For literally hundreds of thousands of North Texans, this is Taylor Swift's weekend. She might be playing three nights at DFW's largest venue, but even non-Swifties have plenty to look forward to in the week ahead. It all kicks off with the South African harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo Thursday night. Friday night, G. Love & Special Sauce play the Design District as Swift takes up residency in Arlington; Blue October plays the first of two nights in Downtown Dallas; the newly reopened Longhorn Ballroom hosts Old Crow Medicine Show; and later that night, Amplified Live will close its doors forever with a show from Exciter. On Saturday, Houndmouth rocks out in Fort Worth, and Weyes Blood takes Deep Ellum to another planet. As Swift closes things down on Sunday, legendary R&B group New Edition shares its legacy in Fort Worth. Serving as an exclamation point at the end of this concert week, Granada Theater picks up where Amplified Live left off with Carcass' relocated show.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. $40+ at dallassymphony.org
Founded as a singing group in the early 1950s, South African male choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo turned to isicathamiya in 1964 after founder Joseph Shabalala heard certain isicathamiya harmonies in a series of dreams he had. (Isicathamiya is an a cappella singing style that originated among South African Zulus.) From there, the group began participating in isicathamiya competitions. It was eventually banned from entering competitions for being too good, though they were still invited to entertain at the competitions. The group recorded its first album in 1973, and by the time Paul Simon asked them to perform with him on 1986's Graceland, the group had already recorded over 20 albums in its home country. The group would later be designated “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors to the world” by South African President Nelson Mandela. Shabalala died in February 2020, but four of his sons, two of his cousins and two of his close friends remain in the ensemble.
6:30 p.m. Friday – Sunday, March 31 – April 2, AT&T Stadium, One AT&T Way, Arlington. $400+ at stubhub.com
All the ticket-pricing controversy aside, the time for Taylor Swift's long-awaited three-night residency at North Texas' largest venue has finally arrived. Swift's Eras Tour will be the country-turned-pop star's sixth headlining tour in her career, and it will be her first time supporting three of her albums, Lover, Folklore and Evermore. But this tour will cover more than just the albums she was unable to support during the pandemic. Swift will be singing tunes from every album across her nearly two-decade career, along with a couple of surprise songs and the possibility of special guests. Swift has already performed two such concert weekends in Arizona and Nevada, and at her Nevada show, she brought out Marcus Mumford for a performance of "Cowboy Like Me" in the surprise portion of her show. No telling what Swift has in store for Dallas, but you can still get verified resale tickets to find out before the internet does.
Old Crow Medicine Show
6:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, Longhorn Ballroom, 216 Corinth St. $34+ at prekindle.com
Everybody knows Darius Rucker's hit song "Wagon Wheel," but what you might not know about Rucker's diamond-selling song is that it was first performed by Tennessee's Old Crow Medicine Show. What you might also not realize is that the chorus of that song was written by Bob Dylan during the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid sessions in February 1973. After hearing the stand-alone chorus melody on a bootleg recording, Old Crow Medicine Show vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ketch Secor decided to add verses to it. The result was one of the most compelling songs about hitchhiking one's way home ever written, and as smooth as Rucker's version is, it will never capture the loneliness and longing quite the same way Old Crow Medicine Show did. The band will play Friday night at the newly reopened Longhorn Ballroom with opening support from local country singer Joshua Ray Walker.
7 p.m. Friday & Saturday, March 31 & April 1, Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. $120+ at ticketmaster.com
Dallas music fans know that Houston's Blue October would have never gotten as far as they have without 102.1 the EDGE putting the band's 2003 single "Calling You" on its regular rotation. And while the band has yet to recapture the national success of its 2006 album Foiled, with mega hits "Hate Me" and "Into the Ocean," in 2020, Blue October was the subject of the documentary Get Back Up, which was shot over seven years while the band members dealt with the fallout from their various addictions. Now sober, the group members came back with a new album, Spinning the Truth Around — the first of three albums to be released over the year. The second part was initially set to be released this month, but it has been pushed back to June. The third installment of remixes and alternate versions of songs from the first two parts is due out later this year. Blue October is scheduled to play two nights at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, but the only tickets left are for the first night.
7 p.m. Friday, March 31, Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E. $20+ at seetickets.us
It's the end of another era as Amplified Live presents one last rock show. The venue that opened its doors as Gas Monkey Bar 'n' Grill became Amplified Live eight years later after several years of legal disputes with the venue's founder, Fast N’ Loud star Richard Rawlings. Amplified Live's official launch came in October 2021, but after just 18 months, the venue's staff announced that it had been sold to owners interested in keeping the place a music venue — just not a rock music venue. So, here it is, your last chance to rock out on Technology Boulevard East before the new venue takes shape. Canadian speed metal band Exciter will be the last act to play Amplified Live after sets from Houston metal band Night Cobra and North Texas metal bands Maiestas and Tyrant's Might. Let's just hope the new owners care as much as about local musicians as the venue's previous owners.
G. Love & Special Sauce
7 p.m. Friday, March 31, The Echo Lounge & Music Hall, 1323 N. Stemmons Fwy. $30+ at livenation.com
For three decades, Philadelphia band G. Love & Special Sauce have brought together an eclectic mix of blues, hip-hop, rock and soul noted for its laidback style and slightly messy delivery. The three-piece band coming to town Friday night is the same outfit that first got together all those years ago, but it hasn't always been that way. Shortly before the band signed with Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records, it introduced a keyboard player into the mix, and shortly after signing, original bass player Jim Prescott left the band. At that point, the band's sound began to sound more like the surfy sounds of Johnson than its original South Philly soundscape. The change didn't last long. The keyboard player left, and Prescott rejoined the group. The band is now on its own label, Philadelphonic Records, and is back to that Philly sound. Korean-American troubadour Nat Myers will be there to warm up the crowd.
7 p.m. Saturday, April 1, Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall, 122 E. Exchange, Ste. 200, Fort Worth. $29.50+ at ticketmaster.com
Indiana blues band Houndmouth formed in the summer of 2011, and a year later, they were playing SXSW promoting a self-made EP. It took Geoff Travis of Rough Trade Records just one live performance at the music festival to sign the band immediately. By the end of the year, Houndmouth had been named The Guardian's "Band of the Week" before it had even released its first album. In 2013, Houndmouth was the must-see roots-rock band making its rounds on the festival and late-night talk show circuits. The band stayed with Rough Trade Records through its most commercially successful song "Sedona" before moving on to Reprise and now, Dualtone. For its latest record, Good For You, the band returned to its hometown in New Albany, Indiana, recording in a 19th-century shotgun house and letting the gold wallpaper illuminate its hi-fi minimalism. Singer-songwriter Abby Hamilton opens the show.
7 p.m. Saturday, April 1, The Studio at the Factory, 2727 Canton St. $38+ at stubhub.com
Weyes Blood (pronounced "wize blood") is the stage name of singer-songwriter Natalie Mering, who has been recording her own music since the age of 15. Raised in a Pentecostal Christian family, Mering always found music to be a source of inspiration and relief, and she would record her own material for years without ever releasing a thing. Through college, Mering played with Portland-based experimental band Jackie-O Motherfucker and also played keyboards and sang for noise rock band Satanized. It was only after leaving Portland and these band that Mering would finally release the first Weyes Blood EP in 2011. Twelve years and five albums later, Weyes Blood came out on top of Spin's "22 Best Albums of 2022" while ranking highly on dozens of others. Weyes Blood is supporting the album on her In Holy Flux Tour, which comes through Deep Ellum this Saturday. Opening is Cameroonian-American singer-songwriter Vagabon.
7 p.m. Sunday, April 2, Dickies Arena, 1911 Montgomery St., Fort Worth. $129.50+ at ticketmaster.com
It's been about two decades since R&B group New Edition released any kind of new material, but that has not stopped the group from performing. In fact, it's kept a consistent tour schedule since its return to the stage in 2002, which is made more remarkable by the fact that Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe continue to tour as Bell Biv DeVoe between New Edition dates. Formed in 1978 with the intention to be a "new edition" of the Jackson 5, New Edition rose to popularity in the 1980s on the strength of hits "Candy Girl," "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man." Though Bobby Brown was replaced by singer Johnny Gill in 1985, the group today tours as a six-piece group with both Gill and Brown on stage. Last December, the group announced its Legacy Tour with R&B singer Keith Sweat. New Edition will performed various songs from both their group and solo careers.
6 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. $30 at prekindle.com
English extreme metal band Carcass has been at it since 1985 with founding members Bill Steer and Jeff Walker leading the band through multiple lineup changes and a 10-year hiatus. While Carcass was always more of a band that drew upon influences as opposed to influencing others, the band has been cited for its unique vocalizing technique, which made an impression on Trevor Strnad, the late vocalist for The Black Dahlia Murder. Carcass' use of medical terminology in lyrics and song titles was also picked up on by countless extreme metal bands to really amp up the shock value. These days, Carcass is playing as a three-piece band with drummer Daniel Wilding, who has spent the last 15 years playing in extreme metal bands in England. Opening the show will be thrash metal bands Municipal Waste and Sacred Reich as well as Dallas' own Creeping Death.