12 acts not to miss

1 Heart, Journey and Cheap Trick

6 p.m. Saturday, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre ($23.50 to $125)

Expect nonstop hits as these '70s and '80s heavy hitters team up. Filling Journey's front spot is Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, whom guitarist Neal Schon discovered singing “Faithfully” on YouTube. www.ticketmaster.com

2 WPEG Summerfest

5:30 p.m. Saturday, Cricket Arena ($25)

R&B singer Mario and Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia join rapper Plies, crooners Lloyd and Yung Berg, raunchy Southerners Pretty Ricky and Philly's Jazmine Sullivan at this annual hip-hop radio festival. www.ticketmaster.com

3 Firstman Family Affair

7 p.m. Friday, Neighborhood Theatre ($12)

Charlotte native Joe Firstman (leader of the house band for “Last Call with Carson Daly”) returns for a hometown gig that shows the depth and range of his original songwriting. One of his songs appears on Jewel's new country disc. 704-358-9298.

4 Alina Simone

2 p.m. Sunday, Pura Vida Worldly Art (FREE)

On her new disc, the Ukrainian-born singer performs songs by Russia's answer to Patti Smith, Yanka Dyagileva. Imagine later Sinead O'Connor delving into Russian folk and rock with classically influenced melodies. 704-335-8587.

5 Transmission Fields

8 p.m. Thursday, Visulite ($5)

This Charlotte outfit writes great pop songs that are dreamy and catchy with footing in reverb-heavy shoegazer guitars, Matthew Sweet-meets-Superchunk-style alt-rock, and a dose of Southern twang. 704-358-9200.

6 Armin Van Buuren

9 p.m. Thursday, The Forum ($25/VIP $50)

One of the world's most accomplished and popular DJs, the Dutchman takes time out from globe-trotting gigs at the world's best clubs and biggest dance festivals and remixing others' tracks. www.groovetickets.com

7 Lee Boys

7 p.m. Wednesday, Double Door ($7 to $10)

Fresh from appearances at Bonnaroo and New Orleans Jazz Fest, this Floridian family band continues to bring the sacred steel tradition out of churches with rollicking live shows that merge soul, rock, country, gospel and hip-hop. 704-376-1446.

8 Mike Gordon

7 p.m. Thursday, Neighborhood Theatre ($20)

The former Phish bassist drops his new solo album, “The Green Sparrow,” on Tuesday. Full of feel-good grooves, it includes reunions with ex-Phishmates Page McConnell and Trey Anastasio. 704-358-9298.

9 Jordan Pruitt

6 p.m. Friday, Carowinds ($9.99 to $39.99)

You may remember the 17-year-old from the High School Musical and Cheetah Girls tours. Her teen dance-pop matures a bit on her upcoming disc, “Permission to Fly,” with R&B, hip-hop and reggae that emulates Paula DeAnda and Vanessa Hudgens. www.ticket master.com

10 Neil Hamburger

8 p.m. Sunday, Milestone ($8)

An occasional guest on Fox News' “Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld” who has been featured on www.tomgreen.com, this comedian/musician gives country music a shot on his new Drag City disc, “Sings Country Winners.” www.the milestoneclub.com

11 Kill Hannah/Medic Droid/ Innerparty System

6 p.m. Thursday, Tremont ($13 to $15)

The Chicago dark rockers count Jared Leto and Billy Corgan among their fans. The openers for this Hot Topic-sponsored tour combine punk and dance music. 704-343-9494.

12 Poprocket

11 p.m. Saturday, Snug Harbor ($5)

This long-standing indie pop trio features jangly guitars and the voice of regional music vet Jay Garrigan, who will open the show with his newly formed band of brothers, the adorably named Gee Bees. 704-333-9799.

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