DFW Music News

The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Warped Tour, Gucci Mane, Styx and More

Veteran post-hardcore act Hawthorne Heights will play the Dallas date of Warped Tour on July 28.
Veteran post-hardcore act Hawthorne Heights will play the Dallas date of Warped Tour on July 28. Courtesy the artist
Sometimes narrowing down the 10 most interesting concerts happening in one week is tough. But it's a problem we're more than happy to come across because it means Dallas sees some amazing artists come through.

This week's best picks are exclusively roadshows (but don't think that doesn't mean locals aren't matching that same momentum). Catch Gucci Mane at Gas Monkey Live, the 22nd annual Warped Tour, Justin Bieber at AT&T Stadium and many more.

Alex Aiono
With Sabrina Carpenter, New Hope Club, 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 214-670-3687, $27 and up

YouTube personalities are essentially the new pop stars. With millions of followers, outrageous endorsement deals and a platform capable of reaching people across the globe, folks like Alex Aiono have essentially cut out the promotional middlemen who traditionally bankrolled the daily operations of artists. And while he recently signed with Universal Music Group, he remains one of the preeminent YouTubers. The 21-year-old Aiono is also quickly becoming a household name. His music generally falls under the dance hall genre, but he is a gifted piano, guitar and drum player. He's also a writer who has penned songs with John Legend, a smooth dancer and an impeccable crooner — not to mention that his pompadour gives Bruno Mars a run for his money. Lately, he's been mashing up Top 40 pop hits and gearing up for a run of showcase performances that will take place at next month's U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York. Jeff Strowe

8 p.m. Thursday, July 27, South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or southsideballroomdallas.com, $27.50 and up

At 19 years old, not a lot of folks are thriving in their careers. But R&B singer-songwriter Khalid certainly is. In fact, the El Paso native started his at age 17 and has collaborated with Logic and Calvin Harris, among others. That's something to be proud of. His latest single, "Location," off the appropriately titled American Teen album, has gotten almost 86 million views on YouTube and earned him the No.16 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. That sure beats trying to figure out the whole paying for college thing. Diamond Victoria

Vans Warped Tour
12:30 p.m. Friday, July 28, Starplex Pavillion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., 214-421-1111 or livenation.com, $42.50

For the past 23 years, the Vans Warped Tour has acted as a training ground for the next generation of mosh pit-prowling punks. With the amalgam of more than 60 bands old and new, heavy and soft, Warped Tour is a one-day touring festival of fun. And this year, veterans like Save Ferris, CKY and Gwar will be in Dallas to give the tour some of its old flair. Originally conceived as an alternative rock show in 1995, the tour quickly became a gathering point for skaters, punks and weirdos after Vans began sponsoring it. The Warped Tour now acts as a sort of catch-all for what’s cool with the kids these days while remaining educational by showcasing bands from the late ‘80s and ‘90s in their natural habitat: thrashing on stage in front of a screaming mob of kids. Whether you go for the whole day or just catch that one band you’ve been dying to see live, the Warped Tour usually delivers. Nicholas Bostick

Gucci Mane
8 p.m. Friday, July 28, Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd. E., 214-350-5483 or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $55.20-$129

In many ways, Atlanta trap pioneer Gucci Mane is a vestige of an older, bleaker system in which rappers faced murder charges and drug trafficking on the regular, and authenticity was defined by cold-blooded street cred and ruthless indifference. (Gucci sidestepped murder and assault charges in the mid-aughts before recently spending three years in prison.) But Gucci has shed that version of himself — the person who seemed to prioritize hustling over hip hop — and reinvented his persona. He dropped a few dozen pounds, threw off several chemical addictions and traded his gilded grill for pearly whites. Fortunately, all the features that made him a beloved king of his hometown remain intact, musically speaking; the blasé mood, the radical way he finesses words to meet his languorous, chewed-up flow — all have been sharpened to a finer, more efficient point. The new wave of idiosyncratic rappers from Gucci’s stomping grounds — the so called “Weird Atlanta”— is indebted to the surreal aesthetics of its royal forefather. If that sort of creative wildfire is indicative of what Gucci Mane’s Midas touch is capable of producing, hip-hop fans owe it to themselves to spread his gospel to the furthest reaches of the globe. Long live the king. Jonathan Patrick

DJ Jazzy Jeff
With DJ Sober, 9 p.m. Friday, July 28, It'll Do Club, 4322 Elm St., 214-827-0262, $20 and up

You know Jeffrey Allen Townes, aka DJ Jazzy Jeff, as Jazz from the '90s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But what you may not know about the Philly-born record producer, DJ, actor and comedian is his recognition for making the transformer scratch — the forward/backward, slow-down/speed-up manual manipulation of a needle and vinyl record to create entirely new songs — famous in 1985 with the instrumental single "Jazzy Jeff Scratch."  He also, along with co-star and then-music partner Will Smith, won the first-ever Grammy Award for best rap performance in 1989. Sharing the bill is Dallas' DJ Sober. Diamond Victoria

Slightly Stoopid
With Iration, J Boog and The Movement, 5 p.m. Saturday, July 29, The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., thebombfactory.com or 214-932-6501, $35-$99

It’s officially summer when Slightly Stoopid rolls into town. The feel-good reggae rockers from California are on their annual summer tour, and they’re bringing Iration, J Boot and The Movement with them. Slightly Stoopid is one of the most prolific touring bands in the country and has played nearly every stage possible over the last two decades, meaning it's mastered the craft of delivering its hybrid style of alt-reggae for crowds. Now it’s just a matter of finding out which tracks the band will perform from its 12-album deep catalog. Fans of Iration, who are direct support on this bill, will have a chance to see the group perform its latest No. 1 reggae single, “Fly With Me,” from its upcoming album. Mikel Galicia

Justin Bieber
With Vic Mensa and Migos, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, 817-892-4000 or attstadium.com, $49.50-$179.50

Justin Bieber's perpetual Purpose tour is back in Dallas for a second time this week. The tour, named after his 2015 album, spans the globe and has sold out 64 U.S. and 52 international tour dates. Love him or hate to love him, his staying power in the music industry is undeniable, and his concert production rivals that of any of history's greatest pop stars. We've seen the Beibs grow from a teenage, doe-eyed pop star with fans young enough for child car seats to a young man in his early 20s who collaborates with virtuosos in hip-hop and rap. Vic Mensa and Migos are on the bill for this week's stop through town. Diamond Victoria

The Ohio Players
8 p.m. Saturday, July 29, The Door, 2513 Main St., 214-742-3667 or thedoorclubs.com, $30 and up

More than their iconic and steamy album covers, Ohio Players bring heat to the stage with their signature fusion of funk, soul and R&B. They're best known for the chart-topping singles "Funky Worm," "Fire" and "Love Rollercoaster" throughout the 1970s. And although the band has seen plenty of lineup changes throughout its on-again, off-again 59-year run, four original members are slated to play this week's show: Billy Beck, Jimmy "Diamond" Williams, Clarence "Chet" Willis and Robert "Rumba" Jones. Diamond Victoria

With Daughtry, 6 p.m. Saturday, July 29, Starplex Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111, $26 and up

It may not be the most well-received band among music critics, or most people in general, but damn it if Nickelback doesn't have a loyal fanbase. And the fans don't care what you have to say about the band's reputation as an insult to modern rock 'n' roll. To them, haters gonna hate. But they're going to keep going to the shows, singing along and having a good time. And why the hell shouldn't they? Look, if we're being honest with ourselves, most of us nodded along in 2001 as blond-haired frontman Chad Kroeger groaned about alcoholism and getting dumped to the tune of "How You Remind Me," which did land at No. 1 on three Billboard top charts. Diamond Victoria

with REO Speedwagon and Don Felder, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 30, Starplex Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., 214-421-1111 or livenation.com, $20 and up

Styx is still straddling a line between being an arena rock band and a progressive rock band. It's going to play a couple of new songs, since it's touring off of its new concept LP, The Mission, but expect this to also be a hits-laden set. Songs like "Lady," "Renegade" and "Too Much Time on My Hands" will be performed by a lineup that has been together for almost 20 years. Lawrence Gowan has proved to be a suitable replacement for Dennis DeYoung since he can replicate DeYoung's vocals and not come across as a Svengali. Tommy Shaw and James "J.Y." Young seem happy touring with this version of their band, and most Styx fans do, too. Eric Grubbs
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Diamond Rodrigue
Contact: Diamond Rodrigue