.
Celebration of Spring
Are you there, spring? It’s us, Michigan. Celebrate winter’s retreat into its special temporary hell by savoring in a five-course, multicultural mouthgasm courtesy of Peace Meal Kitchen, Tribalfare, and Warda Pâtisserie. The pop-up dinner will be held at Hamtramck’s Revolver and feature dishes representing Persian (Norooz), Maharashtrian (Gudi Padwa), and Berber (Anekcum N Tefsut) traditions marking the coming of spring or a new year. The meal will include a breadboard with Algerian flatbread and special spreads; Persian frittata made with barberry, fresh herbs and spring onions; creme caramel and ghribiya, and more.
Seatings at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.; 9737 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck; revolverhamtramck.com; tickets are $55 per person.
@ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Local Natives, a pretty swell, dramatic, four-piece indie band from Silver Lake, Calif., has been cranking out delicate, dreamy alternative music since 2008. They’re definitely trippy, and a little bit like early Grizzly Bear. They’re also really awesome about giving back. The group is dedicated to equality and safety, and so for this show, a dollar for every ticket sold will be donated to gender-based violence intervention programs and prevention programs.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; royaloakmusictheatre.com; tickets are $27 in advance and $35 the day of.
Festival of Laughs
@ Joe Louis Arena
During these troubling times, it’s more important than ever that we share in the communal experience of a comedy show. They say laughter is the best medicine, after all. This show will feature veteran comic Mike Epps (you know him from Next Friday, Friday After Next, and as Black Doug in the Hangover Part I and III) along with Sommore (Friday After Next, Soul Plane, and Dirty Laundry), Bruce Bruce (BET’s ComicView), Arnez J, and Felipe Esparza. The show is part of the Farewell Season to the Joe.
Starts at 8 p.m.; 19 Steve Yzerman Dr., Detroit; 800-745-3000; olympiaentertainment.com; tickets start at $55.
@ The Magic Bag
Growing up in Maryland, rockabilly legend Robert Gordon realized rock ’n’ roll was here to stay in 1956, at the age of nine, when he first heard Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” By 15 he was playing in local bands, and by 19 he was married. Gordon witnessed the dawn of new wave in the 1970s and saw it as an opportunity for success — especially after Elvis’ unexpected death, when Gordon’s song “Red Hot” received radio play and satiated the public’s need for nostalgia. Gordon has worked with a variety of musicians, from Bruce Springsteen to Chris Spedding, who would become a great musical partner to Gordon. This birthday bash at the Magic Bag is sure to be fantastic for rockabilly fans.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; themagicbag.com; tickets are $15.
Rock for Refugees
@ Arab American National Museum
This benefit is for Freedom House, which helps refugees in the United States and has lost its federal funding this year, as well as a new program created to fight racial hatred. Performers include DJ Ryan Spencer of the Jamaican Queens, the Foundation for Women in Hip Hop featuring Mahogany Jones, Piper Carter, Sean Blackman, Thornetta Davis, Luis and the Holy Fools, BombaRica, the Cosmic Hoedown Band, Casual Sweetheart, Mazaj, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Youth Jazz Ensemble. Additionally, there will be a silent art auction to raise money for the charities, and food will be available for purchase, with 20 percent of profits going to the charities.
The show starts at 2 p.m.; 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; arabamericanmuseum.org; tickets are $20.
@ The Ark
Jay Farrar, the voice behind the incredible blues and alt-country act Son Volt, has been at it since 1994. The St. Louis group cranks out incredible hits, and their latest, and 20th, album, Notes of Blue, is just as excellent, if not better than its predecessors. Farrar is an incredible vocalist, with a voice as old as time, even though he is just turning 50. The music isn’t commercial, gentrified blues. It is raw, unadulterated, and gives off as classic of a feeling as listening to Muddy Waters does. The band did take a brief hiatus in 1999 until 2004, when Farrar recorded some excellent solo work. Since 2004, the lineup has changed, but they are definitely as good, if not better, than ever before.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 316 S. Main St.; theark.org; tickets are $30.
United We Brunch
@ Garden Theater
Shleppers of the 9-to-5 look forward to no meal more than that of brunch. This weekend-only meal is generally served after breakfast but before lunch, and plied with gallons of Bloody Mary mix and vodka. Luckily there are myriad places around town that offer a killer brunch menu, and the marketing folks at Metro Times have done their darndest to bring the best brunches of metro Detroit together for one event. United We Brunch will feature restaurants like Rock City Eatery, Beans & Cornbread, Bobcat Bonnie’s, Le Petit Zinc, Parks & Rec, Mudgie’s Deli, and many more. Bloody Mary’s, mimosas, beer, wine, and Champagne will also be available.
Starts at 11 a.m.; 3929 Woodward Ave, Detroit; 313-961-4060; metrotimestickets.com; tickets are $40 for general admission and $50 with parking included.
@ U-M Ann Arbor Diag
Each April, on the first Saturday of the month, cannabis enthusiasts meeting at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Diag to celebrate their love of marijuana. The event features speakers who discuss the pros of medical and recreational pot use. Now in its 46th year, the event is adding something new to its offerings. The first annual Hash Bash Cup takes place March 31 and April 1 at the Wyndam hotel, featuring special guests, glassblowers, tattoo artists, a contest for the best hash, and more. While Hash Bash is free, entry to the Hash Bash Cup is $40 for one day and $50 for a two-day pass.
Starts at noon; 800 Monroe St., Ann Arbor; 313-999-0329; hashbash.com; free.
@ The Fox Theatre
No, this isn’t an elaborate April Fools’ Day joke: multiplatinum, Grammy-nominated recording artist Big Sean is coming to Detroit on his I Decided tour. Fans are anxiously awaiting the release of his latest album, I Decided. “Bounce Back,” the album’s lead single, is already amassing a lot of success in the top 10 on Spotify, top 10 Urban and Rhythm Radio, and is in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; tickets are $35-$55.
Girl of the Golden West
@ Detroit Opera House
We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of this opera before. Sure, it’s one of Giacomo Puccini’s greatest works, but it’s hardly ever performed, making this engagement at the Detroit Opera House even more special. The tale of the Girl of the Golden West is an odd one for an opera — it’s set in the American West during the Gold Rush and tells the tale of Minnie, a gun-toting, saloon-owning Sunday school teacher, as she navigates a complicated love triangle with an outlaw and a sheriff. Fans of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera will particularly love this opera, as it features rich orchestration and dramatic arias, one of which was the inspiration for “Music of the Night.”
Show starts at 7:30 p.m.; 1526 Broadway, Detroit; 313-237-7464; michiganopera.org; tickets start $29.
Mon, 4/3-Thurs, 4/6
@ Fisher Building
An architectural monolith and beacon of Art Deco design, the Fisher Building, will play host to a stunning skateboard ramp this week. The Fisher Halfpipe, as it’s being called, was curated by Everard Findlay as a means to explore the way skateboarding transcends race, class, and culture to draw disparate groups into a community. The halfpipe will take over the building’s main arcade. According to promotional materials for the event, “patrons will walk through gateways beneath and will be able to view skaters above with the magnificent Fisher as a backdrop, curves of the structure and the arcs of skaters cutting through space mirroring the Fisher’s vaulted, frescoed and inlaid walls and ceilings.”
Open to the public 6-9 p.m. each day; 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-972-4000; mkr.city; free.
@ Royal Oak Music Theatre
It’s the time of the season… when you get to see the Zombies, one of the most influential bands of the 1960s, on their Odessey and Oracle 50th Anniversary Tour. These guys were the first band to take the number one Billboard spot from The Beatles, and their songs are some of the best in the history of rock music. From “Time of the Season” to “She’s Not There” to “Care of Cell 44,” this band just never failed. They split up in 1968, right before gaining a massive amount of success from “Time of the Season” off of Odessey and Oracle. You’re going to want to see this show, because the Zombies are one of the best bands ever.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; royaloakmusictheatre.com; tickets are $35-$75.
@ Marble Bar
Allison Crutchfield, who’s been active in music since her teens, having formed the bands P.S. Eliot, Bad Banana, and Swearin’. While in Swearin’, Crutchfield honed her songwriting abilities to her fullest ability. The Alabama native is no stranger to a fantastic synth, and her pop-punk, sweetly Douthern music has such depth in the lyrics that it’s hard to believe that you also want to dance to it. Crutchfield is and up-and-comer, and she’s going to put on an excellent show.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 1501 Holden St., Detroit; ticketfly.com; tickets are $10-$12.
@ Third Man Records
Creator of the excellent and prodigious ’70s band the Modern Lovers, which helped to open the door for what would become punk music, Jonathan Richman has had a ridiculously awesome career making music and performing spectacular shows. At this show, Richman will be joined by Tommy Larkins on the drums. Larkins has been in quite a few Arizona bands, including Naked Prey and Giant Sand. Both guys travel across the country regularly, bringing great music wherever they go.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; 441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; thirdmanstore.com; tickets are $15.
Tuesday, 4/ 4
@ Doubletree by Hilton Detroit-Dearborn
From Miss Cleo, to the Long Island Medium, to John Edward, we’re dishing out millions to hear from our long-lost loved ones, regardless of the distinct probability that we’re getting totally scammed. Anyway, you’ll probably remember psychic medium John Edward from his TV show Crossing Over With John Edward, which ran from 2001 to 2004. Now, he travels the country, allegedly connecting folks to the “other side” and passing along messages from the Great Beyond. It’ll cost a pretty penny, but you can get preferential seating at during his Doubletree appearance, upping your chance of getting a reading done in front of a live audience.
Starts at 8 p.m.; 5801 Southfield Service Drive, Detroit/Dearborn; 800-514-3849; johnedward.net; tickets are $150.
Power of the Press Fest: Motor Signal Reading Series
@ Signal Return
Presented by Signal Return, Power of the Press Fest is a five-day festival to celebrate the art of traditional printmaking. Events will take place each day, including a speaker series, an exhibition opening, letterpress printing demonstrations, and a print-making workshop (for a full schedule, check out their website). The festival will commence with an installment of Signal Return’s Motor Signal Reading Series on Wednesday night featuring Tawanna Petty and Jan Worth-Nelson. The monthly literary series promises to “jolt the poetry reading out of its conventional form.”
Starts at 7 p.m.; 1345 Division Street, Detroit #102; 313-556-7301; powerofthepressfest.org; free.