For once, going back to work on a Monday comes with a pay-off in sight: This week we'll get a three-day weekend, courtesy of Labor Day falling a week from today. So that, at least, is something to take comfort in. What else is there to be excited about? Why, all the fine concerts coming through Dallas in the next seven days, that's what. Whether it's country, metal or boy bands, there's something worth seeing each night.
They were supposed to be somebodies. In 2007 when music blogs ruled the world (RIP Music Blogs 2005-Whenever Gorilla Vs. Bear dies) Black Kids took the world by storm with their Myspace-released EP The Wizard of Ahhhs, gaining major hype form blogs and traditional media alike, including an 8.4 out of 10 rating from Pitchfork. Then everything went to hell when their LP Party Traumatic came out and Pitchfork's review of the album was a picture of two pugs standing next to each other, a caption that read "Sorry :/" and rating of 3.3. They never quite recovered. But hey, it's been six years and the band is still going, so in the parlance of the times, "fuck the haters." There are rumors of a new album and the band's been touring since late 2013, so maybe we have a comeback story on our hands.Jaime-Paul FalconOneRepublic With Christina Perri, 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 26 at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st. Ave., 214-421-1111
There's a good chance you've found yourself humming along to the hit "Counting Stars" in your car in recent months. That's because OneRepublic has been pretty much dominating the pop airwaves with that song and their most recent single, "Love Runs Out." But this band didn't come from nowhere. If you've forgotten, OneRepublic also graced us with "Apologize" and "Stop and Stare" more than seven years ago. And it's safe to say Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic's lead singer, is partly to blame for a lot of the songs getting stuck in your head. He's helped write and produce songs such as "Neon Lights" by Demi Lovato, "Rumour Has It" by Adele, "Halo" by Beyoncé and "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis. With songwriting credits like that, it's obvious OneRepublic will keep churning out hits.Paige SkinnerClint Black 8 p.m., Wednesday, August 27, at McKinney Performing Arts Center, 222 N. Tennessee St., McKinney, 972-547-7500 or mckinneytexas.org, Sold out
Clint Black's long and storied career, complete with 22 No. 1 songs and a plethora of CMA honors, makes him one of the most popular country entertainers of all time. Beyond that, he's also widely regarded as one of Nashville's best songwriters. After hitting it big in 1989 with "Killin' Time," Black enjoyed a great deal of commercial and critical success in the 1990s until he decided to take a hiatus from the music industry in 2001. Since rejoining the country scene in 2005, Black's recordings have largely flown under the radar, if both vocally and musically strong. Still, if recent shows in Dallas and other cities across the country are any indication, expect to hear plenty of Black's early-to-late '90s work mixed in with some of his favorite country covers at Wednesday night's sold-out show at the McKinney Performing Arts Center.Amy McCarthyKeb' Mo' With G. Love & Special Sauce, 8 p.m. Thursday, August 28, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., houseofblues.com/dallas or 214-978-2583, $34-$72
Although he is often described as a blues musician, Kevin Moore - better known as Keb' Mo' - is far from a purist in the tradition of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Such a distinction is a good thing as Mo' has served as a link between those legendary figures and a more contemporary, soul-influenced style of blues. Indeed, Mo's most recent effort, BLUESAmericana, has the feel of a compilation album as each track features a unique take on the genre. Songs like "The Worst is Yet to Come" and "Do it Right" are well-played, slickly produced and easily digestible mixtures of pop, rock and blues that go well with sitting on the couch and throwing back some cold ones.Darryl SmyersBilal 8 p.m., Friday, August 29, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $25-$30
Fun fact about critically acclaimed neo-soul singer Bilal (born Bilal Sayeed Oliver): he was discovered in his teens by none other than the drummer of the Spin Doctors. Did you also know that the band that would become the Spin Doctors was also a side-project for John Popper? Be careful of the Wikipedia rabbit hole when you have things to do, because it's probably fewer than six clicks between the man who wrote the "The Hook" and learning about proboscis worms. Anyway, over the course of 20 years, Bilal's collaborated with the Roots, Eryka Badu and practically anyone else you can imagine who would record songs with the Roots and Eryka Badu. He's also recorded four increasingly compelling R&B albums. The most recent, 2013's A Love Surreal, is a groovy journey of otherworldly funk, Rhodes-driven jazz and sweaty R&B that sounds like a Quiet Storm broadcast from 2075.Steve StewardChimaira With the Plot in You, Upon This Dawning, Allegeaon, Silence the Messenger, Deathstar and Design of Destiny, 8 p.m., Friday, August 29, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $16
Due to numerous lineup changes over the course of 16 years, vocalist Mark Hunter is the only original member of Cleveland's Chimaira. Incredibly, the heavy metal band's sound hasn't deviated that much from the 2001 debut Pass Out of Existence to last year's Crown of Phantoms. Fans have complained about the loss of guitarist Rob Arnold, but Chimaira's severe version of groove metal is as potent as ever. It seems that it doesn't really matter what players Hunter surrounds himself with; the results over the years have proven remarkably consistent.DSGroupelove and Portugal. the Man With Starfucker, 7 p.m. Saturday, August 30, at South Side Music Hall, 1135 S Lamar St, 214-421-2021 or southsidemusichall.com, $37.75-$39
I'm 99% sure that Portugal. the Man fans have formed some sort of cult around the band's music - which is not to say "cult favorites," but a literal cult with ceremonies, traditions, robes and chanting set to fuzzy indie rock. Such is the devotion to the Alaskan group that I have heard of fans pulling the Deadhead move and following the band around on multiple tour stops, trips that cover dozens of states and thousand of miles. That's dedication. Meanwhile, co-headliner Grouplove has conquered alt-rock radio and the festival circuit with their inoffensive dance-pop that's driven neon-clad teens into a frenzy worldwide. On top of all that this show also features the insanely catchy Starfucker, the band responsible for the world's greatest Cyndi Lauper cover. So get there early, hydrate and dance your little heads off, kids.JPFTravis Tritt 8 p.m. Saturday, August 30, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117 or billybobstexas.com, $15-$28
Since the early '90s, Travis Tritt's characteristic long hair and southern-rock vocals have been a common fixture on the airwaves. You probably remember him from "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," the honky tonk hit that made him a country mainstay. In the later years of his career, Tritt earned a reputation as a bit of an "outlaw" in country music, especially as his rough-around-the-edges, southern-rock-and-blues-influenced tunes stood up against the slicked-up likes of George Strait. At Billy Bob's Texas on August 30, Tritt will visit Texas in his natural habitat: the honky tonk. Shine up your boots and get ready for a show that will assuredly be 100 percent country -- even if country isn't so country anymore.AM
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What's crazy about the REO Speedwagon's 1980 hit machine/Trans-Am heavy-petting mood-setter High Infidelity is that the band was nine albums and 13 years into its career when it scored this millions-selling monster. The Beatles may have made more records in a shorter period of time, but what would you rather hear in a roller rink arcade while pining away for some older girl as your pitifullysmall Icee leaks syrup onto the buttons of a Space Invaders? "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" or "Keep On Loving You?" I guess it matters most where your nostalgia comes from, but either way, nostalgia will be the driving force behind one's decision to see the band. Speaking of which, yes, Kevin Cronin is still singing, but no, he doesn't still have that perm. His hair looks like Ellen Degeneres' now.SS