Summer concerts by the Dave Matthews Band (above) provide a perennial rite of passage at the Xfinity Center, delivering tight musicianship, catchy choruses and jam-elastic grooves. DMB isn’t touring in 2017, however, leaving Friday’s summer kick-start at the Mansfield shed more enticing for the faithful. And the band’s been mixing up recent sets with new material like this as well as rotating in key warhorses like “Dancing Nancies,” “Jimi Thing” (with a snatch of Prince’s “Sexy M.F.”) and the jazzy, slightly less elusive “Seek Up.”
Also on Friday, the adventurous jazz/dub/groove collective Club d’elf promises an especially exemplary night at the Lizard Lounge with experimental slide guitarist Dave Tronzo, microtonal violist Mat Maneri and reeds player Ned Rothenberg all together (starting the night as a trio). Also, to the north of Boston, Maine-bred Americana bandleader Patty Griffin holds court at Lowell’s Boarding House Park with her distinctive voice and songwriting.
Saturday offers other local heroes. Folk-pop combo Guster rolls into the Lowell Summer Music series at Boarding House Park, while ’90s alt-rock favorites Buffalo Tom mark one of their occasional, always welcome reunions at the Paradise Rock Club. Jordan Smith, winner of 2015’s Season 9 of “The Voice,” sings in a far more intimate setting at Berklee’s Café 939. Smith’s March debut Something Beautiful leans on obvious covers, but the stocky, spectacled Kentucky native clearly stuns with his beautiful voice.
Up the road in Beverly, veteran saxman Maceo Parker gets funky at the Cabot on Saturday. And diehard road-trippers have two polar-opposite options that day. The National debut new material (and maybe a Grateful Dead cover) in the group’s sole New England date outdoors at North Adams’ MASS MoCA (a modest alternative to Wilco’s Solid Sound festival, due to return there in 2017). And in New Hampshire, Laconiafest — a mecca for motorcyclists — rocks with Buckcherry to kick off a week of shows to include Steven Tyler and Bret Michaels.