The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Journey, Brave Combo, Ann Wilson and More

Arnel Pineda, frontman for Journey since 2007, is the longest-tenured singer in the band.
Arnel Pineda, frontman for Journey since 2007, is the longest-tenured singer in the band. Eric Gruneisen

click to enlarge Arnel Pineda, frontman for Journey since 2007, is the longest-tenured singer in the band. - ERIC GRUNEISEN
Arnel Pineda, frontman for Journey since 2007, is the longest-tenured singer in the band.
Eric Gruneisen
As we celebrate the nation's veterans and first responders Memorial Day, Monday also kicks off a great week of music in North Texas. After you've filled up on barbecue or enjoyed some fireworks, head to Club Dada for the inaugural New Math Fest, sure to inspire the performance artist in you. Later in the week, check out Denton's Brave Combo at Dan's Silverleaf, world-renowned DJ Nicole Moudaber at It'll Do, or if you've already got your tickets, Journey at Choctaw Casino.

New Math Fest
With Mark Farina, Norvis Junior, Jon Bap and more, 11 p.m. Monday, May 29, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $10

JT Donaldson has given us all something to look forward to Monday nights with New Math Mondays at Off the Record in Deep Ellum. This weekly collaboration of visual projection and some pretty eclectic, up-and-coming and highly talented musicians throughout the area has reached its one-year anniversary. And to celebrate, Donaldson, a renowned DJ and owner of New Math Records, is hosting New Math Fest at Dada, just next door to the weekly gig's home. The lineup, headlined by Mark Farina, is plentiful and includes those who have helped play a part in the success of the Monday shows. The party is also set to include a special cocktail menu curated by cocktail specialist Michael Martensen, as well as the opportunity to purchase original art from the performers. Diamond Victoria

Foster the People

7 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $35-$75

In support of an upcoming third full-length studio album, Foster The People is touring the world with its bubblegum indie pop sure to get your foot tapping. The band became an overnight success in 2010 with "Pumped Up Kicks," an upbeat, catchy song about an outcast plotting revenge. This stardom was a far cry from frontman Mark Foster's day job as a jingle composer for commercials. The band's latest release, an EP titled III, birthed three new singles, "Pay the Man," "Doing It for the Money" and "S.H.C," all of which are included on the band's upcoming studio album slated for release this summer. Diamond Victoria

Ann Wilson
8 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or, $39.50-$89.50

As a songwriter and lyricist, former Heart singer Ann Wilson has written a boatload of hit singles. "Crazy on You," "Barracuda" and "Magic Man" are three such songs that remain staples of classic rock radio. Recently, she's been stepping out minus her sister Nancy and touring as the leader of the Ann Wilson Thing. Described as both a "new experience for existing Heart fans, as well as for new fans who love blues with a rock edge," Wilson's new band also has her playing more intimate venues than usual. Jeff Strowe

Emo Throwdown 2017
With Forever Starts Today, Caterpillars and more, 7 p.m. Friday, June 2, at The Door, 2513 Main St., 214-742-3667 or, $10/$12

You could say emo, emerging as a style of post-hardcore from mid-1980s West Coast punk, became a state of mind for many with its emotionally driven lyrics and rapport with the sensitive and introverted. Many emo bands remained obscure and signed to small, independent labels throughout the '90s. But with the success of bands in the early 2000s, such as the platinum-selling Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional, emo suddenly became everything it seemingly stood against – mainstream. So, if you're longing for the days of early emo, Emo Throwdown 2017 has everything you'd expect from an emo show: a small, intimate venue, anthems of love lost and lots of feels. Diamond Victoria

Travis Tritt
6 p.m. Saturday, June 3, Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 817-624-7117 or, $16/$30/$35

After 11 studio albums and five Billboard No. 1 singles, you could say Travis Tritt knows a thing or two about making good music with songs such as "It's A Great Day To Be Alive," "Help Me Hold On" and "Here's A Quarter." But in 2007, the Georgia-born country artist decided to make a record, produced by American Idol's Randy Jackson, more to the tune of blues and R&B, making it one of his most diverse albums. However, not many fans were able to hear the album, titled The Storm, because of legalities with Tritt's then-label, Category 5 Records. Eventually, Tritt acquired rights to the music and released it on his label, along with his latest album, The Calm After. Diamond Victoria

Hurray for the Riff Raff
with Making Movies, 9 p.m. Friday, June 2, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or, $20

Alynda Segarra started her career as a runaway 17-year-old, busking her way down city streets before forming Hurray for the Riff Raff in 2007. Not to be confused with rapper RiFF RAFF, Segarra’s band is a lighter take on the folk genre. Her nigh hypnotic vocals melt over an eclectic range of instrumentation. Country crescendos, popping bongos and the occasional salsa beat underline Segarra’s poetry, shifting genres almost from track to track. The group's latest album, The Navigator, takes the concept to the next level, with Segarra using her Dylan-esque brand of storytelling to delve into the triumphs and travails of her own story, one of a Puerto Rican girl growing up in America. Tracks like “14th Floor” juxtapose Segarra’s experience of living in a New York high-rise with that of her father’s propeller plane ride to New York from his native Puerto Rico. Hurray for the Riff Raff is folk music with a beating heart. Unafraid to strip down the traditional nostalgia of folk music in order to express deeper truths, Hurray for the Riff Raff is a true melting pot of traditional American music and Segarra’s modern American experience. Nicholas Bostick

9 p.m. Friday, June 2, Choctaw Casino, 4216 S. Highway 69/75, Durant, OK, 580-920-0160 or, sold out

Journey is riding high from its recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Arnel Pineda continues to be the longest-tenured singer in the band, right behind Steve Perry, who made the band members superstars in the '70s and '80s. The band hasn't released a new album in six years, but that's not out of laziness. Most fans of the band aren't banging on doors for material to get in the way of "Any Way You Want It," "Open Arms," "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Separate Ways." No matter how many times those songs have been played, fans want to hear the tunes they graduated high school to, slow-danced to or got married to. Slag them off as corporate rock sellouts, but their music has survived critical savagery. Eric Grubbs

Brave Combo

9 p.m. Friday, June 2, Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., 940-320-2000 or, $10

For more than 35 years, Denton-based Brave Combo has been delighting us with its wonderfully original polka and off-kilter approaches to classics such as The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," along with original salsa, cha-cha-cha, samba, cumbia and plenty of other musical styles. The Grammy Award-winning band has received plenty of national attention with numerous albums but is no stranger to the small venues of North Texas. And while the search is still on for missing member Joe Cripps, Brave Combo continues to play for those who love the music. Diamond Victoria

Nicole Moudaber
9 p.m. Saturday, June 3, It’ll Do, 4322 Elm St., 214-827-7236 or, $20-$25

Lebanese-Nigerian producer Nicole Moudaber is considered one of the top 100 DJs in the world. With a slew of IDMA and DJ Award nominations, a bevy of successful singles and EPs, and a growing reputation in the fashion industry, she's quickly ascending into the upper stratosphere of recognizable acts. This summer is a busy one for Moudaber; she's booked for many festival and club appearances. Among her globetrotting adventures is this Saturday night's appearance at Deep Ellum's It'll Do. The packed club should serve as an ideal environment for the pulsating rhythms of tracks like "Where Shadows Lie" and "These Walls Are Made Of Water" to fully take shape and induce an electric trance. Jeff Strowe

8 p.m. Sunday, June 4, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $15

JMSN’s constant is his smooth, endearing falsetto, but everything else around him is always changing. Nonetheless, his loyal, underground cult following has stuck with him through the twists and turns of his career, during which he’s been part of an electro-pop act on a Motown label, had a turn at producing spaced-out R&B tracks strikingly similar to The Weeknd’s early recordings and developed into a charming soul artist in the vein of D’Angelo. The boundless artist may change his scenery every few years, but each metamorphosis brings new acclaim, such as Usher calling JMSN his favorite new act in 2012 after he released Priscilla. That’s when he earned collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, The Game, Ab-Soul, Kaytranada and more. It’s unclear what his latest album, Whatever Makes U Happy, has garnered him, considering it was released last month, but it may not matter because the message it delivers is to find personal freedom and do what makes you happy. This show at Dada also serves as a bit of a homecoming. JMSN was born in Dallas but grew up in Detroit. Mikel Galicia

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