The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Macklemore, Tool & More

All hail to the Macklemore, who visits hallowed casino grounds (but not actually Dallas) this weekend.
All hail to the Macklemore, who visits hallowed casino grounds (but not actually Dallas) this weekend.
Kobby Dagan/

This week we're getting back into the swing of things. You can catch Tool's return to Dallas after four years and explain why "Hooker With a Penis" is brilliant. Or you can watch Macklemore catch bodies on his moped while insisting that he keeps it extremely "real." Or if you're looking to soothe your inner pop-punk, then Never Shout Never's got the plug. Any one of these should keep you distracted as Yeezy season approaches and Kanye's tour renders all other shows irrelevant.

9 p.m. Tuesday, January 12 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., Free

At Three Links, CoLab has been tasked with a daunting weekly expectation — performing an improvisational hip-hop show. The Dallas collective combines funk, soul, R&B and hip-hop to create an unexpected fusion sound with their incredibly talented arsenal of musicians. Above all else though, the quality they pride themselves on most is the “ass-shakin’” effects of their music, which should be all the reason you need to show everyone that them hips don’t lie. Matt Wood

Never Shout Never
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 13 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $18

Christofer Drew Ingle is the (young) man behind Never Shout Never and, if the guy's music wasn't so catchy, you'd probably want to punch him. Being a vegan is one thing, but saying you spell your own band name differently depending on your mood is quite another. But hey, Ingle is just 24 years old, so maybe we can excuse him of his rather annoying naiveté. What is Love, Never Shout Never's debut mini-album came out this past January and is, at best, an acquired taste. Ingle can write a nice harmony and his nasal vocals have a certain Jonathan Richman-like charm, but the effort's major drawback is Ingle's emo leanings. If the guy would stick with straight pop, he may start appealing to folks other than mall rats. Arizona's The Maine is a bit of a better proposition, mostly because the band consists of five members that help fill out the sound. In any case, both Never Shout Never and The Maine offer better-than-average, by-the-numbers pop, done without a hint of raggedness. Darryl Smyers

With Meytal, Halcyon, Generator and Bezel, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 14, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or, $32.50

The Geoff Tate-less version of Queensrÿche continues to fly its flag of influential prog and hard rock. Front man Todd La Torre can hit notes Tate can't hit anymore and he doesn't spit on his bandmates. They've put out two decent records since splitting with Tate (and retaining the band's name) so you'll hear a few songs from this new era, but also "Silent Lucidity" and "Jet City Woman" and a few tunes from their landmark concept record, Operation: Mindcrime. Hardcore fans of the band appear to be happy to see 3/5ths of the original band still intact and the strength of La Torre's voice. Together now for 30-plus years of tumult and shifting genres, it’s amazing they’re able to still deliver. Given the sound system at Trees, the quintet will probably sound like they're playing an arena. And that's right, the show starts at 6:30 because there are four opening acts. Eric Grubbs

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
9 p.m. Friday, January 15, at Winstar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 580-276-4229 or, $65-$125

Winstar, yes. Macklemore…eh? Exit 1 in Oklahoma, a mere hour and a half from the heart of Dallas, has been stepping up their booking game lately. It's seemed that a lot of comedians have been coming through with new material, testing crowds and such. And now they're kicking their 2016 music schedule into gear with an appearance by Seattle rapper Ben Haggerty, better known to most as Macklemore. He hasn’t released a solo album since 2011, with his latest release, 2012's smash-hit The Heist, a collaboration with Ryan Lewis, who joins him at Winstar. Maybe you remember the hit song “Thrift Shop.” Poppin’ tags, anyone? But hey, if you win four Grammys on one album you can tour it for as long as you want, right? The duo will be skipping a Dallas date, but continuing the tour with legs in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, which is – how shall we put it? – kind of interesting. Why not Dallas, Mack? Sara Button

Quiet Company
8 p.m. Friday, January 15, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $12

Quiet Company's cinematic rock, in which a piano makes some guest appearances, is enough to overwhelm you in a small and well-put together venue like Three Links. The band, which hails from Austin, packs a great indie rock punch as they add soaring choruses to the frequent guest stars like the aforementioned piano and bright brass notes. H. Drew Blackburn

8 p.m. Friday, January 15, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $15

Knob twiddling electronic artists are birthed in the hallowed land of Brooklyn. Tanlines is from that Mecca, and they bring scriptures in song. Their latest album came by way of a big stunt, with their website being reupholstered to look like Netflix. The duo of Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen bring buoyant and radiant music to the table, stuff lit up like Christmas lights at a mid-aughts Williamsburg party. HDB

Johnny Mathis
8 p.m. Saturday, January 16, at WinStar Casino, 777 Casino Ave, $55-80

Johnny Mathis is a vocal virtuoso. His genre mastery spans jazz, Brazilian, R&B, soul, Spanish, Broadway Theatre and even Tin Pan Alley songs popularized in the ‘20s. He’s sold a staggering 350 million records in his lifetime, making him the third best-selling artist of the 20th century. Best of all, he’s one of our own — he came out of Gilmer, Texas, where he first learned to play piano and sing in the 1930s. MW

The Azalea Project
7 p.m. Saturday, January 16, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $8-10

North Texas' obsession with teenage musical groups dates back to the '90s when a young Ben Kweller and some friends formed Radish and were promptly declared the next big thing. From there it’s been a mish-mash of teenaged bands from a variety of genres declared the thing to see in Dallas, only for them to find the pressure too much and peter out, or for the media to move on to something newer and shinier. It seems we might finally have a group that will buck the trend: The Azalea Project was born out of a childhood friendship and nurtured by a stint at Dallas’ Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts, and doesn’t seem limited by the fact that the group formed so young. Yes, the hype is raging, and the band is young, but it seems like the group is poised to take advantage of the opportunity. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Felix Da Housecat
With DJ Red Eye, 10 p.m. Saturday, January 16, at It'll Do Club, 4322 Elm St., 214-827-7236 or, $15/$20 at the door

This Saturday Dallas gets a dose of the real-deal, second-generation Chicago house business by way of Felix Da Housecat. A master of his craft, Felix is the kind of DJ that can squeeze everything from Detroit techno, classic Chicago house or '80s synthpop into a single mix and make it all make sense together. Last summer, he released Narrative of Thee Blast Illusion, an album that is kind of all over the place stylistically in the most wonderful, retro way. He even dives into digital dub in a collaboration with the legendary Lee Scratch Perry on the track “The Natural.” Narrative as a whole is an understated pop record with a DIY sensibility. This is not reflected in the DJ sets that have popped up over the past year, however, where Felix's “take no prisoners” energy is very much alive, present and funky. Wanz Dover

With Primus and 3Teeth, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, January 17, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5050 or, Sold out

Tool’s Maynard James Keenan is an unpredictable weirdo. Two side projects, making wine and acting have put the band on hiatus a number of times. It has been 10 years since Tool released an album, so who knows why they are touring now or when you can expect to see them again. Last time I saw Tool was ages ago at a music festival. Not being in the mood for anything that even remotely sounded like metal, I rolled my eyes and prepared to sit through their set. But nobody sat. Tool came out with giants straight out of a circus. Keenan was wearing high heels, a dress and he had fake breasts. Occasionally one of the giants lifted him up on their shoulders and carried him around the stage. And the guy can sing. Also, the band can play. It was incredible to hear Bill Hicks’ voice come out of the speakers before Tool played their tribute to him, “Third Eye.” “Hooker With a Penis” was so intense it may have sent pregnant women into labor. This is a band you should see live. Jeremy Hallock

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