10 Best Concerts This Week: Violent Femmes, Drake, Pitbull

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There's no doubt Dallas concert goers are getting spoiled this week.  And with events lately, we damn well deserve it. Along with the big shows coming through town, namely Drake, Pitbull and Modest Mouse, Granada Theater's hosting a show for $5, and you get a free beer with the ticket. The lineup for this celebration includes Seryn and Quaker City Nighthawks, to name a couple. So whether you're willing to splurge for an arena show or only have a few bucks to spare, there's a show happening every night this week.

Rude King
With Fairhaven, 8 p.m., Monday, July 18, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., Dallas, TX  75226, or threelinksdeepellum.com, $5 to $8

Ska has always embodied a sense of playfulness and that may be why it's proved to be so malleable over the years. The genre has seen its fair share of interpretations – from British punk infusion in the late '70s to pop-friendly acts such as No Doubt in the '90s. Originally from Chicago but nestled comfortably in Dallas for the past decade, Rude King takes all of ska's best moments and brings them altogether for an unforgettable performance. Their latest album, released last year, Coming Back For You, has only proven their relevance in the Dallas ska scene. Diamond Victoria  

Violent Femmes
8 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., Dallas, TX  75202, 214-978-2583, or houseofblues.com, $30 to $50

Violent Femmes is back after 16 years of studio silence with a new album, We Can Do Anything. The title is pretty much perfect, considering the band has broken up a couple of times already but again managed to put aside differences and work together. The Violent Femmes' debut self-titled album, released in 1981, catapulted them into success and onto college dorm room radios everywhere. They shaped an entirely new genre of music back then – messy punk, folky roots and radio-friendly pop, all the while appealing to the hazy-eyed stoner. They may never ride the same wave of popularity quite like they did with "Blister in the Sun," but with the lawsuits and arguments they've seen since, they're probably OK with putting that to bed and just playing music. And so are we. DV

With Quiet Company and the Azalea Project, 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX  75206, 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $5

After lineup changes, the creation of their very own label and leaving Denton behind for Nashville, Seryn has definitely gone through some major adjustments. But it's all for the better, it seems. The band's got a fondness for fiddles and ukuleles and has planted themselves comfortable in the folk scene. Though they moved from Denton to pursue broader dreams of success, Seryn hasn't forgotten their fans back home and regularly makes stops through Texas. DV

With The Octopus Project and Son of Stan, 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX  75206, 214-824-9933, or granadatheater.com, $5

Ishi has won five Dallas Observer Best Electronic Act awards, and rightfully so. The electronic darlings do their craft better than anyone else around Dallas, bringing funk, soul, folk and electro together to form something dreamy (imagine a dance album released by Nintendo). The band recently hinted their first-ever vinyl release and upcoming album, Juno, slated for September. DV

With Future and DVSN, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave, 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $50 to 180.

Aubrey Drake Graham is a monster we all created. The double-threat singer/rapper has become a cultural commodity with his emotionally-stunted-yet-relatable lyrics and endless supply of reaction GIF fodder. Drake’s appeal is that he doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not. He openly mentions his time on Degrassi in verses, stealing the opportunity for other rappers to make fun of him for it. He created an anthem for his city. He sings about worrying for his mother. But after just releasing the weakest album of his career, Drake’s reached a tipping point. Are we tired of hearing about petty relationships and manchild tendencies? Is there anything left for Drake to say? You can’t deny that The Boy has talent, but we've yet to see if Drake's vision is bigger than the bigger picture. Matt Wood

With Prince Royce and Farruko, 7 p.m. Friday, July 22, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $29.95 to $139.95.

You can't mistake Pitbull for anyone other than Pitbull. With his shaved head, sunglasses, sharp suit and stellar dance moves, the Miami rapper is a force unto himself – a Latino sensation with crossover appeal and an international following. The Cuban heartthrob caught his big break in 2002 when a freestyle of his landed on Lil Jon’s Kings of Crunk album in 2002. Since then, he’s released nine albums, been a mainstay on the Billboard charts and just recently won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album earlier this year. Just like the fun Miami bass music Pitbull grew up on, his current The Bad Man Tour – which also features Prince Royce and special guest Farruko – should bring a concert filled with happy spirits and an energy level that sets the roof, the roof, the roof on fire. Aria Bell

Brand New
With Modest Mouse, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 22 at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, 972-854-5050 or verizontheatre.com, $47.99.

Little did we know when this co-headlining tour was announced that it be would be Brand New’s last, or so it seems. The merch for the tour from the Long Island alternative, emo outfit read “2000-2018,” leading to speculation of the band’s impending demise. On the first night of the tour, lead singer Jesse Lacey told the audience, “We’re done. Oh yeah, we’re done, and it makes nights like this all the more special. So thanks for being here,” all but confirming the news. This all certainly falls in line with the band’s reputation for melancholic brooding. If the prospect of Brand New performing their last show in Dallas isn’t convincing enough, Portland stalwarts Modest Mouse have new material from 2015’s Strangers to Ourselves to perform. The bands have been swapping headlining duties throughout the tour, and when they visit Grand Prairie, Brand New gets the honors. Mikel Galicia

Fitz and the Tantrums
With Zella Day, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $30 to $45.

Fitz and the Tantrum’s latest, self-titled album sorely lacks the energy and panache of their past work. Take the video for “More Than Just a Dream.” It’s light, fun and goofily celebratory for little to no reason, despite the song’s call to an unattainable woman. Fitz and the Tantrums scrubs those silly washes of Motown soul off the band’s sound in favor of a dryer, contemporary sound. The Tantrums’ new attitude appears to have spilled over into their live show as out-of-town reviewers warn that the band still puts on a scorcher of a show, but are toned down compared to their past performances. But even a tamer version of this hard working band will not disappoint an audience. Caleb Wossen

Roky Erickson 
With Natural Anthem and Moon Waves, 7 p.m., Saturday, July 23, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX  75206, 214-824-9933, $5

The trajectory of Dallas' own Roky Erickson has been riveting. His story ranges from his time in Houston with the psychedelic pioneers the 13th Floor Elevators to being committed to a mental institution to his strange solo career in the '80s. The 2007 documentary You're Gonna Miss Me is a great place to start if you're unfamiliar. His re-emergence in the last decade came as a surprise to many, but he's subsequently put out some of his best work (2010's True Love Cast Out All Evil) and has been touring again. Audra Schroeder

Quaker City Nighthawks
8 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX  75206, 214-824-9933, or granadatheater.com, $5

You know those great Southern rock songs that make you crank up the volume and take your hands off the wheel for some air guitar or dashboard drumming? Quaker City Night Hawks have those songs on their set lists, except you haven't already heard them a thousand times on a classic rock radio station. Live, these Fort Worth boys are incredibly tight, with a Texas-boogie rhythm section and surprisingly solid vocal harmonies. Jesse Hughey

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