It's about time Dallas has a throwback weekend, don't you think? Well, even if you don't think so, that's a good part of what you're going to get. From here to Choctaw Casino, bands who had their day in that exciting epoch of history between the 1970s and the '90s will be swarming the North Texas area. Just to be safe, you might want to keep a close eye on your parents. But either way, here's a batch of seven of the concerts that are essential to know about between now and next Monday.
What once began as a jazz-centric music festival in a completely different part of town seems to have grown nicely into its niche. Recent appearance by the likes of Dr. Dog, Kevin Eubanks, Galactic and The Walkmen have helped turn Fort Worth Fest into a bona fide destination event, and this year's headliners -- alt-country queen Lucinda Williams, post-hardcore emo heroes Jimmy Eat World, and legendary beard of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons -- suggest another stellar installment. Local studs such as Ronnie Fauss, Oil Boom and Air Review certainly give the event a local feel without staying too small. What's more, it's tough to imagine a better spot for an outdoor, urban-placed festival in the Metroplex: Fort Worth has figured out how to make the banks of the Trinity River an appealing location, unlike a certain city we all are familiar with.Kelly DearmoreHank Williams Jr. 7 p.m. Friday, May 16, at Choctaw Event Center, 3735 Choctaw Road, Durant, Oklahoma, 888-652-4628 or choctawcasinos.com, $54-$157
Is it unfair to suggest that the average Hank Williams Jr. fan will probably miss the irony of Bocephus performing his popular pro-'Murican fight song, "Takin' Back the Country," at a casino owned by the Choctaw Nation -- a tribe whose literal country was taken from it by the U.S. government in 1830? Well hey, at least he's not playing for a Gambian dictator. (Sorry, too soon?) In any case, Williams and a band's-worth of his presumably rowdy friends will descend upon the Choctaw Event Center at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma,about 90 minutes north of Dallas. While his most recent material is more or less incendiary Red State anthems/mad-at-the-media diatribes, Williams will probably still play "Family Tradition." The chutzpah alone should be worth the drive.Steve StewardJoan Osborne With Seth Walker, 7 p.m. Friday, May 16, at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org $20-22.50
When Eric Bazilian wrote "One of Us," it was to impress a girl. What it ended up being was Joan Osborne's Grammy-nominated hit song. But unlike most pop songs about mushy gushy love, "One of Us" explores the idea that God could be walking among everyone. But recording mega pop hits isn't the only thing Osborne is capable of. She sings nearly all genres, everything from soul to blues to country, and turned a stint fronting the Grateful Dead after they'd morphed into the Dead, post-Jerry Garcia. Osborne even recorded an album full of blues and R&B covers, including songs originated by Ray Charles and Otis Redding. Now 20 years removed from her big hit, she's forged a career far more diverse than any one song might suggest.Paige SkinnerForeigner With Styx and Don Felder, 7 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5050 or verizontheatre.com, $17.50-87.50
Don't you hate it when good tunes are ruined by some kid trying to play it on a video game likeGuitar Hero
? In the case of Foreigner, their songs somehow seem tailor-made for such vicarious experiences. Songs like "I Want To Know What Love Is" and, of course, "Juke Box Hero" were rooted in starry-eyed themes of fame and romance. Now, nearly 40 years after those songs made them famous, Mick Jones (not to be confused with Joe Strummer's old band mate) and his crew have managed to coast through the decades on a handful of bombastic hits that still enable them to fill arenas like the Verizon Theatre. Disdain it if you will, but it's hard to deny the widespread appeal of these would-be heroes especially when they're joined by fellow dad-rock celebs like Styx and the Eagles' Don Felder.Paige SkinnerMoving Units With Mr. Kitty and NITE, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $10-$12
To say that Los Angeles indie-dance band Moving Units is aptly named is just too irresistible: The group has seen more changes in its lineup than Destiny's Child or Guns 'N Roses. Even Blake Miller, the lead singer and only remaining original member, had a hiatus from the group, during which time he focused on DJing and collaborated with Steve Aoki in Weird Science. Over its 12-year existence, the band has shifted styles with bipolar unpredictability, drawing comparisons to bands as disparate as the Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, and Pulp. The band's latest album,Neurotic Exotic
, is a moody and enchanting work including the school-note confession "Kate Moss in '97." It's also only record so far from the current lineup. We'll see what mood they're when hit Dada.Eva RaggioTodd Edwards With DJ Red Eye, 10 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at It'll Do Club, 4322 Elm St., 214-827-7236, $15
When he plays It'll Do this Saturday, dance music legend and Daft Punk collaborator Todd Edwards will be making his first visit to Dallas. Far from a household name in America, Edwards, who has spent most of his career based in New Jersey, has been a mainstay of popular dance music since the mid-'90s throughout the rest of the world. Taking his inspiration from house trailblazers like Todd Terry, MK and Master at Work, Edwards channels a deep love for house music to create a signature sound of his own -- a sound that has had a huge influence on U.K. garage, house and even some of the more Eurocentric dubstep. In fact, amongst those scenes he is affectionately referred to as "Todd the God" for the enormous impact he has had on DJ culture over the past two decades.Wanz Dover
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This year, Mint Condition celebrate their 30th year together, but you wouldn't know it from their ageless appearances. As their name suggests, this band's smooth R&B is pristine, laying it on thick with sleek grooves and sultry vocals. The band writes and produces all of their own songs and that has stood out to fans and peers alike. Originating in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mint Condition's biggest fan might actually be Prince. But don't take our word for it. The Purple One actually invited the band on his two-year Welcome 2 America tour. Now the quintet is performing on its own and should be right at home in the snug environs of the House of Blues.Paige Skinner