Concerts

10 Best Concerts of the Week: Paul Oakenfold, LeAnn Rimes, Khruangbin and More

Arlington's a cappella pop quintet Pentatonix bring the Evergreen Christmas Tour to Texas Trust CU Theatre on Wednesday night.
Arlington's a cappella pop quintet Pentatonix bring the Evergreen Christmas Tour to Texas Trust CU Theatre on Wednesday night. courtesy Pentatonix/Jacari Jacobs
As North Texas gears up for the final holiday countdown, we are seeing a lot fewer national acts in town this week, meaning that most of our list this week is made up of locals. In fact, all but two acts in this week's top 10 shows have some connection to North Texas. The first is legendary English trance DJ Paul Oakenfold, and the second is Delaware boogie-rocker George Thorogood. That is just the kind of range in talent we have to look forward to this weekend. Half of the concerts on the list this week take place on Friday, so there is a lot to choose from: blues-rock in Fort Worth, a country Christmas in downtown Dallas, Thai funk in Deep Ellum or avant-pop in Denton. Saturday offers music fans a chance to check out some modern folk in Oak Cliff, death metal in Arlington or a night of techno in Denton. The concert week ends with an a cappella show in Grand Prairie. It's a crazy mix, but it's sure to be entertaining.
Paul Oakenfold
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, at It'll Do Club, 4322 Elm St., $20+ at eventbrite.com

Paul Oakenfold is simply one of the most important and influential DJs to grace the world of electronic dance music. Before the now-legendary trance DJ ever released his first official album in 2002, he had already made his mark in the worlds of U.K. and U.S. dance music. The first DJ to headline the Glastonbury Festival in 1999 and a major attraction at Cyberfest the next year in Fresno (the largest dance festival ever in America at that point in time), Oakenfold paved the way for every DJ that has followed in his path to stardom. In recent years, Oakenfold has stayed busy working on everything from mixes to film scores to collaborations with artists such as Britney Spears, The Rolling Stones and New Order. On the cusp of releasing what will only be his fourth studio album Shine On in early 2022, Oakenfold makes a stop for one night only at Dallas club It'll Do with opening support from bass-heavy DJ Johnny Funk.
Royal Sons
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., $10+ at prekindle.com

In a world of mixed genres and various kinds of electro-fusion, Fort Worth blues-rock band Royal Sons are a breath of fresh air. Playing rock 'n' roll in its purest form, the Royal Sons call to mind that period in the early '90s when The Black Crowes broke through at a time when alternative music dominated the airwaves. Back in 2018, the Royal Sons released their first full-length album, Praise & Warships, after making the rounds for about two years. Coming from diverse backgrounds with years of experience in other bands, the members of the Royal Sons built their reputation playing solid live shows and drawing large audiences. Celebrating the release of two new singles, Royal Sons play Tulips in Fort Worth Friday night with opening support from psychedelic indie-rock band Phantomelo and Dallas party rock band Primo Danger.
George Thorogood and The Destroyers
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $35+ at livenation.com

Boogie-rock legend George Thorogood formed the band The Delaware Destroyers in 1973, built on a solid foundation of Chicago blues and old-time rock 'n' roll. The band went on to release its debut George Thorogood and the Destroyers in 1977, which went gold on the strength of "One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer" — a reworking of a John Lee Hooker song. The following year, the band's second album Move It On Over would also sell over 500,000 copies with reworkings of the Hank Williams classic "Move It On Over" and Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" receiving massive radio airplay. But it wasn't until 1982 that George Thorogood and The Destroyers had their first hit with lyrics written by Thorogood. That song was "Bad To The Bone," which adapted the hook from Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy." Last year, Thorogood was inducted into the Mississippi Music Project Hall of Fame for his lifelong commitment to preserving and promoting blues music.
LeAnn Rimes
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., $39.25+ at attpac.org

For one night only, LeAnn Rimes returns to her hometown of Dallas to perform holiday classics as well as her iconic hits for her Home for the Holidays concert at the Winspear Opera House. Rimes was the youngest person ever to receive a Grammy for "Best New Artist" when she received the award at the age of 14 in 1996. The following year, Rimes would release "How Do I Live?" which Billboard would rank as the No. 1 hit song of the 1990s. Since her initial success in the late '90s, Rimes has gone on to earn success in the worlds of both music and film. She has released 16 albums of country and gospel music, including two Christmas albums — What a Wonderful World in 2004 and Today Is Christmas in 2015. Rimes also starred in and produced the Hallmark Channel's It's Christmas, Eve, which premiered to over 4.3 million viewers, making it the highest-viewed TV movie to date.
Khruangbin
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $44.50+ at axs.com

Thai for the word "aeroplane," the world music-fusion trio Khruangbin formed in Houston in 2009. Describing their music as "Thai funk," the mostly instrumental band draws from global influences as well as rock, surf, soul, psychedelic and dub music. Khruangbin received international attention after English DJ Bonobo released their song "Calf Born in Water" on his 2014 Late Night Tales compilation. After that, the band went on an international festival circuit that ultimately earned them opening spots on tours for artists such as Father John Misty, Chicano Batman and Massive Attack. In 2020, the band released its third studio album Mordechai as well as a collaborative EP with Fort Worth soul singer Leon Bridges, Texas Sun. Just last week, Khruangbin announced a follow-up EP with Bridges, Texas Moon, and its lead single "B-Side." That EP is set for release on Feb. 18.
Nicole Marxen
9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Harvest House, 331 E. Hickory St., Free

Harvest House in Denton has the perfect atmosphere for an intimate show on a winter's night. Complete with heaters and fire pits with enough room for everyone to sit comfortably, Harvest House hosts avant-pop artist Nicole Marxen Friday evening. Marxen released her first solo EP Tether earlier in 2021 after years with glam rock band Midnight Opera. Marxen lost her mother at a young age and was inspired to write the EP after sorting through some of her mother's things and truly processing the grief from that loss. Tether has received high praise from critics across the country for its beautiful and haunting approach to processing grief. Opening for Marxen Friday night is Denton singer-songwriter Lauren Christner followed by Bosque Brown (aka Mara Lee Miller) who has recently reunited with her former collaborator Jeremy Buller who went on to play with Sarah Jaffe and OK Sweetheart.
Jackson Scribner
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $18+ at prekindle.com

The newest signee to State Fair Records, folk-informed indie musician Jackson Scribner is only 21 years old. In just two years after graduating from high school in Melissa, Scribner released his critically acclaimed self-titled album, which has been recognized by national publications American Songwriter and No Depression, British publication Americana UK and in Europe, where the young artist has already confirmed a fall tour. Now, just two years after performing his first show, Scribner is returning to the Kessler Theater Saturday night as a headlining act. Scribner's songwriting reputation was built by word of mouth as audiences sought out the singer's fresh take on classic folk traditions. Raw and deeply honest, Scribner is a unique voice in modern folk music. Singer-songwriter Bosque Brown goes two nights in a row, opening for Scribner the night after opening for Nicole Marxen.
Frozen Soul
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at Division Brewing, 506 E. Main St., Free

Dallas death metal band Frozen Soul has a lot to celebrate at the year's end. The band took the national metal world by storm at the beginning of the year with the release of its debut album, Crypt of Ice. In the summer, the band was honored with its very own beer Frost Hammer from Division Brewing in Arlington. Frozen Soul then went on a headlining tour across the country with support from a whole crew of up-and-coming metal acts. Now that the band is back home for the holidays after the tour, Division Brewing is once again honoring Frozen Soul with a brand new beer called Cold Moon. Division Brewing releases the beer this Saturday with a party headlined by the guests of honor and with opening support from DFW hardcore punk band Gagging Order and another act to be announced. It's an all-ages show, so bring the whole family for a night of cold beer and death metal.
BATHHØUSE
9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., N/A

Dallas industrial techno act BATHHØUSE is as enigmatic as it is brilliant. They've produced only a few disparate releases and played only a handful of shows, many in secret locations, so catching BATHHØUSE at a regular club on a regular weekend night is a real holiday miracle. BATHHØUSE is a collaboration between artists Carolina Santillan and Maxwell Henderson who performs as DJ 1-800-CULTURE and plays bass in Dallas hardcore band Perdidos. The music is dark, sexy and is sure to get everyone on the floor dancing. BATHHØUSE plays last after sets from three other local EDM acts. DJ DreamLover69 opens the show, followed by Dallas minimal techno artist Decoder. Experimental afrofuturist techno artist Blixaboy plays the penultimate set Saturday night at Rubber Gloves in Denton.
Pentatonix
7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22, at Texas Trust CU Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, $49.50+ at axs.com

Part of its Evergreen Christmas Tour, Arlington's a cappella pop quintet Pentatonix returns to the Texas Trust CU Theatre Wednesday night. Originally formed as a trio to win a radio contest to meet the cast of Glee, the three became five before entering the third season of The Sing-Off, which the group would go on to win in 2011. In the 10 years since, Pentatonix has released nine studio albums and earned three Grammy awards. Of those nine albums, five have been Christmas-themed, including the group's most recent album Evergreen. A festive mix of classic and original songs, Evergreen offers audiences the warm holiday spirit they've come to expect from Pentatonix this past decade. The group recently performed a version of its Wednesday night show as part of a free, streaming special for BYUtv in which the Pentatonix members share their favorite classic and original songs as well as the stories behind them. 
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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