Critic's Pick Release Date: 2011-05-18

If Wednesday's Josh Groban concert didn't drain your easy listening allowance, then give it up for Yanni! Born Yiànnis Hrysomàllis, this “contemporary instrumental” (not New Age) artist launched into mega-stardom in 1994 with the release of Yanni: Live at the Acropolis, an album and subsequent video that has been seen by half a billion people in 65 countries. It generated $14 million for the Public Broadcasting Service, and is surpassed only by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in terms of music video sales. The Mediterranean ladies’ man has stacked up 35 platinum and gold albums and is an even bigger box office draw than Elton John or Aerosmith. But calming orchestrations inspired by moonlit fishing villages and the like are not everyone’s cup of tea. NoYo, the online “No Yanni Organization” believes Yanni’s music is “evil” and that he’s a menace to society. And then there are the disgruntled watermelon farmers in India who allegedly threatened to set themselves on fire when they were displaced to make way for Yanni’s Tribute concert (according to Yanni, the farmers denied the reports when he met them for tea). Scandal and mockery aside, his music speaks to a huge, faithful (and largely female) following — and many claim it’s helped them through the most trying of times. $45-$85, 7:30pm, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com; yanni.com.

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