Welcome to October, the month of pumpkins, hoodie weather and, duh, Halloween. To get this most festive month kicked off, let's take a look at some of the first week's best concerts, including Wilco, Crystal Castles and Lynyrd Skynyrd headlining the third annual Laid Back Fest.
Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions
10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 469-487-6149 or rbcdeepellum.com, free
We actually look forward to Mondays now, thanks to the work of Stefan Gonzalez. The lineup he curates on that day every week at RBC is one of the best places in the city to discover new music. Outward Bound Mixtape began a few years ago at Crown and Harp on Lower Greenville before it moved to Deep Ellum, but in its new home, it offers the same opportunity for local and touring acts to try out something new in front of an enthusiastic and openminded crowd of regulars, whether that means a first show, new songs or a sound that defies genre labels. If you ask the act du jour in Dallas noise, punk, goth or free jazz where it played some of its first shows, you'll likely be told Outward Bound, so attend Mondays and stay ahead of the curve. Caroline North
With Margaret Glaspy, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, livenation.com, $39-$60
No matter where Wilco plays, it always go into a long set that pulls from its extensive back catalog, including the heralded Mermaid Avenue LPs. Jeff Tweedy and his bandmates have held this lineup together far longer than any other, and their live show demonstrates why they're still together. Nels Cline's lead guitar lines are amazing, and Glenn Kotche executes twists and turns behind his mammoth and unconventional drum kit. Wilco is still one of the best and most consistent bands around. Eric Grubbs
7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., houseofblues.com/dfw, $20
“Are you ready to party?” is a rallying cry typically heard at the beginning of Andrew W.K.’s concerts. (For the uninitiated, W.K. really knows how to party.) On The Party Never Dies Tour with his full band, W.K. is known for party-perfect tracks such as "Party Hard," “Party Party Party,” "We Want Fun” and “It’s Time To Party.” Memorable for his positive stage banter; kinetic, high-energy performances; and frequent use of pointing of his mic at his fans for their help with his call-and-response and anthem-style lyrics, he truly knows how to captivate and rally an audience. But Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier is much more than your typical singer-songwriter or charismatic frontman. The multi-instrumentalist is also a writer and touring motivational speaker, and in 2016, he announced the launch of a political party, The Party Party, "to unify and unite people under a common celebratory philosophy." Daniel Rodrigue
8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or axs.com, $35 and up
Hirsute Queens, New York, rapper Action Bronson is one of those worldly and larger-than-life personalities who easily attracts attention. Bronson was often truant as an adolescent but later found more discipline as he became interested in rapping and cooking. His passion for the culinary arts was handed down from his father, an Albanian-Muslim restaurant owner. But Bronson’s rap career — distinguished by Wu-Tang-eque cadences and an outrageous, commanding stage presence — took off first. It hasn't all been roses, however. Some of Bronson's lyrics and public statements reek of misogyny and homophobia, which has caused some show promoters to keep their distance. Bronson has addressed these accusations head on. In an open letter, he acknowledged poor judgment and pledged to do better. Recently, Bronson’s music has taken a backseat to his career as an internet personality who hosts several shows on the Viceland channel. One show follows Bronson and his celebrity friends; the other is a food travel series that counts Harrison Ford among its fans. Like Bronson’s music, his shows are eccentric and absurd, and his fans wouldn’t have it any other way. Jeff Strowe
Rick Springfield and Richard Marx
8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., majestic.dallasculture.org, $59 to $125
Rick Springfield and Richard Marx, iconic singer songwriters who gave us the best of soft rock in the '80s and '90s, came together this year for a stripped-down tour complete with two full acoustic sets. Whether you prefer to dance to Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" or get sappy with Marx's "Now and Forever," Thursday night's performance is slated to include plenty of storytelling from both and a wide range of songs to keep all fans happy. Diamond Victoria
8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, 972-810-1499 or musicfactory.com, $39.50-$79.50
When it formed in the early 1980s, Tesla was a pleasant anomaly, a group of regular guys from California who for some reason got lumped in with the seemingly endless array of hair metal and glam bands. Although Tesla's music always had its pop-metal side, the band members seemed a lot more like your neighbors than the dudes in Poison. Tesla's heyday fizzled out as the '80s lingered on, but tracks like "Love Song" and especially "Signs" still resonate today as pleasant classic rock radio fodder. Darryl Smyers
Perfume Genius and Cake
8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or axs.com, $19.50 and up
On the same night that Cake plays the South Side Ballroom, a rising star plays next door in the Music Hall. Taking cues from David Bowie's career, '80s pop and '90s underground rock, Mike Hadreas continues to make a name for his Perfume Genius project. The Seattle artist put out a new LP called No Shape earlier this year. On Friday, you’ll probably hear new tunes such as "Slip Away" and songs from his previous three albums. The Music Hall will be a great spot for this as it's neither small nor a cavern. Eric Grubbs
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or ticketmaster.com, $69 and up
A lot of country songs are about losing the things we love, whether it be a truck, a sweetheart or a mama. But this country story has far happier connotations for performers and fan alike. For the first time in almost 10 years, Nashville power couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are touring the U.S. together. The duo’s tour comes with the insinuation of a possible duet album in the works. A few new collaborative tracks are already turning heads. “Speak to a Girl” is a touching piece of advice passed down in song and performed with the couple’s characteristic chemistry. In other words, it’s everything you could ask for from a Hill-McGraw duet. The more poppy tune “Break First” is a tale of a relationship on the brink, as McGraw and Hill stand face to face and let their voices grind into one another. The Jay-Z and Beyoncé of country music are back, and they’re bringing all of their hits to Dallas. Nicholas Bostick
8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com, $25-$45
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Crystal Castles have steadily gotten darker and more layered since their eponymous full-length debut in front of SXSW 2008 audiences. In the beginning, their sound was sparse and jagged, with lead singer and millennial femme icon Alice Glass seeming to see Karen O and Trent Reznor as her spiritual mother and father. These days, Glass and partner Ethan Kath are making damaged electronic soundscapes that are nearly unrecognizable from their earlier work and more akin to what Siouxsie Sioux did in the mid-'80s. The duo's live shows are seizure-inducing workouts of sight and sound.
Laid Back Festival
With Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Texas Gentleman and more, the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, 972-810-1499 or musicfactory.com, $30 and up
In 2015, Gregg Allman partnered with Live Nation to create a one-day event celebrating the best in music and food. Despite Allman's death earlier this year, the five-date, all-star traveling celebration continues for its third year with a stop through Dallas with headliners Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jimmie Vaughan & The Tilt-A-Whirl Band. DV