Staff Pick: Pelican at Ace of Cups

Andy Downing

Pelican's instru-metal compositions often have a spacious, airy quality, but the long-running Chicago quartet opens its most recent live album, Live at Dunk!Fest 2016, by mining earth on “Dead Between the Walls,” a menacing blast of rumbling percussion and bruising-but-precise guitar riffage that sounds engineered to level entire city blocks.

Over the course of five studio albums and a half dozen EPs, Pelican has exhibited both brains and brawn, crafting long, multi-part metal suites (“Perpetual Dawn,” off the 2013 albumForever Becoming) and acoustic asides like the delicate “Winds With Hands,” off ofCity of Echoes, from 2007, which comes on like a lost cut from the “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” score. The band isn't much for brevity — songs regularly clock in at 10-plus minutes and sub-five-minute songs are roughly as rare as Cleveland Browns victories — but patience pays off on epics like “Red Ran Amber,” which feels tightly composed even as it stretches beyond 11 minutes.

Ace of Cups

8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11

2619 N. High St., Old North

ALSO PLAYING: Jaye Jayle, Pale Grey Lore