Tonight: Flight To Mars at the Showbox, Dan Bern at the Sunset

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Anna Knowlden
Flight to Mars, with Sweet Water. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $20. In 2002, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready went public with his two-decade struggle with Crohn's disease - an inflammatory bowel condition that has no known cure. Since then, McCready has been one of the entertainment world's leading advocates for Crohn's patients, and for the eighth year in a row he'll bring his side band Flight to Mars to the stage for a benefit concert for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Don't expect to hear any Pearl Jam tunes tonight, though - Flight to Mars is strictly a UFO cover band, UFO being the English hard-rock/metal band that features Michael Schenker, one of McCready's guitar heroes. Proceeds from the show will go to CCFA's Camp Oasis, which provides support and activities for children living with Crohn's and colitis. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Dan Bern, with Common Rotation. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 7 p.m. $15. Dan Bern has changed since entering the public eye with his serious-minded, minimalist folk. In the late 90s, Bern was tagged a "new Dylan," based on a strong likeness in sound and style to The Jester. These days, Bern's songs are replete with chiming guitars, up-tempo arrangements, and strongly melodic vocal lines. His lyrics have shifted from overtly serious and darkly melodic to more accessible and genuinely funny. Humor is likely Bern's greatest gift - his delivery is key, treating his funny stuff with no less care and finesse than his more straightforward material. Solid musical craftsmanship, pop charm, and a chuckle; what better way to support Noise for the Needy? NICHOLAS HALL

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