The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Chance the Rapper, Elm St. Fest & More

Even better than he was the last time: Chance is back.EXPAND
Even better than he was the last time: Chance is back.
Photo by Kuziemski

For Friday the 13th this week, you actually might be in luck — though maybe we just jinxed it. Chance the Rapper (please, say "The Rapper") and the Elm Street Tattoo Festival kick off the weekend, with the latter extending all the way to the Lord's Day because tattoos know no bounds. So break out that tattoo idea you have stashed in a drawer and get out there and live a little. Let these shows accompany you along the way.

Born Ruffians
7 p.m. Monday, November 9, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $12-14

In the indie rock surge of the mid-2000s, Born Ruffians perfectly accented all the possibilities of the genre. Whimsical-yet-curmudgeonly songwriting accompanied yelping vocals to make 2008's Red, Yellow & Blue. The album was an ambitious insight into lead singer Luke Lalonde's fictional utopia, where he still found himself unlucky in love and trapped by neuroses. Their call-and-response choruses have always made for roaring live shows, so don't forget to practice beforehand. Matt Wood

Youth Lagoon
8 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $15-18

In 2011, Youth Lagoon took notes from electronic solo artists like Neon Indian to make a hugely acclaimed debut, The Year of Hibernation. Although, that might be a crutch now — despite releasing two albums after his debut, Youth Lagoon's most popular songs are still off his first. His newer releases have been critically acclaimed, but he hasn't quite struck the same nerve as the home-brewed indie pop on his debut. But regardless of an unfair lack of attention, he's emblematic of a perfect mix of "intimate yet danceable" electronic atmosphere that'll make you tear up and break out your worst dance moves all at the same time. MW

Against the Current
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 11, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., houseofblues.com/dallas, $12
As one of the branches of Paramore’s “Fueled by Ramen” label, Against the Current offer a positive-leaning take on misfit pop. Lyrics about being outcasts (their new album is called Outsiders, if you were unsure) are sung over turbo-charged pop beats that wouldn’t be out of place on Taylor Swift’s 1989 or Demi Lovato’s new Confident. Maybe pop’s the new medium for these emo-influenced lyricists who will never be understood, which will make the progression of both genres even more interesting. MW

Elm St. Music and Tattoo Festival
Thursday to Sunday, November 12 to 15, multiple venues in Deep Ellum, elmstreettattoomusicfest.com, $15-$125

Nightmare on Elm Street? More like dream come true on Elm Street. (And Main Street, and Canton...) Thanks to Oliver Peck of Elm Street Tattoo, once the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, a full 24 hours’ worth of tattooing will commence, including a tattoo convention at The Bomb Factory and “Lucky 13” tattoos being tattooed at Elm Street Tattoo. How many times can you say tattoo in one sentence? You’ll be able to see more than 30 different bands Thursday through Sunday at The Bomb Factory, Trees and Three Links, including one of the co-hosts of the event, the Reverend Horton Heat, on Friday night. We hear Jim Heath, aka the Reverend himself, will be playing a rare solo set on Sunday night, as well. There will be more than 50 different tattoo artists and plenty of opportunity to get that tattoo you’ve been thinking about for so long ... So just do it! It’s Friday the 13th, dammit! Don’t ask questions, just go. What better way is there to spend your weekend (and money) in Deep Ellum? Sara Button

Unmarked Graves
9 p.m. Thursday, November 12,
at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., Denton, 940-387-7781 or rubberglovesdentontx.com, $5/7
Unmarked Graves lead singer Richard Haskins has been through the shit. For two years, he paid for attempted bank robbery with a jail sentence. Not everyone was there to help him when he needed it. Haskins' own mother would sit in the bail bond room, telling people who tried to bail him out that he had already been bailed out. But then Haskins has always had a big heart, even if his wild antics have tended to be a distraction from that. Carmina Tiscareno

Chance the Rapper
With D.R.A.M., Towkio and Metro Boomin, 8 p.m. Friday, November 13, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or southsideballroom.com, $30

Chance the Rapper lives off his live shows. The 22-year-old rapper, who burst onto the national scene in 2013 with the release of the critically acclaimed and wildly adored mixtape Acid Rap, has yet to put a price on any of the music he’s released since, opting to give it away for free. The bold move has paid off and he’s amassed one of the largest and most loyal followings in hip-hop. Those in attendance for his Family Matters tour will see how and why he’s been able to earn a living and gain such high esteem with his impressive footwork dancing and witty, dense wordplay delivered in a charming fashion. Chance’s shows are rich with optimism, joy and stellar musicianship, thanks to help from his backing band and frequent collaborators, the Social Experiment. Mikel Galicia

Smokey Robinson
9 p.m. Friday, November 13, at Winstar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 580-276-4229 or winstarworldcasino.com, $40-$75

Smokey Robinson is such a legendary talent that you can make generalizations about him that transcend genre. For example, he is one of the greatest living songwriters. His music has aged incredibly well. Robinson recorded for Motown Records and even became vice president of the company. As a producer, he also helped create some of the label’s most classic recordings. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame almost 30 years ago. After more than four decades, some of his biggest hits, such as “Tears of a Clown” and “I Second That Emotion,” continue to find new generations of fans. Robinson’s unique voice is beautiful and disarming and he’s known for his moving performances. In the worlds of soul, R&B and pop, Robinson is royalty. In a perfect world, an artist of this stature would fill up American Airlines Center. But seeing a legend is worth the drive to Oklahoma. Jeremy Hallock

Diana Krall
8 p.m. Saturday, November 14, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, verizontheatre.com, Grand Prairie, $60-$125

Your dad’s favorite musician comes to town to play the Verizon Theatre on the 14th, so expect a surge in Keurig cup sales as everyone’s parents make sure they have enough energy to try and figure out this Uber thing on a Saturday night. Diana Krall has been adored by lovers of public radio and jazz aficionados alike since bursting onto the scene in 1993. She has managed to debut albums at the top of the Billboard charts eight times while also racking up five Grammys and eight Juno Awards. Krall’s now touring the world behind her 12th album, Wallflower, making stops in Europe, Asia and of course Grand Prairie. Not bad for music you usually only hear in elevators when you’re on your way to meet a lawyer, or when your dad has had a few glasses of red wine. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Liza Minelli
8 p.m. Saturday, November 14, at Winstar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 580-276-4229 or winstarworldcasino.com

In an example of how utterly unfair life can be, Liza Minnelli is probably best known to those darn '90s kids as the vertigo-ridden Lucille 2 from Arrested Development. But in the course of the '60s and '70s she put out eight albums, and she has collaborated with everyone from the Pet Shop Boys to Queen to ... My Chemical Romance? That's not even mentioning her TV and film awards. All of that aside, her lilting jazz vocal styling remain the best part of her incredible and expansive career.  MW

RAC
7 p.m. Sunday, November 15, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $27

RAC's tight, groove-heavy indie pop is, of course, brought to you by Portland. And while his original music is perfectly dance worthy on its own, RAC received a huge amount of attention and praise for his deep remixes of popular indie tracks by groups like the Shins, the Temper Trap and Phantogram. These beloved tracks, like "Sleeping Lessons," could've easily been mangled by an unfair interpretation, but RAC's arrangements always seek to embellish what is already within a song rather than shoehorn something foreign into the arrangements. Think of them less as remixes and more like re-colorings. MW


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