It’s a Pixies weekend as the Boston-launched alt-rock favorites hit House of Blues on Friday and Saturday as well as the smaller Paradise Rock Club on Sunday. It’s been 13 years since the band reunited, and while fans may miss Kim Deal, now-permanent bassist/singer Paz Lenchantin has been playing that role for a few years and the chemistry’s evident in the group’s sharpened performances. Be ready for singer/guitarist Black Francis, lead guitarist Joey Santiago, drummer David Lovering and Lenchantin to mix up the catalog over three nights, with generous helpings of 2016’s full-length Head Carrier, which offers a slightly tempered take on the old Pixies sound that yielded such nuggets as “Gouge Away,” “Debaser,” the lately rare “Bone Machine,” and Where is My Mind?”
However, the weekend’s biggest single show would be Metallica, rolling into Gillette Stadium on Friday behind its own 2016 comeback Hard Wired… to Self-Destruct, a share of thrash-metal classics, a taste of pyro and a circular catwalk with a satellite performance area to contrast the scale of its Foxboro stomping ground. Or check out hard-rocking 2016 Rumble winners Worshipper topping Friday night’s Harpoonfest lineup at the brewery’s waterfront digs after Hayley Thompson-King, Cask Mouse and Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents (Saturday afternoon includes Jesse Dee, Julie Rhodes, STL GLD and These Wild Plains). Here’s the whole Harpoonfest lineup including set times.
Other Friday options include Art Garfunkel, crooning and pontificating between songs at the Cabot in Beverly, and the Yoko Miwa Trio celebrating the local jazz pianist’s fine new album Pathways at the Regattabar. Smoothly virtuosic saxman David Sanborn brings his band to Scullers Jazz Club both Friday and Saturday. Also on Saturday, arty local chamber-rock ensemble Birdsongs of the Mesozoic makes a rare landing at Once Ballroom, while country-folk troubadour Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons make an intimate honky-tonk stop at Atwood’s Tavern. And Dead heads might trek to the Cabot on Saturday for Live Dead ’69, a recreation of that early Grateful landmark with original Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten and Ratdog guitarist Mark Karen, joined by the Airplane Family sporting guitarist Slick Aguilar (Jefferson Starship, David Crosby), Peter Kakounen (Starship, Hot Tuna), Michael Falzarano (Hot Tuna) and drummer Prairie Prince (Starship, the Tubes).