The Five Best Shows in OC This Weekend

Friday, September 21
Lila Downs
Since she emerged in 1999, Lila Downs has developed into one of the world's quintessential world music artists. Combining powerful, multilingual vocals and culturally diverse musical arrangements, songs like “Ojo de Culebra” help her continue to hold on to her Oxacan roots while pulling in the fiery elements of cumbia and flamenco, even the island pulse of reggae. The Oxaca-born singer is making her first stop to the City National Grove of Anaheim in a few years, armed with her plenty of exotic material from her 2011 studio effort Pecados y Milagros–Nate Jackson
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Saturday, September 22

Not that there are too many pressing questions still left when it comes to wondering about music in the year 2012, but one little thing humanity may be curious about is, what exactly will classic rock stations play in the future? (Doesn't grab you? Well, that's just the tip of the nerdberg.) They've gotta work in something from our misspent '90s, don't they? The Epicenter Festival offers a convincing answer with a line-up including some serious '90s alt-platinum-rockers from the opposite side of Green Daythe Offspring et al. For this, Stone Temple PilotsBush and the Deftones preside over a bill reinforced by next-genners like Hollywood Undead and Scars on Broadway. Behold the shape of things to come! —Chris Ziegler

Friday and Saturday, September 21-22
Sweet and Tender Hooligans
The last time the Sweet and Tender Hooligans, a Smiths-and-Morrissey tribute band, played at Alex's Bar, well, you were lucky to get in. This time, however, they've stepped it up with a two-night lovefest of covers from the one and only Mozzer. Friday night pays tribute to the Smiths with support from Raw Power Rangers, a Stooges cover band–while Saturday features a full-on Morrissey show, complete with opening act, Debaser, a Pixies tribute. Alex's is even offering a two-for-one ticket option, so those Morrissey-obsessed fanatics (of which there are many) don't have to choose between these two precious eras. —Erin DeWitt

Saturday, September 22


Yep, that's right–Mr. “Toot it and Boot it” himself is on his way to OC. With only a few solid years in the rap game, YG (short for Young Gangsta) is now a bonafide force in the world of blog-savvy mixtape rappers. Of course, how many of those are able to crack the Billboard Top 100? Set to release his full-length debut Freshman on Campus sometime this year, Paramount's tattoo-covered rapper born Keenan Jackson continues his mission to swag out in front of as many fans as possible. If you're looking for a club rap show that'll leave you hungover and satisfied on Sunday morning, this is the one.—Nate Jackson


Sunday, September 23
Poncho Sanchez
Yeah, Sunday is technically a weeknight, but there's no need to pout over having to face another Monday morning when you've got acts like Pancho Sanchez out there to look forward to. Hailed by critics as one of the leading American percussionists of our time, Sanchez's innovative musical style fuses elements of Latin jazz, swing, salsa, and soul and shakes it all up for a colorful and upbeat performance that tells a story as it entertains. See this Grammy Award-winning artist at one of Orange County's most prominent jazz venues and end your weekend with a bang. —Grace Le

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