One might be tempted to whack a cowbell Will Ferrell-style to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” when Blue Oyster Cult holds court at the Cabot in Beverly on Friday, but leave that to the professionals. And know that those Long Island journeymen (still fronted by singer/guitarists Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma) have other classic-rock burners to ignite beyond that and “Godzilla,” including “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll.” Or if jazz is more your speed, Scullers Jazz Club hosts two long-heralded though lower-profile horn masters this weekend with trumpeter Tom Harrell on Friday, followed on Saturday by saxophonist Chico Freeman’s Plus+tet.
On a weekend filled with lower-profile gems, the Lizard Lounge also keeps busy on Friday with heady jazz/dub/groove collective Club d’elf (with guest guitarist Dave Fiuczynski also playing a solo Mahavishnu set) and on Saturday with the funky Afro-reggae horn band the Macrotones celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Speaking of anniversaries and unsung heroes, it’s amazingly been 40 years since the Feelies formed in New Jersey, forging a jangly Velvet Underground-inspired trance rock that influenced bands from R.E.M. to Yo La Tengo to Real Estate. The group — fronted by singer/guitarists Glenn Mercer and Bill Million – has remained intact in recent years, performing infrequently yet near-annually here: the Feelies return to the Sinclair on Saturday behind more laidback new album In Between. Other Saturday concert options include jammy Southern swamp-rockers JJ Grey and Mofro at House of Blues, Aussie alt-rockers Atlas Genius at Once Ballroom and locally born ska-rock pioneers Bim Skala Bim at Thunder Road.
Sunday offers two other under-the-radar shows for fans of progressive rock fusion with Brand X (still featuring guitarist John Goodsall and bassist Percy Jones) at the Regent Theatre, while eclectic hard-rockers Living Colour (guitarist Vernon Reid, singer Corey Glover, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun) go out of their way to test the new South Shore bowling-alley club PiNZ in Kingston.