Live Tonight: Cumulus, Colt Craft Band, Richard Marx

Cumulus, Neumos. See our feature here .

Colt Kraft Band This show should be a warm-up before Kraft and his band enter the Avast! studio to record a batch of their mid-tempo barroom ballads woozy with pedal steel and drunk on the leader’s rich baritone. Still relatively young, the band has been playing catch-up with that preternatural voice in live settings, but the new material—notably “High School” and “Minnesota”—are coming along, drinking songs you don’t have to be drunk to enjoy (though it helps). With Susie Phillips, Zach Michaud and the Washington Boys. Skylark. 8 p.m. $6. MARK BAUMGARTEN

Richard Marx It is not largely recognized, but the ’80s did not end in 1991 with the opening chord progression of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Rather, that era of obfuscation came to a screeching halt that same year when Richard Marx cut his hair in the middle of the video for “Hazard.” That was the moment when the pretending was over, for both the ’80s and for Marx. See, Marx has exhibited an affinity for the trappings of the rocker throughout his 30-year career—leather vests, grainy footage of smoky arenas filled with screaming fans, blown-out mullet—but he isn’t a rocker. Marx is a balladeer, and an excellent one at that, responsible for contemplative adult-contemporary pop hits like “Hold On to the Night,” “Right Here Waiting,” and “Hazard,” the shearing song about the deep hell of lost love and undue persecution, which features a mandolin. Marx has gone on to write ballads for ’N Sync and Keith Urban while continuing his own craft. He is still prone to episodes of rockerism, but his brightest, most truthful songs are still the smoldering ones. Snoqualmie Casino. 7 p.m. $30–$47. MB

 
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