An act definitely at the "gangster" end of the hip-hop spectrum, the Game is touring his fourth album, The R.E.D. Album, and treats New Zealand fans to three shows - testament to his popularity here. Let's just hope his infamous tendency to create "beef" does not manifest and The Game plays nice.

The Game - Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland, August 12; Te Rauparaha Arena, Wellington, August 14; Sportsdrome, Rotorua, August 15



There's a party, a murder, an ex-con on the run and a missing girl all crammed into The Keeper, a one-act play at Takapuna's PumpHouse Theatre. Starring local actors Rob Owens, Pete Coates and Tom Easden, and written by Steven Snell, it won the the George Fairfax Memorial Award 2005. It promises to be gripping theatre, examining the "dark and disturbing places of the male psyche".

The Keeper - PumpHouse, Takapuna, August 5-15


The latest production by Silo Theatre Company is Holding The Man, a play about an all-male boarding school in the 1970s. The lead character has a crush on the captain of the football team, in a time when that sort of behaviour was not exactly looked upon cheerily. Directed by Shane Bosher and starring Michelle Blundell, Alison Bruce, Charlie McDermott (pictured), Daniel Musgrove and Matt Whelan.

Holding The Man - The Herald Theatre, August 6-29


A supergroup of 15 musicians from some top Kiwi bands play one night only, this Saturday at the Auckland Town Hall. Led by drummer Riki Gooch, the groups includes Laughton Kora (Kora), Isaac Aesili, Chip Matthews and Julien Dyne (Opensouls), Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle, Fly My Pretties), Parks (Ladi 6), Ned Ngatae (Dimmer), Mike Fabulous (The Black Seeds, Fly My Pretties), Joe Lindsay and Toby Laing (Fat Freddy's Drop). Woah.

Eru Dangerspiel - Auckland Town Hall, 303 Queen St, Saturday, 8pm


Auckland-based hip-hop royalty King Kapisi takes his band up to the Mangawhai Tavern tomorrow night, then it's on to the Opononi Hotel for a gig this Saturday. Touring ahead of the release of forthcoming album, Hip-Hop Lives Here, Kapisi's guests on the dates include Tha Feelstyle, Matreiya and Scalpa. Kora played there a few months back with great success and now the Northland crew can enjoy some live Aotearoa hip-hop.

King Kapisi - Mangawhai Taven August 7; Opononi Hotel, August 8


Although trance DJ Tiesto is moving away from the sound on his new album, the genre still has a huge following Downunder. Proof of that is DJ Tydi, voted number one DJ in Australia, and headlining the Ministry Of Sound Trance Nation party in Auckland this Saturday. At Studio and Galatos you can also find the sounds of dubstep, house, electro and more, delivered by 40 local support DJs.

Ministry Of Sound: Trance Nation - Studio and Galatos, Auckland, August 8


There's big laughs at the TelstraClear Pacific stadium this weekend. The Laughing Samoans bring back their favourite characters on Friday night. Including skits from A Small Samoan Wedding, Old School, Off Work and Crack Me Off. Then on Saturday it's a new show. Prettyfull Woman follows Aunty Tala, who enters a beauty pageant and wins it - in her mind.

Laughing Samoans: The Best Of - TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, Manukau August 7, 8pm; Prettyfull Woman - Same place, August 8


A Little Bushman show is guaranteed to be a moving experience. They traverse the sounds of swamp rock and reggae, led by frontman Warren Maxwell of Trinity Roots and Fat Freddy's Drop fame. Aucklanders can catch them at the King's Arms on Friday and then they play the Leigh Sawmill Cafe on Saturday. Expect to hear tunes from their as yet unreleased new album.

Little Bushman - King's Arms, August 7; Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Leigh, August 8