The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Erykah Badu, The Used, Thrice and More

Erykah Badu will be at The Bomb Factory this Saturday.
Erykah Badu will be at The Bomb Factory this Saturday. Mike Brooks

If you didn't already know what to do with your evenings this week, we've got you covered. There's a lot happening in North Texas on the live music front. The Used will be coming to town, passing through the Lone Star State as part of their tour ramping up to the release of 2020 album Heartwork. You can also catch post-hardcore band Thrice on Saturday on the Dallas leg of their tour celebrating the 15th anniversary of their album Vheissu. That same night, local legend Erykah Badu is keeping tradition alive with another Badu Birthday at The Bomb Factory. But if you're in Fort Worth on Saturday, you'll want to head to Billy Bob's Texas for some good old-fashioned Old 97's. If these shows aren't enough to keep you busy, there's plenty more where that came from on this list.

Paul Slavens & Friends
9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, free

This Monday, the spontaneous song generator, DJ and Ten Hands frontman Paul Slavens will take the stage at Dan’s Silverleaf. Slavens writes and performs songs on the spot, improvising about whatever comes to mind. Song title suggestions get thrown at him from the crowd and he just runs with them. Attendees might hear songs about escaping the spiraling vortex of IKEA, robot children or whatever else they can think of. If this isn’t part of your weekly music routine by now, it should be. Jacob Vaughn

The Free Loaders
7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St., free

If a movie was made about The Free Man, a Deep Ellum Cajun restaurant and live music venue, the soundtrack would consist of songs by one band: The Free Loaders. Luckily, a three-piece variation of the band plays at the venue every Tuesday, so there, you don’t have to wait for the movie to come out to hear its killer soundtrack. Just hop over to The Free Man on a Tuesday evening, order a po' boy and listen to frontman and venue owner John Jay Myers slam on his drums and bark into the microphone with keys and stand-up bass behind him. Jacob Vaughn

The Used
8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., sold out

The Used has come a long way since the early days of recording demos in their basement. The release of the band's self-titled debut studio album in 2002 marked the beginning of their stardom. Singles from The Used, like "The Taste of Ink," "Buried Myself Alive" and "Blue and Yellow," climbed the charts, and the album went platinum. It's been about 18 years since their debut, and the band is still kicking, recently announcing their eighth studio album, Heartwork, to be released April 24. If you want to get a taste of what The Used is doing these days, you'll want to catch their set at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill this Tuesday. Jacob Vaughn

Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali
8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, 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

Chastity Belt
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St., $15 at

Hailing from the great city of Walla Walla, Washington, Chastity Belt has been in the business of blending pop, indie and noise rock with a no-fucks-given approach to tongue-in-cheek hooks for over a decade. Touring in support of their self-titled September release, their third on Hardly Art Records, Chastity Belt will headline the night with support from alt-rockers Nanami Ozone and the Melbourne indie-pop of Hugh F. While their latest effort forgoes the crudeness of their early releases, Chastity Belt still lays heavy on stories about hanging out with friends. This time, however, the apathy that they had once used to fend off life's obstacles is replaced with more earnest questioning and searching. Perhaps it was simply the passage of time or perhaps it was lead vocalist Julia Shapiro's brush with a possibly cancerous portion of her thyroid — whatever the case may be, this is a more grown-up Chastity Belt, ready for a good time but with just a bit more on their mind. David Fletcher

6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $29-$49.50 at

Post-hardcore band Thrice is on a national tour celebrating the 15th anniversary of their fourth studio album, Vheissu. When Thrice first came onto the scene in 1998, they were known for their fast-paced rhythms and heavily distorted guitar riffs, before incorporating a more experimental and electronic approach in later albums. The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart and birthed the charting single "Image of the Invisible," which made its way to No. 24 on the publication's Mainstream Rock chart. Doors open at the House of Blues at 6 p.m. for the band's set. You won't want to be late. Diamond Rodrigue

Erykah Badu
8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $55 at

The "First Lady of Neo-Soul" and local legend Erykah Badu will take the stage at The Bomb Factory because it's time for another Badu Birthday. The annual event is almost always sold out and features celebrity appearances from the likes of comedian Dave Chappelle and Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe. Badu's birthday event is perfectly timed this year, taking place just two days after the release of her new line of incense, “Badu Pussy." So, grab some incense and head out to The Bomb Factory this Saturday. Jacob Vaughn

Old 97’s
10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, $30 at

You'll have to head to Fort Worth for this show, but it'll be worth it because you'll be seeing Old 97's live in action. The band has been a staple of the North Texas music scene since the '90s and has cranked out album after album after album over the years. Most recently, the band put out Love The Holidays in 2018 and coupled the release with an Old 97's holiday hoopla show. They'll be tearing it up at Billy Bob's Texas this Saturday. Jacob Vaughn

Mary Gauthier
8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St., Lewisville, $15 at

Despite not writing her own songs until she was in her early 30s, Louisiana-born Mary Gauthier (pronounced Goh-shay) has become one of the leading Americana songwriters. With an honestly fearless style, she's tackled subjects like addiction, true crime and sexuality with a raw and unrelenting style that has earned her many accolades. Among those is a recent Grammy nomination for her latest album, Rifles & Rosary Beads, which was up for both Best Folk Album and Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. It's a collection co-written with veterans and their families as part of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a nonprofit program that facilitates retreats bringing together professional songwriters like Gauthier with wounded veterans and active military. In addition to these tunes, expect her to dust off some older gems, including maybe a rendition of "Mercy Now," a song named as one of the "saddest country songs of all time" by Rolling Stone Country. Jeff Strowe

Earthgang with Mick Jenkins
8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., $35-$55 at

Atlanta hip-hop duo Earthgang will take over South Side Ballroom with rapper Mick Jenkins this weekend. The two artists who make up Earthgang, Olu (aka Johnny Venus) and WowGr8 (aka Doctur Dot), are also responsible for groups such as 6LACK, Mereba and others. But in 2008, the duo formed Earthgang and began working on what would be their debut EP, The Better Party, released two years later. Their latest album, Mirrorland, released last year, marked the group's major-label debut. Be sure to catch them and Jenkins as they pass through Dallas this Sunday. Jacob Vaughn
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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