Tinariwen In case the headlining Mali musicians—who specialize in hypnotic desert-rock and bring it to the stage wearing traditional West African robes and headdresses—weren’t compelling enough, the Bunkhouse recently booked Giant Sand frontman Howe Gelb to open the show. File under: Never before in Vegas. And probably never again. October 21, 9 p.m., $18-$23.
Nas There are few hip-hop albums more fit for front-to-back live presentation than Illmatic, the 20-year-old masterwork being celebrated onstage by the New York rapper. October 17, 9 p.m., $32, Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool.
Marsalis Well-Tempered The saxophone was invented a century after the Baroque period ended, but that won’t stop Grammy-winning saxophonist (and former Tonight Show bandleader) Branford Marsalis from playing a program of Vivaldi, Bach and Handel with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. October 18, 8 p.m., $25-$75, UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall.
SBTRKT Left-of-center musicians typically make their Vegas debuts during April’s Coachella overlap. This British bass/soul act first local date couldn’t be further from that live music bonanza, which is good—the man born Aaron Jerome won’t be overshadowed. With Goldlink, King. October 18, 9 p.m., $20, House of Blues.
Rope The play that became one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most artistically complex films (despite its simplicity) returns to the stage. Watch how a young gay (and casually homicidal) couple struggles to keep a big secret during a party. Through October 26, times vary, $15-$20, Onyx Theatre.
Grateful Dead Trivia Donna’s first show? Last setlist to feature “St. Stephen”? Volumes of Dick’s Picks? If you have an inkling what any of that means, this free, all-ages event—hosted by Dead “trivia master” Howard Rachelson—should be right up your shakedown street. October 18, 1 p.m., Brooklyn Bowl.
Ill-Humored Anna Tillett’s detailed acrylic paintings of social archetypes, rendered in ice-cream treat formations, are funny, mesmerizing, technically superb and jaw-droppingly excellent. Through October 31, Trifecta Gallery.