The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Book of Love, Zakk Wylde & More

Book of Love bring you the sounds of the present, courtesy a band from the '80s.
Book of Love bring you the sounds of the present, courtesy a band from the '80s.
Melodie Gimple

Dallasites see a lot of big acts coming through town. Why are we surprised? This town's got some big venues and a well-earned reputation for throwing some elaborate parties. And this week is no different, even if it starts off a holiday. After July 4, Dallas plays host to the likes of Twenty One Pilots and Zakk Wylde, to name but a couple. This week also offers up a great opportunity to remember how awesome the local music scene is around here. Blue, the Misfit starts things off with some beats in Denton, Skinny Cooks serenade at Sundown and Party Static kick off their new tour at Three Links.

Beats & Booze with Blue, the Misfit and DJ Niro
10 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, at Andy's Basement Bar and Grill, 122 N. Locust St., Denton, 940-565-5400, or andys.bar, free.

You may be familiar with Blue, the Misfit as one of Dallas’ most decorated up-and-coming musicians. Aside from being a producer and rapper, he’s also a DJ who sets up shop at clubs all around North Texas. Every Tuesday, he and DJ Niro head north of the dial to Denton and tag team a DJ night at Andy’s Bar. It’s a night full of loud rap and electronic tracks and, most importantly, cheap drink specials. Matt Wood

Skinny Cooks
10 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, at Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933, or granadatheater.com, free.

Berklee alumnus Nigel Newton and Dallas native Brianne Sargent first met back in 2011 during an impromptu show, resulting in three original songs right on the spot. They are now known as Skinny Cooks. With an impressive horn section backing them up and a penchant for mixing jazz, 20th-century classical, funk and psychedelic rock, the result is a sound that defies traditional genre norms. Diamond Victoria 

Party Static
With Bath House, Street Arabs and Nervous Curtains, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com.

With their five members carousing on stage and their scuzzy, nonsensical music, Party Static are a band who truly live up to their name. There's the locked-in, simple rhythm section of Billy Kuykendall and Alex Mitchell. There's the fuzzy riffing of Brett Michael Strawn. And then, of course, there are the two ladies of the group, Laura Harrell and Kjersten Funk, who manage to overpower the boys with their exuberant dancing and wild, carefree shouting. Every time they play, the band appears to be having the time of their lives. So, too, do their fans. This should be an extra joyous occasion as they prepare to embark on a tour of the East coast. Jeremy Hallock 

Bonnie Bishop
8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346, or thekessler.org, $16.

Bonnie Bishop's hit "The Best Songs Come From Broken Hearts" is so well-received that it's included on the soundtrack of the television show Nashville.  When she took a break from years on the road to go to graduate school, the creative writing major met award-winning producer David Cobb. Once he heard her demos, he knew her voice was meant to sing soul music. Her latest album, Ain't Who I Was, released this year, couldn't have a better title. While her roots remain planted in country rock, Bishop's newer sound is likely to be her best yet. DV

Zakk Wylde
With Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown and Jared James Nichols, 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd. E., 214-350-1904 or gasmonkeygarngrill.com, $25 to $50.

Few rock stars do it better than Zakk Wylde, the former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and founder of metal group Black Label Society. He's known for his violent, squealing riffs and lightning-fast solos, not to mention the time his legendary drinking habit saved him from fatal blood clots. Wylde’s latest solo album, Book of Shadows II, shows the legendary rocker’s softer side. It’s filled with tracks of slower, somber blues, augmented by Wylde's droning vocals. This new album might lack the chaos of the old days, but tracks like “Lay Me Down” and “The King” showcase the almost-50-year-old’s continuing musicality and depth. Mellow or not, catching him at Gas Monkey Live! should provide Wylde's Dallas fans with a taste of rock fantasy. Nicholas Bostick 

Wade Bowen
9:45 p.m. Friday, July 8, Hanks Texas Grill, 1310 N. Central Expy., McKinney, 972-542-5144 or hankstexasgrill.com, $20 to $25.

Though Waco native Wade Bowen built a rock-solid rep before releasing The Given on BNA Records in 2012, it’s is the output since then that is interesting, It has not only been the best of his career but is among the most interesting recent music from Texas country. Bowen has taken excellent advantage of the freedom afforded to a successful independent artist with a high profile. Following his stellar 2014 self-titled LP, Bowen has released two absolutely killer albums — one live acoustic and the other full of traditional country duets — with best bud and fellow major label survivor Randy Rogers. And his album of Americana-tinged gospel hymns isn’t only outstanding but, endearingly enough, originally meant to only be a Christmas gift to his mother. None of these records would’ve ever made it past the narrow-minded gatekeepers of Music Row, and that’s why we’re even more fortunate Bowen is separated from his label. Kelly Dearmore

Marcia Ball
8:30 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington, levittpavilionarlington.org, free.

With roots in Texas and Louisiana, Marcia Ball has been a part of the blues scene for decades. The pianist and singer has been described as sensational, saucy and irresistible from the likes of USA Today and Boston Globe. Swamp blues, boogie woogie and swamp rock are just a few genres describing Ball's unique sound. Her latest album, The Tattoed Lady and the Alligator Man, playfully embraces all of these descriptions. DV

Twenty One Pilots
7 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Allen Event Center, 200 E. Stacy Rd., Allen, TX  75002-8732, 972-912-1048 or alleneventcenter.com, $35 to $45

Twenty One Pilots made Billboard Hot Rock Songs' history last week by sitting comfortably in all top three spots. "Heathens," released last month and part of the upcoming Suicide Squad's soundtrack, rested at No. 2, while "Ride" and "Stressed Out" sat at spots 1 and 3, respectively. Rolling Stone dubbed the indie hip-hop duo the biggest new band of 2015, while 2016 looks to be even better. DV

Book of Love
With JG and the Robots and Michael Douglas Duncan, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $35 to $80
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Though cult synth-pop act Book of Love first disbanded in 1993, both their music and their lyrics sound startlingly up to date. Musically speaking, that’s because the '80s sound influences a lot of what winds up on the charts today. Book of Love’s Lullaby (1988) in particular sounds like it could be from either the original '80s or from the nouveau '80s (the 2010s). But it’s Book of Love’s lyrics that really resonate with our present cultural media moment: “It’s not my fault/That I’m not a boy/It’s not my fault/I don’t have those toys,” sings frontwoman Susan Ottaviano on their 1985 hit, “Boy.” Luckily for concertgoers, Book of Love is as danceable as they are socially conscious. Elliot Wright

Halsey
8 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at Allen Event Center, 200 E. Stacy Rd., Allen, 972-678-4646 or alleneventcenter.com, $29.50 to $39.50.

2015’s Badlands propelled pop sensation Halsey to the top of the hip-pop totem pole, neck and neck with Charli XCX and Taylor Swift. Out of all her competition, Halsey may turn out most versatile. Songs like “Castle” and “Drive” lead off with the warm pomp of Yeezy’s “Graduation” and over-the-top theatrics of bands like Panic! At the Disco and Paramore. Vic Mensa chose her to spit a verse alongside New York firebrand Le1f and Lil B, the Based God. The pop of today features singers and producers who can churn out songs that are polished and experimental. The 21-year-old Jerseyite writes tough, jittery tales over ’06-style DJ Toomp drums. Whatever hole in the universe Beyoncé and Death Grips tore open to normalize punchy, challenging, sometimes-cacophonous records in popular music deserves prayer and offerings in its direction tonight, or just go see Halsey play in the 'burbs of Allen. Caleb Wossen


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