Concerts

10 Best Concerts of the Week: Lupe Fiasco, Machine Gun Kelly, Calexico and More

The controversial Machine Gun Kelly will be playing American Airlines on Saturday.
The controversial Machine Gun Kelly will be playing American Airlines on Saturday. Rachel Parker
Whether you're into blues, blood harmony, boy bands, big beat or anything in between, there is a place for you some time this week in North Texas. Fans have two chances to catch the blues, funk and soul band Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears in Dallas or Denton (or both). Friday night will require some decision making between The Cactus Blossoms in Dallas, Lupe Fiasco in Fort Worth or a dual CD release party for two great local bands in Arlington. Saturday, fans can dance the night away at Camp Nowhere in Fair Park or get their fill of pop-punk with Machine Gun Kelly. On Sunday, local punks gather in Deep Ellum for a charity event, and early next week, Dallas will see shows from Latin fusion band Calexico, jazz fusion act Joe Jackson and pop superstars Backstreet Boys. It's a busy concert week for sure, North Texas, but we believe you'll make the right choice.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
7 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $24 at prekindle.com; and 7 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., $20 at prekindle.com

Blues, funk and soul band Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears first gained national attention in 2009 when Esquire magazine named them one of "10 Bands Set to Break Out at 2009's SXSW Festival" (Janelle Monáe was also one of those 10). Back then, Esquire noted the band's heartfelt grit in composing throwbacks that could stand up to anyone from Muddy Waters to the MC5. Though Lewis and his Honeybears did not share the same trajectory as Monáe after the 2009 SXSW appearance, the band has slowly built a solid fanbase in the blues world. Their 2017 release Backlash earned Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears a No. 3 debut spot on Billboard's blues chart. When COVID-19 canceled Lewis' tour schedule, the artist did what any true bluesman would and went back to work laying concrete. His boss may miss him, but we are happy to have him back Thursday night in Dallas and Friday night in Denton.
The Cactus Blossoms
7 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St., $23 at prekindle.com

"Blood harmony" isn't one of those terms that gets thrown around a whole lot these days unless of course you're talking about Finneas' debut album. Anyway, there was a time in music history — particularly country music history — when blood harmony ruled the airwaves. In the 1950s and '60s, bands made up of siblings like the Louvin Brothers and the Everly Brothers made records showcasing the eerie tones that come together when siblings harmonize their similar voices. It's a style that audiences didn't hear much of outside of Dennis, Carl and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys or Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart. The Cactus Blossoms, however, bring back that blood harmony sound in the purest of forms. Brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum are touring in support of the group's third album, One Day, which was released earlier this year on the band's own Walkie Talkie Records.
Lupe Fiasco
7 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Wild Acre Live, 1734 E. El Paso St., $42+ at defytickets.com

Fifteen years ago, progressive hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco released his sophomore album The Cool. Fiasco had already made quite the impression on the indie music scene the previous year with Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor and its breakthrough hit single about a skater romance, "Kick, Push." The Cool picked up on the story line Fiasco had started on Food & Liquor's 10th track, the Kanye West-produced single of the same name. A darker album than its predecessor, The Cool offered up meditations on life and death as the rapper struggled with the loss of his father and his close friend Stack Bundles. The album also showed the rapper's sociopolitical focus with songs on topics like immigration and child soldiers in Africa. In celebration of the album that defined his career, Lupe Fiasco makes a stop at the new Wild Acre Live venue in Fort Worth on Friday night.
The Prof. Fuzz '63 + The Jet Noise
8 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Growl Records, 509 E. Abram St., $10 at the door

Friday night, Growl Records in Arlington hosts the dual CD release party for Dallas family psych-punk band The Prof. Fuzz '63 and Fort Worth rock band The Jet Noise. Dark surf punk band Crooked Bones and neo-psych trio Estacado will warm up the crowd for Prof. Fuzz, who have just released the new album Peaches & Herbicide in association with the Philadelphia-based Sister Molecule Collective. The new album doubles down on all the wit, wordplay, and, well, fuzz the band has become known for over the years. This is a must-see live band, if for nothing else than to watch frontman Mike Farmer sing into his custom red telephone receiver microphone. The Prof. Fuzz will be followed by The Jet Noise (formerly Josh and The Jet Noise). Now a hard-rocking bass and drum duo, The Jet Noise recently released its five-track EP Why Won't My Friends Help Me Move?, proving that while Josh may be gone, The Jet Noise is still going strong.
Camp Nowhere 2022
4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., $25+ at livenation.com

Camp Nowhere made quite the impression in 2018 and '19 as a small touring Texas-based electronic music festival that went through Dallas, Houston and Austin in those years. The festival was all set to come back in 2020, but the pandemic set it back two years. This year, the festival will only be in Austin (on Friday night) and Dallas, Saturday night at Dos Equis Pavilion in Fair Park. Though it has always been a small festival, Camp Nowhere always packed in the talent, and this year will be no different. Headlining the festival this year is chart-topping American DJ Porter Robinson whose 2021 album Nature landed on several year-end, best-of lists for all of its passion and chaos. Six other acts will be taking the stage Saturday, starting with future bass DJ Moore Kismet at 4:30 p.m. followed by DJs Evan Giia, LP Giobbi, Nora En Pure and Lane 8. New Jersey pop singer Fletcher will also perform.
Machine Gun Kelly
8 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $29.50+ at ticketmaster.com

Machine Gun Kelly won the "fuck around and find out" award for 2018 when he released a diss record aimed at the king of rap battles, Eminem. It has been said that MGK lost the diss battle with Eminem so badly that he had to switch genres, embracing pop-punk in 2020 with Tickets to My Demise and its follow-up, this year's Mainstream Sellout. MGK has been a lightning rod for controversy since the infamous rap battle, finding himself in the crosshairs of Slipknot's Corey Taylor when he made fun of the band's trademark masks and claimed Taylor was mad about not being featured on the Mainstream Sellout album — a claim Taylor proved was false by revealing an email exchange in which he respectfully declined the offer. Despite all the controversy that has surrounded MGK, critics agree that he can still write a hook. And while it may be somewhat formulaic, the music is still solid, especially with Travis Barker on drums.
Punks 4 Planned Parenthood
8 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $15 at seetickets.us

Punk rock has always been a powerful voice for the voiceless. Loud, angry, necessarily rude and always speaking truth to power, punk rock music champions the causes large and small that affect local community most immediately. While we have seen plenty of punk rock shows champion those big little causes lately, this Sunday, Deep Ellum punk club Three Links hosts a punk rock show to raise money for reproductive rights — an issue that affects every single American at the moment, but especially low-income American women. A portion of the proceeds from the door for this four-band lineup will be donated to Planned Parenthood, who will have a table set up the night of the show to raise awareness about the threat to women's rights in Texas and across the country. Music will be provided by ambient riot grrrl band, Boof; local punk bands, Bullet Machine and From Parts Unknown; as well as Austin punk band,The Butts.
Calexico
7 p.m. Monday, June 13, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $30+ at prekindle.com

Since 1996, Calexico has been using a wide mix of sounds to create its signature indie-rock. Influenced by traditional Latin styles of mariachi, conjunto, cumbia and Tejano, Calexico brings in additional elements of country, jazz and post-rock into a microgenre that has been dubbed "desert noir." Throughout the band's near-30-year history, Calexico has revolved around the duo of John Convertino and Joey Burns, but it has slowly incorporated influences from a host of collaborators such as Neko Case and Iron & Wine. The band has also grown to include multi-instrumentalists to fill in the space with horns, woodwinds and various kinds of percussion. The band's most recent album, El Mirador, mixes Spanish and English throughout its 12 songs, exploring Southwestern landscapes in its music and its lyrics. Calexico will have opening support from soul-pop singer Molly Parden.
Joe Jackson
7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., $45+ at axs.com

English singer-songwriter Joe Jackson has never allowed himself to be confined to a single genre of music. Jackson spent his early years in music with proto-punk band Arms and Legs before taking bass player Graham Maby with him to form his solo project. Jackson's first three albums as a solo artist showed the singer sticking closely to his roots, flirting with new wave, punk rock and ska in crafting catchy pop tunes. It was on his fourth album, Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive, that Jackson showed his love of jazz music and his desire to avoid being pigeonholed into a single genre. Jackson continued to explore jazz, classical and experimental music between his rock albums until he abandoned rock altogether in 1991 not to return to the genre that made him until 2003's Volume 4. Jackson released his 20th studio album, Fool, in 2019, showing that he can still rock with the best of them.
Backstreet Boys
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., $129.50+ at livenation.com

Nick, Howie, AJ, Brian and Kevin return to North Texas next week on the second leg of Backstreet Boys' DNA World Tour supporting the group's ninth studio album DNA. Along with NSYNC and an innumerable amount of copycat acts, Backstreet Boys dominated the charts in the late '90s and early '00s, turning out over a dozen top-10 hits before fading into the background as hip-hop came to dominate the pop charts. As the Backstreet Boys and their fanbase age, the group maintain their following by embracing a more adult contemporary approach to pop music. In 2005, BSB took a deliberate step away from their teen pop past by releasing Never Gone, which featured live instruments and more introspective lyrics. Though the former teen pop sensations are often seen as a thing of the past, it's worth noting that every album the group has released since 1997 has debuted in a Top 10 spot.
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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