Looking at our headline this week, you'd think that North Texas was in some kind of time warp. Three of the most iconic bands from the '90s alternative music scene appear in the area in the coming days. Rest assured, however, that there is more to your upcoming concert week than '90s nostalgia. And it all starts Thursday night when Calliope Musicals brings its electrifying stage show to Denton. For the classic rock crowd, Saturday night presents two options: Sammy Hagar in Dallas or the Steve Miller Band in Fort Worth. Cowtown also hosts The Mountain Goats and their more raucous sound at Tulips Saturday night. If the Red Hot Chili Peppers isn't your thing, The King of Reggaetón, Daddy Yankee, makes his final stop in North Texas Sunday night. For independent radio supporters, there's Barns Courtney Monday night, and for the folks who are just sick of it all, see who opens for Agnostic Front on Tuesday. Calliope Musicals 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept 15, Andy's Bar, 122 N. Locust St., Denton. $9 at prekindle.com
Austin’s Calliope Musicals have a built a reputation based on their incredible, immersive live shows. Recently, the band has garnered a larger national since NPR Music hailed it as “modern space rock done right.” Led by singer Carrie Fussell, Calliope Musicals’ music is as intoxicating as it is addictive as it is sexy as it is strange. The band released its latest EP, Between Us, in April 2021 to much acclaim; the band was named artist of the month by Austin's KUTX 98.9. Calliope Musicals released its most recent single, "Dr. Pepper," last November and is currently on a small tour through the Southwest with L.A. glam-punk band Broken Baby. Denton will be the tour's penultimate stop before the band plays one last show in its hometown and takes a hiatus from live performances to focus on a new album. The two will have local support from Sherman indie band Cosmic Frownies and Denton's Hen and the Cocks. Alice in Chains 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave. $25+ at livenation.com
Alice in Chains was basically done in 1996. The band had released what would be its final album with singer Layne Staley in 1995 and had given its iconic MTV Unplugged performance the following April. The band never really broke up in the years leading to Staley's death, though one could tell from his and guitarist Jerry Cantrell's respective solo work and the release of a Greatest Hits album in 1999 that the writing was on the wall. Staley's death was the final nail in a coffin that was all but buried, and it was until 2006. At that point, Alice in Chains began playing shows sporadically with singer William DuVall at the helm. In the 15 years since, Cantrell and DuVall have become as tight a vocal pairing as he and Staley ever were. Recognizing their own lasting influence, Alice in Chains is currently on tour with post-grunge band Bush and alt-metal band Breaking Benjamin. Sammy Hagar & The Circle 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving. $29.50+ at livenation.com
No matter what you may think of Sammy Hagar or what he did to one of your all-time favorite bands in the '80s, The Red Rocker has been having a good time throwing an endless rock 'n' roll party since the '70s. Long before he replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen, Hagar enjoyed moderate success as a solo artist and as the singer for San Francisco band Montrose. It was during his time in Montrose that Hagar caught the ear of Eddie Van Halen, who remained a fan long after the band broke up. When Roth and Van Halen parted ways, Hagar was the first choice to replace him. As cataclysmic as that decision was for some, one should note that for Hagar, Van Halen was just the next of several bands in which he would play. Hagar's current band, The Circle, is composed of Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bohnam's son Jason and The BusBoys' guitarist Vic Johnson. George Thorogood & The Destroyers make for a bad-to-the-bone show opener. The Mountain Goats 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., Fort Worth. $39.50 at prekindle.com
Lo-fi indie pioneers The Mountain Goats return to North Texas this weekend in support of the band's recent release, Bleed Out. The 21st album by the always prolific band draws its inspiration from action films produced between the 1960s and '80s, which lead singer John Darnielle binged during the pandemic lockdowns. Rather than being a collection of songs about these action films, the album's story arc follows its hero through the typical action film tropes with the addition of a heart that only a songwriter like Darnielle can impart. A departure from The Mountain Goats' lo-fi past, Bleed Out's sound is perhaps the band's hardest-rocking album, with particular deference to heartland rock. The album also lacks The Mountain Goats' trademark brevity: some songs clock in at over seven minutes. While all of these departures may seem jarring to the fanbase, it might just be the best album the band has released in the last decade. Steve Miller Band 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Will Rogers Auditorium, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. $55.95+ at ticketmaster.com
Going strong since 1966, the Steve Miller Band returns to the place where their leader spent his adolescence. The band hasn't released a new album since 2011, but that hasn't kept them from performing live in the decade since. The group has always been more of a collective, with Miller being the band's only consistent member since its earliest days. Among the SMB alumni are guitar god Les Dudek, Creedence Clearwater Revival drummer and cofounder Doug Clifford and jazz rocker Boz Scaggs. The longest-running member beside Miller is keyboardist Joseph Wooten, who has played with the band since 1993 in addition to working as a solo artist. There is no scheduled opening act for Saturday night's show, so fans can expect an evening with the Steve Miller Band running through a collection of fan favorites like "Jet Airliner" and "The Joker." Red Hot Chili Peppers 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, Globe Life Field, 734 Stadium Dr., Arlington. $49.50+ at ticketmaster.com
The one thing that you can't take away from the Red Hot Chili Peppers is the group's innovation. Predating nu metal by almost two decades, Red Hot Chili Peppers started mixing rap and rock when the rap genre was just starting to enter the national consciousness. True, Blondie might have done it first, but Blondie never did it this funky. While singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea have been the center of the band since 1983, Red Hot Chili Peppers became a national sensation when they added drummer Chad Smith and guitarist John Frusciante to the mix in 1988. The following two albums, Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik, became as important and enduring as anything released in the '90s by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains. The band's off-and-on guitarist, John Frusciante, played on April's Unlimited Love and on its follow-up Return of the Dream Canteen, which is scheduled to be released in October. Garage rock revivalists The Strokes and singer-songwriter Thundercat open the show. Daddy Yankee 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. $196+ at ticketmaster.com
The King of Reggaetón Daddy Yankee announced in March that his seventh album, Legendaddy, would be his very last. Daddy Yankee has always had great success as a crossover artist. He did it first in 2005 when his hit single "Gasolina" reached American airwaves, effectively introducing the entire reggaetón genre to a country that was definitely missing out on its energy. Daddy Yankee managed to do it again in 2017 when he teamed up with Latin pop singer Luis Fonsi for the inescapable hit "Despacito," which was the first Spanish-language song to hit No. 1 on Billboard'sHot 100 since Los Del Rio's "Macarena" in 1996. On top of everything, Daddy Yankee has also been cited as a major source of inspiration for the next wave of crossover Latin artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Before he retires from music, Daddy Yankee is going on a final world tour, which is making a stop at American Airlines Center on Sunday night before heading off to tour South America one last time. Barns Courtney 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. $25+ at livenation.com
English singer-songwriter Barns Courtney had fronted bands like SleeperCell and Dive Bella Dive before signing a solo deal with Island Records in 2012. Courtney had actually recorded five albums' worth of material for the label over the course of three years when it decided to drop him without releasing a thing. By 2015, Courtney was supporting himself by working at PC World (the English equivalent of Best Buy) and couch surfing. All the struggle paid off when, later that year, Courtney's first single, "Glitter & Gold," blew up on BBC Radio, went viral on Spotify and soared up the alternative charts on iTunes. Courtney released his latest single "Supernatural" off the upcoming album of the same name earlier this week as he kicks off his American tour. British indie band The Ramona Flowers warm up the crowd for Courtney Monday night. Agnostic Front 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, Trees, 2707 Elm St. $28.50 at axs.com
Crossover thrash band Agnostic Front has always been a brusque and vitriolic force from the New York hardcore scene. Fronted by Roger Miret since 1982, Agnostic Front spent 10 years rising to the top of the scene on the strength of four incendiary albums, intense live performances and by inspiring countless other bands to play hard, play fast and scream until their lungs gave out. The band called it quits in 1992 but re-formed in 1996 and signed with preeminent punk label Epitaph Records. The band's output on Epitaph was praised by critics but largely hated by longstanding fans. As a result, the band rarely plays anything from 2001's Dead Yuppies andreturned to its classic hardcore-thrash sound in 2004 after signing with Nuclear Blast Records, which released the band's last five albums. Fellow NYC hardcore bands Sick of It All and Crown of Thornz open the show. Dinosaur Jr. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. $35 at prekindle.com
Like many bands, Dinosaur Jr. has had its share of lineup changes through the years, but since 2005, the Massachusetts alternative rock pioneers have stuck together. Co-founded by singer and primary songwriter J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph, Dinosaur Jr. borrowed heavily from the distorted garage rock of the '60s and '70s in formulating the sound that wasn't pop, wasn't punk, wasn't rock but was definitely related in some way. This alternative rock sound would come to define the grunge rock of the '90s. Countless musicians from that era of underground rock in the mid- to late-'80s have cited Dinosaur Jr. as primary influences. Singer Frank Black told Kerrang! in 2021 that Mascis served as a model for him as he was putting together his own band, the Pixies. Rockford, Illinois, singer-songwriter Ryley Walker kicks off the show.
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David Fletcher writes about music, arts and culture for the Dallas Observer. You can usually find him at a show in Deep Ellum whether he's writing about it or not. A punk scholar and local music enthusiast, David focuses his attention on the artists screaming in the margins of Dallas' music scene.