The 10 Best Concerts this Week: Carly Rae Jepsen, Megadeth & More

Ishi usually pack out Trees, but this week they'll be at RBC — and playing for free.
Ishi usually pack out Trees, but this week they'll be at RBC — and playing for free.
Mike Brooks

Whether you love or hate Kanye West, this was a bad week for you. If you hate him, your timelines were flooded with speculation about his cryptic album release and borderline schizophrenic tweets. And if you love him, you were taunted and Frank Ocean'd about the release date about three times over. But don't fret — just raid your nearest convenience store for all the half-off Valentine's Day chocolates and plan to go to a show to start a new week. I mean, it isn't physically possible to be joyless at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, but if need be you could work through your anger with Megadeth.

With Orgullo Primitivo, BS Wright, Bvthhouse and Teen Slut, 10:30 p.m. Monday, at RBC, 2617 Commerce St., Free

Ishi are a band of survivors. When their debut album, 2010’s Through the Trees, met with mixed reviews, singer Taylor Rea left soon after, leaving Ishi’s future in doubt. The band soldiered on, releasing 2013’s Digital Wounds to critical acclaim and garnering a fanbase devoted to their slinky dance-pop and singer J.T. Mudd’s lustful dance moves. “Toss & Turn,” the group’s collaborative single with producer Artful, refines the Ishi sound down to frothy textures. Have no fear — Ishi are as smooth as ever. And with a free Monday night show as a part of RBC's Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions, things should get plenty crazy. Caleb Wossen

Jason Isbell
With Shovels and Rope, 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 972-343-2444 or, $35

I don’t presume to fully understand the challenges life has presented to Jason Isbell, but I respect its illumination in his music. Take the release of Southeastern, his 2013 solo record, coupled with an interview in the New York Times Magazine called “Jason Isbell, Unloaded,” and you see a powerful chunk of the bobbing iceberg that caused Isbell to enter an alcohol and drug treatment center. At the time of the story, the singer had four days until his wedding and three days to finish Southeastern, and he was looking manic. You can hear the difficulties he faces in his music, and it’s beautiful. Listen to “Live Oak,” if you don’t believe. Southeastern is more startling and raw than Something More Than Free, his latest, but Isbell’s heart is just as strong in this latest outing. Like Ryan Adams, Isbell’s sound has fluctuated greatly between band and solo career, and even more like Adams, Isbell is at his best when he’s acoustic and raw. With or without a backing band, acoustic-raw or folk-rock heavy, it’s a show that promises heart. Nick Rallo

Warren Haynes
7 p.m. Wednesday, February 17, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $35-$60

Warren Haynes’ decorated career as a guitarist started by setting the bar pretty high — with the Allman Brothers. During the group’s third reunion in the 2000s, he found himself (along with three other Allman Brothers guitarists) on Rolling Stone’s "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." But of course that wasn’t enough, so he founded Gov’t Mule to rekindle the world of Southern jam rock, and they have been going strong for 12 years. MW

Barry Manilow
7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 18, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or, $19.75-$249.75

72-year-old “Copacabana” singer Barry Manilow will play a likely sold-out show at American Airlines Center on Thursday, during the Dallas stop of his One Last Time Tour. There are tickets still available, though, and after news of his recent surgery maybe it won’t sell out after all. At the beginning of the month, after a sold-out show in Memphis, Manilow was rushed back to Los Angeles and hospitalized for complications from emergency oral surgery. Manilow had to reschedule two tour dates, in Highland Heights and Nashville, following the hospital stay, as he was instructed not to talk, sing or rap for 48 hours. In 2014 the prolific American singer/songwriter released two albums, the Grammy-nominated Night Songs, and My Dream Duets. The One Last Time Tour occurs in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of his first No. 1 song, “Mandy.” With a career as old as time and having received praise from everyone from Sinatra to Dylan, Manilow’s show should be one for the books.Sara Button

Bob Schneider
6:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday, February 19, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., $22-$35

If you've never attended a Bob Schneider gig, it's highly probable you'll spend a good portion of a show asking, "Did he —?" To clear things up: Yes. Yes, he did. Schneider bellows pirate drinking songs ("Sons of Ralph"), free-styles about stretching condoms on the bathroom floor, tells poop jokes, air-drums Phil Collins beats and lists things he's interested in that start with the letter "F." (Oh my!) Here's to hoping Schneider puts out a bona fide hip-hop record in the near future. Melissa Crowe

Carly Rae Jepson
With Cardiknox and Fairground Saints, 8:30 p.m. Friday, February 19, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $25

No one expected the girl behind “Call Me Maybe” to evolve into one of the best pop artists of 2015, but that’s exactly what Carly Rae Jepsen did. After the release of Emotion, her stunning sophomore effort, Jepsen transitioned from garden-variety bubblegum into the kind of evocative pop that ends up on even the snobbiest of critics’ “best of” lists. The subject matter is still occasionally light and superficial, but overall it’s catchy music that you don’t feel guilty listening to. Throngs of screaming teenagers and “Call Me Maybe” aside, Friday night’s show at House of Blues shouldn’t be missed. Amy McCarthy

Kid Cudi
7 p.m. Friday, February 19, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6507 or, Sold Out

This sold-out rescheduled affair comes on the heels of the release of Kid Cudi’s polarizing sixth studio album, Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, which is a raw, unapologetic, ’90s-inspired grunge-rock album. The sonics of this latest release are a complete departure from the dark, atmospheric hip-hop Cudi established his cult icon status with, but the rapper turned rocker still offers up the same deep, introspective material about his personal demons and existential crises that initially won him fans so many years ago. Those same personal issues coupled with production setbacks delayed the initial run of this Especial Tour, so Cudi’s diehard fans will likely be rewarded for their patience with a spectacle. Mikel Galicia

With Suicidal Tendencies, Children of Bodomo and Havok, 7 p.m. Saturday, February 20, at South Side Ballroom,, $45
Dave Mustaine has made quite a career out of getting even with Metallica for kicking him out of the band in 1983. Hell, it was really crazy when he showed up in Metallica’s documentary, Some Kind of Monster, in 2004, still harboring such resentment that it continues to harm his health, even after selling millions of records. Megadeth have been going for over three decades, and the album covers are still wicked and Mustaine can still shred and growl. Whatever you think of Mustaine, there is no questioning the enormous influence he had on metal in the ’80s. Amazingly, the band had one of its biggest hits during the ’90s grunge era with “Sympathy of Destruction,” which even had a video in constant rotation on MTV. They may not have produced another commercially successful single since, but Megadeth have pushed on with a steady stream of albums and tours, packing out venues all over the globe. They are insanely popular in Japan. This is standing room only in a warehouse-type setting. You should go. Jeremy Hallock

Over the Rhine
7 p.m. Saturday, February 20, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $24-50

To the casual listener, the most recognizable thing about this Ohio-based ensemble probably has little to do with the band itself. Rather, it's singer Karin Bergquist's ties to the Cowboy Junkies, whom she sang with on several recordings from the band's prime. Over the Rhine has also toured on multiple occasions with the Junkies, so the ties are more than passing ones. Same goes with the music, too: the elegant acoustic tunes that Bergquist and her husband, Linford Detweiler, play are beautiful stuff. Jeff Gage

Hoodie Allen
With Blackbear, 8 p.m. Sunday, February 21, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $25-$30

What type of person would get a bachelor's degree from an Ivy League school, land a job at Google and then throw it all away to become a rapper? A person like Hoodie Allen, apparently, because that's exactly what he did. This is somewhat commendable, because the potential gross income for folks in Silicon Valley is higher than pretty much every other profession, even pop stars. Since leaving Google for a career in hip-hop, Hoodie Allen has created a grassroots movement among fans of unassuming friendly rap and his debut studio album, People Keep Talking, climbed to the No. 2 spot on Billboard's top rap albums. HDB

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