Concerts

10 Best Concerts of the Week: Girls of DFW, She-Rock Festival, Pussy Riot and More

Feminist protest band Pussy Riot is playing Ruins on Saturday.
Feminist protest band Pussy Riot is playing Ruins on Saturday. Neil Krug
It's a new month — Women's History Month — and this week in North Texas there are several woman-centered events showcasing the mix of female talent we are lucky to have. Poor David's Pub gets things rolling this week with a songwriters round made up entirely of DFW-based, female singer-songwriters. The next day in Denton, the third annual She-Rock festival gets things going, bringing nearly two dozen female-fronted music acts to the Rubber Gloves Stage. Saturday night, the Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot returns to Dallas for a DJ set after opening for Marina and The Diamonds. On Sunday, Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 have a matinee performance in Oak Cliff celebrating their new 7-inch single, and later that night, Esperanza Spalding makes a special appearance at the Annette Strauss Square in the AT&T Performing Arts Center. And that's just the ladies first; there is still more to fill up your concert calendar.
Girls of DFW
7:15 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Poor David's Pub, 1313 Botham Jean Blvd., $15+ at prekindle.com

This Thursday, in celebration of Women's History Month, Poor David's Pub hosts an all-female songwriters round highlighting some of the strongest female voices in North Texas. The first concert in an ongoing series will feature songwriters Corina Grove, Elaina Kay, Frankie Leonie and Sarah Johnson taking turns playing songs on acoustic guitar. Corina Grove started playing music around town with a band in 2012, struck out on her own in 2017 and began drawing crowds with her heartfelt lyrics. The bitingly funny singer Elaina Kay finds balance in her songwriting, finding a way to laugh through the pain. Sarah Johnson sings biographical songs with a roots sound that takes the personal and makes it universal. Frankie Leonie has been making the rounds since she was 16 years old, impressing older country fans with her ageless lyrics. This is sure to be an intimate evening with a lot of laughs and maybe a few tears.
Jack Barksdale
7 p.m. Friday, March 4, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $18+ at prekindle.com

Jack Barksdale is a true roots musician. Host of the Jack Barksdale’s Roots Revival Podcast, Barksdale has become one of the leading authorities on all things country, blues and Americana while crafting some of the most emotionally honest lyrics heard from anyone even twice his age. Barksdale is only 14 years old, and he has been at this since he was 7. This Friday, Barksdale celebrates the release of his new album, Death of a Hummingbird, at The Kessler in Oak Cliff with opening support from singer-songwriters Matt Gomez and Verlon Thompson. Recorded over three days in August 2021 with producer and percussionist Mike Meadows at the invitation-only 3Sirens studio in East Nashville, Barksdale's new album has 11 tracks that find the young songwriter navigating his own mind while making his first real attempt at understanding the world around him.
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., $59.50+ at axs.com

Longtime collaborators on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Grinderman, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis released their first collaboration as a duo with last year's critically acclaimed album CARNAGE. Recorded during the pandemic lockdowns, the album served as an outlet for the duo's creative energy, resulting in a collection of songs with more spontaneity than anything either artist has ever produced. Critics praised the album as one of the best projects to come out of the lockdowns, placing it near the top of many year-end lists. This Friday sees the pair bringing their engrossing stage show to the Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas. The show will offer tracks from the new album as well as songs the two have worked on together throughout their careers. Cave has always been an undeniable stage presence, and with Ellis at his side with all of his electronics and instruments, it is sure to be an unforgettable night.
She-Rock
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., $15+ at fwbdenton.com

Friends With Benefits benefits North Texas' charities improving local communities, schools and neighborhoods. Among the many events the organization puts together in Denton is its crown jewel, the annual She-Rock festival. Now in its third year, the festival will be raising funds for The Bridge Breast Network and Denton County Friends of the Family. This two-day, three-stage, all female-led,100% for-charity event will be held on Friday and Saturday nights in celebration of International Women's Day. The event is scheduled to include performances by local and regional female-led bands, artists and comedians. Friday night, the lineup includes rappers LG , Mz. Bossy and Absolut, in addition to singer-songwriter Chelsey Danielle, Claws Out Comedy and a DJ dance party hosted by DJ Pandai’a and DJ Dolce. Things heat up Saturday night with performances by Pearl Earl, Seratones, Starfruit, Hen & The Cocks, Matchstick Ghost, Megan Storie and so many more.
Jeff Tweedy
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., $45.50+ at axs.com

Jeff Tweedy has never been one to let his songwriting be contained by one band in particular. After his first band, the quintessential alt-country group Uncle Tupelo, broke up in 1994, Tweedy formed Wilco and began to really push up against the limitations of the genre, composing masterpieces such as Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Tweedy made his first foray into solo work with 2014's Sukierae after forming a band with his son Spencer. In 2017, Tweedy released his first proper solo work, Together At Last, which featured acoustic reworkings of Wilco songs, and the next year, he released his first solo album of all-new material with a full backing band that included Spencer. Tweedy brought in his other son Sammy into the mix for his latest solo work Love Is King, which means that Saturday night's show at the Majestic should be a real family affair.
Pussy Riot (DJ Set)
10:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Ruins, 2653 Commerce St., $25 at squadup.com

The last time Pussy Riot came to town, it was Oct. 3, the day of the Dallas Reproductive Liberation March protesting Texas' six-week abortion ban measure that had gone into effect a month before. That march went all through downtown Dallas before returning to the park and to a post-march rally at Thunderbird Station where Pussy Riot screamed "No Wire Hangers Ever!" and everyone joined the battle cry. So much can change in just five months. Now the group made famous for protesting their own Russian government for the last decade has a whole new international crisis to deal with. Pussy Riot will also be opening up for Marina and the Diamonds at 8 p.m. at The Factory in Deep Ellum Saturday night, but we anticipate their real rebel spirit will be front and center at its DJ set around the corner at Ruins.
Labretta Suede & The Motel 6
4 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at Top Ten Records, 338 Jefferson Blvd., $10 at toptenrecords.org

Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 have had a really tough go at it since the band moved to Dallas from New Zealand at the start of 2021. In just a year, the band has had its gas siphoned, guitars messed with at shows, storage lockers broken into, been roofied, had record needles stolen at a DJ event and, to top it all off, the band's Chevy Suburban was stolen and totaled late last month (a GoFundMe has been started to help the band recover from this devastating loss). Still, in spite of all of that, Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 have pressed on, building a solid fan base on the band's reputation for putting on a racy show. Part garage-punk powerhouse and part burlesque show, Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 defy you to not take notice when they hit the stage. This Sunday, the band finally has something to celebrate with its release party for the new song "Teenagers" at Top Ten Records in Oak Cliff.
Esperanza Spalding
7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at Annette Strauss Square, 2403 Flora St., $90+ at dallassymphony.org

Four-time Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding performs a special one-night-only performance in the Annette Strauss Square in the AT&T Performing Arts Center this Sunday evening. Trained as a jazz bassist, Spalding draws influences from Rob Carter and Dave Holland in the orchestration and composition of her music. A multi-linguist, Spalding sings songs in English, Spanish and Portuguese, the latter of which she spent a month learning after being inspired by Brazil's musical culture. Since 2006, Spalding has released eight studio albums. Her most recent album, Songwrights Apothecary Lab, came out last fall and was inspired by Spalding's affiliation with musicians and health practitioners. Each of the album's 12 pieces of music, called "formwelas," was written and recorded across several months in Spalding's traveling music laboratory in collaboration with musicians, researchers and practitioners.
alt-J
6 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $69.50+ at ticketmaster.com

Named after the symbol created when you push the "alt" key and the "J" key at the same time on a Mac computer (∆), English indie-pop band alt-J makes its way to The Factory in Deep Ellum Wednesday night on its co-headlining tour. alt-J is touring in support of its latest album The Dream, which was released in February to much anticipation. The band came out strong with its debut album, An Awesome Wave, in 2012 on the back of smoldering singles "Tessellate," "Breezeblocks" and "Fitzpleasure." From there, the band began a rigorous touring and recording schedule that didn't really let up until they were done touring for third album Relaxer at the end of 2017. It was almost four years later when alt-J finally returned with the single "U&Me" in September 2021. Portugal. The Man and Brooklyn indie-rock band Sir Chloe will open the show.
Midlake
7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., $20 at prekindle.com

Currently composed of Eric Pulido, McKenzie Smith, Eric Nichelson, Jesse Chandler and Joey McClellan, Denton indie-folk pioneers Midlake make the first of two appearances at Dan's Silverleaf celebrating their first release in nearly a decade. The band's fifth full-length album, For the Sake of Bethel Woods, is due out March 18, but the band's hometown will get an early preview Wednesday and Thursday night at Dan's Silverleaf. Midlake’s preceding albums established the band as a fixture on the international music scene, each one incorporating different sound elements. Their 2004 debut Bamnan and Slivercork brought in shades of psychedelia, while breakthrough album The Trials Of Van Occupanther added in some '70s soft rock, and they infused Brit-folk into their sound on The Courage Of Others in 2010. The band's 2013 album Antiphon brought all of these elements together, and it's obvious from the first singles that For the Sake of Bethel Woods is going to push things even further.
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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