R. Kelly is the kind of talent one would expect from a concert billed as Fresno Soul Fest.
The guy is an R&B legend and Grammy-winning songwriter/producer who, back in the 1990s, racked up more Top 40 hits than any other male solo artist for the decade with songs like “Bump N’ Grind,” “Your Body’s Callin” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” More recently, he’s collaborated with the likes of Jay Z (“Fiesta”), Lady Gaga (“Do What U Want”), Justin Bieber (“PYD”) and Bruno Mars (“Gorilla” remix). Kelly’s hip-hop opera “Trapped in the Closet” was a cult hit when it was first released in 2005.
Here, Kelly will be joined by Michel’le Toussant, the so-called first lady of West Coast rap. Known for her baby squeak of a voice, Michel’le was discovered by (and briefly dated) Dr. Dre and was signed to both Ruthless Records and Suge Knight’s Death Row Records. Her life was depicted in the Lifetime movie “Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Me,” last year.
The event: Fresno’s underground arts scene will be on full display (pun intended) during this benefit for the Arthouse.
The draw: Before it closed down in January, the Arthouse studio and collective had been a favorite for young artists and scenesters. The studio, which occupied a 1920s industrial sector warehouse in downtown Fresno, fell under increased scrutiny after the Oakland Ghost Ship fire in December.
That community is now showing its support for Arthouse by raising money to help re-establish the collective and offset any costs associated with closing the studio. There will be a silent auction (for those interested in scoring some local art), plus performances from DJ Black Aesop and the punk band Clovis Rodeo.
Details: 5 p.m. Saturday. Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., 745 Fulton St. Free. All ages. Facebook: Fresno Underground Art
The draw: This event is ideal for those who see facial hair as a major personal fashion statement and know the difference between a Verdi, a Garibaldi and an Alaskan whaler. Drawing the bearded and moustachioed from across the state, the competition includes 10 categories – including natural mustache, styled mustache, natural full beard (both over and under 12 inches), partial beard, goatee and freestyle.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Marjaree Mason Center.
Beatles vs. Stones
The event: It’s a Beatles vs. Stones onstage battle and mash-up, featuring tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction.
The draw: This touring show looks to answer what may be the greatest debate in rock history. Expect costume changes from each band as they play back and forth through the hits (“I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Paint it Black,” “Ruby Tuesday”) before a mega-jam finale of ‘“Daytripper” and “Satisfaction.”
The tour makes central San Joaquin Valley stops on Wednesday and Thursday.
Details: 7 p.m., Wednesday. Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St. $15-$18. 559-412-7400, www.fulton55.com; 8 p.m., Thursday. Cellar Door, 101 W. Main St., Visalia. $15-$18. 559-636-9463, www.snvfoundation.org