The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Lights All Night, ISHI & More

Are you not entertained, Dallas?
Are you not entertained, Dallas?
Ed Steele

If last week was the quiet, then this week is definitely the storm for Dallas concerts. There's no shortage of ways to stunt on your friends and validate your existence this week, especially on New Year's Eve. In fact, it's been proven that if you're not out getting plastered on New Year's Eve, you'll be cursed with a sadsack 2016. So do future-you a favor and take your pick: Go raving at Lights All Night, get all in your feelings with This Will Destroy You's post-rock instrumentals, or represent Dallas by getting hyped with Ishi. Just forget about those resolutions for now — take care of yourself in 2015, Dallas.

Black Label Society
With Huntress and the Shrine, 8 p.m. Monday, December 28, at Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd. E., 214-350-1904 or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $29.50-$55
Led by front man and Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society is one of the most recognizable bands in the Southern heavy metal family. Their trademark mesh of hard rock and blues is molded with scalding rhythms and Wylde's gruff attitude in his vocal work — meaning that very '90s-esque masculine twang that is so common among metal and grunge bands like Metallica and Pantera in their heyday. Perhaps the most scintillating element of the band's music is Wylde's glorious solos, which made him a heavy metal guitar hero worthy of sharing a stage with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne. The group's latest full-length, Catacombs of the Black Vatican, isn't exactly a carbon copy of their previous releases, distinguishing itself from their past work in Wylde's matured vocal range. The current BLS tour continues riding on the album for dedicated fans young and old to headband along to the riffage. Pablo Arauz

Better Than Ezra
8 p.m. Tuesday, December 29, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $24-$45

You know what you miss? You miss the '90s. You know you do. The mere mention of Better Than Ezra stirs it up like a dust storm. You miss making fun of Dave Matthews Band and Hootie and the Blowfish. You miss that sunflower yellow album, the one with the butterfly, from Better Than Ezra (see: “Misunderstood”). Unlike Hootie, Better Than Ezra is very much still with us, and the times have changed enough that there’s a Better Than Ezra hash tag #BTEAllTogetherNow. Remember when you got the CD at Blockbuster Music? The Baton Rouge-based band has been bouncing around the U.S. for their eighth studio album, All Together Now, which is out on iTunes (not Blockbuster Music). “Crazy Lucky,” the bright-eyed single from the album, peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart. In typical '90s fashion, this summer Ezra teamed up with Sugar Ray (Mark McGrath) and Uncle Kracker for a song called “BYHB,” which is an acronym for “Bring Your Hot Body.” You know you miss it: The '90s nostalgia is coming on like a tidal wave. It’s OK. Listen to “Extra Ordinary.” Nick Rallo

Seryn
With the Azalea Project, 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 30, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $22

Nashville transplants originating from Denton, Seryn will be in Dallas at The Kessler Theater on the day before New Year’s Eve. Rumor has it that every time Seryn harmonizes, an angel gets its wings. Their sophomore album, Shadow Shows, came out last February and is a creative meld of deconstructed string instruments, airy soft beats, and the sweet harmonizing lyrics we all know and love Seryn for. This past August the band re-released the biggest song from their debut album, This is Where We Are, called “We Will All Be Changed,” which gives a nod to recent studio time and hopefully another album in the works that won’t draw another four-year wait. Their music doesn’t scream “Denton” or “Nashville” or really any other particular city, state or specific location – it's a fairly universal sound, and one that's perfect for The Kessler. And we’re into that. Sara Button

Toadies
6 p.m. Wednesday, December 30, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, $16-28

The Toadies are one of our most prized acts out here in North Texas (after Erykah Badu, our one true bohemian savior). The Toadies originally formed back in 1989, and what came to follow was their fantastic debut Rubberneck, which celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2014. The band broke up in 2000, but they've mended their wounds, having been back together since 2006. They'll be playing some of the new and some of the old. H. Drew Blackburn

Hellyeah
With Sevendust,, Nothing More, Red Sun Rising and more, 6 p.m. Thursday, December 31, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6507 or thebombfactory.com, $43-$132.10

This metal lineup presented by 97.1 The Eagle fittingly billed as New Year’s Evil is a homecoming for Hellyeah’s drummer and local legend Vinne Paul, who rounds out the band’s supergroup status. Playing alongside him are Mudvayne lead vocalist Chad Gray, Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, bassist Kyle Sanders and rhythm guitarist Christian Brady. For over 15 years and working through a few lineup changes, this Southern-tinged metal band has brought the raucous and good times and built a massive following, so it’s only appropriate this band headlines the countdown to a new year on a stacked lineup. Longtime metal stalwarts Sevendust co-headline this heavy-hitting affair. Mikel Galicia

ISHI
With Dezi 5, TRUDEF and Supersonic Lips, 8 p.m. Thursday, December 31, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $15-$30

So you still don’t have any New Year’s Eve plans yet and you’re wondering what would be a great alternative to staying in? Lucky for you, ISHI  is continuing a recent tradition ringing in the new year at Trees, and they'll be a part of a great lineup that will certainly lead you to the right place, your happy space. Appreciating their Muskogee Creek Indian heritage, they infuse storytelling, traditional folk music and wavy electronic sounds together into a wild party vibe. With music from their two albums Through the Trees and Digital Wounds, their show will be filled with songs that are sure to spread great energy throughout the room. If you think great music will be the only thing to look forward to, you’re totally mistaken, because this will be a dance party, folks — a fact furthered by the presence of dance floor martyr Dezi 5 joining JT Mudd and Co. on the bill. Everything about ISHI truly embodies a celebration of life. Isn’t that what New Years is all about? Aria Bell

This Will Destroy You
With Cygnus and John Congleton, 10 p.m. Thursday, December 31, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $20/$25 at the door

Surrender another pointless year to the blackhole of time with your drug of choice and ear-melting instrumental madness. Let the sound of electronic dismemberment and hypnotic doomgaze assuage your anxiety about having squandered another year of this precious existence. Or just get really chill with your pals, drink some goddamn Andre and drunk kiss your friend at midnight. Either one is acceptable, really. This Will Destroy You never fails to blow higher minds. Seeing John Congleton, Grammy-winning producer and frontman of the Paper Chase, perform in whatever capacity he chooses will be an extra treat for your tired soul as it weeps for rest and redemption — or maybe just another drink. Anita Riot

Lights All Night
6 p.m. Thursday, December 31, at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, $90-230

Where do you go after Skrillex? That would seem to be the big, soul-searching question for EDM these days, amidst all the talk that the genre is already on the decline. Lights All Night already has an answer: Hardwell and Kaskade. Now in its sixth year, LAN's end-of-year party — long since moved from Fair Park to the Dallas Convention Center and expanded from one day to two — has managed to land blue-chip artists like Deadmau5, Calvin Harris and Disclosure in previous years, so testing the limits of the EDM "bubble" is something of a priority. Gotta grow to maintain, and all that business. Jeff Gage

Eli Young Band
10:30 p.m. Friday, Januay 1, at Billy Bob’s Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117 or billybobstexas.com, $18-$45

There’s no getting around it: Denton’s own country giants didn’t have as massive of a 2015 as many hoped they would. Unlike past albums, the group’s 2014 record, 10,000 Towns, hasn’t yielded a massive hit, nor garnered the band any sort of recognition from the major awards shows out there. The most commercially successful group to ever emerge from the Texas country scene didn’t continue the still-new tradition of hosting a massive festival at the Ballpark in Arlington either. But here’s another thing that is impossible to get around: Mike Eli and the rest of the crew is still a live concert force to behold, and there’s every reason to feel as though EYB will find its way back into national headlines soon enough. Regardless of what kind of year a band has endured, it can never be too terribly bad when it gets to end the year playing to the biggest country crowd in North Texas when Billy Bob’s Texas rings in the New Year. Kelly Dearmore

Rob Thomas
8 p.m. Saturday, January 2, at Winstar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 800-622-6317 or winstarworldcasino.com, $55-$85

Rob Thomas is playing at Winstar Worlds Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, on Saturday, January 2. But, you already knew that. You screamed, "OH, HELL YES" when you saw the giant billboard on Interstate 35 with his giant Rob Thomas face on it and those intense Rob Thomas eyeballs staring right into your white-blues soul. You went online to buy tickets, and things got even better: This is a Rob Thomas solo tour. No other Matchboxes will be there. Just him, his Rob Thomas guitar, his Rob Thomas piano, and his fuckin' bad-to-the-bone Rob Thomas voice. You immediately see yourself at the concert, saving the day for Rob Thomas because he was like, "Aww dang, the other Matchboxes aren't here and I need someone who can play the tambourine. What will I do? I'm Rob Thomas, and I'm in trouble." And you whip out your travel tambourine and start rocking the shit out of it and then Rob Thomas high-fives you and then you share a mic with him back-to-back and you're all, "Gimme your heart! Make it real! OR ELSE FORGETMMBADDIT!" It's the best. Alice Laussade

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