The Nine Must-See Concerts in DFW This Week: June 27-July 3
LL Cool J, caught in a rare moment wearing a shirt.
There's a lot happening in music around here -- a lot has happened this week, in fact. In this sprawling metropolitan music scene, with a kaleidoscopic framework of ever-changing people and bands and venues and ideas, a lot happens at once. The only thing we know for sure is that the people who make our city (and cities) so great and engaging -- musicians, venue leaders and the like -- will continue to do just that. So before this week is over, get out there and see something interesting, donate to a touring band's gas fund, help lug gear into the club down the street from your house or go hoarse screaming in an arena. Here's a little list of shows to get you kick-started.
Grandmothers of Invention Thursday, June 27, at The Kessler Theater, $20-$27 Back in the day, Frank Zappa had a backing band, The Mothers of Invention, and they were damn fine musicians. Well, they still are, and believe it or not, all of the original members (with exception of one rotating sit-in electric guitarist) continue to play and tour, paying homage to Zappa's immeasurable jazz-rock. Put simply, it's the music of Frank Zappa, performed by the musicians who were there when it was created -- which makes it very fitting that today, in this new wave, they would call themselves the Grandmothers of Invention. -- Rachel Watts
Black Tie Dynasty, The Demigs, Missing Sibling Friday, June 28, at Double-Wide, $7 The sharp and suited guys of Black Tie Dynasty haven't played around DFW in quite some time, until now. They've randomly booked June plum to the brim, which means they've got something up those spiffy sleeves of theirs. The Demigs, on the other hand, have been very open about their plans: The indie-pop group has got a new double album in the works, which they're in the middle of recording and mastering themselves, and expect to release later this year. Catch both of these amazing bands and opener Missing Sibling at Double-Wide this weekend. -- Rachel Watts
Stryper Friday, June 28, at Granada Theater, $29 Michael Sweet and his band Stryper are proof positive that "Christian" and "heavy metal" are not mutually exclusive terms. Sure, Stryper burst onto the scene way back in 1983 and looked more strident than spiritual, but the years have been kind to these Bible-throwing, big-haired rockers. 1986's To Hell With the Devil is probably Stryper's high-water mark and it is certainly as good as anything released by Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Poison or any other secular hair metal act. Plus, by taking the religious angle, Stryper exposed a lot of impressionable young people to a style of music many had never experienced before. This subversive undercurrent was certainly not intentional, but Stryper probably has done more subverting than converting. Now, it all looks like an Off Broadway musical full of decent sets, OK musical numbers and people still getting plunked in the head with King James versions of the good book. -- Darryl Smyers
New Kids on the Block Friday, June 28, at American Airlines Center, $53-$93 Ever since group member Donnie Wahlberg told CNN that NKOTB were getting back together in 2008, the money has poured in. New singles and albums have sold well, but it's the band's touring that's kept them on the radar. First hitting the road with Lady Gaga in tow, the band sold out a worldwide tour. This was followed up with a successful U.S. tour, an annual cruise and a 2011 pairing with the Backstreet Boys, which led to the greatest hits compilation NKOTBSB. Currently the Boston quintet is out in support of latest album 10, with the kings of Motown Philly, Boyz II Men, and the lords of, uh, being that other boy band in the '90s, 98 Degrees. It's the ultimate nostalgia trip for your cool aunt and her friends. Expect lots of frozen drinks to be sold and "Woos!" to be shouted at the AAC on Friday night. -- Jaime-Paul Falcon
Twilite Grand Opening: Will Johnson, Brent Best Saturday, June 29, at Twilite Lounge, Free There's a new business in Deep Ellum, and early reports suggest that the bar/venue run by Danny from the Ticket and Jess Barr from Slobberbone rules. Find out for yourself with a grand opening featuring solo sets from Centro-matic's Will Johnson and Slobberbone's Brent Best. It's not Kelly Clarkson , but we'll take it. --Kiernan Maletsky
The Gorehounds Saturday, June 29, at Three Links, $10 The Gorehounds are the very definition of rock 'n' roll. Whatever you take that diffuse and constantly abused concept to mean, The Gorehounds embody it. Bare chests and leather trousers? Check. Water guns full of foam? Check. Cross-dressing, makeup and copious flesh on display? Check. More hip-thrusting than a convention of seniors with poorly fitted hip replacements? Check. Also, they play loud, amplified rock music with a swagger, which is certainly helpful. Does it matter they're a cover band (The Cramps, since you ask)? It doesn't even matter in the slightest. If you're wondering what the most rock 'n' roll thing you could possibly do Saturday is going to be, the answer is definitively to attend a show with the Gorehounds. You'll be measurably cooler as a result. -- Gavin Cleaver
Josh Weathers, Larry G(ee) Saturday, June 29, at Granada Theater, $20 When Josh Weathers was nominated for a DOMA this past year for Best Americana/Roots Act, we wrote about how there's been a good-natured joke circulating through the North Texas music community regarding how many stages Josh Weathers will play and how often he will play them. The Fort Worth guitar hero has already won a few Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards for his powerful voice, and any stage he brings his soulful tunes to is better for it. See him this week with Motown-reminiscent funk and R&B guru Larry G(ee). Twenty bucks doesn't sound like so much anymore. -- Rachel Watts
LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, De La Soul Monday, July 1, at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, $40-$60 LL Cool J hosted the 2013 Grammy Awards, released his 13th studio album in a career that has spanned 28 years and beat up home intruders to boot. And now LL Cool J, along with classic hip-hop contemporaries Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul, headlines the Kings of the Mic Tour. Not bad for an artist whose chosen genre unfortunately doesn't always allow for long careers. While Ladies Love Cool James headlines, nearly everything we love about the early days of hip-hop will be fairly represented in the lineup. Ice Cube will undoubtedly return to the fierce gangsta-style swagger of his youth on stage. De La Soul fills the unconventional, jazz-sample-laden hip-hop void on the bill. Their seminal album, 3 Feet High and Rising, is almost unmatched in creativity and innovation. And then there's Public Enemy. After their recent induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Chuck D and company are finally getting the mainstream recognition they deserve. This is a chance to witness an incredible diversity of classic hip-hop performed all on one stage. -- Aaron Ortega
Justin Bieber Wednesday, July 3, at American Airlines Center, $45-$95 Within the last year, Justin Bieber has become more persona than pop singer. His most memorable moments have less to do with a string of singles and more to do with his high-profile breakup with Selena Gomez, courtside seats in the NBA playoffs and possible hook-ups. Biebs returns to Dallas to once again occupy the largest and most grandiose stadium of them all, American Airlines Center. While the squeaky clean image has given way to a budding friendship with Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator, now is the perfect time to jump off the bandwagon and witness the teen pop star finding his way as an adult. -- Lee Escobedo
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