1) The War on Drugs were 2014’s critical darlings, with their third album, Lost in the Dream, topping many end-of-the-year best-of lists. Listeners have taken note—this Philadelphia indie rock band is now filling larger venues, like Stage AE. The group’s songs are long, slow burns, conjuring images of flattened vistas, and harking back to artists like The Waterboys and Bruce Springsteen. Synthesizers and horns, plus the occasional “woo!” from Adam Granduciel, assist in the ambiance. No new album is in the works just yet. More like the rest of the world is still catching up to Lost in the Dream. The band recently played both “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and will play Lollapalooza later this summer. The Everymen open. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.
2) Entourage — For those of you who wish the good times never ended, all your favorite bad boys from the HBO TV series are back: Adrien Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and, of course, Jeremy Piven. And why have they returned after 14 years? Well, it would be churlish to mention that most of them haven’t worked since … because Piven has. He’s currently playing the title character in the British period soap opera “Mr. Selfridge.” In 2008 he tried his hand at Broadway when he appeared in David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. Piven walked out of the show midway through claiming he had mercury poisoning from eating too much sushi. Mamet remarked that Piven was leaving “to pursue a career as a thermometer.”
But as Shakespeare said, “what’s past is prologue,” and Piven returns as Ari Gold (a character based on Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel, brother of Rahm, currently Chicago major and former Obama Chief of Staff). In the “Entourage” TV show, Gold represented hot movie star Vincent Chase, played by Grenier and based on Marky Mark. Now Gold’s a studio executive bankrolling Chase’s directorial debut. There’s a ton of cameo appearances including Tom Brady, Gary Busey, Andrew Dice Clay, Kelsey Grammer, Piers Morgan, and Mark (no longer Marky) Wahlberg. It’s like the world’s most expensive 12 Step meeting. Check Fandango for screens and times.
3) Love & Mercy — In 1965, Beach Boys songwriter and producer Brian Wilson had just released the album Pet Sounds and was starting to work on the follow up Smile. Unfortunately, Wilson began to experience increasingly alarming mental health issues which turned into several nervous breakdowns. Eventually the Wilson family hired therapist Eugene Landy; the arrangement almost destroyed Wilson and saw Landy having his license revoked and barred from ever contacting Wilson again. Bill Pohlad directs this version of the Wilson and Landry story. Paul Dano plays Wilson as a young man, John Cusak plays the older Wilson, Paul Giamatti is Landy, and Elizabeth Banks is Wilson’s girlfriend. The screenplay is by Oren Moverman and Michael A. Lerner and the film was made with Wilson’s cooperation. Check Fandango for screens and times.