The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Fleet Foxes, Ed Sheeran, J Cole and More

Red-headed boy wonder Ed Sheeran plays American Airlines Center Friday night.
Red-headed boy wonder Ed Sheeran plays American Airlines Center Friday night.
Greg Williams
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Stars abound early this week as electronic singer-songwriter Homeshake tops the bill — which also includes local talents Trái Bó and Steve Gnash — at Dada on Monday night, English lover boy Ed Sheeran kicks off the weekend Friday with a show at American Airlines Center, and Foreigner unites with Cheap Trick for a night of nostalgia at Starplex Pavilion.

With Trái Bó and Steve Gnash, 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., 214-742-3400 or dadadallas.com, sold out

Peter Sagar has been releasing music on his own as Homeshake since 2013 when he left Mac DeMarco's touring band. His third full-length studio album, Fresh Air, was released earlier this year with similar electronic R&B sounds to his previous two albums. Different from his earlier work, however, is the inclusion of yacht rock and super synth pop influences. Homeshake's lo-fi recording and aesthetic adds to his indie rock charm. Diamond Victoria

Laetitia Sadier
With Heather Trost, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, Three Links, 2704 Elm St., 214-653-8228 or threelinksdeepellum.com, $12/$14

Laetitia Sadier — the timeless voice behind indie darling Stereolab — makes music that both your head and body can dance to. Weaving together threads of exotica, flamenco, lounge music, French yé-yé and Krautrock, Sadier’s songs are gauzy and skeletal, meditating on subject matter at turns political, philosophical and spiritual. The artist’s latest effort, Find Me Finding You, continues in this tradition while reaching for new levels of intimacy and clarity. Sadier’s lifelong passion for and pursuit of deeply expressive songwriting is reaching a peak; she’s never seemed more in tune with her powers or more at ease with her craft. Thankfully, her elegant use of negative space and deep toolbox of cross-cultural influences translates beautifully to a live setting. Violinist/vocalist Heather Trost opens the show. Jonathan Patrick

With Letters From the Fire and Big Story, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978- 2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $29.50-$55

South African band Seether has been making loud and aggressive alternative rock for close to 20 years. Trafficking mostly in the various styles popularized by Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Evanescence, the three-piece (four-piece on the road) recently released Poison the Parish, a 12-song album that is its brashest yet. Frontman Shaun Morgan said that he wanted to put loud guitars and drums back at the forefront of the band's sound. This is the approach Seether has always had in a live setting, but it had fallen out of favor in some of its most recent studio work. Now that it's reclaimed its rock prowess, expect an earful of noise at Thursday night's House of Blues show. Jeff Strowe

Betty Who
With Geographer and Jackson Harris, 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $20 and up

Jessica Anne Newham, or Betty Who, is an Australian indie pop singer-songwriter, a classically trained cellist, and a self-taught pianist and guitarist. In 2013, she broke into mainstream with the single "Somebody Loves You" off her debut EP, The Movement. Who's sophomore full-length album, The Valley, was released earlier this year, to the delight of many who enjoyed her earlier danceable power pop, but it also brought with it stronger narratives and a closer look into the artist's life. Diamond Victoria

J. Cole
With Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals, Bas, J.I.D. & Ari Lennox, 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-665-4797 or ticketmaster.com, $30 and up

J. Cole has built his hip-hop empire on his everyman persona. His loyal fans love his sincerity and that he’s not draped in designer clothes or jewelry. His music is introspective, sentimental and thoughtful. That formula has led to multiple platinum albums and sold-out arena shows across the country and has garnered him a following that rivals Drake’s, Kanye West’s or Jay Z’s. On his 4 Your Eyez Only Tour, Cole brings with him a dynamic up-and-coming act in Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals, who could be headlining their own summer tour. Mikel Galicia

Ed Sheeran
7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., ticketmaster.com

What makes a songwriter popular? In other words, how do we account for artists like Ed Sheeran? Sappy, sentimental, posturing but, above all, disingenuous, Sheeran’s made a career of confusing infatuation with love, and honesty with cleverness. Sheeran’s known for co-opting styles — sometimes he raps, sometimes he talk sings, sometimes he sort of croons — and muddling genres: sleek, electronic productions with country, dance and various regional music flourishes are his bread and butter. There must be something about how these parts come together and how that collection speaks to a certain soft spot hidden deep down in the pleasure centers of his fan base (which, it should be said, is huge). The individual components might not look like much, but this artist commands legions of admirers who’ve catapulted him into wealth and fame. Sheeran regularly sells out stadium tours. His singles break records on streaming services. Scoff all you want at the motivations behind his songwriting. Feel free to mock the way he stumbles in and out of hooks, the way can make a lumpy mess of a silken melody. But for whatever reason, Sheeran’s able to do what most musicians can’t: write songs that connect humans across continents, make music that gives birth to adoration and devotion. Now, how could you not respect that? Jonathan Patrick

With Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, Starplex Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111 or dallaspavilion.org, $28 and up

Foreigner does not hide anything about what you will see when it plays live. Advertising the biggest of their biggest hits (and there are many), Mick Jones and company will play things safe, for understandable reasons. A show without “Cold As Ice,” “Juke Box Hero” or “Say You Will” would not be a complete show, so the bulk of it will be rockers and ballads from the ’70s and ’80s. Lead guitarist (and sole original member) Jones continues to tour with a stable and entertaining lineup featuring lead vocalist Kelly Hansen (who hits with total ease the notes that Lou Gramm hit) and bassist Jeff Pilson, and it’s a big reason why the band is still a hot ticket. Eric Grubbs

James McMurtry
8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $22-$34

James McMurtry continues to come up with interesting slice-of-life vignettes, like "You'd a' Thought (Leonard Cohen Must Die)," that take a scalpel and slash around in the innards of relationships more Jerry Springer than Oprah. On swampy rockers like "Turtle Bayou," McMurtry connects once again with the violent underbelly of life in the rural margins, where law enforcement is thin and outlaws are just the lay of the land. "Just Us Kids" connects with another longtime McMurtry theme, small-town boredom and ennui. Bring earplugs because McMurtry is one of the loudest acts around. William Michael Smith

Alice Cooper and Deep Purple
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19., Starplex Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., livenation.com, $18 and up

Alice Cooper is touring off his latest album, Paranormal, for which he reunited with the surviving bandmates of the original Alice Cooper group. You'll see the usual straight jacket, the guillotine and all sorts of costume changes, but it's about the music behind the theatrics. Cooper has blended Detroit garage rock, arena rock and the Beatles for a few decades — and it works. People love what this guy does. People love Deep Purple, too. Now on their Long Goodbye tour and promoting their Infinite LP, Ian Paice, Roger Glover and Ian Gillan (along with Steve Morse and Don Airey) keep the flame alive with their bluesy, jazzy take on hard rock. Eric Grubbs

Fleet Foxes
with Bedouine, 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., thebombfactory.com, $40.50

The Seattle-based indie folk band Fleet Foxes has been on a bit of a break during the past three years. Lead singer Robin Pecknold announced in 2014 he’d be taking some time away from the group to attend Columbia University. But in June, he burst back onto the scene with the release of Fleet Foxes’ third studio album, Crack-Up. It’s perhaps the most ambitious project by the band known for idyllic, floating tracks such as “Mykonos” and “Montezuma.” This time around, the band has gotten even bigger, with nearly 20 musicians playing dozens of instruments to create a darker and more complex sound. Songs “Third of May / Ddaigahara” and "I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar" are cavernous and sprawling affairs that break down into instrumental jams with hints of the neo-folk sound that made the band such a breath of fresh air in the mid-2000s. The show will feature only a taste of these new tracks, however, interspersed with fan favorites and Pecknold’s soothing falsetto. Nicholas Bostick

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