What a week to see a show. Singer-songwriters dominate our list this week as we patiently wait for big-name acts to make their return to North Texas. Jade Bird and Jack Barksdale are bringing their songwriting prowess to The Kessler stage on separate nights while Justin Cashion takes his Paranoid Narrative to the Deep Ellum Art Co. and Jackie Venson shows the people of Arlington why Austin City Limits was so quick to pick her up. This is also a week for big performances by Phantomelo and Upsetting at Three Links. The Wee-Beasties are also back in town for a birthday show like none other. Don't let the chance of rain damper your desire to get out this weekend and catch some great live music.
5:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., Thursday, May 20, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $22+ at prekindle.com
A few years back, English singer-songwriter Jade Bird became the darling of indie radio stations with singles "Lottery" and "I Get No Joy." Known for combining upbeat rock with stream-of-consciousness songwriting, Bird has drawn critical acclaim for her raw sound and ragged vocals. Her latest single "Open Up the Heavens" was released earlier this year and shows the singer finding more comfort in the style and sound that has carried her this far. American folk artist Savannah Conley opens both early and late sets for Bird Thursday night at The Kessler.
7 p.m., Friday, May 21, at Deep Ellum Art Company, 3200 Commerce St., $10-$15 at prekindle.com
Justin Cashion has an obsession with conspiracy theories. His debut album Paranoid Narrative is a concept album that explores a wide range of conspiracies, from the legitimate to the batshit crazy. Combining a bit of folk, country and rock 'n' roll, Cashion's approach to his subject matter is at times serious, sometimes humorous and at other times just plain dark — a perfect mixture for an up-and-coming Americana artist. Cashion's show Friday at Deep Ellum Art Company will be supported by Christian Sparks & The Beatnik Bandits and Jake Quillin.
7 p.m., Friday, May 21, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $99 at prekindle.com
A past Dallas Observer Music Award nominee for "Best Blues Act" Jack Barksdale is a 13-year-old blues prodigy who can get you crying with the very best of them. Born with a keen insight for reading people's motivations and intentions, Barksdale writes songs that couldn't possibly come from someone his age, but somehow they do. A multi-instrumentalist, Barksdale started performing at the age of seven and has a repertoire of over 100 songs. He will perform Friday night as part of The Kessler's Spring on the Green series hosted outside on the lawn behind the theater.
8 p.m., Friday, May 21, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10 at seetickets.us
Phantomelo is more than what it seems in videos and recordings. While you might get the impression from their recorded output that they are just another indie-rock band in the vein of Vampire Weekend, their stage show has an almost post-rock feel to it with their intricate, heavy instrumental breaks. A band with a deep concern for the environment, “The Tempest” is an environmental song written ironically from an apathetic perspective about the world’s impending demise. See them at Three Links Friday night with Mean Motor Scooter and Gorgeous Jetson before it's too late.
10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, May 21 & 22, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, $20-$80 at axs.com
Known for his rebellious lyrics and raucous live shows, Gary Allan brings the good times to Billy Bob's Texas this weekend with performances Friday and Saturday night. Active for over 20 years in the country music world, Allan topped the pop charts with his last release, 2013's Set You Free. Since 2015, the musician has been teasing a tenth studio release titled Hard Way for which he's released four singles (including "Waste of a Whiskey Drink"). While you're at Billy Bob's be sure to check out the Honky Tonk Kitchen and the Handprint Wall of Fame.
Children of Indigo
7 p.m., Saturday, May 22, at Deep Ellum Art Company, 3200 Commerce St., $7 at prekindle.com
Blending rock, funk, hip-hop and blues, Children of Indigo have been delighting fans with their incredible stage show for over half of a decade now. Releasing their long-awaited fourth studio album Native Alien in the middle of 2020, Children of Indigo barely got a chance to support the album with live shows. All that changes Saturday night when they headline the show at Deep Ellum Art Co. Jam trio Mahagonie opens the set that night with some choice grooves.
9 p.m., Saturday, May 22, at Reno's Chop Shop, 210 N. Crowdus St., $15 at the door
The Wee-Beasties are on a mission. After staging a successful punk rock car wash and getting back into the studio, the band is coming back to Deep Ellum Saturday night at Reno's Chop Shop for general manager Amber Bradshaw's birthday celebration. Seeing The Wee-Beasties really should be a DFW bucket-list item because there really is no other band to put on such an engaging and electrifying show. Be sure to join the party early to catch Electric Vengeance and Corkscrew Nosedive warming up the crowd.
8 p.m., Sunday, May 23, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10 at seetickets.us
A lot has been going on behind the scenes with Upsetting since the band released its first album, Everything I've Done So Far, after changing its name from Teenage Sexx. Over the course of the pandemic, the band released a handful of singles and videos, performed some livestreams, did a virtual tour and added a fourth member, guitarist Drew Kee. Their show Sunday night at Three Links with Clifffs and No Place Like Home will be their first live show since the lockdowns, and they are sure to bring it. Rumor has it that the band has been working on a cover of Brooks & Dunn's "Brand New Man."
8 p.m., Sunday, May 23, at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Free
Austin singer-songwriter Jackie Venson plays the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington Sunday evening with local support from Court Hoang as part of the venue's summer concert series. After Venson's 2020 plans were ruined by the pandemic, the singer set to work releasing five albums' worth of music, which caught the attention of the Austin City Limits television series. Venson made her national debut last November on the show and has been catching eyes ever since. Sunday's free show may be the last time you can catch an artist of this caliber for such a low cost.
8 p.m., Monday & Tuesday, May 24 and 25, at Gas Monkey Bar 'n' Grill, $400 at eventbrite.com
Whether you know him from the nu metal band Slipknot or his alt-rock band Stone Sour, Corey Taylor definitely made a lasting impression on the music world. Taylor's current hard rock solo project is like neither of his other bands. CMFT was released late last year to generally positive reviews. The album is an exploration of many genres that have interested the singer over the years with Taylor contributing vocals, guitar and piano to the tracks. His shows Monday and Tuesday night at Gas Monkey Bar 'n' Grill will be opened by the rock cabaret act Cherry Bombs.
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