The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Alessia Cara, Luke Bryan & More
Alessia Cara returns to DFW for the first time since she played Granada Theater last February.
Dallas has definitely got a diverse group of music acts stopping through this week. Between the mass appeal of Luke Bryan and Texas roots-based artists at the country festival the Ranch Bash, anyone looking to hear some fiddles and sad songs are pretty much covered. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Machine Gun Kelly and Danny Brown offer up variations of rap and, though not in Dallas, Bob Dylan drops by just across the border in Oklahoma hot on the heels of winning the Nobel Prize for Literature last week.
Machine Gun Kelly
8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583, or houseofblues.com, $22.
Houston has been pretty influential in the rap scene through rappers like Paul Wall and Slim Thug, and Machine Gun Kelly is no exception. He's been coasting on some breakthrough success the past few years and recently released the album General Admission. MGK also just released the single "Bad Things" with Fifth Harmony member Camila Sabello. His onstage antics have proved rather X-rated in Dallas in the past with a blow job onstage by porn star Rachel Starr. Who knows what will happen this time, but it's definitely worth seeing firsthand. Diamond Victoria
With Every Time I Die, Old Wounds and Fit For a King, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583, or houseofblues.com, $19.
Formed by Caleb Shomo from Attack Attack!, Beartooth are a surprisingly straightforward hardcore punk outfit from Ohio. In the studio, Shomo plays all the instruments, but for touring, he recruits several sidemen to flesh out his, ahem, warped vision. Beartooth visits Dallas this week in support of their latest release, appropriately titled Aggressive. Darryl Smyers
9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., or threnelinksdeepellum.com, free.
Denton-based Pearl Earl locks into a well-influenced and diverse range of psychedelic rock styles, and fuses them together across different songs and even mixes them up within individual songs. Dissonant, effects-heavy guitars and bluesy, syncopated drum beats are held down by winding bass while lilting vocals tie each song together. Pearl Earl really is a force of nature. Matt Wood
With Ruth B. and Nathan Sykes, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $29.50 to $49.50.
Canadian native Alessia Cara was one of 2015’s biggest and youngest breakout stars. The R&B-pop singer and songwriter began her music career as just another singer on YouTube while in high school. She became a sensation for her covers of popular songs by various artists before she’d ever released any of her own. Def Jam caught wind of the singer and immediately signed her. She released her first single, “Here,” in May of last year, and the song broke the internet, reaching over 1 million streams. Her new fans didn’t have to wait very long for more music because she followed up with her debut EP, Four Pink Walls, shortly after. The EP chronicles her journey from being a young girl stuck in the walls of her room writing songs to now being able to share her gift with the world. Three months later she released her highly anticipated full-length, Know-It-All, which was a continuation of that same story. The Know-It-All: Part II Tour is expected to be an intimate night full of warm, heartfelt music. Aria Bell
With Max Kream and Zaloopers, 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or gilleysdallas.com, $26 to $99.
Danny Brown is one of the strangest figures in hip-hop. He doesn’t inundate his fans with new music in order to stay relevant, having only released four albums in the last six years, with some mixtapes sprinkled in. He will pretty much be a feature on any album if you ask him nicely enough. Brown has worked with a litany of artists, including Das Racist, Ghostface Killah, Busdriver, Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar and Vampire Weekend. He possesses a unique cadence in his voice that can sometimes make even the most complex of topics seem a little light-hearted, which may be more necessary than before thanks to his newest release, Atrocity Exhibition, a politically and emotionally charged opus that might be his most powerful work to date. That being said, it won’t prevent him from bringing his usual dose of raw energy to his performances. Given his track record, this may be the best time to witness Brown: at his most fired up. Taylor Frantum
With Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton and Dustin Lynch, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, 817-892-5000 or attstadium.com, $29.50 to $125.
Luke Bryan is considered the King of Bro Country, a title he seems to embrace while also hoping to be treated as a serious artist. Count all the lyrical references to alcohol, trucks, gurrls (not just girls), rural settings and catfish you like. Thing is, the thousands of people who will come to AT&T Stadium want to have a good time, pure and simple. This four-act blockbuster show is what country music sold to a mass audience looks like these days, but it gets some real credibility from openers like Little Big Town and country’s latest ordained savior, Chris Stapleton. Most mainstream country music is for people who grew up on Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Tim McGraw and Def Leppard, and weren’t afraid of hip-hop, either. Plus, it’s family entertainment. As easily mocked as the bro country genre is, it sure isn’t losing any steam by snark from those who don’t get it. Eric Grubbs
With Cody Jinks, William Clark Green, Dale Watson, Bonnie Bishop and more, 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey St., 817-698-0700, or pantherislandpavilion.com, $10 to $40.
Dallas native Cody Jinks headlines 95.9 The Ranch's Ranch Bash at Panther Island Pavilion this year. It's a true country lover's festival, taking place all day and featuring 10 artists. It's also a birthday celebration for the radio station that plays only Texas country music. Anyone who's tired of the bro country scene filling up big arenas won't want to miss out on this opportunity to remember country music roots. DV
8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Winstar Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, OK, 800-622-6317, or winstarworldcasino.com, $75 to $150.
Before receiving his Nobel Prize in Literature last week, Bob Dylan spent the last 54 years writing countless poetic works. He pioneered folk music as it's known today, and reluctantly became the voice of his generation back in the '60s with songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." His transition into electric rock 'n' roll, with the debut performance of "Maggie's Farm" at the Newport Folk Festival in '63, garnered him criticism by some. Ultimately, however, this cemented him as one of modern music's finest. His live performances these days offer less of the raw, early sound most fans trace their first memories of Dylan back to. But nonetheless, he's a living legend and any fan who hasn't seen him in person needs to do so. DV
With T.I., 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or thebombfactory.com, $63 to $153.
2 Chainz is most famous for inexplicably crushing these G.O.O.D. Music posse cuts. Take “Champions,” a star-studded song featuring Big Sean, Quavo and the rejuvenated Gucci Mane: 2 Chainz outmaneuvers them all with nimble, dipped-in-filth grinning quotables. Seizing the moment better than his peers has been Chainz’s M.O. since at least 2012’s “Mercy,” owing to a drive to keep himself accessible that belies his savviness. Carrying weed for Ludacris (probably not literally) while peers like T.I. grew into household names (2 Chainz’s group Playaz Circle released United We Stand, United We Fall in 2002, the year after T.I.P.’s I’m Serious) instilled in the rapper that has appreciated into a well-regarded seniority. Why was 2 Chainz so involved with the PR behind The Life of Pablo even as he’s still unsigned to G.O.O.D.? Why not? Who else generates just enough excitement to not shift paradigms like 2 Chainz? Functionally speaking, he has the consumer shelf life of potato chips. Caleb Wossen
With The Joy Formidable, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd., or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $25 to $45.
Kongos could be considered a modern, alternative rock version of Hanson. The four brothers opened for Linkin Park in South Africa, their native country, which is where they likely saw their mainstream success take off with the album Lunatic. This year they released their sophomore album, Egomaniac, which has given them an even stronger fan base in the U.S. with influences from Pan African sounds similar to that of Paul Simon's Graceland. DV
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