The 9 Best Concerts of the Week: SX Foreplay, Lorde, Chris Stapleton and More

Festival season kicks into high gear this week. Austin's South by Southwest has plenty of us living out of our cars for a week, but you don't have to make the long trek south. King Camel's SX Foreplay fest features an all-SXSW lineup in own Deep Ellum on Monday night. The Beat Spring Fest hosted by 97.9 The Beat takes over Gas Monkey Live on Thursday night, and Not So Fun Wknd plays throughout Deep Ellum from Friday night through Sunday.

The English Beat
With Kung Fu Sound System and Joe MixJockey, 8 p.m., Monday, March 12, Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd., 214-350-1904,, $5 and up

The English Beat is really just The Beat — a ska fusion band from Birmingham, England — but you can imagine that such a name would also exist in the U.S., Canada and Australia. So here in the states, it's The English Beat. Blending pop, punk, ska and some reggae, the band was known for hits such as "Mirror in the Bathroom" but only stuck around for a handful of years in the late '70s and early '80s before reuniting in the early 2000s. The English Beat was also influential in the surge of two-tone ska in late '70s England. Diamond Victoria

SX Foreplay
With Adult Books, Sealion, Big White and more, 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 12, Armoury D.E. and Three Links, 2714 Elm St. and 2704 Elm St., free/$10

King Camel brings a 10-show lineup to Deep Ellum for those who can't make it to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival this week. Armoury D.E. hosts four shows for free while Three Links hosts six shows for a $10 cover charge, both featuring local and nationally touring acts. DV

Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions
10 p.m. Monday, March 12, RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 469-487-6149 or, free

We look forward to Mondays now, thanks to the work of Stefan Gonzalez. The lineup he curates every week makes RBC one of the best places in the city to discover new music. Outward Bound Mixtape began a few years ago at Crown and Harp on Lower Greenville before it moved to Deep Ellum, but it offers the same opportunity for local and touring acts to try out something new in front of an enthusiastic and open-minded crowd of regulars, whether that means a first show, new songs or a sound that defies genre labels. If you ask the act du jour in Dallas noise, punk, goth or free jazz where it played some of its first shows, you'll likely be told Outward Bound, so attend Mondays and stay ahead of the curve. Caroline North

Cameron Carpenter
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St.,, $39-$59

The organ's been around for more than 2,000 years, yet artists are still finding ways to reinvent it, transform it, make it anew. Cameron Carpenter, a Juilliard-trained prodigy who prefers the digital organ to the pipe organ, is at the forefront of this vanguard, flipping organ conventions inside out. Under his command, the instrument spews boney, almost transparent lines complete with a gothic, otherworldly finish. By exhuming the ghosts of former greats like Bach and reinterpreting them with cutting-edge tech, Carpenter is revealing new faces to some of history’s finest music. Jonathan Patrick

97.9 The Beat Spring Fest 2018 
With Lil Xan, YBN Nahmir, BlocBoy JB, 8 p.m. Thursday, March 15, Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd. E.,, $25 and up

Spring Fest 2018 showcases the next wave in hip-hop’s perpetual remaking. The lineup is deep and the styles varied, but three names dominate the event: Lil Xan, BlocBoy JB and YBN Nahir. You've most likely heard of Xan, a baby-faced newcomer whose raps find a middle between the lean-soaked netherworlds of DJ Screw and emo's melancholic navel-gazing. The effect is simultaneously silly, disturbing and plaintive, tapping into some kind of generational despondency fueled by uppers, downers and irony. Chances are you’ve heard of the lyrically oddball BlocBoy JB, too, now that’s he’s firmly locked in Drake’s orbit. But less derivative than both is Alabamian emcee YBN Nahir, who’s able to to spin SpongeBob soundbites, gunplay and fluttering bars into a melodic trap style reminiscent of Playboi Carter, Lil Uzi Vert and local rapper Tay K. Hip-hop heads, you’ve been warned: Miss this one, and you’ll regret it. Jonathan Patrick

Chris Stapleton
8 p.m. Saturday, March 17, Choctaw Grand Theater, 4418 U.S. Route 69, Durant, Oklahoma,, sold out

As 2018 moves along, Chris Stapleton's star continues to brightly shine. The past several months have been frantically memorable. In January, he commanded the Saturday Night Live stage with a powerful pair of tunes performed alongside his friend Sturgill Simpson. Then it was off to the Grammys, where he performed alongside Emmylou Harris and took home three awards, including the honor for best country album. He's getting ready to embark on a lengthy tour that will keep him out on the road for much of the remainder of the year. And, oh yeah: he and his wife/bandmate, Morgane, are getting ready to welcome twins, a landmark event, he announced from the Starplex Pavilion stage when he visited Dallas last fall. This time, Chris and his band can be found further north up I-75, playing at the Choctaw Grand Theater. It should be a banner night filled with twangy roots rock and outlaw-era country tunes, a good portion of which will likely be pulled from last year's two-volume Songs From a Room album. If you don't have tickets to the sold out gig, try your luck at the gambling tables. Your potential winnings could be your ticket in. Jeff Strowe

8 p.m. Saturday, March 17, WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma,, sold out

Chicago could have called it a day many years ago. After the death of founding member Terry Kath in the late '70s, the band tried to stay with the times. After several lineup changes, records and tours, the band has been able to stick to the material that made it special. Taking acid rock, jazz and classical to make diverse yet accessible pop music, the horn-fueled group won't quit, and for good reason. Original members Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow and Walt Parazaider are joined by seven extra members, but that's what the band needs to flesh out all of the parts of its tunes. Eric Grubbs

Whiskey Myers
With Muscadine Bloodline, 9 p.m. Saturday, March 17, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St.,, $17

Cody Cannon and Cody Tate share a love of Southern rock. The founding members of East Texas Red Dirt band Whiskey Myers have been playing together for more than a decade. In 2016, the band released Mud, its most successful album. Since some critics hailed the band as the next big thing in the alt-country scene, Whiskey Myers has been steadily touring. Perhaps best known for its breakout hit, “Ballad of a Southern Man,” Whiskey Myers covers a wide spectrum of emotions in its music. It plays soulful ballads of country life with an East Texas flair before delving into more melodramatic realms with tracks such as “Trailer we Call Home.” The lyrics have a storybook feel, painting a picture for the listener as they move from soft to loud and back again. The Alabama natives of Muscadine Bloodline are known for their viral hit “Porch Swing Angel,” making this show a sleeper hit for any alt-country fan. Nicholas Bostick

With Run The Jewels, 7 p.m. Sunday, March 18, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or, $39 and up

When 16-year-old Lorde released the multiplatinum mega-hit “Royals” in 2013, the song blew up so fast that most assume the New Zealand singer-songwriter was an overnight success. The teenager possessed flawless vocals that felt way beyond her years. But the song was a product of years of grooming Lorde's natural talents since she was discovered at 12 years old performing a cover of Duffy’s “Warwick Avenue” at a talent show. The following debut album, Pure Heroine, went on to prove Lorde was a new force in the music industry. It quickly went platinum and earned two Grammy awards in 2014. At 21, Lorde is embarking on the Melodrama world tour in support of her critically acclaimed sophomore album that has her hitting arenas across the country with Run The Jewels, which she collaborated with on the “Supercut” remix. Mikel Galicia
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Diamond Rodrigue
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