Machine Gun Kelly is the same tattooed Clevelander who graced the cover of “XXL” in 2012 as part of a “freshman class” of rappers that featured Future and Macklemore, but these days the song doesn’t not stay the same. After flirting with rap-rock on 2019’s “Hotel Diablo,” MGK dove into pop-punk nostalgia with 2020’s “Tickets to My Downfall” and this year’s “Mainstream Sellout.” The mid-career crunch isn’t unprecedented, and it’s hitting after a wave of emo-inspired SoundCloud rappers and amid a pop-punk revival powered by pal/producer Travis Barker. While the Blink-182 drummer won’t be at this standstill, MGK will be joined by Hot Topic queen Avril Lavigne, who is enjoying a victory lap two decades after breaking through with the surprisingly long-lasting hits “Complicated” and ” Sk8er Boi”. June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. capitalonearena.com. $29.50 – $149.50.
With the “Sunlight/Sunlight!” tour, Corinne Bailey Rae is making her first solo headline appearance in the United States in over five years. The name of the tour could be a nod to an anthem about the soul-nourishing music the Leeds-born singer-songwriter has been making for years: “Sunlight, sunshine in my soul today / Sunlight, sunshine all along the way”. It’s a motto that rings true across his albums, from his star debut to the softly weeping “The Sea” and the often dancefloor-ready “The Heart Speaks in Whispers.” “Those feelings of love that lift you up and put you out of time…they inform a lot of my writing,” she told Forbes. “That feeling of just being lost in, out of this moment and into the eternal.” June 25 at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Theater, 1215 U St. NW. thelincolndc.com. Exhausted.
When Purity Ring snagged buzz band status a decade ago, the duo of singer Megan James and producer Corin Roddick sidestepped gender questions by branding themselves with the intentionally vague and ambiguous label “future pop “. The future is what you make of it, and for James and Roddick, that means dreamy, edgy electronic pop full of shimmering synthesizers, orchestral swells, dubstep-inspired drum clinks and James’ vocals, which juxtapose doll sounds with lyrics that focus on the corporeal and the macabre. Finally hitting the road for a twice-postponed tour in support of 2020’s ‘Womb’, the duo covered Deftones’ violent nu-metal anthem ‘Knife Prty’ and Alice Deejay’s trance classic ‘Better Off Alone’. – bringing together two points in the past to spawn a darker and stranger future. June 29-30 at 7 p.m. (houses open) to 9:30 p.m. Club, 815 V St. NW. 930.com. $36. Full June 29 show.