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Concert: Yngwie Malmsteen

By the end of the 1980s, a decade during which every real rock band had at least one insanely good lead guitarist, Yngwie Malmsteen had come to symbolize the triumph of style over substance. The Swedish-born classically trained guitarist was faster and more arrogant than his contemporaries — Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani among them — but the superlatives end there. During brief stints with metal bands Steeler and Alcatrazz, Mr. Malmsteen could be counted on to play a technically exhausting solo regardless of what the song called for. When Mr. Malmsteen started Rising Force as a showcase for his songwriting chops in 1984, he proved to be even worse at composing music than he had been at soloing over music written by other people. Yet while music critics hated or ignored him, young guitarists were awestruck, and Mr. Malmsteen’s lightning-fast arpeggios became a benchmark for aspiring ax-slingers. Despite his fretboard excess, or rather because of it, seeing him live is still a real treat. Mr. Malmsteen packs the stage with amps, sports age-defying tight leather pants and throws his guitar around like a rag doll. If you like watching people walk on hot coals, eat weird insects or scramble through punishing obstacle courses, you’ll enjoy watching and hearing Mr. Malmsteen do his thing.

Oct. 15 at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

Phone: 301/960-9999


Musical performance: ‘Peter and the Wolf’

One of the joys of entering middle school is the trip to the school band room, where youngsters get a chance to see the instruments that are available for them to honk and squawk on for the next few years. But would-be virtuosos also need to see what those instruments can do in more experienced hands. The Kennedy Center’s presentation of “Peter and the Wolf” provides both. Families that show up before the performance can take their children on a hands-on tour of the orchestra pit. (The Kennedy Center calls it a “petting zoo.”) Once the performance starts, they can delight in seeing some of the finest musicians in the world paired live with Suzie Templeton’s Oscar-winning stop-motion movie.

Oct. 16 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW.

Phone: 202/467-4600