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Stephanie Chen

The NCAA Final Four Championship is bringing more than just crowds and basketball to New Orleans this weekend. It’s bringing some of the biggest names in music for the NCAA Big Dance Concert Series, including headliners Jimmy Buffett, KISS and The Black Keys.

KISS, Friay’s headliner, embodies ’70s nostalgia. The band rose to prominence with its catchy songs, stylized personas and elaborate performances resembling an underworld rave on steroids. KISS is known as much for its outlandish, comic-book aesthetic as for its music. Known for hits like “Beth” and “Rock n Roll All Nite,” the band sets the stage for hard rock and glam metal with mass appeal, popularizing loud guitars and louder hooks that could fill arenas. Those whose love for the KISS glory days has been confined to karaoke bars can rejoice – after a rocky reunion, the band is working on a new album.

American garage rock and blues found a popular revival with The Black Keys, the project of guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. The duo began playing in their hometown of Akron, Ohio and built an underground fanbase. They accrued heavy financial losses touring until they agreed to have their music promoted in a Nissan commercial. With their 2010 Grammy-nominated album “Brothers,” produced by Danger Mouse, The Black Keys’ popularity skyrocketed, the band capturing audiences with their visceral hooks. For such a small band, the duo makes astonishingly powerful, seductive music – perhaps the reason why songs like “Tighten Up” and “Howlin’ For You” have become so ubiquitous. Their latest album, “El Camino,” was released earlier this year.

If there’s one thing lacking in the paradise of New Orleans springtime, that thing is cheeseburgers. Fear not – Jimmy Buffett promises to restore his vision of tropical eternity to the rest of the world on Sunday. Buffett wasn’t always an entrepreneur, however, with his Caribbean restaurants, beer and computer games. At the beginning of his career, he busked in New Orleans, lost gigs, divorced and made two wildly unsuccessful albums. Disappointed, he moved to Key West, Fla., where his time working on a fishing boat changed his life forever. He started recording the beach-bum classics that would define his career shortly after. He has since released more than forty albums featuring classics like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville,” music essential to any flower-shirted summer barbeque. Expect to see his fans, who call themselves “Parrotheads,” out in full force.

The NCAA Big Dance Concert Series will begin Friday in Woldenberg Park. Admission is free.