The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas this Week: Atmosphere, Nick Carter & More

Texas' very own Gary Clark Jr.
Texas' very own Gary Clark Jr.
Nate Ryan

Disastrous news, Dallas: Rihanna, self-diagnosed workaholic and unconventional collection agent, has regrettably pushed this week's show back to May 13. But there's no need to let that overshadow this week in North Texas shows. Gary Clark Jr. is bringing his slick blues soul up from Austin to the House of Blues, and Atmosphere, who I assume are Minnesota's best known (only?) rap duo, are coming to town as well. Or if you insist that the dream of the '90s is alive, you can catch Nick Carter — if you want it that way.

Atmosphere
9 p.m. Monday, February 29, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $25-$30

Atmosphere, a hip-hop outfit hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, visit Dallas for a gig at the House of Blues, which is a far cry from their first visit to the city. In 2008, Slug (born Sean Daley) told Hip Hop DX that in the early days, they once “drove from Minneapolis to Dallas to play a show for $250.” Slug became captivated by hip-hop, graffiti and break dancing as a teenager. After that early hustle, he and producer Ant – who have been a team for 27 years and together make up Atmosphere — became linchpins of Minneapolis hip-hop and the poster children of the Rhymesayers label, which has been home to the likes of Brother Ali and the late Eyedea over the years. Atmosphere's last album, Southsiders, was released in 2014. Sara Button

Diane Coffee
8 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10-$12
As the former live drummer for Foxygen, it makes perfect sense that Diane Coffee's sound pretends that everything past the '80s never happened. Shaun Fleming, using the name Diane Coffee for his solo project, takes some elements from Bowie, later Beatles work and the '70s in general to create soulful jams that will make any curmudgeon bob his or her head at least a little bit. In an unlikely crossover, Diane Coffee's most recent achievement was a feature on Run the Jewels 2, where he offered backing vocals and piano to the song "Crown." Even in this production-heavy hip-hop track, you can hear the psychedelic influences peaking through as Fleming makes his presence felt. MW

Experience Hendrix
8 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, $40-$90
By a large margin, there's no guitarist more revered and honored than James Marshall Hendrix. In the four years of his tragically short career, he made waves that permanently changed the landscape of electric guitar. In his honor, this touring event features Billy Cox (one of Hendrix's bandmates in the Experience), Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde and many more guitarists covering Hendrix's songs. Though it will never match the real thing, it's about as close as you can possibly get to the transcendent experience of seeing Hendrix perform his songs himself. MW

Mavis Staples
With Nick Lowe, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $35

Mavis Staples is so much more than just a powerful soul singer. She is a national treasure and one of the last of the great voices from the Stax era that is still a going concern. On her 15th studio album, Living on a High Note, she brought in a who’s-who of modern songwriters to pen songs for her golden voice. Names like Ben Harper, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Neko Case and even the enigmatic Nick Cave all coexist amongst the credits, resulting in a collection of songs filled with optimism and hope. A recurring theme throughout Staples' career gets refocused here through a different lens. For this tour, Staples is joined by the legendary songwriter and producer Nick Lowe, who wrote “Far Celestial Shore” for Staples' 2013 One True Vine album. A truly astounding two-night double bill of amazing music is sure to cross lines between rock 'n' roll, gospel and R&B. Wanz Dover

Nick Carter
8 p.m. Friday, March 4, at South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or gilleysdallas.com, $29.75

One of your favorite international pop superstars from the iconic '90s boy band Backstreet Boys is making his way back to Dallas. You can’t deny that Nick Carter (you know, the “blonde one”) stood out as a member of the group that had hits like, “I Want It That Way,” “As Long as You Love Me” and “Larger Than Life.” Starting out at the tender age of 12, Carter has conquered stages all over the world, been a part of numerous films and television projects, written a book and is a selfless philanthropist. There inevitably comes a time when being part of a music group just isn’t enough, and there is a desire to branch out and try something new. That was the case for Carter in 2003, after the group took a break. He decided to put out his first solo project, Now or Never, in 2002, but it was 9 years before he followed it up with I’m Taking Off. He just recently released his third album, All American, in November of last year. Since he isn’t slowing down any time soon, Carter’s decided to go on tour. His All American Tour will give the loyal fans he’s gained over his 22 years new memories to add to their collections. Aria Bell

Andra Day
9 p.m. Friday, March 4, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $22-$35

The soulful Andra Day will grace Dallas with her absolutely resounding voice this Friday. This West Coast singer and songwriter attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, a public arts magnet high school, where she majored in vocal performance. Day was nominated for two Grammys this year for her debut album, Cheers to the Fall, and she performed at the ceremony with popular folktronica artist Ellie Goulding. Day recently remixed Kendrick Lamar's “No Makeup,” giving the song a jazz-filled soulful vibe. (In other words, Erykah Badu is to “Hotline Bling” what Day is to “No Makeup.”) Last week, she also performed at the White House alongside North Texas stars Leon Bridges and Demi Lovato, among many others, as a tribute to Ray Charles – which means she should be fully primed for her stop at Granada Theater. If you haven't hopped on the Andra Day train, now's the time. The next time she's in Dallas it almost certainly won't be at a venue so intimate as this. Sara Button

Sam Lao (Album Release)
with 88Kill, Blue, the Misfit, 8 p.m. Friday, March 4, at RBC
, 2617 Commerce Street, $11
Sam Lao's new project, which comes out February 26, is titled SPCTRM as an ode to Lao’s broad-ranging personality. Angry Sam, sad Sam and sexy Sam will all be on display, coming together to form the full spectrum of Sam Lao. The opening track of the album, “Reminder (Bitch, I’m Me),” taps into the paralyzing pressure she faced to get back to work, her sudden rise to prominence and her doubt in her own abilities, before arriving at the self-affirming proclamation of, “Bitch, I’m me!” It’s a strong opening statement. Soon after, Lao offers up her sultry side with the track “Gold Link,” which shows her at her most mature and polished, before switching gears and displaying her versatile rap skills on tracks such as “Fool’s Gold” and “Grenade.” The album works to show off the artist’s many facets and how she balances them. Mikel Galicia

Candyland
7 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $14-$16

Josie Martin's carved her niche in the DJ world as both a songwriter and remixer. Under the name of Candyland, her songs have gotten hundreds of thousands of plays on SoundCloud and her music bridges the gap between house music, trap and dubstep to create songs that'll have you flailing with your worst dance moves as soon as the bass drops. MW

Loreena McKennitt
8 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane, $30-$70

Loreena McKennitt is pretty talented — for a Canadian. She's a harpist, accordianist, pianist and brilliant singer who evokes a wide variety of world music in her songwriting. Her expansive discography dabbles in Celtic music, Middle Eastern music and many more categories of world music, all tied down to her folk roots. The interpretation of these different cultures through her folk lens is fascinating, and she never loses touch with her personal sound while integrating tones that are unexpected to Western ears. MW

Gary Clark Jr. 
8 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at House of Blues, 2200 N Lamar St., $33-$45

If there's any blues artist to look out for, it's this bluesman from Austin. Since meeting Stevie Ray Vaughan's promoter Clifford Antone, Clark has been tearing up the stage with some of the blues' greatest icons, including Vaughan's brother Jimmie. In 2011, Rolling Stone bestowed on him the title "Best Young Gun," and he proved he deserved it when he shared the stage with Keith Richards to play Freddie King's "Going Down." Although his debut album Blak and Blu (2012) has only one traditional "blues" song, the rest of his songs prove how the blues has influenced nearly every genre of music. Christian Mcphate

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