The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Aventura, Sam Villavert, Ricki Derek and More

Sam Villavert will play Top Ten Records this Saturday.
Sam Villavert will play Top Ten Records this Saturday. Jacob Vaughn

Whether you're with or without a significant other, there's no better way to spend this Valentine's Day week than catching some local live music. California-based multi-instrumentalist Theo Katzman from the band Vulfpeck will kick off the week with a show at House of Blues on Monday night. On Wednesday, you can catch DFW regulars Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali at Revelers Hall, or La Pompe at Sons of Hermann Hall.

But things will really start to pick up as the Latin music legends in Aventura roll into town for their American Airlines Center set this Thursday. Then you can choose between The Bralettes, Sam Villavert, Ricki Derek and several others to spend your weekend with. So, if you find yourself feeling alone this lovers' holiday week, get out of the house and catch one of these shows.

Theo Katzman

7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $22.50 at

California-based multi-instrumentalist Theo Katzman just released the latest of his three studio albums, Modern Johnny Sings: Songs in The Age of Vibe, in January. Katzman has contributed to the work of several bands, but — probably most notably — he is a member of the powerful funk outfit, Vulfpeck. He first started pursuing his solo career in 2010 with the release of his first EP, Solo Acoustic, which was followed by his debut album, Romance Without Finance, the following year. Katzman took a few years off before putting out his second full-length, Heartbreak Hits, in 2017. Now, he's back at it with a sound that's bigger than ever, and you can hear it all at House of Blues on Monday night. Jacob Vaughn

Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali
8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave., $5 at venue

Every Wednesday, a couple of the baddest jazz musicians in the business take over Revelers Hall when Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali take the stage. Carrol comes from a Houston family of gospel singers and musicians. At a young age, he found himself in the famous Boys Choir of Houston. Later, Carrol picked up the saxophone and began learning from the likes of Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson from The Texas Tenors. For college, Carrol attended the University of North Texas and landed a spot in the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band ... and the rest is history. Leali is just as decorated. The Colorado native began mixing gospel, jazz and R&B into his playing from a very early age. The New York Times wrote that Leali is an exciting and soulful saxophonist. You won't want to miss these two at Revelers Hall on Wednesday. Jacob Vaughn

La Pompe
8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St., $12 at the door

Self-described as "A little bit of gypsy, a little bit of French, a whole lotta swing!," the four members of La Pompe bring a completely unique perspective to the local music scene. With a mandolin, guitar and upright bass anchoring Kat Hackett's charming vocals, their music swells with nostalgia and brims with a breezy pep that will have audiences tapping their toes and transported back in time to French cafés or dimly lit New York City jazz haunts. You'll likely recognize several songs in their vast songbook, but they're quick to also bust out an original composition or put a current spin on an old standard. Kick back and enjoy some post-holiday festivities as they take center stage Wednesday at Sons of Hermann Hall. Jeff Strowe


8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $39.50 at

Aventura, also known as Kings of Bachata, or K.O.B., rose to prominence in the early 2000s with the release of their song "Obsesión." Ever since, the Latin band has been selling out arenas and been nominated for a multitude of awards, such as the American Music Awards, the Latin Grammys and Billboard Latin Music Awards. 2011 marked the beginning of a four-year hiatus. The band reunited in 2015 and had their first show back together just about six years ago. The band released its first single in 10 years, "Inmortal," on April 4 last year. Jacob Vaughn

Chelsea Cutler
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., $23 at

Not long ago, Connecticut-born electronic singer-songwriter Chelsea Cutler was just recording cover songs in her room and posting them online for someone to stumble upon. By 2017, Cutler had been featured on tracks by musicians like Kasbo, Kidswaste and Louis the Child, and was getting signed by Ultra Records. Since first being signed, Cutler has put out three hit singles that made it on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Chart. In January, now with Republic Records, Cutler released her debut album, How to Be Human, which reached No. 23 on the U.S. Billboard 200. Jacob Vaughn

The Bralettes
7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $16 at

The Oak Cliff-bred girl power punk-rock trio The Bralettes make people move at all their shows. The band's simple but catchy licks on guitar and bass, played by Paulina Costilla and Molly Hernandez, respectively, enhance the frontwomen's crisp, powerful vocals as Andy Cantu drives the songs forward with heavy drum beats. To date, the band has put out 16 streamable songs, 10 of which are from its debut full-length album Cheers! that was released last year. The Bralettes will be hitting the Dallas stage Friday night with California band Housecall and more local support from THE POLARITY and Samantha Flowers. Jacob Vaughn

Sam Villavert and Oliver Taupe
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Top Ten Records, 338 W. Jefferson Blvd., $10 at the door

Sam Villavert has been rocking away with some of the best bands in Dallas, namely Sealion, Son of Stan and the B-52s tribute band The Deadbeat Club. Despite her punk rock pedigree, Villavert's solo material is far more understated, letting the vocals do most of the work while the music takes more of a backseat. Musically, the sound is more in line with R&B artists who thrive on innovation and experimentation like Solange or The Internet. Also playing this Saturday night set is Oliver Taupe, the long-awaited follow-up to Gabriel Jordan's immaculate indie-R&B project Duo Contra. Much like Duo Contra, the vocals remain sultry and passionate, but the music has become more guitar-driven, at times sounding like a garage rock slow jam. Top Ten Records itself is a star of this show for all their efforts to stay on the cutting edge of the Dallas music scene, so be sure to pick up a flyer and come back often. David Fletcher

Andy Shauf
7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St., $18-$20 at

On his latest album, The Neon Skyline, singer-songwriter Andy Shauf chronicles the happenings that take place over the course of an evening at a local dive bar. There's the narrator who painstakingly recounts his tales of romantic hardship over several rounds of drinks served up from his favorite bartender. There's his buddy Charlie, who eggs him on for further rounds. There are several chatty customers who regale fellow patrons with daily details, and there's Rose, the mysterious muse who set the night in motion when she ended the aforementioned relationship. Over gently strummed acoustic guitars and snippets of horns and clarinet, Shauf turns a ho-hum night into a veritable page-turner. You grow connected to the characters and by album's end have a genuine connection to their plights. It's the type of concept album that should play well in a live setting, where Shauf's breezy delivery might just come across like an off-Broadway play. Catch it for yourself as he digs in at Deep Ellum Art Co. on Saturday night. Jeff Strowe

Ricki Derek
7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $25-$35

Man, why does nostalgia make us feel so good? We could easily lament the bygone days of old telephones, exceptionally beautiful cars and diners with bubbling Wurlitzer jukeboxes while forgetting all the rest. But perhaps our favorite nostalgia comes from old music. And longtime Dallas singer and entertainer Ricki Derek — performing with a 24-piece orchestra, a 15-piece big band or simply with his piano — takes us back to the good old days when iconic crooners like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett dressed to the nines and captured the romance and nightlife of the 1940s and beyond. There's really no better time to put on your most dapper duds than Valentine's Day, and there's no better show to see than Derek's Valentine's Day Double Feature at Granada Theater. Dubbed "a tribute to Frank Sinatra and the day of love," the musical portion of the show is followed by a screening of one of the most romantic and highly regarded pieces of cinema, Casablanca. Diamond Rodrigue

8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 E. Sycamore St., Denton, $10 at

While Drakulas now store their instruments, talismans and (presumably) caskets in Austin, frontman Mike Wiebe (of Riverboat Gamblers and High Tension Wires), bassist Rob Marchant (of Riverboat Gamblers and Slowride) and guitarist Zach Blair (of Rise Against and Hagfish) all used to hang their capes in the North Texas area while cutting their teeth on North Texas stages. The Austin-based concept band’s sound seamlessly blends proto-punk and '80s synth and new wave, as Drakulas' members don black turtlenecks and embrace a retro approach to songcraft. The band's look is firmly rooted in the past, evoking the art and aesthetic from the late 1970s and early ’80s, ranging from occult imagery, pop culture, cinema and TV. Off Dirtnap Records, now on Dine Alone Records (which seems more fitting for a band called Drakulas), Drakulas’ Terminal Amusements is due for release in early April with singles “Fashion Forward” and “Pretty Tommy” off the Stuart Sikes-produced record already available. Expect to see fans singing along. Drakulas kicks off their monthlong tour in Denton at Rubber Gloves, with openers Mind Spiders and Mother Tongues. Daniel Rodrigue
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn