Concerts

10 Best Concerts of the Week: Leon Bridges, Wiz Khalifa, David Gray and More

Wiz Khalifa will be at Dos Equis Pavilion this Sunday.
Wiz Khalifa will be at Dos Equis Pavilion this Sunday. Mikel Galicia
Summer is still burning in North Texas, but with local schools starting back next week, there is definitely a feeling of fall in the air (even if it's just delirium caused by heat). With that feeling comes some nostalgia, and naturally, with nostalgia comes anniversary tours to North Texas — four of them this week, to be precise. Celebrating somewhere between 20 and 30 years of their best music, New Found Glory, David Gray, Franz Ferdinand and Crash Test Dummies will take to various stages around town to remind fans of who they are and where they have been together. If you're looking to something new, however, head on up to Denton where emo-punk band Teenage Halloween headlines a night supported by the area's best and brightest. If you're thinking local, but still want something big, the biggest name in North Texas music right now, Leon Bridges, will be playing in Irving. If you're looking for something else, just keep reading. It gets heavy.
Franz Ferdinand
6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. $40+ at livenation.com

Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand made its first big impression in 2004 when it emerged in the midst of a bunch of really similar garage rock bands whose names started with "The." The band's breakthrough hit single "Take Me Out" offered audiences a divergent take on an otherwise homogenous indie sound, offering up a two-part track with tempo changes, echo effects and an industrial feel that was more intricate and more interesting than anything playing alongside it on the radio. Franz Ferdinand certainly had more hits over its two-decade career, but none that became as ubiquitous and career-defining as "Take Me Out." The band will be taking that song and others out on its Hits to the Head Tour, celebrating the band's greatest hits compilation released in March. The groovy and noisy Boston indie rock trio Vundabar will open the show.
Leon Bridges
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd. $30+ at livenation.com

Fort Worth's very own Leon Bridges takes to the big stage Thursday night on his Boundless Tour. These past eight years have seen remarkable growth in the singer-songwriter who got his big break when KXT started spinning "Coming Home" in 2014, leading to his eventual and inevitable signing with Columbia Records. Bridges quickly went from playing small stages in North Texas to performing in front of live studio audiences and President Barack Obama. All the while, Bridges has never just ridden the horse that brought him into the limelight, pushing his music past the '50s-style soul to the progressive R&B heard in 2021's Gold-Diggers Sound. Most recently, Bridges has been working with Houston's Thai-funk band Khruangbin on 2019's Texas Sun EP and the February 2022 EP release Texas Moon. Bridges joined Khruangbin on stage when they came through last December. Perhaps the band will return the favor.
The Head and the Heart
6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd. $35+ at livenation.com

Seattle indie-folk band The Head and the Heart has always been something of an underground success —  the kind of band that has many fans but not a lot of fanatics. Since 2011, the band has released five albums that explore the emotional atmosphere of indie music, finding strength and virtue in feelings of detachment and loneliness. Surprisingly, for a band that deals so much with sadness and pain, The Head and the Heart have also maintained a touch of pop sensibility throughout the years, penning songs that can get crowds singing along just as well as they can get them in their feelings. The band's music has been featured on countless soundtracks in television and film, and even if you think you don't know The Head and the Heart, there is likely something in its catalog that you will find vaguely familiar. Los Angeles folk-rock band Dawes provides opening support.
Crash Test Dummies
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. $35+ at prekindle.com

If all you know about the Crash Test Dummies is that one weird, "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" song from the '90s, then there is so much out there for you to explore. The last time the band came to town they were newly reunited in honor of the 25th anniversary of God Shuffled His Feet — the album from whence the aforementioned song originates. This time, however, the band comes in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their debut album The Ghosts That Haunt Me, an absolute tour de force of a folk rock album that channeled Irish punk as much as it did good ol' American bluegrass. That album gave us the Dummies' minor hit "Superman's Song," but more than that, the album is one of those rare and oft forgotten gems that has no skippable tracks — from the playful opening track about the passing of time, "Winter Song," to its mournful yet uplifting closer, "At My Funeral." Canadian singer-songwriter Carleton Stone opens the show.
Teenage Halloween
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, Andy's Bar, 122 N. Locust St. $9 at prekindle.com

Since 2014, power pop group Teenage Halloween has cut its teeth in New Jersey's nurtured DIY punk scene. Founded by Asbury Park locals, the band has long-operated as a rotating cast of members, but it has established a solid lineup over the past few years, releasing a self-titled, debut album in 2020 on New Jersey's Don Giovanni Records. With songs that walk the line between punk, pop and emo, Teenage Halloween explore themes of gender euphoria, mental illness, existence and anarchy. Politically charged and community focused, the band creates a safe space for the marginalized and holds a mirror up to the privileged. Their debut album was well-received by Northeastern audiences, earning the band mentions on Stereogum's "40 Best New Bands of 2020" and Brooklyn Vegan's "Top 55 Albums of 2020." Providing local support are riot grrrl band Homewrecker and the Bedwetters, emo revivalists Upsetting and noise rocker Birds Fear Death playing her last show in Texas for a very long time.
Murder By Death
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E. $30+ at seetickets.us

Hailing from Bloomington, Indiana, Murder By Death built their career on telling dark stories about Southern tropes like the devil and whiskey. Currently a six-piece band filled with strings and percussion, Murder By Death have often curated their lineup to fit the mood of the album, whether by bringing in studio musicians for the horn parts on 2006's In Bocca al Lupo, dwindling to a four-piece band for the intimate 2010 release Good Morning, Magpie or expanding to a six-piece lineup for their most recent and most lush release Spell/Bound. It took the band over two years to fine-tune the album and achieve a sound that is as spaced out as it is immersive. Singer-songwriter and Murder By Death collaborator Samantha Crain joins the band on its co-headling Tour From The Crypt with the band's friend in dark, murderous folk-rock, Amigo The Devil.
David Gray
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd. $35+ at livenation.com

It's a bit strange to say that David Gray will be coming to Dallas on the White Ladder: The 20th Anniversary Tour. For one thing, White Ladder came out in the U.S. in 2000. For another, White Ladder came out in the U.K. in 1998. And finally, has it really been 24 years since White Ladder came out? When the album and its lead single "Babylon" hit American music stores and airwaves at the dawn of the new millennium, the music immediately felt timeless. The singer's captivating voice lilted across a soundscape of folk music renewed by electronics and elevated with just a touch of alt-rock. Gray never found quite the same acclaim with any of his previous or future work, but White Ladder has stood the test of time. In lieu of a supporting act, Gray will take the stage for a 40-minute greatest hits set at showtime, and following a 20-minute intermission, he will play the whole White Ladder album in sequence.
Wiz Khalifa
6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave. $30+ at livenation.com

Last week, Wiz Khalifa released his seventh studio album, Multiverse. Coming on four years since his last release, Khalifa's latest shows the rapper refusing to be placed in a box, bringing in a live band to record the music for a majority of the project. Along with beat-makers Hitmaka and Bankroll Got It, Khalifa and company bring lush grooves into the new album as the rapper uses his voice for both spitting and singing rhymes. He brings with him fellow rappers 24kGoldn, whose critically acclaimed debut album hit shelves last year, and Khalifa's co-headliner, Logic. Logic is touring with Khalifa in support of his new album Vinyl Days, which came out mid-June. Logic's new album is a vast, 30-song rap opus featuring heavy-hitters like RZA, Royce da 5'9, The Game, Action Bronson and his tourmate Khalifa. DJ Drama will also be in the mix along with other special guests.
New Found Glory
5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. $28.50+ at livenation.com

On June 11, 2002, New Found Glory released the album Sticks and Stones. The album was recorded at a time when the band's career was really taking off, having just finished up a tour with Blink-182 in the summer of 2001. It would become New Found Glory's most popular album, debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and being certified platinum within a month and a half of its release. Bolstered by singles "Understatement," "My Friends Over You" and "Head on Collision," Sticks and Stones became a classic in an era when pop-punk was featured prominently on media outlets, and the band has always held the album close to its heart. This will be the fourth time the band has toured in support of the album — when it was released, on the album's 10th anniversary, the band's 20th anniversary and now, the album's 20th anniversary. It's safe to assume that Monday night's performance of the album will be on point.
Anthrax
7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, South Side Ballroom, 1135 Botham Jean Blvd. $45+ at ticketmaster.com

Along with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer, Anthrax has long been recognized as one of the "Big Four" in thrash metal music. Though Anthrax's name may not carry the same cachet as the other members of the "Big Four," the group's influence may perhaps be more broad. Bands as disparate as Cannibal Corpse, Limp Bizkit, 311 and Insane Clown Posse cite them as an influence. But this show is about more than just its headliner. Connecticut's beatdown hardcore juggernaut Hatebreed opens the show, no doubt bringing along the absolutely rabid cult following the band has built over 25 years. Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society performs next, coming to town on the heels of their 2021 Doom Crew Inc. release. BLS has always been known for absolutely rocking the show out. Taken as a three-piece, this lineup could be the best, loudest and perhaps even last thing you'll ever hear.
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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