Here's a quick guide to some of the shows happening in Missoula from Friday, Feb. 14-Thursday, Feb. 18.
(Friday, Feb. 14)
This is Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s return to Missoula after the Wilma Theater closed its doors to hip-hop concerts for a few years following the gangsta rap group’s 2004 concert, where police were called, attendees flashed gang colors and, worst of all, very little alcohol was purchased.
"It's the wrong kind of crowd for us, because the majority is under the drinking age. They're kids, and that crowd doesn't do much for us revenue-wise," former Wilma manager Bill Emerson told the Missoulian.
Emerson added, in a truly wonderful series of quotes, that there were other reasons for getting out of the rap concert game.
"The last song they were singing was 'F-- the Police,' and they had the whole place chanting it back and forth with them," Emerson said in the article. "That's absolutely not the image I want the Wilma to have."
Flash forward a decade or so and find members of Odd Future — famously banned from performing in the U.K. — as a regular fixture at the Top Hat, drawing plenty of high schoolers and younger college kids. Guess this rap thing might take hold after all, huh?
Foreshadow x Elair open at The Wilma. Doors at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance. All ages.
(Saturday, Feb. 15)
There’s a long history of English artists interpreting American blues, starting in the '60s with a wave of white longhairs who took cues from Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
Yola (real name Yolanda Quartey) is in a new wave of British-born singers playing the blues (check out Michael Kiwanuka as well) with a more rootsy, less rock take on the genre.
She started down this path after her band Phantom Limb broke up in 2013, and now slings soulful, down-to-earth blues with acoustic slide guitar and shuffly backbeats ("Walk Through Fire") or country guitar licks and layered backing vocals ("Ride Out in the Country").
Folk/blues singer Amythyst Kiah opens at the Top Hat. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $23 in advance. All ages.
Gypsy Jazz fundraiser
(Sunday, Feb. 16)
Night Blooming Jasmine — Missoula’s premier Gypsy jazz group — are holding a fundraising concert in advance of the third annual Big Sky Gypsy Jazz Festival, to be held in Missoula March 20-22.
The foursome features Geoffrey Taylor on violin, Jon Schick on guitar, John Rossett on mandolin and Jeff Turman on bass. They play a variety of swinging tunes inspired by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.
The show is 7-30 p.m. at the Longstaff House in Missoula. For information, go to the Facebook page or longstaffhouse.com to buy tickets.
Quartet for the End of Time
(Tuesday, Feb. 18)
This modern orchestral piece was inspired by the book of Revelation and written while French composer Oliver Messiaen was held captive by Nazi Germany in World War II as a prisoner of war.
A dark background to the writing, but the story is inspiring: Messiaen and his fellow prisoners performed the quartet for the first time while in a prison camp. A sympathetic guard, taken with the music, helped free them shortly afterward.
The quartet is composed for violin, piano, cello and clarinet, and will feature Margaret Baldridge, Christopher Kirkpatrick, Adam Collins and Christopher Hahn. The performance is part of the Chamber Music Montana series held with the University of Montana School of Music and other collaborators.
Concert at the UM Music Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8-12. All ages.