Unlike many arena acts, Bob Dylan doesn’t carefully script his shows, rehearsing and polishing the material until it practically gleams. Instead he mixes up his set lists (at one New York City show earlier this year he completely ignored his latest album, “Tempest”) and toys with arrangements and tempos, rearranging classics like “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Like a Rolling Stone” so they sound like entirely new songs.
For the past decade or so, Dylan has largely relegated himself to a sideman in his own band, playing tinny keyboards and barking his words in that well-weathered voice. But for this current tour, which swings by the Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, on Monday, Nov. 5, the legendary singer-songwriter has decided to shake things up yet again. According to Rolling Stone, Dylan spends half the evening seated at a grand piano and the other half standing and playing harmonica, which should draw out new shades in even his most time-tested material.
Even better? Dire Straits singer guitarist Mark Knopfler opens the 7 p.m. concert, and the two are known to collaborate onstage from time to time. Tickets for the all-ages show are $48 and $87.50 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. (Don’t Miss It)
Thursday, Nov. 1, 9 p.m.
Majestic Theatre, 115 King St.
$25 in advance/$28 at the door (all ages); majesticmadison.com
On Sleigh Bells sophomore album, “Reign of Terror,” guitarist and songwriter Derek Miller embraced his fascination with 1980s metal, unleashing an array of chunky riffs that wouldn’t have sounded out-of-place on Def Leppard’s “Hysteria.” But even though the music is universally fist-pumping, the lyrics venture into murkier terrain this time out, with frontwoman Alexis Krauss chirping lines that suggest the New York duo is recovering from some great tragedy. In that context, the torrent of riffs Miller unleashes at the peak of “You Lost Me” could be more about catharsis than celebration. Araabmuzic also performs. (Don’t Miss It)
Friday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m.
The Sett at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St.
$22 for the general public/$18 for Memorial Union members/$14 for youth under 18/$10 for UW-Madison students with valid ID (18+); utmadison.com
The sprawling, 11-piece crew knows how to get down, as evidenced by its continued association with Prince, who the crew has backed live on a number of occasions. The Austin-based group, which has been embraced by both musicians (Grupo’s horn section has toured with Spoon, in addition to the full-band gigs with the Purple One) and critics (its 2010 album “El Existential” won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album), is at its best live, laying down an assortment of high-energy, Latin-flavored funk jams. (Don’t Miss It)
Saturday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave.
$18 in advance/$20 at the door (all ages); barrymorelive.com
The uber-productive folkie, who has released more than 30 albums in his nearly four decade career, undoubtedly has a deep catalogue of songs to draw from. Considering the proximity of this show to the presidential election, however, expect McCutcheon to focus on more politically charged tunes like “Hail to the Chief,” a tongue-in-cheek number he penned about former president George W. Bush. (Safe Bet)
Saturday, Nov. 3, 9:30 p.m.
High Noon Saloon, 701 E. Washington Ave.
$10 in advance/$12 at the door (18+); trueendeavors.com
The Los Angeles quintet, which released its self-titled debut earlier this year, has adopted the Three Musketeers’ all-for-one-and-one-for-all approach. There’s no lead singer to speak of (no one in the band is even named Milo Greene), and the group spends much of its dreamy, self-titled debut laying down gorgeous four-part harmonies. There’s a hazy quality to the crew’s psych-folk output, which should have some listeners experiencing flashbacks to the 1960s and ’70s. Bahamas also performs. (Safe Bet)