It's Halloween weekend in North Texas, and what a weekend it will be. Half of this week's best concerts take place on Devil's Night, and there is a lot to choose from. If you're looking for a big, loud metal show, Slipknot's Knotfest Roadshow in Fair Park is your place to be. If you like metal, but want more of a local feel and a costume contest, head to Reno's in Deep Ellum. Feeling nostalgic for some North Texas acts from yesteryear? The Arlington Backyard will be hosting three of your favorites. If you want to just chill while the chaos goes on around you, Crumb is playing at The Studio at The Factory. Up in Denton, A Giant Dog headlines a lineup of five bands known to tear down the house with every performance. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Of course, there is much else going the rest of this concert week. We haven't even gotten to The Hives, Midlake, The Rolling Stones or the rest. Midlake 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., $15 at prekindle.com
The haunting harmonies of Denton indie-folk pioneers Midlake return to the stage Thursday night at Tulips in Fort Worth. Currently comprised of Eric Pulido, McKenzie Smith, Eric Nichelson, Jesse Chandler and Joey McClellan, Midlake has released four studio albums to date and recently finished work on their fifth full-length album For the Sake of Bethel Woods, due out March 18, 2022. Midlake’s preceding albums established the band as a fixture on the international music scene, each one incorporating different elements to fill out the sound. Their 2004 debut Bamnan and Slivercork brought in elements of psychedelia, while breakthrough album The Trials Of Van Occupanther added in some '70s soft rock, and they infused Brit-folk into their sound on The Courage Of Others in 2010.The band's 2013 album Antiphon was released to much critical acclaim, receiving high marks from every magazine or blog that reviewed it for bringing all of these elements together. Indie-rock band FIT opens the show. Lily Taylor + Black Taffy 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, at The Wild Detectives, 314 W. Eighth St., $15 at eventbrite.com
Dubbed "the Texan experimental pop chanteuse" by Aquarius Records, Lily Taylor makes music that demands your attention. With a diverse mix of songs — some ambient, some pop and some just plain experimental — Taylor's music is captivating. Over the last few years, Taylor has been working with Dallas vaporwave artist Black Taffy on new material and is ready to share what they have created together. Each song explores a different world with different characters, places and experiences. When he is not performing as Black Taffy, Donovan Jones produces other artists, especially female vocalists such as Taylor, Sudie and MATTIE. Lily Taylor and Black Taffy will receive opening support from band blendways Thursday night at The Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff. blendways uses mixed media to create a multi-sensory experience that's as fitting to a concert venue as to an art museum. Slipknot 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., $29+ at livenation.com
Metal band Slipknot's Knotfest Roadshow pulls into Dos Equis Pavilion the day before Halloween. The show will include opening acts Killswitch Engage, Fever 333 and Code Orange. For decades now, Slipknot has been known for putting on breathtaking stage shows that are every bit as big and ballistic as the band itself. Coming out of Iowa, Slipknot burst on to the metal scene in the late '90s with their self-titled debut album, catching the eyes and ears of listeners with terrifying masks and three percussionists. While metalheads will always debate just how metal any particular metal band may be, one thing that can't be denied about Slipknot is how much power there is behind the nine-piece band. Slipknot's most recent album, We Are Not Your Kind, came out in August 2019, and the band recently revealed it's working on new material, which percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan has described as "God music." Ghostland Observatory 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Arlington Backyard, 1650 E. Randol Mill Road, $49+ at axs.com
This year for Halloween, the Arlington Backyard is keeping it electric with a lineup that is sure to keep the crowd moving. Things kick off with DJ sets from Dallas' Ishi and Denton's Neon Indian, both of whom made national breaktroughs in the mid-2000s. The night's headliner, Austin's Ghostland Observatory, recently released their sixth studio album, the cosmic soundscape Vultures, on drummer Thomas Ross Turner's Trashy Moped Recordings. A mix of electro-dance, rock and soul, Ghostland Observatory has stayed pretty low on the radar since 2016 when the group played several sets at SXSW, but has continued to put out music and tour consistently. The duo had to cancel all of their September tour dates, making their show in Arlington this Saturday night their first show since July in Houston. A Giant Dog 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., $15 at prekindle.com
If you find the mayhem and mischief of Devil's Night appealing, then you might want to take a trip up Interstate 35 this Saturday for the chaos scheduled at Rubber Gloves, boasting a five-act lineup of bands known for their wild and engaging stage shows. Tonya and the Hardings will get the crowd moving in the art-punk style of Patti Smith. Crooked Bones shakes things up with a mix of surf and punk. Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 take over with a hard-rocking and reckless show with just a taste of burlesque. Then there's The Wee-Beasties, Denton's nine-piece symphonic punk collective that aims for both shock and awe with every breathtaking set. All of that leads us to Austin punk rock band A Giant Dog, who have just been listed on the lineup for SXSW. Since 2008, the band's hard-driving, hook-driven melodies paired with their high-energy performance has been a spectacle to be seen and heard. Halloween Metal Massacre Costume Party 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Reno's Chop Shop, 210 N. Crowdus St., $10 at the door
What better place to get wild on Devil's Night than at Deep Ellum's only heavy metal bar, Reno's Chop Shop? Celebrating into the witching hour with the help of five bands, the Halloween Metal Massacre Costume Party promises a night of skull-crushing metal and some of the most creative, disturbing and bizarre costumes the entertainment district has to offer. For the music, things kick off with hardcore band Beaver, which always puts on a wild and reckless show. Next comes thrash metal band Skull Archer, which just put out their first album in April last year. Electric Vengeance will come next with its blend of street punk and heavy metal. Dallas' premier Ramones tribute band Mondos Bizarros takes the penultimate set followed by headliners Midnight Murder Show, which will ring in Halloween and play for as long as they want. Crumb 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at The Studio at The Factory, 2727 Canton St., $25+ at axs.com
Crumb is a band that is hard to define but so easy to listen to. Described variously as makers of "psychedelic slacker rock," "jazzy, lo-fi dream pop" or "a soothing pop amalgamation," Crumb draws from '60s psychedelia, loose jazz and freeform indie-rock. Formed in 2016 by Brooklyn-based musicians who met at Tufts University, Crumb's sound came together in the years the band members lived and played together leading up to their official formation. The band released their first two EPs while split between Boston and New York, catching the attention of Rough Trade Records, which released the band's first album, Jinx, in 2019. The band recently released their second full-length album Ice Melt on the same label. Their new material maintains the dreamy sound the band has cultivated over the last five years with an even brighter mood. Queens singer Duendita opens the show Saturday night at The Studio at The Factory in Deep Ellum. Cloud Nothings 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $17 at prekindle.com
Coming out of Cleveland, noise rock band Cloud Nothings has been consistently releasing great music for well over a decade now. Whether putting out music the traditional way, self-releasing albums on Bandcamp, releasing member-exclusive EPs every month for a year between August 2020 and June 2021 or collaborating on a split release with Wavves, Cloud Nothings' productivity is hard to match. The band's most recent album, The Shadow I Remember, came out in February this year to a host of positive reviews praising the band's balance between explosive hooks and epic compositions. The band's Halloween show at Club Dada in Deep Ellum will receive opening support from the Philadelphia garage rock trio Long Hots, whose music has been compared to work by protopunk bands like The Velvet Underground and The Stooges. The Hives 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $32 at prekindle.com
Rising to prominence during the early 2000's garage rock renaissance, Swedish band The Hives had actually already been doing the garage rock thing for about a decade, releasing four EPs and an album before 2000 saw the release of Vini Vidi Vicious. In the years following the album's release and its breakthrough hit "Hate to Say I Told You So," The Hives have enjoyed dozens of hit singles that were far more popular across the pond than they have been in the U.S., though their 2007 song "Tick Tick Boom" has become a staple for stadiums and video games. Most recently, after nearly three decades of music, the band released their first live album on Jack White's Third Man records in September 2020 as well as a few new singles leading up to this year's tour. The Hives' show Monday night at the Granada Theater will have opening support from L.A. rock band The Mystery Lights. The Rolling Stones 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Cotton Bowl, 3750 Midway Plaza, $63.50+ at ticketmaster.com
The Rolling Stones will finally roll through Dallas on their No Filter Tour, playing the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park on Tuesday night. Originally scheduled for May 29, 2020, the concert was postponed until now because of the pandemic. The show was almost postponed again when Stones drummer Charlie Watts fell ill. Rather than keeping fans waiting, Watts handpicked Steve Jordan to take his place on the tour in early August before Watts' death later that month. Jordan has played with Stones guitarist Keith Richards in Richards' side project X-Pensive Winos and has contributed to albums from artists across the music industry from Aretha Franklin to Ziggy Marley to Bruno Mars. The Rolling Stones have recently announced they will no longer be playing their controversial hit song "Brown Sugar" for its lyrics about slavery, rape, torture and pedophilia. With six decades of other hits, The Rolling Stones have plenty else to sing and gyrate to.
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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.