Bikini Kill plays The Factory in Deep Ellum Monday night.Debi Del Grande
It's a front-heavy week this week with almost half of this week's best concerts happening Thursday night and another third taking place Friday night. Kurt Vile kicks the concert week off with lo-fi dreamscapes on Greenville avenue while The Avett Brothers play in Grand Prairie and the Haim sisters play in Irving. That night will also see the triumphant return of The Who to American Airlines Center. The Who aren't the only legends appearing in North Texas this week, though. R&B legends Boyz II Men play a special Mother's Day performance on Sunday night, and riot grrrl goddesses Bikini Kill grace the The Factory in Deep Ellum stage Monday night. There's also groovy hardcore, Simpsons-themed metal, campy country and Coldplay coming up. Don't miss out! Kurt Vile & The Violators 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $30 at prekindle.com
The former lead guitarist of The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile struck out on his own in 2008 shortly after the band released its first album, Wagonwheel Blues. The War on Drugs songwriter Adam Granduciel continued collaborating with Vile on his solo efforts through Vile's first four albums. It was after that time that Vile's sound became more calm and spacious, honing his songwriting craft with a deeper inward focus. Vile's most recent album (watch my moves) was released last month and has received high praise from critics for its mellow sounds that send listeners traveling through the artist's trademark dreamscapes. Washington indie-rock band Chastity Belt opens the show Thursday night. The band hasn't released a full-length album since 2019, but they have been steadily releasing singles like its most recent 7-inch Fake/Fear, which came out last December. The Avett Brothers 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at Texas Trust CU Theatre, 1001 Texas Trust Way, $35+ at axs.com
Coming out of Concord, North Carolina, The Avett Brothers had released five albums over the course of a decade before hitting big on indie radio stations with its 2009 I and Love and You. In those 10 years, The Avett Brothers, Seth and Scott Avett, established themselves as strong songwriters with an unflinching approach to the subjects of love, longing and loss. What set the brothers apart in the expansive world of Americana music at the end of the '00s was their capacity to sing sweet ballads and scream out in raw passion with Seth taking the role of crooner and Scott taking his turn at the mic to shout. Joining the brothers Thursday night at the Texas Trust CU Theatre is fellow North Carolina band Shovels & Rope. The folk duo released its sixth studio album, Manticore, in February. Haim 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., $25+ at ticketmaster.com
Its name means "life" in Hebrew, and Haim is composed of three sisters, Esta, Danielle and Alana. Alana, the youngest of the three, made her acting debut last year in Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-nominated coming-of-age comedy-drama Licorice Pizza. The sisters had been playing together as a band for about five years when they released their breakthrough debut album Days Are Gone in 2013. Supported by easygoing pop rock tracks like "The Wire" and "Forever," Days Are Gone made the band an overnight sensation and landed them on several year-end, best-of lists. The band released its third album Women in Music Pt. III in July 2020, which included the slow and sultry "Summer Girl" and the Rostam Batmanglij-produced track "The Steps." Atlanta singer-songwriter Faye Webster opens the show supporting her latest release, I Know I'm Funny Haha. The Who 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $41+ at ticketmaster.com
All the way back in September 2019, ahead of the release of its first album in 13 years, the legendary rock band The Who was scheduled to bring the second leg of its Moving On! tour to Dallas, but when singer Roger Daltry came down with bronchitis, the show was moved to April 2020. Then the pandemic hit. Now that show is finally coming back with The Who Hits Back Tour. Daltry and guitarist Pete Townshend will be joined by Townshend's baby brother Simon on guitar, Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums, Loren Gold on keyboards and University of North Texas alumnus Jon Button on bass. The concert will offer The Who’s many classics as well as songs from their most recent album, WHO.The Who have been known to for their live performances since 1965 when Paul McCartney called them "the most exciting thing around." You won't get fooled at this one. Coldplay 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, at Cotton Bowl, 3750 Midway Plz., $47+ at ticketmaster.com
When Coldplay released its debut album, Parachutes, in 2000, alternative music was really all over the place. The album was released the same year as Tori Amos' Strange Little Girls, Björk's Vespertine, Fatboy Slim's Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars and Radiohead's Amnesiac. Those were the five albums nominated for "Best Alternative Music Album" at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards, and though it was nominated along with veteran music acts doing some of their best work, Coldplay took home the Grammy Award that year. Since then, Coldplay has subsisted on its romantic songs and otherworldly soundscapes as they redefine what it means to be an arena rock band. Last year, the band released its ninth studio album, Music of the Spheres, Vol I.: From Earth with Love, and announced a world tour whose North American leg kicks off in Dallas Friday night. Orville Peck 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $25 at axs.com
Though Orville Peck has never let his face be shown publicly, the singer known for his long, fringed mask has made an indelible impression on the world of country music. Something of a cross between Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak, Peck made his debut in 2019 with the critically acclaimed album Pony, released on the iconic Sub Pop record label. The album showed the real breadth and depth of alternative country music, fusing together elements from goth, dream pop, shoegaze, indie-rock, surf-rock, post-punk, gospel and folk. Peck released his second full-length album Bronco last month, which expanded the singer's musical repertoire to include elements of psych-rock, rockabilly, bluegrass and doo-wop. Nashville country-rock band Teddy & The Rough Riders will open the show Friday night Okilly Dokilly 8 p.m. Friday, May 6, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., sold out
After six years of existence, two albums and several national and international tours, Ned Flanders-inspired metal band Okilly Dokilly will be making one last stop in Dallas before going on an indefinite hiatus to focus on family and other projects. The band began gaining attention in 2015 when a video of them performing in Ned Flanders' trademark green sweaters and pink shirts went viral. In just four years, the band's video for "White Wine Spritzer" ran during the credits for the season 30 episode of The Simpsons, "I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh." The band has said that this is likely not a permanent "toodilly-doo," but they have stated that they have no intention of recording anything new for the next several years. Oregon metal group Steaksauce Mustache opens the show along with local support from punk band Bullet Machine. Turnstile 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., sold out
Turnstile came out of the Baltimore hardcore punk scene about a decade ago but was never expressly a hardcore band. Always pushing the genre forward, Turnstile fearlessly incorporated elements of pop and hip-hop into their hardcore foundation. With their late-summer release GLOW ON, Turnstile once again broke mainstream boundaries, showing just how melodic and adaptive their brand of hardcore could be with its seamless introduction of funk, soul and even Caribbean sounds in the mix. At a time when music consumption has, by necessity, been confined to the home on machines that can access absolutely anything, Turnstile confirms that that the walls that separated genres have eroded, that genre labels can be quite meaningless and that you can slow dance in the pit. The band's Saturday night show may be officially sold out, but you can still find tickets from online resale companies. Boyz II Men 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at Texas Trust CU Theatre, 1001 Texas Trust Way, $39+ at axs.com
What could be better on Mother's Day than seeing the group that gave us the Babyface-produced single "A Song for Mama"? That was the last Top 10 single Boyz II Men had before they faded out of the bright light that had shined on the group throughout the '90s. Along with Bell Biv DeVoe, Boyz II Men was central to the rise of new jack swing, which hit airwaves and eardrums with a drum-heavy sound with multi-layered sampled backdrops in the summer of 1991. From then until 1998, with mega hit singles like "Motownphilly," "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," "End of the Road," "I'll Make Love to You," "On Bended Knee," "Water Runs Dry" and "4 Seasons of Loneliness," Boyz II Men could do no wrong. After their label Motown Records was bought by Universal Music Group, Boyz II Men was never quite able to regain that hit-making magic but remain every bit as soulful to this day. Bikini Kill 8 p.m. Monday, May 9, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $45+ at axs.com
Debates about influence and inspiration can be as tedious as they are passionate in the punk community, but you would be hard-pressed to find anyone to disagree with the premise that Bikini Kill not only completely changed punk rock music, they also helped change the country. Along with bands such as Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, Slant 6 and Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill ushered in the underground feminist punk movement, riot grrrl, which was critical to shaping the third-wave feminist ideology around diversity, individuality and sex positivity. At a time when Texas leads the way in tearing apart reproductive rights, singer Kathleen Hanna recently told the Observer that she has no interest punishing fans because of where they live, knowing that our fine state is not of one mind: “Texas isn’t all women-hating, trans-hating racist bigots, it’s also a lot of really interesting, awesome fucking progressive people.”
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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.