Concerts

10 Best Concerts of the Week: Thin Line Fest, Oliver Tree, Ministry and More

FIT is one of over 50 bands playing the free Thin Line Festival in Denton this week.
FIT is one of over 50 bands playing the free Thin Line Festival in Denton this week. Caitlyn Lennon
This week's concerts in North Texas are little bit all over the place with a huge festival, a benefit show, rappers-turned-country artists, legendary bands, bossa nova techno, up-and-comers and everything in between. Thin Line Festival has already started in Denton, but it will keep going throughout the weekend. Oliver Tree takes to the stage in Deep Ellum Thursday night, while post-hardcore band Sparta plays in Fort Worth Friday night. Saturday will see industrial legends Ministry and grunge legends Candlebox playing shows in Dallas. Sunday, things kick off early with a Ukrainian benefit show and end across town with a dreamy show from Beach House. On Monday and Tuesday, some fresh faces will make appearances in Denton and Dallas. Finally, Wednesday night will be a time to chill out with Thievery Corporation. It's a full and hectic week, but with spring in the air, it's also one we're waiting on with great anticipation.
Thin Line Festival
March 23-27, Various venues, Free. More info at thinline.us

Taking place across just about every venue and movie house in downtown Denton over the span of five days, Thin Line Festival celebrates music and film, boasting an incredible lineup of documentary films as well as local and national music acts. With over 50 documentaries and over 50 bands, what makes the festival even more incredible is that it is free to attend any of the concerts or films that catch your eye. Things kick off slowly with just a handful of concerts and films Wednesday and Thursday, but the festival really heats up on Friday with shows at Andy's Bar, Rubber Gloves, Dan's Silverleaf and the relatively new music venue The Gold Room. Some of North Texas' best live acts will be in attendance, namely indie-rock band FIT and stoner-metal band Wooden Earth. There will also be new acts such as Vidicon, which includes members of Mind Spiders.
Oliver Tree
7 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $30+ at axs.com

Alternative hip-hop star Oliver Tree may have made his television debut in 2016, but the musician's career actually began a few years earlier when the young artist started releasing dubstep music first under the name Kryph, and then using his middle name, Tree. In 2013, Tree released both an EP and an independent full-length record before hanging up the dubstep and going back to school to study music technology at the California Institute of the Arts. In 2017, Oliver Tree's self-produced first single "When I'm Down" went viral, earning the singer a contract with Atlantic Records. Since coming into the public eye, Tree has been known for his comedic approach to music as well as his outlandish fashion sense. It is tempting to write him off as a novelty act at times, but as anyone can hear in the darker themes underneath the surface of his latest release, Cowboy Tears, there is more art to Tree than schlock.
Sparta
8 p.m. Friday, March 25, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., $10+ at prekindle.com

Founded by Jim Ward, Paul Hinojos and Tony Hajjar of At the Drive-In, Sparta came to life in 2001 after the dissolution of their former band. Sparta released three albums in the early 2000s before going on a 14-year break from recording. During those 14 years, Sparta released two singles and went on a couple of tours, but otherwise, there was very little to be said about the band. While Ward remains as the only former At the Drive-In member left in the band, the current lineup includes longtime bass player Matt Miller and returning guitarist Gabriel Gonzalez. New to the group is drummer Cully Symington, who played with the rest of the band on their 2020 release Trust The River. Though the record was a long time coming, Trust The River picked up right where the band left off so many years ago with Sparta's signature post-hardcore sound. Sparta will have opening support from Playboy Manbaby and Driving Slow Motion.
Ministry
6 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., $39.50+ at eventbrite.com

One of the pioneers of industrial metal in the late 1980s, Ministry came to life as a synthpop band in Chicago's underground music scene. Ministry's first album, With Sympathy, was praised by Rolling Stone for its catchy dance tracks. The album has since been disowned by bandleader Al Jourgensen, who felt pressured by his record label to match the then-popular sound of new wave. Ministry's subsequent work would never again be so bright. By the time Ministry released The Land of Rape and Honey in 1988, the band's sound had become darker, heavier and angrier, and it never went back. Last year, Ministry released its 15th studio album, Moral Hygiene, which showed that time has done little to dampen their harsh and combative sound. Speaking of harsh and combative sounds, Ministry will have opening support from Corrosion of Conformity and Melvins.
Candlebox
7 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at The Echo Lounge & Music Hall, 1323 N. Stemmons Freeway, $30 at livenation.com

They may not be Nirvana or Pearl Jam or even Stone Temple Pilots, but Candlebox is one of the unsung heroes of the grunge movement. The band came up in Seattle just as grunge was peaking in the early '90s and their biggest hit came in 1993 with the ballad “Far Behind.” Based on the success of that song, Candlebox was signed with Madonna's label Maverick Records, which paved the way for Alanis Morissette, Deftones and Prodigy to also come on board and shape the sounds of the era. Though the band has never been able to match the commercial success of its first album and its lead single, Candlebox has steadily released albums these past three decades. Candlebox's most recent album, Wolves, came out in September, surprising fans with its bluesy, Southern rock vibes. What hasn't changed is the lyrical depth of the band's singer and only original member, Kevin Martin.
Ukrainian Benefit Concert
12 p.m. Sunday, March 27, at Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., $10 at seetickets.us

As President Joe Biden heads to Europe this weekend to speak with NATO and G-7 leaders in Brussels about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a dozen North Texas music acts from a mix of genres will get together early on Sunday at Amplified Live for an all-day benefit show to collect donations for the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee. Included on this bill are rock band The Infamists, rapper Slim Gravy, metal band Secret of Boris, experimental artist Joseph Fisher-Schramm, indie-rock band The Dirty Shirts, punk band It Hurts to Be Dead and psych band Flow State. The event will also include a performance by Ukrainian folk singers and Veselka. Attendees can look forward to buying Ukrainian goods from Ukie Style Embroidery Art. Bucks Burnett of 14 Records has also donated rare vinyl to help raise donations.
Beach House
7 p.m. Sunday, March 27, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $35+ at axs.com

Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House had been just another indie band on the outskirts of obscurity for about five years before releasing the landmark album Teen Dream in 2010. The band's debut on the Sub Pop record label, Teen Dream was met with universal acclaim. The single "Norway" was inescapable on independent radio stations and the album found its way onto every major music outlet's year-end, best-of list. The album has gone on to be featured on several "best of the 2010s" lists. While Teen Dream was certainly not Beach House's last great album, none of the band's subsequent releases have quite captured the zeitgeist the way that album did, but give Beach House's latest, Once Twice Melody, a little while to stew. The band's grand, 18-song vision sprawls across two LPs divided into four chapters about love, beauty and sadness. Electric sitar player Ami Dang opens what is sure to be a magnificent show.
Hit Like a Girl
7:30 p.m. Monday, March 28, at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., $10 at prekindle.com

New Jersey band Hit Like a Girl is a pop-punk outfit heavily influenced by indie rock. With heavy riffs and introspective lyrics from singer Nicolle Maroulis, Hit Like a Girl has been dissecting the feelings around love and loss since 2017. Maroulis is also the founder of the nonprofit organization No More Dysphoria, which helps trans and non-binary individuals financially through major aspects of their transitions, such as helping fund hormone replacement therapy. As the Texas government continues its efforts to block trans people from gender-affirming care, there could be no better time to show out in support. It doesn't hurt that Hit Like a Girl is known in other parts of the country for putting on an absolutely incredible show. Attendees will also be treated to opening sets from local bands Matchstick Ghost, Wish Kit as well as Springtime and the Changes.
Matt Maltese
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at Deep Ellum Art Co., 2300 Commerce St., $15 at prekindle.com

English singer-songwriter Matt Maltese has been blending indie rock with chamber pop since 2015, when the artist's first single, "Even If It's a Lie," became an unexpected hit on SoundCloud. After signing with Cafe Blue Recordings, the singer released "As the World Caves In," which imagined a scene in which former British Prime Minister Theresa May and former President Donald Trump shared a night of romance and triggered atomic warfare. Maltese released Good Morning It's Now Tomorrow last October. In the album, the 24-year-old singer ditches a lot of the humor that defined his earlier work for lyrics that deal with his personal struggles growing into young adulthood in the music industry. Maltese will have opening support from 22-year-old Atlanta singer-songwriter girlpuppy, who used the free time she had during the pandemic lockdowns to record her first EP, Swan Harvey.
Thievery Corporation
7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $60 at prekindle.com

Washington, D.C., residents Rob Garza and Eric Hilton began making electronic music together under the name Thievery Corporation in 1995. Their sound borrows elements from genres as disparate as Indian classical and acid jazz. After founding the Eighteenth Street Lounge Music record label in 1996, Thievery Corporation remained an independent music duo. Though they have incorporated music from all over the world, Thievery Corporation has always had a special love for the bossa nova music coming out of Brazil in the '60s and early '70s, characterized by the works of João Gilberto and Tom Jobim. The music is downtempo and absolutely chill, moving seamlessly between genres with words flowing through several languages. This is certain to be a relaxed show with mellow vibes made to soothe restless spirits.
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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