By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
Chris Tomlin should be a household name by now.
He’s been recording albums since 1999, sold millions of albums, headlined stadiums, won a Grammy and topped the Billboard 200 as recently as January.
And yet, it’s a safe bet that the average radio listener doesn’t recognize Tomlin’s name.
Chalk that up to the fact he sings contemporary Christian music, a style that doesn’t exactly make its way onto Top 40 radio, even as it does draw a loyal — perhaps devout is a better word — following.
Tomlin, who will headline KeyArena at 7 p.m. Saturday, has seen his popularity grow by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Songs like “How Great Is Our God” get sung in churches on a weekly basis and draw fans to his shows.
The singer is now touring behind his January album, that aforementioned chart-topper, “Burning Lights,” another collection of earnest Christian music.
Tickets are $38.08 to $50.40 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Prince, meanwhile, will wrap up a two-night stand at a much smaller venue with a pair of sold-out shows.
The famed singer of “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry” has headlined KeyArena, but on his current tour, he’s only playing small venues.
He’ll hit the stage at the Showbox at the Market for shows at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday.Tickets are sold-out but can be found at a mark-up at stubhub.com.
London-based singer James Blake also is on the road and will headline the Neptune Theatre at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Blake lit up the blogs with his critically adored blend of soul, electronica and dub step. His self-titled debut album garnered rapturous reviews and a nomination for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Mercury Prize.
He’s now touring behind his sophomore effort, “Overgrown,” which found him teaming with legendary producer Brian Eno, a man best known for crafting some of U2’s and Coldplay’s biggest hits.
Tickets are $30 at stgpresents.org or 877-784-4849.
The Neptune Theatre also will host Rodriguez, as the Detroit folk singer continues his unlikely comeback with a show at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Rodriguez released two albums in the early 1970s that flopped commercially but became huge hits in South Africa, where his music was considered on par with the work of Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
A documentary crew decided to hunt down the singer. The resulting movie, “Searching for Sugar Man,” won an Oscar this year and fueled interest in the singer.
Tickets are $25 at stgpresents.org or 877-784-4849.
Purity Ring also is hitting the Neptune Theatre, playing a show at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The Canadian indie rock group specializes in electronica, gaining instant traction with its buzzed about debut, “Shrines,” which hit No. 32 on the Billboard 200.
Tickets are $21.50 at stgpresents.org or 877-784-4849.
Finally, Dark Star Orchestra will play the Showbox at the Market at 9 p.m. Saturday.
A Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra has made a name for itself by not only covering the Dead’s music, but by playing the actual set lists of the famous jam band. In other words, they don’t just cover songs, they cover entire concerts.
Tickets are $25 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.