The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, 6/9 - 6/15

Yoni Wolf wants to have a word with you
Yoni Wolf wants to have a word with you
Courtesy the artist

Now that the excitement of the record-setting George Strait sendoff is behind us, you'd think this week would be all about the comedown here in North Texas. Not even. The next seven days have great shows happening every night of the week. It helps, of course, that Elm St. Music and Tattoo Fest kicks off in Deep Ellum midweek, guaranteeing five-straight days of worthy shows in and of itself. But from Denton to Gexa, there will be plenty more where that came from.

Bane With Truth, Night Crimes and GIVE, 7 p.m., Monday, June 9 at Club Dada,, $12

Primarily the vehicle of Aaron Bedard and Aaron Dalbec -- who were originally members of major '90s hardcore bands Converge and Backbone - Bane has been a long-running side project for these stalwarts of Worschester, Massachusetts hardcore music since it was founded in 1995. Commitments to those other bands means that Bane hadn't released a proper full-length album in nearly a decade, but last month came Don't Wait Up. The band claims it will be their final album, but that they plan to continue touring for forseeable future.

Jeff Gage
Failure 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 10 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $38

Failure, a band no one really thought would get back together, reunited last year and they are in the midst of a brief U.S. tour this summer. The trio, whose rightfully acclaimed third album, Fantastic Planet, became legends after they broke up in the late '90s. Their music has a spacey atmosphere that is unafraid to be heavy, sad and tuneful, all at the same time. Now touring and making music again (music that is worthy of their legacy, by the way), you should not miss this show if you have any remote interest in this band. Judging by their set lists from other dates, you'll hear the favorites like "Stuck On You," "Sergeant Politeness" and "Frogs," so you'd be a fool to constantly shout for their cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence." They aren't playing that one, as they have plenty of original material that will satisfy you for hours.

Eric Grubbs
Black Flag
 With Hor, and Cinema Cinema, 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 11, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $25-$120

The number of shots you do at a Black Flag show is directly correlated to the number of original members in the band. If it's just Gregg Ginn, you hit the bar like a mad man. Lucky for those who are trying to work up the courage to participate in Oliver Peck's Deep Ellum Tattoo Fest, Wednesday night's kickoff party features the latest edition of the band which includes just Ginn from the original lineup, with band manager/pro skater Mike Valley returning to vocals ten years after he last did them. So if you're looking to get into the "inked" game get to Dada, drink heavily and have some courage built up for getting your lucky 13.

Jaime-Paul Falcon
Yoni Wolf With Serengeti and -topic, 9 p.m., Wednesday, June 11 at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore, Denton, 940-387-7781 or, $10/$12 at the door

Yoni Wolf, frontman of indie-rap group WHY?, is going it alone. The neurotic, non-sequitur-spitting Wolf has set out on a string of solo dates and he's bringing his one-man circus to Denton's Rubber Gloves. Rather than simply stroll through skeleton renditions of WHY?'s music, Wolf will be incorporating elements of his earlier material with cLOUDDEAD and Reaching Quiet, as well as remixing work he did for seminal IDM act Boards of Canada. Enigmatic, deadpan, but always fascinating, Wolf's stage presence is something to behold, more like watching a self-deprecating therapy session than an emcee rhyming through bars. In spite of his eccentric frills, Wolf is a seriously stirring lyricist, humorous and poignant in equal measure. He's truly of that rare breed of artist that can strip truth to the bone with the force of their poetry.

Jonathan Patrick
Lucero With Quaker City Night Hawks and the Roomsounds, 7 p.m., Thursday, June 12 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or, $15/20 at the door

Ben Nichols and crew are from Tennessee, but a serious case can be made for Lucero being granted Honorary Dallas Band status. As the group toured behind terrifically horn-heavy albums such as 2009's 1372 Overton Park and 2012's Women and Work, it was beyond common to see them swing through town. Hey, we even had them play at one of our Dallas Observer Music Awards shows a year or two after they headlined our night of DOMA Showcase concerts. Plus, Nichols wrote one of the best songs about Texas in recent years with the Townes Van Zandt ode, "Hey, Darlin' Do You Gamble." So it makes complete sense that these boys from the north will feel at home as they help to officially kick off this year's Elm Street Music and Tattoo Festival in Deep Ellum.

Kelly Dearmore 
Ishi With Painted Palms, Blackstone Rangers and Def Rain, 11 p.m., Thursday, June 12 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $10-15

If you've been to any local festival or large event in the last five years, chances are you've seen Dallas' favorite dance band, Ishi, playing live. After breaking into the scene as pioneers of the folktronica sound with songs like "Pastel Lights," which combined lyrics full of native wisdom set to a backdrop of hypnotic electronica, Ishi then mastered the sound of electro-pop with last year's album Digital Wounds. Alternately dressed as the Pope or an Indian chief, frontman J.T. Mudd is a magnetic live performer whose transfixing energy can lift an entire audience. Managing to turn every show into a wild party by pulling portions of the crowd on stage mid-performance and keeping a well-timed delivery of surprises such as releasing weather balloons on the audience, Ishi puts on possibly the greatest live show in Dallas.

Eva Raggio
Say Anything With the Front Bottoms, the So So Glos and You Blew It, 7 p.m., Friday, June 13, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $23/$28 at the door

Max Bemis, mastermind of Los Angeles' emo rockers Say Anything, has battled many demons over the years. Whether it's bi-polar disorder or drug addiction, Bemis has succeeded in coming back from the brink and his band's music has remained remarkably consistent. Say Anything's newest effort, Hebrews, is another fine collection of (overly) emotional indie rock. Indeed, Bemis' vocals can be a love-them-or-hate-them proposition as he squeezers every bit of angst from each and every syllable. Thankfully, he's also an excellent songwriter who straddles that fine line between pathos and comedy, as evidenced by new songs such as "Judas Decapitation" and "My Greatest Fear is Splendid."

Darryl Smyers
Rev. Horton Heat
 With Scott H. Biram, The American Fuse, and Austin Lucas, 7 p.m., Saturday, June 14, at Trees, 2709 Elm St.,, $25-$120

The headlining show of Oliver Peck's Elm Street Tattoo and Music Festival is as Deep-Ellum-as-Deep-Ellum-can-get as long time area mainstay Rev. Horton Heat and a cast of well regarded area rockers take over Trees for a night of rowdy rock, beer and ink. The Rev. is coming up on his 30th anniversary of rocking in and around the historic arts district, and much like getting one of Peck's 13 tattoos, seeing the Rev. is a Dallas rite of passage. You might as well knock out both on Saturday night.

Vans Warped Tour 11 a.m., Sunday, June 15 at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214 421-1111 or, $49

Falling in Reverse, the headliner for the Vans Warped Tour, is sort of a Chili's appetizer sampler of the festival's entire line-up: there's a guy with tattoos where his sideburns should be, a guy who looks like Nikki Sixx and a guy with one of those haircuts where the bangs are flat-ironed and the hair in the back explodes outwards, like his head is trying to entice a bird couple to settle down and raise a family. (How would a bird ever find its way inside a Hot Topic, let alone have enough time to build a nest in the manager's hair?) In fact, you could just watch Falling in Reverse and experience the entire festival in 40 minutes rather than in eight hours of walking around getting dehydrated and sunburned. Of course, if you're 20 or younger, a day like that totally rules, especially when you've done it while lugging around a bag full of free promotional shit. Any older and you have to tell your friends you're just going for Bad Religion, except that this year, you'd have to say, "I'm just going for Finch."

Steve Steward
James Taylor With His All Star Band, 8 p.m, Sunday, June 15 at Verizon Theatre. 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or, $69-90

He might be the self-consumed guy who inspired Carly Simon's monster hit, "You're So Vain," but that's something that probably won't ever be confirmed. What is an irrefutable truth is that James Taylor is a world-renowned musician, songwriter, vocalist and pretty much any other category he could be lumped into. Sure, his easy-listening, post-hippy folk balladry may seem like mindlessly pleasant pap, but in his best work there's depth -- and pain -- in Taylor's songwriting. He's battled with depression and drug abuse nearly his entire life, and his experiences in psychiatric institutions, as well as the suicide of a close friend, led him to write the defining song of his career, "Fire and Rain." Named for the whiplash sensations of shock therapy and the cold shower that follows, there's nothing light about it.

Paige Skinner

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