Some music dweebs still deride Coldplay as the height of blandness, but Coldplay fans know these folks just don’t get it. For most of the early 2000’s, the band was a hit machine, with about a half dozen ubiquitous singles, all of them mellow, dreamy earworms. It’s a sign of their continued popularity that they’ve still touring on their last album, released in 2015.
August 4, 7 p.m., Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Pl., Foxboro, $100-$4600, ticketmaster.com
North Carolina-based rapper J. Cole’s rise was relatively rapid—his 2007 mixtape “The Come Up” blew up, and soon enough he was signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation imprint. After well-received, back-to-back albums in 2013 and 2014, he dropped “4 Your Eyez Only” this past December, prompting both accolades and controversy—proof he’s truly arrived.
August 4, 8 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, $85-$850, ticketmaster.com
Each summer, Gospelfest at City Hall Plaza proves that Boston’s not quite as irreligious a city as it’s made out to be. The lineup for the 17th Gospelfest includes the Kingdom Builders, Margaret Holmes and the Gospel T’s, Mayor Walsh’s Community Gospel Choir and headliners Anthony Brown and group therAPy. The capitalized “AP” in “therapy” is an abbreviation for “answered prayers.”
August 6, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Plaza, Boston, free, boston.gov
Lowell’s Loading Dock Gallery elevates the humble pinned-on button to art status for this show, featuring one-inch buttons created by several local artists. The show will be up for most of August, but try to make it tonight for their special event, where you can buy a bag of six random buttons, and then haggle with your peers for your favorites.
Through August 27, 122 Western Ave., Lowell, free, theloadingdockgallery.com
REAL/IDEAL: Turning Utopia into Reality
There’s a lot of talk of dystopia lately—it’s ever-present in our fiction and it’s become a cheap joke about real life. But for this show curator David Guerra offers a pragmatic take on utopia, with more than a dozen artists providing meditations on the present and possible future in realms ranging from climate change to gender politics.
Through September 17, Mills Gallery, 551 Tremont St., Boston, free, bcaonline.org/visualarts/mills-gallery
Filmed in Boston, Kathryn Bigelow’s new historical drama depicts the catastrophic Detroit riots of 1967. The violence, precipitated by a police raid on an illegal bar, lasted five days, prompting the president to call in the National Guard. In the end, 43 people died, and nearly 1200 were wounded. Save for the Los Angeles riots in 1992, no subsequent American riot has matched the ferocity of Detroit.
Opens August 4, Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline, $13, coolidge.org
Inuit Stories: Four Films
This quartet of films made by and about Inuit people includes two by Zacharias Kanuk, “Searchers” and “Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner,” the first film made entirely in the Inuktitut language. Then there are two documentaries, “Angry Inuk,” which advocates for seal hunting, and “Circus without Borders,” about a pair of friends who hope to brighten their society with travelling a circus act.
August 5- 6, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, $11, mfa.org
Bodies and Choice
Nozama Dance Collective, with guest artists Evolve Dynamicz, Alive Dance Collective, Colleen Roddy and Dancers, Erica Nelson and Dancers and Mariah Rasmusse, present this evening-length meditation “on female empowerment and the female,” expressing the angst that comes with oppression and the threat of rights being reversed, as well as the joyful recognition that, as the old slogan went, “sisterhood is powerful.”
August 4-5, Green Street Studios, 185 Green St., Cambridge, $10-$20, nozamadancecollective.wordpress.com
ON TAP: 2017 Beantown Tapfest Faculty Showcase
The main event of the annual Beantown Tapfest gives audiences a chance to catch some of the greatest tap talent on offer. This year’s performers include Caleb Teicher & Co., Brenda Bufalino, Josh Hilberman, Sarah Reich, Jeannie Hill, Khalid Hill, Sean Fielder and Boston Tap Company, Ian Berg and Subject:Matter, plus Ryan P. Casey and Off Beat.
August 4, 6 p.m. and 8:30 pm., Boston University Dance Theater, 915 Comm. Ave., Boston, $36, beantowntap.brownpapertickets.com
This British feminist writer will discuss her latest book of essays, “Bitch Doctrine.” A fervent anti-capitalist, she’s been highly critical of liberal visions of gender equality. While others might deign it beneath them, Penny’s gotten up close and personal with the alt-right, even following a Milo Yiannopolous tour to find out what makes his acolytes tick—and it was stranger and sadder than you might think.
August 4, 7 p.m., Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, free, harvard.com
House of Irreverence
This event promises “a night of comedy, community and debauchery,” hopefully in that order. In all seriousness, it’s as much a party as an actual performance. There’s improv, including a segment centering on a power point presentation, chosen by the audience and presented by someone who’s never seen it. And later in the night, there’s a very dirty drinking game.
August 4, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., The Dante Club, 5 Dante Terrace, Somerville, $10, eventbrite.com
SomerStreets returns with live local music from indie poppers Parks, Dana Osterling of the alt-country band CIVIC, the protest brass of the School of HONK, the ukulele-slinging Melvern Taylor and the psychedelic Ship of the Sun. There are lawn games including water balloon dodge ball, a 90-foot obstacle course water slide for all ages and a lot more.
August 6, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Holland St. between Davis Square and Teele Square, Somerville, free, somervilleartscouncil.org/somerstreets