The Best Concerts in Dallas This Weekend: SZA, the Tontons and More

TDE's queen, SZA, visits Dallas this weekend.
TDE's queen, SZA, visits Dallas this weekend.
Image via the artist

Sadly, this weekend hasn't gotten off on the right foot: The Yasiin Bey show got canceled because the artists formerly known as Mos Def got ill. You'll have to catch him at The Bomb Factory August 29th instead. Regardless of that canceled show, there's some great stuff still happening this weekend. You've got a Red Bull Sound Select show at Trees with Ishi, Sealion, Wrestlers and Blue, the Misfit. The Tontons play a free show in Fort Worth. SZA plays at the South Side Music Hall. Legend Shuggie Otis plays Dada. And Keith Sweat does an all R&B show at Verizon with SWV and Bel Biv Devoe. We hope Mr. Bey gets well soon, but we'll be partying in his honor this weekend. 

Ishi
With Wrestlers, Sealion and Blue, the Misfit, 7 p.m. Friday, July 10, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $3 with RSVP

One of the most eccentric things you can see in Dallas is an Ishi show. I've been to one where seemingly everyone with a date and/or a blood alcohol content above 0.08 was grinding on one another. It's a grand time. The band's electro-funk-folk sound is sure to send a jolt through you, and it can turn a wallflower into the most gifted dancer in the soul train line. This time they'll be playing with Sealion, Blue, the Misfit and Austin's Wrestlers for the latest Red Bull Sound Select showcase, which makes for an extra wild party because it costs only $3. HDB

The New Bohemians
9 p.m., Friday July 10, All Good Cafe, 2934 Main Street, $10

Late last year, the New Bohemians reunited for the first time in eight years for the Oak Cliff Music Festival. Lead singer Edie Brickell has been a little busy over the years, releasing an album with Steve Martin and recording material with the indie rock band, the Heavy Circles. Guitarist, Kenny Withrow, is an active member of Dallas' music community performing in the Grateful Dead Tribute band, Forgotten Space. And a few of the members live in Austin. Catch them at this cafe for an intimate show, that’s sadly without Brickell, but will be worth the price. HDB

The Tontons
10 p.m., Friday, July 10, Bar Louie, West 7th Property, 2973 W 7th St, Fort Worth, Free

The Tontons are a treasure in the third best city in Texas, Houston. The band pulled off a considerable feat by being the first local act in 10 years to sell out storied venue Fitzgerald's upstairs room. That's about 750 people, give or take, and they did it through pre-sale. The indie band has earned their praise, too. Bun B referred to them as the city's best local band and they've received coverage from such esteemed publications as The New York Times, MTV, and the Dallas Observer. (Clears throat.) This is a great show to check out for the price of nothing. HDB

Quiet Company
With Knox Hamilton 8 p.m., Friday, July 10, at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $18-32

Quiet Company's cinematic rock, in which a piano makes some guest appearances, is perfect for an urbane theater like the Kessler. The band, which hails from Austin and shouldn't be mistaken for either Quiet Riot or Bad Company, packs a great indie rock punch full of soaring choruses and frequent star turns from a brass section and the aforementioned piano. Public service announcement: Remember not to wear fringe boots or talk rudely. That tends to get folks in trouble here. HDB

The Clinton Years
10 p.m. Friday, July 10, at Twilite Lounge, 2640 Elm St., 214-741-2121 or thetwilitelounge.com, Free

The Clinton Years are more or less a term we remember for a thang that clings to a certain intern. But this is also the era of Nickelodeon at its finest form. This is the time when the Power Rangers, Pokemon and the Macarena all took over like SARS, Ebola and Y2K were supposed to do. It was the best of times, it was the as if of times. What was really awesome about the '90s was the music, and the Clinton Years play cover songs from that wondrous era. Sit back, relax and turn back the hands of time while you shoot some b-ball outside of the school, until a couple of guys who are up to no good start making trouble in your neighborhood. HDB

Tedeschi Trucks Band
With Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Doyle Bramhall II, 7 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at Gexxa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or gexaenergypavilion.net, $30-100

Their weird name made more sense when it was Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band. That looks like a pair of talented musicians who made a band. Tedeschi Trucks Band sounds like it was named after an obscure vehicle manufacturer. But alas, the blues rock band packs a punch of 11 members, which is enough soul to pump life into at least a few souls at Gettysburg. These blues captures the grit, heat and twang of the South quite brilliantly. HDB

SZA
With Tut. Doors open at 7:11 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at South Side Music Hall, 1135 South Lamar St, ticketfly.com, songkick.com, $37-$60

There's a girl next door appeal to New Jersey R&B singer SZA, but beneath her relatable facade is a young artist with some serious chops. A serious resume, too: At 24, the artist otherwise known as Solana Rowe can already count writing credits and collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Thundercat and Top Dog Entertainment comrades Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul to her name. She's the epitome of genre-blending versatility and her star is on the rise in its own right, with her clever wordplay and big vocal range propelling her three EPs to increasing acclaim; 2014's Z debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at No. 9 on the Hip-Hop/R&B chart. So if you're curious what the future of R&B sounds like, get yourself to Gilley's idea. Morganne Cameron

Kieth Sweat
With Bel Biv Devoe, SWV, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $40-80

Your mom is probably stoked for this one. This is an R&B fest and it's not a festival at all, just three acts. However, those acts are damned good and remarkable from the heyday of R&B in the early '90s. Keith Sweat, the chief begging man, headlines. Bel Biv Devoe new jack swings their way onto the bill. Sisters With Voices, ahem, I mean, SWV round out the bill. HDB

Stevie James Trio
10 p.m. Sunday, July 12, at Sundown at Granada Theater, 3520 Greenville Ave., 214-823-8305 or granadatheater.com, Free

The Stevie James Trio keeps the blues as as alive and searing as they should be in 2015. No, there's not a bunch of that bass (word to that annoying song by that person who had the song all the time on the radio last year) or knob twiddling going on, but hell, this has soul. Long and smoldering hot solos will be had. They are undoubtedly gonna happen and that's the way we like it. HDB

Shuggie Otis
With Larry g(EE), 8 p.m. Sunday, July 12, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $25

You have a chance to catch a legitimate music legend Sunday night at Club Dada, and if you’re smart you’ll drop the $25 to do so. Shuggie Otis is a god to the cult of fans who worship at the altar of acid jazz, particularly his 1974 album Inspiration Information, which David Brybe’s Luska Bop Records re-released in 2001. Otis worked with some of the most important musicians of the last century, everyone from Quincy Jones to Frank Zappa and Etta James. He also spent years performing on his father, R&B legend Johnny Otis', albums. The release of 2013’s Wings of Love brought Otis back to prominence as the hype machine led to critics jumping over themselves to praise Otis’ previous work, with Otis getting The New York Times profile treatment and touring the world. Two years have passed since praise for Otis went into hyper speed, and the mercurial artist is still touring, which is just how it should be. Catch him at Dada and you'll earn some serious music cred points. Jaime-Paul Falcon


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