It’s almost quaint to think about now, but downtown Raleigh used to be a dead zone almost every night. In those late-1990s years when Fayetteville Street was a pedestrian mall, there just wasn’t much reason to go downtown after dark. But that started to change in 1999, when two new downtown nightspots opened: Lakeside Lounge and Kings Barcade, both offering good live music in hangout-friendly settings. Both clubs have gone through some changes since then, including a three-year hiatus for Kings when the original McDowell Street location was torn down. But the Lakeside’s space at 227 S. Wilmington St. is still a club, although these days it’s known as Slim’s – and it’s marking its 15-year anniversary. Festivities include Gross Ghost and American Aquarium on Friday, and Enemy Waves plus amply cool special guests on Saturday. See slimsraleigh.com for details.
• It’s pretty incredible that the Zombies are still at it and still great 50 years on, but they are all of the above and coming back to Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle Friday, with Wilco’s Pat Sansone opening.
• Record Store Day is Saturday, and Schoolkids’ new Mission Valley location in Raleigh has Chatham County Line, Dexter Romweber and Tonk playing live. Thursday brings Bruce Springsteen to PNC Arena for his first Raleigh show in more than a decade.