Machine Gun Kelly is the same tatted Clevelander who graced the cover of “XXL” in 2012 as part of a “freshman class” of rappers that featured Future and Macklemore, but these days, the song does not remain the same. After flirting with rap-rock on 2019 album “Hotel Diablo,” MGK took the full plunge into pop-punk nostalgia with 2020’s “Tickets to My Downfall” and this year’s “Mainstream Sellout.” The midcareer crisis isn’t unprecedented, and it hits after a wave of emo-inspired SoundCloud rappers and amid a revival of pop-punk powered by his buddy/producer Travis Barker. While the Blink-182 drummer won’t be at this stop, MGK will be joined by Hot Topic queen Avril Lavigne, who’s enjoying a victory lap two decades since breaking through with the surprisingly durable hits “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi.” June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. capitalonearena.com. $29.50-$149.50.
With the “Sunlight/Sunlight!” tour, Corinne Bailey Rae is making her first solo U.S. headlining run in more than five years. The tour name could be a nod to a hymn that speaks to the soul-nourishing music the Leeds-born singer-songwriter has been making for years: “Sunlight, sunlight in my soul today / Sunlight, sunlight all along the way.” That’s a motto that rings true across her albums, from her star-making debut to the gently weeping “The Sea” to the often dance-floor-ready “The Heart Speaks in Whispers.” “Those love feelings that lift you up and put you outside of time … they inform a lot of my songwriting,” she told Forbes. “That feeling of just being lost in it, outside of this moment and in the eternal.” June 25 at 8 p.m. at Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. thelincolndc.com. Sold out.
When Purity Ring notched buzz band status a decade ago, the duo of singer Megan James and producer Corin Roddick sidestepped questions about genre by branding themselves with the intentionally vague and ambiguous tag “future pop.” The future is what you make it, and for James and Roddick, that means dreamy, twitchy electronic pop full of scintillating synthesizers, orchestral swells, dubstep-inspired drum clatter and James’s vocals, which juxtapose baby-doll tones with lyrics that focus on the corporeal and the macabre. Finally hitting the road for a twice-rescheduled tour in support of 2020’s “Womb,” the pair has been covering Deftones’ violent nu-metal anthem “Knife Prty” and Alice Deejay’s trance classic “Better Off Alone” — bringing together two points in the past to spawn a darker, weirder future. June 29-30 at 7 p.m. (doors open) at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 930.com. $36. June 29 show sold out.