10 Best Concerts of the Week: Amigo The Devil, Nelly, Evanescence and More

Nelly plays Thursday night at Billy Bob's Texas.
Nelly plays Thursday night at Billy Bob's Texas. Drew Gaines
There are some pretty big decisions to be made this weekend, North Texas. With all of this week's 10 best concerts occurring within three days of each other, music fans have a lot of options Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. On Thursday, Texas country music legend Ray Wylie Hubbard takes the small stage at AllGood Cafe in Deep Ellum while Amigo The Devil breaks all the rules of folk music across town at Amplified Live and Nelly makes his Billy Bob's Texas debut in Fort Worth. Friday, Jason Boland & The Stragglers kick off their tour at Tulips, Parker Milsap reaches new audiences on Greenville Avenue and Portrayal of Guilt tears Cheap Steaks apart on Elm Street. Saturday is even more difficult with legends from the alternative, pop and metal world taking different stages at the same time. Things are going to get a little crazy, but it's sure to be a good time.
Ray Wylie Hubbard
6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at AllGood Cafe, 2934 Main St., $50+ at

Playing in honor of AllGood Cafe's 21st Anniversary, Texas music pioneer Ray Wylie Hubbard takes to the stage Thursday night in Deep Ellum. Raised in Oak Cliff and educated at North Texas State University, Hubbard's big break came in 1973 when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his song "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother" and made it a country standard. Hubbard struggled through the '70s and '80s in finding an audience for his music, releasing just five albums sporadically under several different record labels. In 1984, Hubbard founded his own label  and released five albums on it in the '90s alone. Hubbard's music has achieved cult status, drawing audiences who are keen to wry humor and down-home wit. Hubbard and AllGood Cafe owner Mike Snider go way back, so those in attendance Thursday night will certainly be treated to a wonderful evening of songs and stories from the songwriter.
Amigo The Devil
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., $20 at

Amigo The Devil (aka Danny Kiranos) writes wildly entertaining alt-folk songs about death, rats, serial killers, the devil and other such unpleasant things. For his latest album Born Against, Kiranos worked with Beau Bedford at Modern Electric in Dallas to work in strange sounds reminiscent of Tom Waits' Rain Dogs. Kiranos' songs vary in tone from darkly comic to deathly serious, but no matter the subject matter, Kiranos' witty delivery saves the songwriting from becoming too macabre even if the song is about Grace Budd's father getting his revenge on Albert Fish in "Better Ways to Fry a Fish." Opening for Amigo The Devil Thursday night at Amplified Live is the fast-paced bluegrass outfit from the Colorado Rockies the Tejon Street Corner Thieves. While the Thieves prefer writing songs about whiskey over witchcraft, the way these two acts tear down the genres they work in makes them a perfect pairing.
8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, $30+ at

Nelly released his eighth album, the country-inspired Heartland in August. To achieve his new vision of country and rap fusion, Nelly worked with a host of country musicians from Florida Georgia Line to Darius Rucker and from Jimmie Allen to Kane Brown. Keeping with the new country-rap sound, Nelly will play honky tonk venue Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth with country music singer Dusty Black; former American Idol contestant, McKinney singer-songwriter Harper Grace; and country-rapper and Heartland collaborator Blanco Brown. No stranger to country-rap fusion, Nelly's 2004 duet "Over & Over" with Tim McGraw was a platinum-certified hit, and his remix of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" in 2013 was also a success. As for the new album, Nelly's full embrace of country music shows just how much country and rap have evolved together in the past decade.
Jason Boland & The Stragglers
7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., $28 at

For over 20 years now, Jason Boland & The Stragglers have been at the forefront of the Red Dirt country movement, paving the way for acts like Cross Canadian Ragweed, Stoney LaRue and Turnpike Troubadours. From their humble beginnings in Hurrah, Oklahoma, to their relocation to Austin, Jason Boland & The Stragglers have slowly moved their way up the country charts by keeping their music raw and the lyrics pointed. Boland kept himself busy during the pandemic returning to the studio to record an EP of covers and working on a new Stragglers album produced by longtime collaborator Shooter Jennings. In October, the band released its new single "The Light Saw Me" from the album of the same name due out Dec. 3. On Monday, the band released its second single from the new album, titled "Restless Spirits." The Light Saw Me tour kicks off this Friday in Fort Worth at Tulips with opening support from Mike & The Moonpies.
Parker Milsap
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $24+ at

Parker Milsap plays a unique blend of blues, country and Americana that since 2012 has relied as much on building diverse characters as it has on a darker country sound. Never quite bridging the gap between Americana and mainstream success, Milsap's new album is a clear attempt to reach a broader audience without sacrificing lyrical depth. On Milsap's latest record, Be Here Instead, Milsap trades in the brooding blues-rock sound for which he is best known for a sound that is more melodic and pop-driven while retaining the songwriter's sharp insights on living through tough times. Milsap has spent much of his career as the opener for acts such as Jason Isbell, Shovels & Rope and Old Crow Medicine show, but just as the new album seeks to bring the singer out from the shadows, Milsap headlines Friday night's show at the Granada after a performance by local favorite Remy Reilly.
Portrayal of Guilt
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, at Cheap Steaks, 2613 Elm St., $12 at

Formed in 2017, Portrayal of Guilt is an Austin hardcore trio The Washington Post and Revolver magazine have credited as one of the bands breathing new life into the screamo subgenre. The band's menacing and aggressive take on the subgenre known for chaotic sounds and screaming vocals also combines the grittiness of black metal and the abrasive, heavy distortion of sludge metal. In the few years since their formation, Portrayal of Guilt has released a handful of EPs and three full-length albums — the last two of which were released in January and November of this year. The band's latest album, Christfucker, is the band's response to a year of uncertainty with music that creates an atmosphere of anxiety and fear with lyrics of loss, pain and suffering. Originally scheduled to take place at Double Wide, Friday night's Portrayal of Guilt show with Chat Pile will be held at Cheap Steaks on Elm Street instead.
The Potato Pirates
7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $20 at

For well over a decade, Denver's Potato Pirates have made a name for themselves by putting on memorable, high-energy shows. Always bringing the party to the punk rock concerts, The Potato Pirates play Saturday night at Deep Ellum punk venue Three Links with opening support from Dead 77, Dog Company and Josh Langford of Austin band Starving Wolves. Playing fast-paced punk with just enough of ska and pop sensibility to make the music danceable but not enough to make it saccharine-sweet, The Potato Pirates follow the same spirit of pop-punk pioneers NOFX, whose concert was postponed this week after singer Fat Mike and engineer Jon Graber were diagnosed with COVID-19. Since that NOFX show was scheduled for the same night as this one, pop-punk fans will no longer be split on which show they should go to.
Black Label Society
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at Texas Trust CU Theatre, 1001 Texas Trust Way, $15+ at

Fronted by longtime Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society has been cranking out a solid mix of Southern rock and heavy metal since the late '90s. Releasing 10 albums over 20 years with the band's 11th album, Doom Crew Inc., due out Nov. 26, Black Label Society has established itself as a solid heavy rock band that never tries to reinvent the wheel so long as the formula keeps working. That's not to say that Black Label Society is a one-note band; Black Label Society knows what their fans want and are more than happy to deliver the goods time and again with thick riffs and ghostly vocals. In a sense, there is something relaxing about Black Label Society's music — its heaviness notwithstanding. In an age when personal politics get in the way of so much, it's rather refreshing to kick back and listen to a band that just wants to rock. And rock they will on Saturday night at the Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie.
Caroline Polacheck
8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at The Studio at The Factory, 2727 Canton St., $20+ at

Avant-pop artist Caroline Polacheck first made her mark on the music world fronting the synth-pop band Chairlift before releasing her first album Arcadia under the moniker Ramona Lisa. That album and its follow-up Drawing the Target Around the Arrow (released under Polacheck's initials CEP) were entirely composed on Polacheck's laptop and relied on mysterious sounds that broke the conventions of genre-specific music to craft soundscapes as ominous and beautiful as the nature that inspired them. Polacheck released her first album under her full name in 2019, bringing back the delicate vocals that hadn't been heard since her time with Chairlift and making music that is playful, theatrical and futuristic. French musician and composer Oklou opens for Polacheck Saturday night at The Studio at The Factory in Deep Ellum.
8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at Dickie's Arena, 1911 Montgomery St., $25+ at

Founded as a duo in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the late '90s, alt-metal band Evanescence, and more specifically vocalist Amy Lee, has gone on to become one of the most celebrated acts in hard rock. With a voice as haunting as it is beautiful, Lee sings warmth into lyrics of cold and darkness, providing a cathartic outlet for feelings of loneliness, frailty and fear. After a three-year hiatus, Evanescence came back with their 2017 album Synthesis, which featured orchestral reworkings of their classic songs as well as a few new tracks. Their March 2021 release The Bitter Truth is a return to form for the band that built its brand on dark heavy music juxtaposing Lee's melodic voice. Evanescence's support Saturday night at the Dickie's Arena will be hard rock band Halestorm, who released their song "Break In" featuring Lee in 2020, and the under-21, all-woman rock band Plush.
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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.
Contact: David Fletcher