Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

St. Vincent has come a long way since 2010. See her this weekend when she plays The Bomb Factory.
St. Vincent has come a long way since 2010. See her this weekend when she plays The Bomb Factory. Observer file photo

Friday, Feb. 23

Dallas neo-soul icon Erykah Badu never was one to shy away from controversy. Whether she’s stripping down to her birthday suit by the grassy knoll or well-wishing the sovereign of Swaziland, Badu has built her career on pushing the boundaries and unapologetically speaking her truth. Those traits are what Dallas applauds every year during her annual birthday jam session. This year’s celebration, titled "Erykah Badu Presents: Bless You Bruja! Another Badu Birthday", is somewhat of an unknown quantity as she is the only act on the bill. The show comes just three days before the 20th anniversary of Badu’s critically acclaimed New Amerykah Part One, an album born out of a turbulent period for the Dallas native, which eventually led to a flood of collaborations and productivity as she created her New Amerykah. Her birthday concert probably will follow a familiar script. Badu will show up when she’s ready, sing what she feels like singing and elicit oohs and ahs from a hometown crowd that will leave smiling. 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or, $43 — Nicholas Bostick

Singer-songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter epitomizes all things California cool. He’s a laid-back dude who shrouds his songs in carefree and whimsical melodies, making music that’s perfect for outdoor gatherings under sunny skies and chilled vibes. The former professional surfer’s musical career took off in 2004 on the heels of his buoyant hit single, "Free," recorded with his friend and kindred spirit, Jack Johnson. Since then, he's put out about a dozen albums, EPs and live recordings; toured relentlessly; and built a pretty steady contingent of followers drawn from the same jam-centric audience that frequents folks like G. Love, Dave Matthews and Johnson. Recently, he's spent a fair amount of with Jamtown, his joint project with G. Love and Cisco Adler, but he’s out on the road now in support of The Heart, his 2015 solo release that contains some of his most heartfelt and confessional songwriting. Anticipate a good portion of these songs intertwined with Frankenreiter’s signature upbeat jams as he takes the stage Friday night at the Granada Theater. Expect a heavily dedicated crowd of fans there, too, eagerly singing along and raising their glasses in support of their laconic, guitar-strumming hero. With Matt Grundy, 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $29-$45 — Jeff Strowe

No one does Mahler like Jaap van Zweden. The conductor’s affection for enormous, world-building symphonies seems to reach a fever pitch in the works of the Austrian composer, which is why the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony is something all local classical heads should be excited about. This is where the composer gained his confidence and where audiences first learned how to make sense of the emerging musical languages his pen gave rise to. In van Zweden’s command, the symphony’s most prominent features will be augmented. The nightmares will be more vivid, the respites more relieving. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $49. For more information, visit — Jonathan Patrick

Does ballroom dancing get you excited? Do you find yourself extremely entertained by C-list celebrities trying to ballroom dance on national television? Would you rather see it all live in person, though? If you’re still here and nodding your head, please take note that Dancing With the Stars: Live! — Light Up the Night is coming to Dallas to woo you. There will be ballroom dancing in the form of group numbers, steamy duets and even some original pieces. This is your chance to finally impress your lady with some ballroom dancing — the kind where you get to watch instead of participate. There’s nothing not to love about this whole experience, so buy your tickets for the show at 8 p.m. Friday at The Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. Tickets are $50 to $80 at — Paige Skinner

Born on the wildly successful Dance Moms, The Irreplaceables have made performance dance among young girls and women a familiar thing. America saw the ins and outs of a dancer’s life and the dynamic of a dancer’s mother and coach. It’s time to see it all live as The Irreplaceables come to Dallas. Three of the members, Kendall, Chloe and Kalani, will dance under the bright lights. Then, audience members will get to ask the girls and their mothers some questions. The show begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. For tickets, $47 for general admission and $145 for VIP, visit or call 214-871-5000. — Paige Skinner

Saturday, Feb. 24

Before Riff Raff, there was Paul Wall. Houston's bred some pretty interesting folks. Donning diamond-encrusted grillz, the rapper, who's collaborated with fellow rappers Chamillionaire, Tech N9ne and Mike Jones, got his start in 2004 with the album Chick Magnet, which included the hit "Sittin Sidewayz." Ten albums later, he's promoting this year's Bounce Backs over Setbacks, which includes guest appearances by Z-Ro, Lil Keke, Stunna Bam and Cal Wayne. 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, at Andy's Bar, Denton, 122 N. Locust St.,, $20 and up; and 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at Curtain Club, 2800 Main St., 214-742-6207,, $20 and up — Diamond Victoria

Who would have thought that one day the de facto leader of art pop would hail from our city? We have plenty of talent coursing through Dallas culture, but it’s certainly unexpected. St. Vincent, birth name Annie Clark, was a member of local technicolor pop troupe The Polyphonic Spree before joining Sufjan Stevens’ touring band in the mid ’00s. Her trajectory has brought comparisons to David Bowie, Laurie Anderson and essentially every major art rock figure of the last 30 years. While flattering, such comparisons don’t really get you there — St. Vincent is a unique voice with sharp insights on what it’s like to be a human in the 21st century. Over the last five years, Clark’s guitar play, which was always exceptional, has grown quirkier and more fragmented. Her approach to songwriting has similarly evolved, with her lyrics advancing in ever more poetic and heady directions. When 2018 is done and dusted, chances are we’ll look back on this performance as one of the year’s best. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or, $39-$169 — Jonathan Patrick

The Beach Boys will play Mesquite ISD’s gala, which funds educational programs for the school district. The gala has had talent such as Clay Walker, Sara Evans, America and Lifehouse in the past, so it’s no stranger to marquee acts. The current version of the Beach Boys is led by Mike Love, who opted to keep his version going instead of working with co-founder Brian Wilson anymore. This is strictly a greatest-hits performance, and the band has plenty to pick from. This is the kind of show that’s for the Hawaiian-shirt wearing, beach-loving crowd. Don’t expect a live replication of Pet Sounds or Smile here. You'd have to see Brian Wilson do that. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, Mesquite Arena, 1818 Rodeo Drive, Mesquite, 972-285-8777 or, $35-$70 — Eric Grubbs

Desperate for a sign that the days of pingponging temperatures and flu-ridden malaise are almost over? Head to Dallas’ official Spring HQ, the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, for its annual Dallas Blooms Festival, which begins Saturday. This year, tiptoe through half a million tulips, petunias and other festive flowers presented under the theme “A World of Flowers.” Each week, a different region of the world is represented through cultural activities and floral interpretation. Visitors can explore French delights through March 2, the Mediterranean from March 3-9, Europe from March 10-16, global culinary delights March 17-23, Asia from March 24-30 and the Americas from March 31 to April 8. Arboretum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for children and free for tykes ages 2 and younger. Visit — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

We’re getting to that part of the year when the weather doesn’t require a minimum of four layers of clothing, so you can start doing those fun summer things, like going to Six Flags Over Texas for a day of screaming as you dance with that harsh mistress we call gravity. Six Flags Over Texas, 2201 E. Road to Six Flags St. in Arlington, will have its opening weekend from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The celebration will give coaster enthusiasts the year’s first crack at classic rides such as The Titan and The New Texas Giant and newer ones such as the freestyle side cart coaster The Joker and the interactive dark ride Justice League: Battle for Metropolis. Opening weekend guests can purchase discounted tickets for $53.99 per person or 2018 season passes starting at $76.99 person. Visit — Danny Gallagher

Record Store Day is just a couple of months away. Want your spawn to be the most knowledgeable rug rats smudging fingerprints on ELO dust jackets at Spinster or getting sunburned in the Good Records parking lot? Give them a head start with a fun, interactive tutoring session at Kids Dig: A Day of Record Digging and Vinyl Education from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Josey Records and Music, 2821 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Suite 100. Children can enjoy DJ scratch demos, learn how turntables and mixers work, see a kid DJ showcase, bottom rock at a breakdance workshop and demo, and more. Parents fastidious about keeping their albums in pristine condition will especially appreciate the record-handling station. The event is free. Call the store at 972-243-2039 or find Josey Records or Too Fresh Productions on Facebook for more information. — Jesse Hughey

The Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., nurtures a serious nostalgia for the Prohibition era during its DMA Speakeasy event from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Local jazz and swing orchestra The Singapore Slingers provides the soundtrack for a night of flapper-style hoofing, gaming, vintage cars and craft cocktails. The DMA will also host a scavenger hunt fit for bootleggers and teetotalers and run a raffle for coveted goods. Tickets, $70 for DMA members and $85 for nonmembers, include two drinks, light bites, access to gaming tables and admission to galleries. For an additional $25, thumb your nose at Prohibition and add open bar privileges. Find more information and buy tickets at — Jennifer Davis Lamm

The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once famously said of slain civil rights firebrand Malcolm X: “I ask a simple question: What did he ever do? Name me one concrete thing he ever did.” Well, for a while before he was assassinated in February 1965, he did a pretty good job of scaring the hell out of white people. He gave expression to righteous anger. Was that a good thing or bad? Judge for yourself after watching the biopic Malcolm X, starring Denzel Washington and directed by Spike Lee. It screens in 35mm glory at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., as part of the Black Cinematheque Filmmaker Series. Tickets, $1, are available at — Patrick Williams

Sunday, Feb. 25

2018’s Latin Sol Fest promises more than seven hours of nonstop music from seven acts and three DJs at one of the city’s premier venues. The all-day event features super acts from the disco era like The S.O.S. Band, known for classics such as “Take Your Time” and “Just Be Good To Me,” and Lakeside, best known for the mega club hit “Fantastic Voyage,” as well as Latin acts Ambiente and Havana NRG, providing a wonderful blend of disco and Latin tunes. A number of bands on this stacked bill made their names in the ’80s, but there’s a reason they’re busy touring nearly 40 years later: Their live shows are sensational and just as energetic and celebratory as the day they debuted. With S.O.S. Band, Tierra, Lakeside and more, 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or, $33 to $92.95 — Mikel Galicia

Ginger Minj hosts a night of outrageous reads during Haters Roast — The Shady Tour, featuring contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. This year’s tour comprises Trixie Mattel, Latrice Royale, Thorgy Thor, William, Eureka O’Hara, Jinkx Monsoon, AJA, Trinity Taylor and Derrick Barry. See them at 7 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. For more information and tickets, $22.50 to $52.50, visit — Emily Goldstein
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