Jay-Z plays American Airlines Center on Tuesday night.
Jay-Z plays American Airlines Center on Tuesday night.
Debby Wong/Shutterstock

The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Jay-Z, The Shins, Index Fest and More

With this week's lineup, it may be hard to decide which show(s) to spend your money on. But any way you choose, you'll be in for a treat. Jay-Z starts us off with a stop through town in support of his latest album, 4:44, and Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett team up for a co-headlining tour to start off the weekend. Index Fest, Ariel Pink and more will follow.

Jay-Z
8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., ticketmaster.com, $34 and up

Jay-Z’s on the comeback trail. After 2013’s dismal Magna Carta Holy Grail, longtime fans were left with little hope the Jay-Z they once knew would ever return. His armor had been cracked; the facade of money and fame he held together for decades had split apart. Beyonce’s Lemonade further damaged the emcee’s reputation, painting him as a conniving cheat of a husband. But Jay-Z has found a way back: honesty. His recent LP, 4:44, is a masterful return to form that functions like a career retrospective. It looks back at the arc of his career, and it lays bare his failings as both a husband and a role model. The LP, wrapped in dusty, soulful beats, is the best rapping we’ve seen from the artist in some time. The “hova” of rap is back at his sharpest, and he’s rolling through our city. This is a rare thing — don’t miss out. Jonathan Patrick

Thrice and Circa Survive
7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or thebombfactory.com, $47-$190

For the third stop on Thrice and Circa Survive's co-headlining tour this fall, they swing through the Bomb Factory for a night of post-hardcore goodness. After a two-year hiatus, California-based Thrice reunited in 2015. This tour supports its latest album, 2016's To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere. Circa Survive released its sixth full-length studio album, The Amulet, in September. Diamond Victoria

Fall Out Boy
With blackbear and Jaden Smith, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., ticketmaster.com, $30 and up

Despite pushing back its upcoming seventh studio album, Mania, pioneer pop-punk group Fall Out Boy is making sure the show goes on. It’s evolved quite a bit since regrouping in 2013 after a two-year hiatus. Its sound has gotten somehow bigger while eschewing some of the hardcore-punk influences that characterized earlier fan favorite albums From Under a Cork Tree and Infinity on High. Fall Out Boy’s later tracks take on a more modern, dance-pop sound, adding horns and drum machines for diversity. Up-and-coming rapper-producer Matthew Musto (aka blackbear) and Jaden Smith are along for the ride on this tour, which benefits the charitable Fall Out Boy Fund and Hurricane Harvey relief. Nicholas Bostick

Willie Nelson and Friends
9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 817-624-7117 or billybobstexas.com, $20 and up

Legends don’t come much bigger than Willie Nelson. As an actor, musician and activist, Nelson has had an incalculable footprint on both popular culture and the arts. His pioneering image of an outsider rethinking country music’s tradition and forms — welcoming the influences of jazz, rock and liberal politics — has changed the course of country music forever, helping to usher in a new wave of progressive singer-songwriters (such as Sturgill Simpson) who are much more willing to experiment with genre boundaries. Every time Nelson swings through Dallas, he brings a little extra enthusiasm with him. Texas is his home, after all — he was born here, he recorded his best effort, Red Headed Stranger, in Dallas, and he experienced his first arrest for marijuana in our city (sorry, Willie). Perhaps that’s why Nelson has provided Dallas with two dates this time around — that’s two chances for you to catch the icon live. And let’s not kid ourselves: As Nelson creeps past 84 years of age, the window for finally seeing the man, myth and legend in the flesh is slowly shrinking. Jonathan Patrick

The Shins
With Baio, 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2853 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $51-$113

The original Shins lineup broke up a while ago, but James Mercer is still keeping the brand name alive. Fans don't mind; they continue to flock to large venues for his layered pop rock and high-reaching vocals. Lately, Mercer and his bandmates — some have been with him most of this decade while others joined a couple of years ago — have been playing almost 20 songs a show. And longtime fans who want to hear songs from Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow shouldn’t worry. The band's been mixing a few songs from those in with songs from its newest release, Heartworms. Eric Grubbs

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane, 214-768-3139 or smu.edu/mcfarlin, $36-$41

Although they live on opposite sides of the globe, Kurt Vile, a lanky, mumbling Philadelphian, and Courtney Barnett, a reserved Australian rocker, make a perfect musical match. On their debut collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice, their jangly guitar chords intertwine and their call-and-response vocals effortlessly weave together. It’s one of the year’s best albums from two of today's best players, and a great primer for Friday’s show. They’re sure to play a lot of their joint material, as well as a good selection of tunes from their independent catalogs. Jeff Strowe

Grizzly Bear
8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., cantonhalltx.com, $42.50

Deep Ellum's Canton Hall is quietly making a name for itself among Dallas' larger general admission venues. In addition to serving as a core location for Oaktopia 2017, it will host a show Nov. 11 by the Brooklyn indie group Grizzly Bear. The band was scheduled to be in Texas for the recently canceled Sound on Sound Fest and has quickly scheduled a couple of standalone shows in its place. Jeff Strowe

Index Fest
With Big Boi, Cherub, J Roddy Walston & The Business, Langhorne Slim & The Law, and more, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Fair Park, 1121 First Ave., indexfest.com, $25-$109

If you’re a beer lover and a music lover, chances are you went to Index Fest when it was billed as Untapped Festival. The rebranded festival still offers craft beer from brewers including Lakewood Brewing, Karbach Brewing and Revolver Brewing, as well as top and emerging music acts such as Big Boi, Cherub and Langhorne Slim & The Law. The range of beers and genres ensures there’s something for everyone. Mikel Galicia

Ariel Pink
With Bite Marx, 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $21.75

Ariel Rosenberg is the forefather of chillwave, but after he signed on with 4AD, the lo-fi sound of his early work as Ariel Pink began to slip into the background. September’s release changed that. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a return to form for Pink. The album is named for a cult-favorite singer from the ’60s who died in 2015 and whose music is enjoying a second surge of popularity thanks to YouTube. Tracks like “Another Weekend” and Bobby Jameson’s title track evoke images of driving through the desert at sunset. Pink’s melodies can be eccentric, and some critics say he suffers from a lack of focus, but he proves that pop music can be more than popcorn. Nick Bostick

Snow Tha Product
With AJ Hernz, Castro Escobar, 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or gilleysdallas.com, $21-$60

Mexican-American emcee Snow Tha Product (Claudia Feliciano) raps with a lean, bouncy delivery. There are no extraneous maneuvers in her raps; rather, she glides with an effortless cool through her bars, sounding at once immensely confident and touchingly emotive. Her beats tend to skew toward party anthem — EDM electronics buckled together with trap percussion — but there’s an undeniable intimacy to her lyrics, which often read like diary meditations. Take, for example, “Immigrants,” a powerful cut from last year’s The Hamilton Mixtape, an album inspired by the award-winning musical. The music is brooding, with booming bass and dark tones. But Snow Tha Product’s verses are well measured and moving, a stream of thoughts focused on racism, our broken immigration system and the marginalization of minority artists in mainstream music. Snow Tha Product is a reminder of rap’s unique ability to empower its listeners, to move minds as much as bodies. Jonathan Patrick

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