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10 Best Concerts of the Week: Brooks & Dunn, Sick Tight Fest, Dropkick Murphys and More

Velvet Skyline plays Sick Tight Fest on Saturday at Killer's Tacos in Denton.
Velvet Skyline plays Sick Tight Fest on Saturday at Killer's Tacos in Denton. Faith Alesia Alvarez
What strikes us most when looking across this week's concerts is just how many duos we have coming through North Texas. First, we kick things off with country duo Brooks & Dunn, then there are '90s post-grunge rockers Local H. After that, New York's experimental pop duo Lewis Del Mar will play Trees, and then The Front Bottoms play Amplified Live (formerly Gas Monkey Bar 'n' Grill). Also fitting neatly into this theme is the dual headlining tour of Dropkick Murphys and Rancid. Aside from all these pairs, your concert calendar includes some incredible woman-fronted bands: Pearl Earl, Ex-Regrets, Mutha-Falcon, Hen and the Cocks and Willow. Anti-Flag will also be playing somewhere in the midst of all of this, but you'll have to read on to find out more.
Brooks & Dunn
7 p.m. Thursday, Sept.23, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., $35+ at livenation.com

The epitome of '90s neotraditional country, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn return to Dallas Thursday evening at Dos Equis Pavilion on their Reboot tour. The duo had a slew of hits throughout the '90s and '00s, culminating in two epic greatest hits collections, before retiring from the music industry in 2009. The pair came out of retirement in 2019 with their album Reboot — a collection of rerecorded classics with guest vocalists such as Luke Combs on "Brand New Man," Kacey Musgraves on "Neon Moon" and Midland on "Boot Scootin' Boogie." Critics were split on whether or not the group's older sound paired well with modern production, but fans sent the album to No. 1 on the Billboard country chart. And while the Reboot tour will sadly not be able to accommodate all of those incredible guest vocalists, Brooks & Dunn will have opening support from up-and-coming country singer Elvie Shane and fellow '90s country star Travis Tritt.
Pearl Earl
8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $15 at seetickets.us

Back for their first show since July and their first show in Dallas in what seems like forever, Pearl Earl takes over Three Links Thursday night with help from Dallas flower punks Sub-Sahara and Tyler psych band Gorgeous Jetson. The show finds singer and guitarist Ariel Hartley on the eve of the release of the first EP Dream Crusher by her solo project Earl Hartley and Thrift Star. Equal parts prog rock, glam rock and psych rock, Pearl Earl has been captivating audiences with its mesmerizing stage show since 2015. With heavy distortion and spellbinding vocals, Pearl Earl invites its audience on a journey with every show. With Sub-Sahara and Gorgeous Jetson added to the mix, this show is sure to draw a crowd even on a Thursday night.
Local H
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $14 at axs.com

The name might look familiar. You might have even found yourself singing "And you just don't get it, you keep it copacetic, and you learn to accept it, you know you're so pathetic" from the band's best-known, earworm of a single "Bound for the Floor," but there is so much more to Local H than that. Led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Scott Lucas, Local H was formed in 1987, drawing its name from two R.E.M. songs, "Oddfellows Local 151" and "Swan Swan H." A two-piece band throughout its history, Local H has seen three different drummers across nine studio albums and dozens of other releases. Local H is known for its high-energy shows that set the standard for bands like The White Stripes, The Front Bottoms and Japandroids — who followed Local H's footsteps in making an electric guitar and a drum set sound like arena rock. So, even if "Bound for the Floor" is all you know them for, there is still so much to be seen here. The three-piece band of brothers Radkey opens Local H's Friday night show at Trees.
Sick Tight Fest
11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Killer's Tacos, 424 Bryan St., $15 at the door


Killer's Tacos has a growing reputation in North Texas for giving a stage to just about anyone who wants to play. It's a tradition small venues in Denton have kept going for as long as anyone can remember and one that Killer's doubles down on whenever possible by hosting weeknight shows or all-day festivals for local bands to get some stage time. Occupying what looks to be a regular house at the end of a quiet neighborhood near the University of North Texas, Killer's is uniquely set up for these kinds of performances thanks to its small indoor stage that gives off some major house-show vibes and its larger outdoor stage in the backyard. Oh, yeah, and the tacos really are killer. This Saturday, Killer's will host an all-day festival with 17 bands including Matchstick Ghost, House Parties, Velvet Skyline, penny bored, New Heroes and Worst Case Scenario. Just think of that $15 door price as $0.88 per band and go see what the next generation of local talent has to offer.
Lewis Del Mar
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $21 at axs.com

When New York's experimental pop duo Lewis Del Mar released its self-titled debut album in 2016, everyone was listening. Receiving praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Vice and The New York Times, the duo made the late-night circuit, appearing on Conan and The Late Late Show with James Corden. The album peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Emerging Artists chart while the band played several major festivals around the country. Then, for a few years, nothing happened. The duo stayed relatively dormant following their heavy tour schedule, but in the midst of the pandemic year, Lewis Del Mar announced its second album AUGUST would be released in August 2020. The duo had quietly worked on the album over the course of two years in a Rockaway Beach bungalow they had converted into a studio. Building on the foundation laid in its first album, Lewis Del Mar builds music like an emotional tapestry, weaving in all of life's little unpleasantness into something new and beautiful. Austin singer-songwriter Mobley will open for Lewis Del Mar Saturday night at Trees in Deep Ellum.
Ex-Regrets
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Caves Lounge, 900 W Division St., Free

With the tagline, "Ex-Regrets is essentially a coping mechanism," the new rock group with a riot grrrl heart celebrates the release of their first EP Here Come the Waterworks this Saturday night at Caves Lounge in Arlington. A brave mix of '90s grunge, '00s garage rock and the very best of Fat Wreck Chords, Ex-Regrets is here to make audiences dance and think with upbeat songs about some pretty downbeat topics. Sexism, classism, addiction and toxic relationships are all topics explored on the new EP. As heavy as those themes can be, the treatment Ex-Regrets gives them can help lighten the load of any weary travelers who find themselves at a show or on a streaming service. Ex-Regrets will receive opening support from Mutha-Falcon and Hen and the Cocks, both bands with frontwomen who command a stage and take no prisoners. Punk veterans The Two Watts will also be there playing what they describe as "get off my lawn" punk that pairs perfectly with those Fat Wreck Chords compilations you still have in a CD binder somewhere.
The Front Bottoms
6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 27, at Amplified Live (formerly Gas Monkey Bar 'n' Grill), 10261 Technology Blvd. E, $25 at seetickets.us

After rescheduling their tour twice before, The Front Bottoms will be rolling into Amplified Live (formerly Gas Monkey Bar 'n' Grill) Monday night. Kicking off their careers as a New Jersey folk-punk band, The Front Bottoms are known for their dense, confessional lyrics and intricate guitar work. While the band's lineup has shifted over the years to include keyboards, brass and other instruments, the band is traditionally a two-piece, guitar and drum setup that, like Local H before them, can make those two instruments sound too big for a stadium. The band has been associated with genre terms like "indie" and "emo," but their sound today is much more in line with garage rock, relying on heavier and faster guitars on songs like "Voodoo Magic." However, The Front Bottoms can still slow things down and get emotional as they did on the band's most recent single "Lover Boy." The band is currently touring with special guests: New York emo-revival band Oso Oso and indie singer-songwriter Sydney Sprague.
Dropkick Murphys & Rancid
7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28, at Texas Trust CU Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, $20-$50 at axs.com

When it comes to street punk, there really are no bigger names than Boston's Dropkick Murphys and Berkeley's Rancid. The Boston to Berkeley II tour finds the former Hellcat records labelmates together again after their wildly successful 2017 co-headlining tour. Dropkick Murphys' Celtic-punk and Rancid's ska-punk influences would make for somewhat of an odd pairing had the two bands not come up making the same festival rounds and playing to the same audiences for decades. While the 2017 tour had both bands promoting a new release, Rancid has not released a follow-up since but has been working on one in the midst of bandleader Tim Armstrong's countless other projects. Dropkick Murphys released their 10th studio album, Turn Up That Dial, earlier this year and have already put out seven singles in support of the album. If seeing these two bands together again wasn't enough, Los Angeles punk rock band The Bronx opens the show at Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie.
Anti-Flag
7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, at The Loft, 1135 Botham Jean Blvd., $19 at seetickets.com

Formed in 1988 but failing to take shape until 1996, Pittsburgh political punk band Anti-Flag has been a strong activist voice in the punk world now for decades. Active supporters of Democracy Now!, PETA, Greenpeace and many other organizations, Anti-Flag has never backed down from a tough political stance. Their latest release, 20/20 Vision, turned a sharp eye on the former president, denouncing fascism while still holding out hope for better things to come in the future. Joining Anti-Flag at The Loft above Gilley's Dallas on Wednesday night will be California punk bands Dog Party and Grumpster as well as alt-hip-hop group from Queens Oxymorrons.
Willow
8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $199 at stubhub.com

Can you believe it's been over a decade since "Whip My Hair" came out? Well, a lot has changed for Willow Smith since then. After spending years recording as an alt-R&B, psych-soul or dream-pop artist, the singer's latest album, lately I feel EVERYTHING, is more in line with alt-rock and pop-punk. To bring this new sound to life, Willow worked with pop-punk icons Travis Barker of Blink-182 and Avril Lavigne on her song "Grow" among other guest appearances across the album. Despite the artists' new direction, the album was met with mostly favorable reviews praising Willow for its zero-fucks-given approach to indie punk. Tickets for the Wednesday night show at Trees are sold out, but you can still find some for a pretty penny on StubHub.
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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