15 can’t-miss concerts in Boston this October

From Bruno Mars to Brand New, Peter Wolf to Paramore.

Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in this February 2, 2014 file photo.    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game on February 2, 2014. –Carlo Allegri/Reuters

A modern pop hit-making king and a crew of experimental alt-rock vets are just two music events hitting Boston in October.

Living legends

Herbie Hancock
Pioneering jazz composer Herbie Hancock has always been on the forward end of his genre, whether it be his embracing of funk sounds in the ’70s or his countless collaborations over the years. The 14-time Grammy winner and Academy Award winner will play the Orpheum with his quartet. (Thursday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.; Orpheum Theatre; $43.50; all ages; tickets available here)

Peter Wolf
J Geils Band frontman, Boston’s own Peter Wolf, has kept busy of late putting out solo records, most recently 2016’s A Cure For Loneliness. While he’s no stranger to this city, any performance of his is one to get excited about, particularly one at the modestly-sized Somerville Theatre. (Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Somerville Theatre; $38.50; all ages; tickets available here)

Pop royalty


Bruno Mars
Hawaiian-born hit maker Bruno Mars has taken the stage at gigs as big as the Super Bowl halftime show and the Grammy Awards. He’ll rock the Garden with single after single for two consecutive nights. (Saturday, October 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 8 at 8 p.m.; TD Garden; $49.50-$150; with Jorja Smith; tickets available here)

Earlier this year, dance-pop icon Kesha released her first album since 2012, Rainbow, propelled by the success of singles like “Praying.” Along with a polished sound and Georgia garage punks Black Lips, the LA singer will play a show at House of Blues. (Wednesday, October 4 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues; $43-$58; all ages; with Black Lips; tickets available here)  

Listen local

Lowell’s own electropop trio PVRIS has made a quick rise to the top of its genre. Touring behind the release of its second full-length album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, the band will headline its biggest local show to date at the House of Blues. (Thursday, October 12 at 6:30 p.m.; House of Blues; $30; all ages; with Lights, Flint Eastwood; tickets available here)

Mini Dresses
Ethereal Boston dream pop trio Mini Dresses has been gigging in Boston for years now, but just put out its self-titled debut album in September. The band will celebrate with a show at Great Scott along with fellow local Lina Tullgren. (Sunday, October 22 at 8 p.m.; Great Scott; $12; 18+; with Lina Tullgren; tickets available here)

Hip-hop heavy hitters


Kid Cudi
Cleveland alt-hip-hopper Kid Cudi is one of the most experimental and prolific artists of his genre. The “Man on the Moon” will perform a late-season outdoor show at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion as part of his Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ Tour. (Sunday, October 1 at 8 p.m.; Blue Hills Bank Pavilion; $29; all ages; tickets available here)

Over the course of the past decade, Florida hip-hopper T-Pain has lent silky hooks and sly verses to numerous Top 40 hits. Recently, however, he’s stripped his set down to its bare bones. Such will be the case with his show at The Sinclair, during which he’ll ditch the autotune and play acoustic. (Wednesday, October 25 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair; $35; 18+; with Smino; tickets available here)

Sonic songwriters

Against Me!
Florida punk band Against Me! has seven albums to its name in its almost 20 years together. In place of one show at a huge venue, the quartet will play two more intimate all ages shows at the legendary Paradise. (Tuesday, October 10 at 8 p.m. to Wednesday, October 11 at 8 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club; $22.50; all ages; with Bleached, The Dirty Nil; tickets available here)

Brand New
Long Island quartet Brand New has a legacy that continues to grow more than most bands to sprout out of the 2000s emo scene. After an eight-year recording hiatus, the group returned this summer with a new album called Science Fiction and will play a much anticipated set at the intimate Boch Center Wang Theatre. (Friday, October 20 at 8 p.m.; Boch Center Wang Theatre; $110; all ages; with Nada Surf; tickets available here)


Julien Baker
Memphis songwriter Julien Baker made an enormous first impression with her gorgeous debut, Sprained Ankle, in 2015. She returned this year with her second album, Turn Out The Lights, and will make a stop at Somerville Theatre in support of the record. (Saturday, October 28 at 8 p.m.; $20; all ages; with Half Waif; tickets available here)

Tera Melos
Halloween in Boston is traditionally synonymous with cover sets. Who needs those, though, when you can get a monstrous bill consisting of California math rockers Tera Melos, beloved Boston quartet Speedy Ortiz, and Western Mass. indie pop trio And The Kids? (Tuesday, October 31 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair; $15; 18+; with Speedy Ortiz, And The Kids; tickets available here)

Punk rockers

Canadian punks METZ are back with a new record, Strange Peace. With it, the trio will be making noise at The Sinclair, joined by New York industrial rockers Uniform and Providence party punks Gymshorts. (Monday, October 2 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair; $17; all ages; with Uniform, Gymshorts; tickets available here)

Pop punk stalwarts Paramore have evolved in a big way since their debut more than a decade ago, cracking into Top 40 territory, but staying true to their gritty roots. The band will pack up the Boston Opera House as part of its Tour Two. (Saturday, October 7 at 8 p.m.; Boston Opera House; $95; all ages; with Best Coast; tickets available here)

Queens of the Stone Age
California alt-rock vets Queens of the Stone Age just put out Villains, the group’s first album since 2013. The band is taking its experimental sounds around the U.S. for a small arena tour and will make a stop at Agganis Arena along with British rockers Royal Blood. (Saturday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Agganis Arena; $89; all ages; with Royal Blood; tickets available here)

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