Friday, Sept. 21
Elton John at Capital One Arena: The legendary singer-pianist has been making music for more than 50 years and is embarking on one final whirlwind tour of 300-plus shows on five continents that extends until 2021 and is fittingly titled “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.” John will perform a career-spanning set of his endearing hits over two nights. Through Saturday. 8 p.m. both nights. Sold out.
Bad Moves at Black Cat: Bad Moves has four members but no frontman. The D.C.-based band divvies up the instruments as you’d expect — guitar, bass, drums — but they all share the microphone, letting each member (Emma Cleveland, David Combs, Katie Park and Daoud Tyler-Ameen) voice part of a collective experience marked by childhood nostalgia, gentrification disgust and millennial malaise. The band’s take on infectious power-pop-punk-rock is particularly apt for figuring out how “the traps of [a] teenage plan” (“The Verge”) inform adult experiences. That kind of self-exploration continues on “Tell No One,” the band’s full-length debut, due out the same day as this show. 7:30 p.m. $10.
Gary Numan at 9:30 Club: With his icy, android approach to new wave and synth pop, Gary Numan pioneered a sound that helped set the tone of the ’80s and influenced a generation of synthesizer-armed pop and rock acts, including Nine Inch Nails. Although the 1979 classic “Cars” was his only hit, Numan has kept at it, hunting for ghosts in the machine and taking his machine-made music in industrial and orchestral directions. Now his influence has come full circle — to himself: Last year’s “Savage (Songs From a Broken World)” was a nihilistic, post-apocalyptic concept album — and a very Nine Inch Nails-ish one, at that. 6 p.m. $30.
Mothers at Songbyrd: Philadelphia’s Mothers is like a lot of us, bounding between anxiety and lethargy. Fronted by singer-songwriter Kristine Leschper, the artsy indie-folk act fragments its instrumentation into irregular bites that are tough to swallow with her haunting, uneasy vocals as a uniting factor. The result is inward-looking and personal, bounding between daydreams and nightmares. Or, as Leschper sings on “Baptist Trauma,” it’s music that “render[s] another ugly method into something thrilling.” Mothers is often difficult to decipher, but that oblique clue will have to do. 8 p.m. $15-$17.
Saturday, Sept. 22
Trillectro at Merriweather Post Pavilion: This local-born-and-bred festival has been going strong for six years and continues to bring the most interesting bill of artists of any local festival. R&B singer SZA and rapper Young Thug are just a couple of the many prominent headliners, alongside an appropriate amount of local flair, with rising Maryland artist Rico Nasty — among others — on deck to perform. Noon. $79-$199.
Museum Day at various area museums: Save some cash and learn something new at Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day, an annual event with more than 1,250 participating museums across the country. In the Washington area, museums including the Newseum, the National Building Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Phillips Collection, the Kreeger Museum and the Chesapeake Children’s Museum are waiving admission fees for the day. Head to the Smithsonian’s website to download a ticket that will cover you and a guest. Hours vary by museum. Free.
Joel Harrison, with Anthony Pirog, Jerome Harris and Jeremy “Bean” Clemons at Rhizome: Jazz guitarist Joel Harrison came of age in 1960s and ’70s Washington, but he never saw it as a place to build a career as an adventurous, progressive musician. Everywhere he’s gone, however, he’s taken the sounds of the city with him. “Growing up in that area allowed me access to a lot of different kinds of music,” says Harrison, 61, who’s now based in New York after stints in Boston and San Francisco. “Southern music traditions — old-time music, bluegrass, country — as well as jazz, R&B, funk and rock.” All of those appear to some degree in Free Country, a project Harrison began in 2003 as a means of filtering country and bluegrass compositions through a cutting-edge jazz sound and sensibility. 8 and 9:30 p.m. $20.
Wiener 500 at Yards Park: The most ridiculous and hilarious Oktoberfest tradition in D.C. is a series of races between more than 100 dachshunds (up to eight per heat), all broadcast live on a 17-foot video screen in Yards Park. But when you're not cheering on your favorite dog, entertainment includes a canine costume contest — which, unlike the races, is open to all breeds — and a beer garden, all in support of the Humane Rescue Alliance. 1 to 5 p.m. Free.
Clarendon Day: You may think of Clarendon only as the hot spot for party-minded 20-somethings — it was, after all, the local starting point for the Washington Capitals' never-ending Stanley Cup celebration. But this daytime festival is one of the highlights of the area street festival circuit and brings together the core community of a neighborhood that features great eats, including some of the best barbecue the area has to offer in Texas Jack’s, along with arts and crafts for sale and live musical performances throughout the day. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Sunday, Sept. 23
DC State Fair at Waterfront Metro station: You won’t find a midway with games or racing pigs at the District’s version of a state fair, but it is heavy on contests. There are competitions for knitting, double Dutch, pet costumes, the best amateur home brew and mumbo sauce along with many more opportunities to win a D.C. State Fair ribbon and bragging rights. (The “best bud” competition is back, with judges taking appearance and THC potency into consideration.) This year’s fair takes place at Southwest’s Waterfront Metro station, and entertainment includes a pet parade, cooking demos, and music and dance performances. Shop for gifts at a craft marketplace and try snacks from such local companies as Dangerously Delicious Pies, Whisked and Timber Pizza. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free.
MakeHER Mart at National Museum of Women in the Arts: Find the perfect gift for a friend or just treat yourself at the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ annual MakeHER Mart, a curated market featuring jewelry, clothing, pottery, bags and other accessories made by female artisans. Entry to the market is included with museum admission, so separate tickets are not required. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $10, $8 students and seniors.
D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild tiki competition and pig roast at Archipelago: Summer may end this weekend, but it’s always Hawaiian-shirt season at U Street tiki bar Archipelago. Eight cocktail pros from the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild, representing Quill, Beuchert’s Saloon and other drink destinations, are vying to craft the best original punch. The day starts at noon with a bloody mary competition and continues through Sunday Funday with a full pig roast and bottomless tiki-inspired drinks. You might want to go ahead and take Monday off now. Noon to 5 p.m. $60.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly and Michael J. West
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the name for Gary Numan's 2017 album. It is "Savage (Songs from a Broken World)." “Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)" was released in 2013.