Screw Austin, Stay Home: Your Guide to the Must-See Concerts in Dallas This Fall

Do you hear that? It’s music — music coming from Austin and heading here to North Texas, meaning we don't have to go to Austin. We’re about to be in the midst of festival season in Texas, which means Dallas will reap the fall bounty known as festival spillover acts. Soon enough we'll decide to leave our air-conditioned caves and venture back into the world to experience the best music that various booking groups can offer us. So save your gas and the hundreds of dollars you’d spend on festival passes and Airbnb deposits, and stay in Dallas. Here's your guide to catching 50 must-see fall shows without ever leaving Dallas-Fort Worth.


The second half of September is when things start to really pick up around here as bands and concertgoers alike are willing to spend more time outside. That's because the nearly constant 100-degree assault will finally begin to subside. This year's temperature dip coincides perfectly with some fantastic tours. We're about to be really #blessed. 

AJ Davila Y Terror Amor @ Three Links 9/16

Don’t let the fact that the songs are in Spanish scare you away. This is the can't-miss show of September. Get cultured, and get your face rocked off.

Gardens & Villa @ Club Dada 9/18

One of the better bands constantly putting out new music returns to Dallas touring behind their latest album, Music for Dogs. It's the follow-up to their critically acclaimed Dunes, which landed the band on a bevy of best of lists in 2014.

Titus Andronicus @ Trees 9/18

Angry, disenfranchised and utterly brilliant are the perfect descriptors for the project of New Jersey’s Patrick Stickles. The band is celebrating its 10th year, and its fourth full-length, in 2015. Things will be hot and sweaty in Trees.

Garth Brooks @ American Airlines Center Literally All of September (September 17-22)

Finally the Brooks has come back ... to Dallas! After years of teasing the area with faux appearances at charity events and performances in Houston, Garth Brooks is due to give six days of performances at the American Airlines Center. It's sure to be the hottest ticket with Ford F-150 owners. 

Oaktopia Festival in Denton 9/25-9/27

Back again to take over Denton, the crew behind Oaktopia have expanded their scope in their third year and taken even more risks with their eclectic booking. This should put all other festivals in the area on notice.

Ratatat @ Bomb Factory 9/25

These super producers and rocktronica gods are back on the road after a hiatus, complete with a new album. They've also been getting rave reviews for their performances at the Coachella and Governor’s Ball festivals.

The Budos Band @ Trees 9/26

Daptone Records’ most interesting group rages into Dallas still riding the high of their 2014 full length, Burnt Offering, which is the vinyl version of a RZA wet dream.

MS MR @ House of Blues 9/28

A group of cheerleaders may or may not be in attendance to perform routines during this show. Glitter might be vomited.  


In October the State Fair will be in full throttle in Dallas, which means there will be plenty of bands trying capitalize on the influx of tourists in the area and local promoters trying to make a quick buck off the college students hitting town for the annual Texas-OU football game. Add in the spillover from the multiple weekends of Austin City Limits and the inevitable Halloween shows, and October is one of the busiest months for the local music lover. 

Charli XCX @ House of Blues 10/1

That boom-clap you’re hearing is the sound of our hearts exploding. One of pop music’s biggest stars returns to town after selling out Dada and then Trees on her last two stops through Dallas.

Neon Indian @ The Bomb Factory 10/1

It’s been four long years since we had a new album from Alan Palomo, so anticipation is high. What will the former Denton resident release? If May's single “Annie” is any indication, things are going to be extremely dancey this time around.

Brand New @ The Bomb Factory 10/3

Brand New haven't put out an album in six years, but that hasn't stopped them from soaking in the cult-like fame of their four previous full lengths. Watch as 20- and 30-something females relive their love for Jesse Lacey’s poetically emotional lyrics.

A$AP Rocky @ Southside Ballroom 10/9

The less said about Tyler, the Creator the better. The other participants in this show — including A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and Vince Staples — are some of the most exciting artists in the game today. This is going to be lit.

FIDLAR @ Club Dada 10/9

Bratty, loud and beloved by hipsters. This show is going to sell out, and it deserves to.

The Reunion @ Reunion Tower 10/9

For the first time since Bruce Springsteen rocked the former grounds of Reunion Arena, music returns to downtown Dallas via another festival centered around a NCAA event. This time around it’s Texas-OU weekend, and instead of a certified rock legend we get that band every 34-year-old you know loves. (Weezer. We're talking about Weezer.)   

Mutemath @ Club Dada 10/10 & 10/11

Both of these shows are SOLD OUT, but that doesn’t mean a spate of last-minute tickets won't be released. If you're lucky, you might still get to see the New Orleans-based alt-rockers and relive that video where everything was shot in reverse.

Beach Boys @ State Fair of Texas 10/11

Fuck Mike Love. But, you know, the songs hold up. So you'll probably go anyway.

Ariana Grande @ American Airlines Center 10/11

This will be well attended by fans and creepy dudes who fetishize Ms. Grande alike. Honestly, why can’t this just be a performance by the Weeknd?

Run the Jewels @ House of Blues 10/12

The hottest group on the planet returns to sell out the House of Blues and further cement their legend as a can’t-miss live act. We’re not worthy.

GHOST @ House of Blues 10/13

A favorite game of GHOST fans is, “Who Is the Band Behind This?” I swear, when it comes out that GHOST is secretly Peter, Bjorn and John, we’re all gonna be super confused — and really impressed.

Battles @ Trees 10/13

Did you ever drive really recklessly to Battles’ big single “Atlas?” Yeah, me too. These guys should really make this show free to make up for all the speeding tickets they caused their fans to accumulate over the past eight years.

Tele Novella  @ Rubber Gloves 10/17

The answer to “Whatever happened to Voxtrot” sneaks into Denton to give North Texas a taste of one of Austin’s better bands.

Taylor Swift @ AT&T Stadium 10/17

Your girl Tay has been tearing it up on this 1989 tour, pulling out random special guests on every stop and generally taking a victory lap as she makes all of the money. Our prediction for her cover/guest in Dallas? A second appearance by St. Vincent and maybe a Selena cover. That or we’re getting a George Strait appearance.

Insane Clown Posse @ Southside Ballroom 10/18

The closest you can get to the Gathering of the Juggalos without contracting hepatitis.

Mac DeMarco @ House of Blues 10/19

Mac DeMarco makes some damn fine music for a dude who was once described to me as “the man in most need of a shower on the planet.” That was a really unfair thing for that girl to say; let the dude own pig-pencore if he wants to.

Young Thug @ House of Blues 10/20

Young Thug will steal your girl, so go at your own risk.

Bidi Bidi Banda @ Strauss Square 10/21


My Morning Jacket @ Verizon Theatre 10/24

While it will be difficult for the group to top their epic performance at Southside Ballroom in 2008, which featured a cover of Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone” (complete with an extremely pregnant Badu providing vocals), it’s not hard to imagine these Kentuckians will deliver a show fans will eat up.

Low Cut Connie @ Dan’s Silverleaf 10/27

President Obama so loves these Philadelphia throwback rockers that he included them on his latest summertime playlist. Not bad for a band no one in the area knew about till they destroyed their set at 35 Denton earlier this year.

DJANGO DJANGO @ Granada Theatre 10/27

This would be a hell of a lot cooler if it was the artist of Django Unchained fame performing, but alas; we’ll have to settle for dancey indie rock. Not that it's a bad thing.

Meat Loaf @ Verizon Theatre 10/28

The Dallas native best known for doing anything for love, but not that (that is def the Drake special), returns to his hometown to play Verizon just days before Halloween. Expect tons of Rocky Horror cos-players to be in attendance.

Ghostland Observatory @ Bomb Factory 10/31

A Halloween tradition continues as this Austin duo takes over Dallas for what feels like the 1000th time in a row to whip costumed party-goers into a molly-fueled frenzy. Uber drivers are going to make so much money this year.

The Coathangers @ The Foundry 10/31

The Foundry continues to be the most interesting place in Dallas to catch a band that would usually scare the hell out of the patrons of The Foundry. These Atlanta rockers continue this tradition on Halloween night.


November is dominated by shows that spill over from Austin's annual Fun Fun Fun Fest, which seems to grow exponentially every year. That's great, because it means an eclectic serving of acts stop in Dallas on their way to Austin's three days of madness. The arrival of Transmission Events in Dallas (who book FFF) helps.   

King Khan & the BBQ Show @ Club Dada 11/4

This is a reminder that King Khan wrote a song about eating BBQ in Dallas once.

The Dwarves @ Three Links 11/5

Punk legends at Three Links. It's like someone wrote a storybook beginning to Fun Fun Fun Fest spillover. 

Parquet Courts @ Rubber Gloves 11/5

These Brooklyn-based Denton ex-pats return to the area, but this time without all the Grantland hype to raise expectations to unreachable levels. This should be a much calmer affair than their last trip through Club Dada. Well, except that it's at Rubber Gloves.

CHVRCHES @ The Bomb Factory 11/5

CHVRCHES exist solely so people can dance and not have to make excuses or lie about liking "the drop." This is the biggest venue the band's landed in the area so far; if they pack Bomb Factory out, the sky's the limit. 

Desaparecidos @ Trees 11/6

Conor Oberst can whine and rock at the same time. Expect to see a lot of 30-somethings trying desperately to reconnect with their disenfranchised youth. 

Pure Bathing Culture @ Three Links 11/7

If you're into Fleetwood Mac's lyrical content but think it would benefit from an approach similar to Cults and Tennis, then this Portland-based duo is right up your alley. 

Lagwagon @ Club Dada 11/7

A FFF spillover act that's going to save a lot of 40-somethings a trip to Austin. Things are going to be loud and nostalgic in Deep Ellum all weekend, and maybe nowhere more so than at this show. 

Untapped Dallas @ Fair Park 11/7

Craft beer plus music has proved to be a pretty good combination for Untapped so far, but now that you add in Miley Cyrus' creepy uncle's band, Dr. Dog and hip-hop legends the Pharcyde, you might just have their most successful lineup to date. 

Peaches @ Trees 11/7

The teaches of Peaches is now so well-known they almost put it on the latest Kidz Bop compilation. Sadly, this world has gotten weird enough that it could maybe actually happen. 

Gogol Bordello @ The Bomb Factory 11/8

Festival mainstays Gogol Bordello are here to bring their gypsy rock to the masses and make you dance like you've lost your damn minds. Make sure to wear purple. 

Girlpool @ Rubber Gloves 11/8

If Kimya Dawson had a partner and was pissed off, it'd sound like Girlpool. Diablo Cody is writing like six scripts to their EP.

Born Ruffians @ Club Dada 11/9

These Canadian indie rockers are entering their 11th year, still finding new fans and putting out exciting music that never comes off stale. That's an accomplishment, given that a lot of bands from the mid-aughts have all but disappeared. 

Elm St. Tattoo Fest @ The Bomb Factory 11/12-11/15

This most Deep Ellum of traditions returns with its largest lineup yet, in an even larger space and with even more attendees anxious to add another Lucky 13 tattoo to their collection.

Chance the Rapper @ Southside Ballroom 11/13

Owner of the best surprise free album of the year, Chance the Rapper takes a break from headlining major festivals throughout the U.S. to hit the road for a conventional tour that should elate fans of his laid-back, inventive style. This is the show of the fall; don't miss it. 

HEALTH @ Trees 11/14

Hard to believe the band that once played house shows around Denton are now looking like they're going to sell out Trees — but that's how it goes in the music world. HEALTH is the success story every DIY act can point to when things are down. These guys kept working, and now they're where they were always supposed to be. 

GZA @ Trees 11/20

Ain't nothin' to fuck wit. 

Mac Miller @ The Bomb Factory 11/25

This show will say a lot about where Mac Miller's headed as an artist. As an independent performer he sold out the House of Blues in 10 minutes; now he's on a major label and in a 4,000-capacity venue. Will his audience follow? Is his star on the rise? Or is this a B.O.B. situation?

Rock Lottery 13 @ Dan’s Silverleaf 11/28

This year’s edition of the seminal Denton event promises to be the largest yet, and while the list of participants has yet to leak, rumors are swirling that a bevy of national artists will be involved.