Depeche Mode plays Starplex Friday.
Depeche Mode plays Starplex Friday.
courtesy the artist

Best Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend

Friday
Before Nine Inch Nails, Muse or even Marilyn Manson, there was Depeche Mode. A pioneer in popularizing electronic music, the English band peaked in the 1980s, offering a musical alternative to the exhausted bubblegum pop of Top 40 hits. The band has released 14 studio albums since its conception 37 years ago, including this year's Spirit. Besides the trio's musical accomplishments, its almost 20 world tours are proof that the members know how to own the stage with exceptional performances. Starplex Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 7:30 p.m., $35.50-$135.50, dallaspavilion.org. — Diamond Victoria

Long before the advent of televised entertainment, poets were the real rock stars of their day. They used the excesses of their vices to explore the hidden meanings of human existence. They were the artists who had groupies and scads of voracious followers turning out for their poetry readings and slam sessions. Help elevate poetry to its classic, rock stardom roots by cheering for your favorites at Laugh Tracks and Finger Snaps: The Sketch City Edition and Impromptu Poetry Slam at 8 p.m. Friday at the Heroes Lounge, 7402 Greenville Ave. The evening will include live performances by comedians Quenton Q. Coleman and C.J. Starr and live poetry writing and recitation competitions for cash and a qualifying spot at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2018. Tickets are $10. Visit thedallaspoetryslam.com for more information. Heroes Lounge, 7402 Greenville Ave., 8 p.m., $10, thedallaspoetryslam.com. – Danny Gallagher

Gothic, inky-dark and all atmosphere, the shadowy trenches of alt-R&B are a haunted realm of narcotic nightmares and deep, unquenchable longing. Built from hip, minimal beat programming and gunmetal textures, Banks’ music lands firmly in this school, but her aggressive, cartoonish take on the style is artificial and disingenuous. Or is it? Is the California-bred artist biting the sticky club visions of Drake or the Weeknd’s unnerving cynicism? Is she flirting with satire? Is the approach self-aware — does it matter? Her voice is forced, uneven, yet Banks seems to relish in her vocals’ frayed, searching quality. It’s not a traditionally beautiful voice, nor a particularly well-purposed one, but it’s unlike any other in pop or R&B, unique for its odd combination of unabashed cliché with messy cadences and a raw, slapdash delivery. If you called Banks’ art avant garde, you’d be right. If you called it vapid radio fodder, you'd be right, too. In truth, Banks' music lies somewhere in between, just off to the side of both tasteful and accessible. At times, that sounds like a really fascinating and fun space. South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 8:30 p.m. Friday, $27.50 and up, axs.com. — Jonathan Patrick

Chamber Music International, which brings cherished classical pieces to DFW via world-class virtuosos, opens its 32nd season with a deep, Romantic-centric program including Beethoven’s String Trio in G Major, Chopin’s Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor, and Dvorák’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major. With an impressive collection of artists — violinist Andrés Cárdenes, pianist Jeanne Kierman, cellist Norman Fischer and violist Paul Coletti — Chamber Music International looks to kick off the year in fine form. The first performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Richardson’s St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church, 1220 W. Belt Line Road; the second starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Dallas’ Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets are $10 for students, $35 for seniors and $40 for everyone else. For more information, visit chambermusicinternational.org. Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $10-$40, chambermusicinternational.org. — Jonathan Patrick

It’s time for the 2017 Greek Food Festival of Dallas, and if stomachs aren’t already rumbling, they should be. The festival runs noon to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 13555 Hillcrest Road. It will offer delicious Greek classics for purchase along with cooking demonstrations of baklava, pastitsio, spanakopita, dolmas and more. Greek band Thymios will provide festival music, and the Holy Trinity Hellenic Dancers will perform traditional Greek dancing. Tickets are $6 for people ages 13 and older, and food tickets are 10 for $10. Visit greekfestivalofdallas.com for schedules and more details. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 13555 Hillcrest Road, Friday-Sunday, $6, greekfestivalofdallas.com. — Merritt Martin

When did magic stop being so magical? It’s transformed from an art of illusion into an endurance test in which the magician sits in a suspended box for 48 hours just so he or she can jump out at the end and yell “tada!" If you’re interested in seeing a magician who can actually do magic, then Piff the Magic Dragon’s upcoming shows at the Addison Improv should be on your calendar. This magical dragon always carries a stone face, a fiery cough and an adorable dragon/dog called Mr. Piffles, and he can do real, impressive magic. He can make cards appear in places you’d never expect. See this fire-breathing star of America’s Got Talent and Penn & Teller: Fool Us at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road. Tickets are $25 for general admission, and VIP tickets to Piff’s Private Party are $50. They’re available at improvaddison.com. Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, Friday-Sunday, $25, improvaddison.com. — Danny Gallagher

Celebrate 38 years of ballooning in Plano at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival, a three-day event starting at 4 p.m. Friday at Oak Point Park, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway. Closing time is 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Pick your favorite balloon shape and climb aboard Tomcat, Annie Ladybug or High Kitty for a chance to look down on Plano and at those of us who prefer gazing up instead of down. Launchings are at 6 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On the ground, enjoy a kids' fun zone, fireworks, skydivers, music concerts and food galore. Admission is $4 for seniors, free for kids up to 36 inches tall and $5 for everyone else. For a complete schedule, visit planoballoonfest.org or facebook.com/planoballoon. Oak Point Park, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Friday-Sunday, $5, planoballonfest.org. — Reba Liner

The Plano Balloon festival will be a pretty sight over Oak Point Park this weekend.EXPAND
The Plano Balloon festival will be a pretty sight over Oak Point Park this weekend.
Shutterstock/ liseykina

Saturday
Two trends that have proven they aren’t just trends because they haven’t gone anywhere since each became a “thing”: succulents and pumpkin spice. Learn how to give your seasonal décor some spice in the Pumpkins with Pizzazz class from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. All supplies are provided as you learn how to adorn a full-size pumpkin with living accessories, giving it a crown of autumnal splendor to last the whole season. Spaces will go fast, and advance registration is required. The class is $50 for general admission and $40 for Texas Discovery Gardens members. Register at txdg.org. Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 10 a.m.-noon, $50, txdg.org. — Merritt Martin

Representing the continuation of the Muscle Shoals legacy, former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell and his band the 400 Unit are proof that regional influences still have a role in modern music. Isbell takes deep pride in his northern Alabama upbringing, but his latest album The Nashville Sound celebrates the city he adopted six years ago. The album, of course, features Isbell’s characteristic autobiographical lyrics, but it takes a step further and explores deeper cultural divides alongside his personal demons. Powerful tracks off the new album, such as “White Man’s World” and “Last of my Kind,” illustrate the growth Isbell has made during his five years in Tennessee. This is the second leg of the tour for The Nashville Sound, which went through Austin in July, and Dallas is the only Texas show this side of summer. Fans can expect the band to explore more than just the new material for this show. Isbell likely to play some covers, deep cuts and tracks from his time with Drive-By Truckers. Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 8 p.m., $45-$65, thebombfactory.com. — Nicholas Bostick

Vibrant oceanic art glass plays alongside bright, acrylic, large-scale paintings at LMB Art Glass, 1644 Irving Blvd., during its Convergence show featuring contemporary glass artist Cathy Shepherd and abstract artist Daniel Padilla. Both artists explore vast arrays of color, allowing bold hues to bounce playfully off each other while creating beautiful dissonance. Shepherd’s use of turquoise, pink, green and orange is the result of her time spent in several tropical areas of the world, and her nature-inspired work embraces a multitude of textures and dimensions. Padilla’s paintings are centralized and scattered at once, from long, thoughtful brushstrokes to marblelike finishes. Catch the opening of Convergence at 5 p.m. Saturday. More information about the free event can be found at lmbartglass.com. LMB Art Glass, 1644 Irving Blvd., 5 p.m., free, lmbartglass.com. — Diamond Victoria

Long after its major label ties ended, Against Me! keeps churning out punk-charged rock for large audiences. The four-piece has many great tunes in its canon, but right now the band is promoting last year's Shape Shift With Me. Lately, Against Me! is also playing a lot of tunes from its debut LP, Reinventing Axl Rose, with some other favorites sprinkled in. Against Me! is still one of the most vital punk bands around; it makes you feel truly alive when you sing along. Also make sure to check out opener the Dirty Nil, a trio that fits together the Replacements, glam rock and pop-punk quite well. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 9 p.m., $24, granadatheater.com. — Eric Grubbs

For some, slapdash morning makeup routines, coffee-stained sweaters and chipped nail polish are not options when getting ready to head out the door. The prim, proper and pretty don’t just take personal grooming seriously, but consider it a state of mind. Sometimes, it’s even their jobs. Thanks to YouTube, social media outlets and television, fashion, reality TV and cosmetic industry pros have cornered the market on at-home makeup tutorials, fashion queues and DIY spa treatments, even peppering in relationship advice, to the amazement of millions of viewers. If sharpening your grooming skills, meeting social media celebrities and learning how to create a tutorial channel pique your interest, StyleCon is the place to be. Catch up with Real Housewives of Dallas’ Tiffany Hendra, YouTube style sensation Jeanine Amapola, The Bachelor winner Catherine Giudici Lowe and others for a daylong celebration of all things stylish. The convention runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave. Tickets start at $39, and each includes a StyleTote filled with products from several hair and makeup companies. VIP tickets are $79 and $149 and include more deluxe giveaways. For more information, visit stylecon.com. Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, $39 and up, stylecon.com. — Diamond Victoria

Sunday
If Halloween can’t come fast enough for you, we suggest you dive headfirst into the abyss with the Endless Night Vampire Ball hosted by The Church Dallas and Father Sebastiaan. Masquerade in your most sinister goth gear and make a night of it from 9 p.m. Sunday to 4 a.m. Monday at the Lizard Lounge, 2424 Swiss Ave. Winners of the best-dressed costume contest will receive two VIP tickets to the New Orleans Vampire Ball and will live in infamy. Admission is $10 for people older than 21 and $15 for those younger; visit thechurchdallas.com for more information. The Church, 2424 Swiss Ave., 9 p.m.-4 a.m., $10, thechurchdallas.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Chris Isaak was the Roy Orbison of the 1990s, not only for his '50s-style chops and aesthetic, but also for his vocal falsetto in songs that pluck at the heartstrings big time. He's released 12 studio albums; the latest is 2015's First Comes the Night. Isaak hasn't only stayed within the singer songwriter realm, though. He and friend David Lynch have worked together on numerous soundtracks, which gave Isaak his big role in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., 8 p.m., $39.50-$99.50, pavilionimf.com, $39.50-$99.50. — Diamond Victoria

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