For all the lack of big-name acts we've seen in the weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, things pick right back up on Black Friday, a day on which half of the concerts on this week's list occur. These acts are as big as they come. Metal gods Judas Priest return to North Texas for a show in Deep Ellum, and Southern rock band Eagles also makes its return for a concert in Fort Worth. Meanwhile in Irving, Jeezy, Juvenile, Big Tuck, Bun B and 8ball & MJG give fans all the Southern rap they can handle. Next week starts off with a mellow show at The Factory in Deep Ellum before completely changing course when Cannibal Corpse plays Victory Park the following night. All of your favorite pop stars will also be in town that night for KISS FM's Jingle Ball. That is just scratching the surface of what's to come this week. Let's just say that there is plenty to be thankful for. The Band of Heathens 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. $26+ at prekindle.com
Austin Americana outfit The Band of Heathens was something of a supergroup when its members first got together in 2005. Guitarists Ed Juri, Gordy Quist and Colin Brooks were all established solo performers in Austin's bustling music scene. When the three musicians played together as separate acts at Momo's in Austin, they formed the group that we know today. Even after the band's formation, The Band of Heathens spent three years developing their sound as a live act before ever entering a studio. In that time, the band was voted "Best New Band" at the 2007 Austin Music Awards and caught the attention of Texas music legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, who produced the band's first, self-titled studio album. Juri and Quist did a song with Hubbard for the band's covers album Remote Transmissions, Vol.1, and the band will be playing in Oak Cliff this Friday in support of its latest EP, Cutting Room Floor. Eagles 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, Dickies Arena, 1911 Montgomery St., Fort Worth. $275+ at ticketmaster.com
Performing Friday night only in Fort Worth are the iconic Eagles, in a lineup that brings original members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit together with country singer Vince Gill. The show will follow the same structure as the band's concert last year at American Airlines Center with two sets. The first is a performance of the classic album Hotel California in its entirety. The second set will be a performance of the band's greatest hits. The tour began as something of an extension of the band's Las Vegas residency, which saw the Eagles in their current lineup performing Hotel California for three nights at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, though this time without the 46-piece orchestra and 22-voice choir. The Eagles' current lineup put out its first release in October 2020 — Live from the Forum MMXVIII — their third live album in almost 50 years of existence. Judas Priest 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St. $66+ at axs.com
Formed in 1969, Judas Priest changed the look of heavy metal music when they dropped the hippie look that metal bands like Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer were still holding onto and opted for black leather and studs. The band also helped steer the sound of heavy metal from slow, ominous blues-rock to fast-paced, hard-driving rock. Countless metal bands have not only developed that style but have also adopted band names inspired by Judas Priest albums and songs: "Steeler," "Exciter," "Sinner" and "Tyrant," to name just a few. Fans hoping to see Judas Priest on their 50th anniversary were disappointed in 2020 when the legendary heavy metal band had to postpone their tour twice thanks to the pandemic. Now celebrating 52 heavy metal years, Judas Priest returns to North Texas for the second time this year for the fall leg of its tour with Queensrÿche. Trill Fest 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving. $160+ at livenation.com
Jeezy will headline Trill Fest this Friday night. The rapper returns to North Texas after performing in Grand Prairie over the summer. Jeezy was one of the biggest names in hip-hop as a solo act in 2005, and his group Boyz n the Hood also scored big the same year with its hit "Dem Boyz." For nearly two decades now, Jeezy has been a stalwart figure in the rap game, turning out 12 of his own albums while being featured prominently on tracks from his peers and up-and-comers such as Dallas' own Yella Beezy. For all his work in hip-hop, Jeezy has been surprisingly quiet since 2020, at least musically. Earlier this year, he marked a new era in his life, welcoming his first child with The Real host Jeannie Mai into the world in January. The festival will also feature Southern rap heroes such as Webbie, Juvenile, Big Tuck, Bun B and 8ball & MJG Aaron Watson 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth. $20+ at axs.com
It's hard to believe that Texas country musician Aaron Watson has been around for over 20 years now. His first album was released in 1999, but it wasn't until the release of his 2015 album The Underdog that this true country underdog found national acclaim. Since then, the singer's popularity has only grown, and Watson was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2020. A prolific songwriter, Watson has released a new album nearly every year since his first. His 18th album, Unwanted Man, came out over the summer, celebrating his status as a DIY, outlaw country performer. Watson has built a solid reputation for his live performance, dazzling audiences with a mix of love songs and good old-fashioned country story songs. Watson returns to Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth this Friday night for a late performance after an opening set from the Billy Bob's house band. Men I Trust 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St. $26.50+ at axs.com
Montreal dream pop trio Men I Trust kicked off its career as a two-piece instrumental act in 2014. The band played in jazz venues and even released two albums, a self-titled album in 2014 and 2015's Headroom. In 2016, the band added singer and guitar player Emmanuelle Proulx to the mix, adding more depth to the band's mellow music as well as a sweet and soulful set of lyrics. As a three-piece, the band has released three albums, the most recent being 2021's Untourable Album — an album which is now finally seeing a tour. Men I Trust will have opening support from fellow Montreal musician, bedroom pop artist HOMESHAKE. The solo project of singer-songwriter Peter Sagar, HOMESHAKE began when Sagar left Mac DeMarco's live band to pursue his own interests. This is going to be a mellow show, made for slow-dancing and chill vibes. Cannibal Corpse 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, House of Blues, 2200 N Lamar St. $49.50 at livenation.com
While some may seek the comfort of mellow show after this week's family gatherings, others may be in search of a louder place to let all of it out. That is when Cannibal Corpse enters your holiday agenda. One of the most iconic and recognizable names in death metal since the band's arrival in 1988, Cannibal Corpse has really blazed its own trail in the music industry, growing over three and a half decades from terrifying parents with its controversial album art to finding international chart success. It might not be too surprising that the band's most recent album, Violence Unimagined, ranked highly on Billboard's Hard Rock Albums chart, but what is surprising is that it peaked at No. 45 on the Top 200. And that's just in America. Cannibal Corpse has actually see even greater success across Europe and Japan. Swedish black metal band Dark Funeral and New York black metal bands Immolation and Black Anvil open the show. 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, Dickies Arena, 1911 Montgomery St., Fort Worth. $28.50+ at ticketmaster.com
Every year, 106.1 KISS FM hits it out of the park by booking pop's biggest acts for its annual Jingle Ball concert, and this year is no different. Putting together a list of the hottest acts of today and yesterday, Jingle Ball is sure to be a night of great fun this year in Fort Worth. Headlining the night is Kentucky rapper Jack Harlow, who has had quite a year with the release of Come Home the Kids Miss You. The album debuted in the No.3 spot on Billboard's Top 200 chart, and the rapper recently was honored to act as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Representing the ghosts of pop music past at this year's Jingle Ball is L.A. pop-rap group Black Eyed Peas. It may seem like it's been a while since we've heard from them, but Black Eyed Peas ranked highly on the Latin American charts with 2020's Translation, which saw the group working with Shakira, J Balvin, Ozuna and Maluma. AFI 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. $61+ at livenation.com
Most people remember AFI as an angsty emo-punk punk band with hardcore overtones, but in the last decade, the band has been leaning more toward gothic rock and post-punk. It all started with 2013's Burials album. Considered one of the band's darkest albums, Burials introduced new layers of sound to a band that had for decades favored a more straightforward approach to songwriting and recording. Four years later, AFI released its second-most-successful album AFI, known by its fans as "The Blood Album." It was here that AFI began sounding more like The Cure and Joy Division. AFI's most recent album, Bodies, is a full foray into post-punk with much more synth and a little less darkness. AFI's approach was met with mixed reviews from critics, but those who love it, do so for its new waviness. To that end, L.A. darkwave band Drab Majesty is set to warm up the audience Wednesday night. The Menzingers 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E. $30+ at seetickets.us
Scranton, Pennsylvania, punk band The Menzingers have spent over 15 years building a reputation on solid punk rock music with real heartfelt lyrics. The four-piece lineup of guitarists Greg Barnett and Tom May with bassist Eric Keen and drummer Joe Godino has stuck together since the band's founding in 2006, releasing seven albums and numerous EPs and singles. The band rose to prominence in the punk world by finding its way into the opening spots on tours for Anti-Flag and Against Me! While The Menzingers may be derided as being too nostalgic for a punk band, the group has put together a tour that would be incredible with or without the headliner. Opening for The Menzingers are L.A. post-hardcore band Touché Amoré and New Jersey indie-punk band Screaming Females.
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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.