Concerts

10 Best Concerts of the Week: The Smile, Bowling for Soup, MÅNESKIN and More

Thom Yorke sings with The Smile Thursday night at The Factory in Deep Ellum.
Thom Yorke sings with The Smile Thursday night at The Factory in Deep Ellum. Rich Fury/Getty Images
There are a few oddities in this week's concert list. For one thing, instead of 10 concerts, this week we suggest 11 concerts for North Texas music lovers because an acclaimed rock 'n' soul singer will perform two nights in Oak Cliff. The second oddity is that with this many concerts on the list, only six venues are hosting this week's best. Finally, one of those venues has never appeared on this list before and most likely never will again. North Texans can look forward to a lot this week, with the best Radiohead side project kicking things off. Minnesota rapper Yung Gravy makes a stop in the Cedars, while Béla Fleck brings bluegrass to Downtown Dallas. Over the weekend, Cody Canada and The Departed return to North Texas with some Cross Canadian Ragweed songs in hand, and Bowling for Soup plays for charity. Next week, an Italian band makes its way to town as does a local favorite. And, believe it or not, that's not all this week has in store for you.
The Smile
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St. $65+ at axs.com

It may not be Radiohead, but The Smile is being called the best Radiohead side project with which any of its members have been involved. Maybe it's because Radiohead singer Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood make up two-thirds of this three-piece band. The Smile's third member is the relatively unknown jazz drummer Tom Skinner, who first worked with Greenwood on his soundtrack to the 2012 film The Master. Making its public debut at the beginning of the year, The Smile released its first album, A Light for Attracting Attention, in May. The band's sound is difficult to pin down, with critics describing it as post-punk, proto-punk, art rock, alt rock and math rock. What critics can agree on is that the band has a more aggressive sound that we haven't heard from Radiohead since The Bends in 1995. Composer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Stillman opens the show.
Béla Fleck
7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. $47+ at ticketmaster.com

There aren't very many people who can call themselves banjo virtuosos, but that is exactly what musician Béla Fleck is. Since 1976, Fleck has been elevating the banjo out of bluegrass music and giving it a place in jazz, classical, rock and various world music genres. With 15 Grammy Awards, Fleck has won almost half of the awards for which he's been nominated, and in 2020, he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame as a member of New Grass Revival, a band he joined in the mid-'70s that was responsible for "Callin' Baton Rouge," a song Garth Brooks would popularize in the '90s. After New Grass Revival called it quits, Fleck formed Béla Fleck and the Flecktones before becoming a solo artist in 2012. Fleck will have opening support from Brooklyn progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers.
Yung Gravy
7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, South Side Ballroom, 1135 Botham Jean Blvd. $39.45+ at ticketmaster.com

A lot of rap purists aren't going to love Yung Gravy. Born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the famous Mayo Clinic, Gravy doesn't exactly have a whole lot of street cred. His rhymes don't go hard, and his lyrics tend toward the humorous if not the sophomoric, but one thing that is undeniable is how incredibly catchy they are. The hip-hop star had a platinum hit with his 2016 single "Mr. Clean" before he ever had a song on the Billboard charts with his 2020 single, "Oops!" Gravy has also delighted the ears of many with his choice of music, sampling heavily from oldies from the '50s, soul from the '60s, funk from the '70s and '80s pop. For instance, the rapper's most recent single to enter the charts, "Betty (Get Money)," contains a prominent sample of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Frequent Yung Gravy collaborator bbno$ joins the rapper Thursday night.
Langhorne Slim
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. $24+ at prekindle.com

Singer-songwriter Sean Scolnick, better known by his stage name Langhorne Slim, had been writing songs and touring the country for nearly a decade before his song "Rebel Side of Heaven" brought him to national attention in 2008. Hailing from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Slim gained a steady local following around Philadelphia and the greater Northeast playing small venues and folk music festivals before touring as the opener for the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and gaining greater exposure. After releasing his breakthrough, self-titled debut in 2008, Langhorne Slim made the rounds on the late-night circuit and toured with bigger acts such as Cake, The Avett Brothers, Drive-By Truckers, Old 97's and The Lumineers. Slim's latest release, Strawberry Mansion, came out in 2021, earning praise for its lyrical depth and emotional honesty. Nashville singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt opens the show.
Marc Broussard
7 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 10 & 11, The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. $28+ at prekindle.com

Rock 'n' soul singer Marc Broussard plays two nights at The Kessler in Oak Cliff this weekend with different openers each night. On Saturday, Ugandan-born soul songwriter Jon Muq will warm up the crowd, and on Sunday, Houston guitarist Dane Sonnier will open. As for Broussard, for nearly 20 years the singer has been lauded for his experimentation in fusing the worlds of R&B, rock, blues and funk. Broussard's last full album, S.O.S. 3: A Lullaby Collection, came out in 2019 — the latest volume of a trilogy that began in 2007 with the collection of soul standards, SOS: Save Our Soul. In June, Broussard released "Fire," followed by a second single, "Mood," in late October. Broussard is up to his usual tricks in the new singles with trademark jazz fusion and rich vocals. With two chances to see the artist, why not get a little bit more soul in your life this weekend?
Cody Canada and The Departed
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E. $10+ at seetickets.us

You may remember singer Cody Canada from his time in the red-dirt country band Cross Canadian Ragweed. A year after that band called it quits, Canada started up the country-rock trio The Departed. Over the last decade, the band has been the creative outlet for Canada, former Cross Canadian Ragweed bass player Jeremy Plato and a revolving cast of drummers. The band has released four albums since 2011, with its most recent album, Soul Gravy 2022, coming out this year over the summer. The album's title is a nod and a revision of Cross Canadian Ragweed's 2004 breakthrough release, Soul Gravy. The project is the start of Canada's mission to wrestle Cross Canadian Ragweed's music out of the hands of Universal South, which maintains ownership of the band's old music. That means that fans in attendance to Saturday night's show will likely hear some songs they haven't heard live in over a decade.
Bowling for Soup
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, Topgolf, 3760 Blair Oaks Dr., The Colony. $25 at ejoinme.org

If the holiday season has you in a giving spirit, a special concert for a charitable cause is on tap this Sunday. North Texas' favorite pop punkers Bowling for Soup will play a charity concert Sunday evening benefitting the Sandler Family Foundation at Topgolf in The Colony. The event, Jared Sandler's Swinging Fore A Cause, offers a fun evening of Topgolf, food and drink, and mixing and mingling with friends as well as celebrities, athletes and radio personalities to support children who persevere through physical and/or intellectual differences. In addition to prizes for the golf winners, the event will have a raffle, a one-of-a-kind silent and live auction and a Kendra Scott pop-up. If that wasn't enough, all guests receive a swag bag just for coming out to support the cause. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., but the check-ins for Topgolf begin at 4 p.m.
Shawn Colvin and Shannon McNally
7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. $38+ at prekindle.com

Performing live onstage together Tuesday night in the last of a three-show mini-tour are folk rockers Shawn Colvin and Shannon McNally. Colvin had her biggest hit in the late '90s when women folk rock singers enjoyed surging popularity. Singers like Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole and Jewel all found critical success and heavy rotation on alternative radio — along with the wild success of the Lilith Fair tour. Colvin played on the main stage at Lilith Fair all three years of its existence thanks in large part to her haunting murder ballad with a woman protagonist, "Sunny Came Home," named "Song of the Year" at the 1998 Grammy Awards. Country singer-songwriter Shannon McNally saw moderate success with the release of Jukebox Sparrows in 2002, but has spent most of her career writing and recording with country greats like Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle and Terry Allen.
MÅNESKIN
7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, South Side Ballroom, 1135 Botham Jean Blvd. $56.92+ at ticketmaster.com

Italian glam rock band MÅNESKIN was introduced to a larger audience in the Italian version of the talent competition The X Factor in 2017. The band finished second to singer Lorenzo Licitra in the show's 11th season but has gone on to become an international success. It made its American television debut last year, performing "Beggin'" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in October 2021. In October of this year, the band announced that it would be releasing its third studio album, Rush!, in January 2023 while continuing its ongoing world tour into Europe. While there are plenty of tickets left for the Tuesday night show at South Side Ballroom on the band's first American tour, many of their European dates have already sold out. This will likely be the last time you can see this band in a venue this small with a crowd that has yet to sell out.
Charley Crockett
7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, South Side Ballroom, 1135 Botham Jean Blvd. $35+ at ticketmaster.com

Former Deep Ellum busker Charley Crockett returns to the Big D in style next Wednesday, playing a show at South Side Ballroom in support of his September release, The Man from Waco. The new album is Crockett's first album to enter the Billboard 200. A prolific singer-songwriter, Crockett has released 11 albums since 2015 under his own name and as Lil' G.L., a name he uses for his side projects, just as Hank Williams would use Luke the Drifter. Crockett may have gotten his start right here in North Texas, but the country-blues-soul crooner has amassed a nationwide following built on the strength of thoughtful, catchy and foot-stomping songs that defy the audience not to sing along. We're thinking of songs like "I'm Just a Clown," "Welcome to Hard Times" and "Lil' Girl's Name." The Austin country duo Greyhounds will be there to warm up the audience. 
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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

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