The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Lionel Richie, My Morning Jacket & More

Things should get real smooth at WinStar with Lionel Richie around this week.
Things should get real smooth at WinStar with Lionel Richie around this week.
Jim Bricker

Hello? Is it shows you're looking for? We can see it in your eyes, Dallas. We're on the cusp of enjoying livable weather, giving you one less excuse for languishing on the couch when you could be out having good times with Young Thug or getting nostalgic with My Morning Jacket. And since the State Fair ended yesterday, we need concerts now more than ever as we gradually expunge the fried eucharist from our systems and try to move past it. 

Mac Demarco
8 p.m. Monday, October 19, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $22-$25

There’s something undeniable about Mac Demarco's boy-next-door charm and penchant for infectious bedroom pop melodies that makes anyone who enters his world instantly hooked. It’s hard to believe that the kid who played a free show at Bryan Street Tavern three years ago and wrote Mac 2 at the tender age of 22 has made it big in such a short amount of time, but he’s paid his dues. He writes, plays and records all of his music on reel-to-reel tape at his own Jizz Jazz Studios in New York and tours as much as he chain smokes. Last year he played a sold-out show at Lola’s in Fort Worth, so it makes sense that the increasingly popular Canadian goofball-cum-rockstar has booked a show at House of Blues this time around. He’ll be touring in support of his new mini-LP Another One, which takes more '80s cues than his previous efforts, but fans should expect him to play deep cuts from Salad Days as well. Juan Vargas

Young Thug
9 p.m. Tuesday, October 20, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St.,, $30-38
The only constant in Young Thug's career so far is his relentless rejection of predictability. His vocals take unexpected dips and bends, and he has proudly expressed his fondness for wearing women's clothing in a genre that's frequently concerned with masculinity. And he's paid an unfair price for that in the past, even getting criticized for his "self-expression" because it breaks the "guidelines" of his culture. But thankfully that opinion has been in the minority, and Young Thug has harnessed his inner oddball to become an inspirational icon himself. I mean, when you look that good in a dress, how could you not wear one? Matt Wood

Jonathan Richman
7 p.m. Tuesday, October 20, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St.,, $15

Not liking Jonathan Richman is a bit like not liking Mr. Rogers. The Boston-bred singer radiates kindness, joy and a disarmingly naive charm. A forerunner of punk music with his band the Modern Lovers in the early 1970s, Richman's sweet, playful demeanor finds its natural home in the simpler style of an acoustic singer-songwriter. Richman hasn't released an album since 2010, but that's no problem given his enormous back catalog and ever-evolving live sound. Jeremy Hallock

Melissa Polinar
7 p.m. Wednesday, October 21, at Prophet Bar, 2548 Elm St., $12-15

In another age, North Texan Melissa Polinar might still be sitting at a desk in Nashville, churning out songs for other artists to record. In fact, she did that for a while in the early 2000s. But when you're a gifted writer and you have a voice like hers, you shouldn't have to wait your turn for long. So she didn't: She returned home and started posting her songs on YouTube, where she has now amassed over 60,000 subscribers and is still going strong. Kiernan Maletsky

Adventure Club
8 p.m. Thursday, October 22, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or, $30

On first listen, Adventure Club sounds similar to female-led electronic acts such as Purity Ring and Sylvan Esso. But the twist is that the band is actually two dudes from Montreal who've employed a number of featured vocalists to sing over their glitchy house beats. Their latest song, "Gold," hints at a new direction for the duo, with a bit more emphasis on making their songs pop-friendly. But that's never at the expense of their defined electronic sound or, even more important, the use of the Dubstep Drop circa 2011. MW

Luke Bryan
With Dustin Lynch and Randy Houser, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or, $32.50-$72.50

Luke Bryan certainly isn’t the best country artist out there, but he’s so successful he probably doesn’t give a shit what critics think. Since the mid-2000s, Bryan has been terrorizing country music with the bro-iest of bro-country, cranking out hits like “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” and “Kick the Dust Up,” which are as offensive as they are musically terrible. Still, Bryan is one of country music’s most popular (and most awarded) entertainers, so expect an effervescent crowd that won’t mind his music’s lack of nuance. They’ll just want to get rowdy and whoop and holler about drinking beer. Perhaps Dallas will get some kind of Twilight Zone version of Bryan who will burn copies of his Spring Break album in effigy and perform Conway Twitty-esque ballads. Probably not, but we can dream, right? Amy McCarthy

Lionel Richie
9 p.m. Friday, October 23, at Winstar Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 580-276-4229 or, $90-$150

One minute you hear his music in an ad for terrible fruit-flavored malt liquor, and soon you’re walking down the beer and wine aisle at your local grocer mumbling “Hey jambo, jambo!” as you reach for the latest Ber-Rita release. Lionel Ritchie is powerful in that way. The Alabama-born former Commodores member who once sang on funky tracks like “Brickhouse” found his softer side in the early 1980s when he produced “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, and eventually went solo after finding success with a Diana Ross duet for the film Endless Love. From there, Ritchie went on to dominate the R&B charts with hit after bizarre hit. And by bizarre, we mean that weird-ass video for “Hello” with that sculpture of his head that’s become ingrained in the collective pop culture consciousness. Since the ’80s, Ritchie’s popularity has waned — recently he’s been best known as the adoptive father of Paris Hilton’s sidekick — but he’s had enough of that shit and he’s ready for a comeback. He’s visiting the WinStar Casino Friday to bring us some old school Ritchie, and also to cash in on the guaranteed record and ticket sales from adding a fiddle to “Say You, Say Me.” Guess we’re gonna ride this revival train “All Night Long.” Jaime-Paul Falcon

My Morning Jacket
With Fruit Bats, 8 p.m. Saturday, October 24, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or, $46

Indie rock vets 10 years past their creative prime (2005’s Z), My Morning Jacket are a constantly evolving attempt to find further revelation in the soaring voice of Jim James, providing canvasses of all shapes and sizes for his vocal paintbrush to fill in. This year’s The Waterfall approximates their best work — for stretches, anyway — and that’s all a legacy act really needs to keep the juices flowing on tour. Album-opener “Believe” is designed for festivals and stage lights, a one-word command/plea that lets audiences fill in the blanks with whatever variation of vaguely defined spirituality their hearts desire. I’d expect to hear it loud and proud, combining with the similarly instrumental “Wordless Chorus” to bring Verizon Theatre a hipper-than-usual crowd. If you’re into songs where the words actually matter, Fruit Bats are the opening act, and they’ve gotten better with age on their increasingly ruminative recent albums. If nothing else, it’s a nice change of pace for a venue that mostly plays host to bands like Phish, Hank Williams, Jr. and Don Henley. Ten years is nothing. Brian Peterson

Tobias Jesso Jr.
7 p.m. Saturday, October 24, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $24-35

Singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. fits the archetype of the moody, crooning solo act with exquisitely tousled hair. But instead of assuming the easy perspective of a curmudgeon, his tales of lost love echo Elton John's somber reflection. He'll harp on his Sad Boy feelings, sure, but he avoids adding the bite of bitterness that might make you question hearing only his side of the story. MW

Josh Groban
7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 25, at Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1 Ave., 214-565-1116 or, Sold out

A few months ago, Entertainment Weekly took Josh Groban to a tiny piano bar in Manhattan. After a few whiskeys, Groban took a seat at the piano and sang with the crowd. Which prompts a thought I never thought I’d entertain: Would it be fun to grab a beer with Josh Groban? Based on recent press and a tour of his Twitter feed (One tweet: “Rick Moranis appreciation tweet”), I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. Groban, it turns out, is funny. Earlier this year, he released the passion project Stages, a showstopper seventh studio album filled with standards from musical theater and film (including a goosebump-inducing Phantom of the Opera duet). Surrounding the release, Groban has been engaging the country with his wit, humor and charm, proving he’s more than just your grandma’s favorite dinner singer. He was great on Parks and Rec; on Live With Kelly & Michael, after the show’s hosts asked him about his beard, he remarked, “I bought an axe yesterday”; and when you purchase a ticket to his concert you get a digital copy of his album. Very cool, Josh, very cool. Nick Rallo

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