This weekend, a lot of acts we haven’t seen in a while are coming back to the stages we love. Miranda Lambert makes her return to North Texas, celebrating her 15-year career at Billy Bob’s Texas 40-year anniversary. Meanwhile, acts that went completely underground, such as Ghoulsby, are reemerging from a long radio silence. And bands like John Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner are coming out from behind digital platforms to bring you the live music you’ve waited for over a year now. So, start your concert week off with a little bit of folk-rock from Loyal Sally, and wind it down with a showcase at a brewery from State Fair Records.
8 p.m. Thursday, April 22, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10 at seetickets.us
The pandemic just couldn’t keep Loyal Sally down. The folk-rock band kept things fresh over the last year playing livestream concerts and outdoor events as often as they could, all while releasing new videos and singles for songs such as the electro-folk single “Social Distance,” which examined the anxieties and unhealthy coping mechanisms of a socially distant world. Thursday night sees the band returning to Three Links in Deep Ellum with support from rock bands Further North and King Clam.
9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 22-24, at Billy Bob’s Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, $48+ at stubhub.com
Starting at age 16, Longview's Miranda Lambert went from the Johnnie High Country Music Revue to Nashville Star and on to country music fame with her major-label debut Kerosene over the course of five years. Fifteen years later, Lambert is back in North Texas playing five shows at Billy Bob’s Texas for their 40-year anniversary celebration. The first of those three shows take place this weekend. Tickets are sold out, but there are still some reasonably priced tickets out there on StubHub. The next two shows will be next Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2. The May 1 show is also sold out, but there are still some tickets available for May 2.
6 p.m. Friday, April 23, at Front Yard Concerts, Free
Last year, the Observer named Front Yard Concerts the Best Music Venue largely for homeowner Matthew Kurzman’s devotion to local music and desire to keep live music going in a safe way. Since all the events take place at his home, interested guests must reach out via the event page to get the address. If you do that by this Friday, you will get a chance to see a performance by jazz vocalist and model Alex Blair hot off the release of her first EP Season of the Curvy Fox.
8 p.m. Friday, April 23, at Trees, 2707 Elm St., $17 at axs.com
Ever the master of curating his own image, Houston rapper RiFF RAFF returns to North Texas this weekend with support from local rappers Lardi B — the self-proclaimed parody queen — and Metal Mike. RiFF RAFF and the Observer may have a fraught history, but as the years have gone by, we have come to appreciate the rapper’s constant reinvention of himself and his music. What better time to reconnect than after a long pandemic than this Friday’s show at Trees?
The Mammal Virus
8:30 p.m. Friday, April 23, at Main at South Side, 1002 S Main St., Fort Worth. Free at prekindle.com
After releasing the single “Pandemic (In the Streets)” earlier this year, Southern psych-rock band The Mammal Virus has been slowly building new material as things begin opening back up. Last Friday on the band’s Facebook, The Mammal Virus hinted at the likelihood of new material debuting at this Friday night’s show at M.A.S.S. in Fort Worth. The Mammal Virus drummer Apolonio Romero Jr. and their bassist Zachary Zanetich will play solo sets in support of the full band.
John Pedigo's Magic Pilsner
9 p.m. Friday, April 23, at Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., $20 at prekindle.com
Producer, singer, guitarist and all-around good guy John Pedigo kept himself busy during the pandemic, releasing a song for each month of its continuing duration. He’s still at it with his latest single “Abandoned” featuring Joshua Ray Walker on backup vocals, hitting streaming services at the end of March. While Pedigo has found time to perform solo sets and with The 40 Acre Mule, this Friday will be the first time since the lockdowns that audiences will be able to get the full Magic Pilsner experience live at Sundown at Granada.
7 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Ridglea Room, 3309 Winthrop Ave., $10 at eventbrite.com
The 21-year-old multi-instrumentalist and alt-pop rocker Ghoulsby (aka Joseph Soto) kicked off this iteration of his long musical journey two years back, dropping his first EP, Full Stop, in March 2019. Experimenting with rock and country vibes in previous projects before settling on his signature sound, Ghoulsby was just starting to introduce himself to the local music scene right when things started closing down. Ghoulsby played his first show recently, and he makes a second appearance this weekend at Ridglea Room with opening support from Fort Worth alternative band Celestial L’amour.
Ubbi Dubbi Festival
2 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, April 24–25, at Texas Motorplex, 7500 US Highway 287, $109.95+ at seetickets.
Griffyn and Illenium are just two of the headlining acts for the annual sensory overload that is the Ubbi Dubbi Festival, taking place this year at Texas Motorplex in Ennis. The two-day festival will be going down this weekend with audio and visual delights provided by 70+ house, techno, trance and bass acts from right here in North Texas and around the world. Taking place on four stages booked from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Ubbi Dubbi will be operating at 50% capacity this year with masks required.
8 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at Gas Monkey Bar ‘n’ Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd E, $10-$80 at eventbrite.com
High Score is a new pop-punk band out of Denton that only made its presence known on December 30. Releasing three singles over the course of the last three months, High Score has been slowly building its pop-punk street cred, getting production help from Chris White from Under Currents and vocal support from Chaney Elaine from House Parties on their latest single “Better Luck Next Time.” Under Currents will be the band’s opening support this Sunday at Gas Monkey Bar ‘n’ Grill along with another new band Missed the Mark.
An Evening of State Fair Recording Artists
7 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, at Intrinsic Smokehouse Brewery, 509 W State St., Free
Intrinsic Smokehouse Brewery will host an evening of songs performed by local musicians on Dallas label State Fair Records on Wednesday evening. Catch performances by Dallas music scene veterans Chris Holt, Kristy Kruger and Matt Hillyer of Eleven Hundred Springs as well as a performance by up-and-comers Devil’s Sooty Brother — a project featuring Nathen Mongol Wells of Ottoman Turks and country music singer Joshua Ray Walker. Guests to the night’s event will enjoy $3 beers in an all-ages, kid-friendly environment.