It's Fourth of July weekend, and while recent Supreme Court decisions may have you wondering if America's birthday party is one worth showing up for, North Texas music venues have plenty for you to celebrate whether you're feeling patriotic or not. Your concert week begins with a late-night dance party with Grum on the outskirts of Deep Ellum. Friday brings with it the longest list of decisions to choose from with Frank Turner in Victory Park, Fleet Foxes in Deep Ellum and Rod Stewart in Fort Worth. There's also Cola at Ruins if you're looking for something much smaller. On Saturday, you can start the Fourth festivities early with the Outlaw Music Festival in Fair Park or get nostalgic with Motion City Soundtrack at the House of Blues. Sunday sees a return to the stage for one of the most mysterious bands in North Texas, and on Monday, you can take your pick from July 4 festivals in Dallas and Denton — one will definitely be more traditional than the other. Grum 9 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at It'll Do Club, 4322 Elm St., $13+ at eventbrite.com
Scottish producer Graeme Shepherd (known by his stage name Grum), has spent the last decade establishing himself as one of the most sophisticated and emotive producers in electronic music. Grum's debut album, Heartbeats, caught the electronic music industry's attention for its post-'80s, electronic dance sound that drew comparisons to Daft Punk's sophomore album, Discovery. It would take a nearly a decade for Grum's second release, Deep State, to come out, which was followed shortly thereafter by an announcement that Grum had formed his own record label. In the few years that have passed, Grum has put out his unreleased second album, Human Touch, a remix album marking the 10th anniversary of his first album and his new album, Unreality, which came out on June 24. Dallas DJ Johnny Funk is set to open the show. Frank Turner 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 1, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $36.50+ at livenation.com
Before Frank Turner embarked on his solo career in 2005, he had spent half a decade with London post-hardcore band Million Dead, releasing two albums and a handful of singles before creative differences lead to the band's breakup. Since Turner set out on his own as a singer-songwriter, he's kept his hardcore roots close to heart, mixing all those uplifting songs you might hear on your local independent radio station: folk-punk screeds against party politics and social decay such as "Thatcher Fucked the Kids." On his latest album, FTHC (an initialism for Frank Turner Hardcore), Turner sought a more direct and raw approach to recording, as seen in his earlier work, with the intent of building songs to be played live. The album also explores many personal elements of Turner's life, such as "Miranda" about his father's transition to life as a woman and "Haven't Been Doing So Well," which deals with addiction. Cola 6 p.m. Friday, July 1, at Ruins, 2653 Commerce St., $15 at prekindle.com
In November 2021, Montreal post-punk band Ought called it quits after a decade of work together. Ought announced that guitarist and vocalist Tim Darcy and bass player Ben Stidworthy had formed new band Cola with US Girls drummer Evan Cartwright and released the single “Blank Curtain.” The song grooved into listeners' ear drums with an infectious bass line supporting Darcy’s bending guitar strings and hypnotic vocals. With a loping rhythm and unaffected coolness reminiscent of The Velvet Underground, Cola’s out-of-nowhere single made huge promises for things to come. For Cola, 2022 began with the release of a second single, "So Excited," followed by a four more singles and a video leading to the release of the band's debut album Deep in View. And just as "Blank Curtain" promised, Deep in View delivers on bringing sharp, hooky, contemporary post-punk to technology-anxious shoe-gazers. Fleet Foxes 7 p.m. Friday, July 1, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $40+ at axs.com
For decades, being known as a Seattle band on Sub Pop Records basically meant one thing — grunge. All that changed, however, when Fleet Foxes burst onto the music scene in 2008 with its groundbreaking, self-titled debut album. Along with bands like Bon Iver and Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes helped shift the definition of what it means to be an indie-rock band away from the garage rock sound represented by The Strokes, The White Stripes and a whole bunch of other bands whose name started with "The," to something more atmospheric and pastoral. Fleet Foxes have remained a favorite for music critics since the late '00s, but have never quite been able to recapture the mass appeal of their first two albums. The band's most recent album, Shore, was praised for its expansion of Fleet Foxes' signature sound. Here, the songs are catchier than they have been in the past, and singer Robin Pecknhold sounds even more free. Rod Stewart 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 1, at Dickie's Arena, 1911 Montgomery St., $162+ at ticketmaster.com
At age 77, Rod Stewart still knows how to draw a crowd. The singer's six-decade-long music career began when young Stewart played with bands around London before joining the Jeff Beck Group in 1967 as a vocalist and songwriter. By the end of the '60s, Stewart had started his solo journey and was beginning to work with his band Faces. While his time with Faces was short-lived, Stewart became quite prolific as a solo artist, releasing 32 albums over the course of five decades. Even as we enter what is likely the twilight of the singer's career, Stewart released his most recent album, The Tears of Hercules, in November, and though he might not be the hit-making machine he was in the '70s and '80s, the album has generated three singles with "One More Time" making it to the adult contemporary charts. Stewart has invited pop rock band Cheap Trick to provide the opening support. Outlaw Music Festival 3:15 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., $35+ at livenation.com
The annual country music festival tour, Outlaw Music Festival, returns to Dallas this Saturday for Fourth of July weekend. The tour takes place across 19 cities over the course of three months, with each date featuring a different lineup of country artists and Southern rockers supporting headliner Willie Nelson & Family. This year, Dallas will be the only Texas date on the tour, and Nelson will have five supporting acts. Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Russell gets the festival going in mid-afternoon, followed by sets from local favorite Charley Crockett and Houston country legend Steve Earle with his backing band, The Dukes. Also on the bill is country rock duo Brothers Osbourne, whose 2021 song "Midnight Rider's Prayer" incorporated elements of Nelson's "On the Road Again." Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit take the penultimate spot before the man himself takes the stage. Motion City Soundtrack 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $36.50 at livenation.com
In 2005, Motion City Soundtrack released its sophomore effort Commit This to Memory. The band had landed the opportunity to play Warped Tour and open for Blink-182 on the strength of the quintet's 2003 release I Am the Movie. Blink-182's Mark Hoppus took a shine to the band on that tour and offered to produce their next album. Maybe it was having Hoppus as producer or maybe it was the two years of extensive touring, but whatever it was, Commit This to Memory showed absolutely no signs of a sophomore slump. Critics hailed the album as an instant pop-punk classic, citing its incredibly catchy hooks and bright melodies that belied the heaviness of the album's inner turmoil. Motion City Soundtrack is touring in celebration of its breakthrough album while promising fans that new music is in the works and on the way in the near future. seres 8 p.m. Sunday, July 3, at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., $5 at the door
Dallas' always-enigmatic, Spanish-singing, synth-noise punk band, seres (“beings” en Español, and intentionally lowercase), will play its first and only show in Denton this year, headlining the weekly Hailey's Fan Club music series at Rubber Gloves. Known for being the steely tooth on the cutting edge of local music, the Hailey's Fan Club music series has been putting together shows featuring the latest and greatest in underground music locally and nationally for over a year now, and this week's five-band lineup perfectly represents the series and all its eccentricities. In addition to a must-see band like seres, the show will see performances by Portland synth-pop act Modal Zork alongside Denton bands, such as avant-metal band, Flesh Narc; art-punk trio Soft Shock; and punk 'n' rollers, Bobo. If you come to Denton Sunday night, you'll definitely want to arrange a place to stay so you can catch what's going down on the Fourth. Glizzy Fest 2 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 4, at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., $5+ at the door
Last year, Rubber Gloves hosted an incredible lineup of musicians to celebrate America's birthday, and this year, they pulled out all the stops in selecting an eclectic mix of music to listen to while you stuff yourself with hotdogs. The music gets started at 4:30 p.m. with DJ Vanden spinning hits before, between sets and after the last band leaves the stage. As for the bands, here's a concert-goer's guide: Heavy Baby Sea Slugs play a deliciously infectious mix of psych and sludge, Helium Queens bring the intergalactic electronic rock opera, Sunbuzzed casts doom-garage spells, industrial goth rock from Still Shadow, Big Hand Big Knife play heavy noise rock, Smothered revamps grunge, post-hardcore from Party Hats, rock experimentations from HTTPS, Days of Summer gives its take on indie folk, Gorgeous Hair glams it up and finally, singer Bone Doggy will be there to kick out some Americana jams. Red, White and Groove 4 p.m. Monday, July 4, at AT&T Discovery District, 208 S. Akard St., Free
What could be better than a Fourth of July barbecue headlined by one of North Texas' favorite alt-country acts, Old 97's? How about free entry? The Red, White, & Groove event taking place in the AT&T Discovery District in Downtown Dallas is set to be a full day of food and fun with music and digital fireworks. Event-goers can also expect a variety of yard games in addition to drink specials, barbecue and other eats. Jaxon Beer Garden will have an all-day happy hour complete with $14 "Freedom-Ritas" and a crab boil while The Exchange Hall will be serving up the barbecue. Live music kicks off at 4 p.m. with local country artists Matt Hillyer and Summer Dean, continuing with South Carolina native Nikki Lane and soul singer Devon Gilfillian from Nashville. Old 97’s will provide the finale to the evening with a digital fireworks show projected on a 104-foot media wall.
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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.