The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Rick Ross, Def Leppard and More

Rick Ross is coming to Dallas.
Rick Ross is coming to Dallas. Roderick Pullum

Here we are, finishing August with some great music.

Funky Knuckles
9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, Three Links, 2704 Elm St.,, free

The Funky Knuckles have been together for almost a decade. In 2014, the band's second album, Meta-Musica, hit No. 1 on iTunes’ jazz chart the first day of its release. The band has played with major national and local acts such as Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michele, Talib Kweli, Puff Daddy and the Polyphonic Spree. The band incorporates elements of improv and thoughtful compositions into its sets. Last year's release, New Birth, has seen much critical acclaim within the jazz community. Diamond Victoria

Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions
10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 469-487-6149 or, free

We actually look forward to Mondays now, thanks to the work of Stefan Gonzalez. The lineup he curates on that day every week at RBC makes it 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, where 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 genres. 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

Def Leppard/Journey
7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29 at American Airlines Center. $49-$200.

Def Leppard and Journey are halfway through a massive North American tour. Co-headlining each night, both acts are leaning heavy on the hits. If you want the most familiar, you'll not come away disappointed. You'll hear "Hysteria," "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Rocket" from the Lep while you'll hear "Don't Stop Believin'," "Separate Ways" and "Only the Young" with the Journey guys. It is a good pairing, as both of these bands headlined arenas in the 1980s. You know exactly what you're getting, and given how the songs have remained in the public's favor, it should be a good show. Eric Grubbs

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton Street, $36.50 at

22-year-old Bronx rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is underrated and hungry. With a pillowy delivery, he swerves in and out of piano-heavy beats that fall neatly into the melodic trap styles bubbling up from the South, especially sing-song rappers like Kodak Black and Playboi Carti. Recently, A Boogie dipped into African and Latin rhythms, interweaving dancehall, reggaeton and afrobeat into his party-rap formula. The results might be more fascinating than successful, but witnessing an artist with ravenous ambition searching the outer limits of his sound is exhilarating at the very least. Seeing it unfold live should be no less of a thrill. Jonathan Patrick

10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at Stereo Live, 2711 Storey Lane,, $35 and up

The past year has been a productive one for Israeli-born DJ and EDM star Borgore. He toured the world, playing large music venues and festivals, released new music and continued to develop his record label, Buygore. Most important, 2017 was the year Borgore declared he had "quit giving a shit” after years of being dubbed an "enfant terrible" and blamed for ruining dubstep. He rubs some folks the wrong way, but he has certainly shaken up EDM. Borgore is formally trained in jazz music, and he continues to incorporate diverse sounds into his mixes. Elements of classical, hip-hop and heavy metal are consistently woven into the fabric of his live shows. Jeff Strowe

Rick Ross
With Bun B and kap G, 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton Street, $53 and up at

Miami-based rapper Rick Ross has had an eventful year, so far. He's released a few singles, "Florida Boy" and "Green Gucci Suit," which should be featured on his anticipated full-length album, Port of Miami 2. It's a project that has been teased quite a bit in recent months with proclamations and subtle hints through Ross' various social media channels. Unfortunately, it's likely taken a back seat as Ross has been hospitalized for recent heart ailments suffered this past spring. Here's hoping that the maestro is feeling better and up to the challenge of bringing his immense presence, rhyme and flow to the various cities on his late summer/early fall tour. Joining Ross at The Bomb Factory is Houston's own Bun B, whose eclectic career dates to the early '90s when he served as a founding member of the influential UGK. Lately, he's collaborated live with Parquet Courts, lectured at Rice University and worked with author Shea Serrano on Bun B's Rap Coloring Book. He also has a history of working with Ross, so some stage-sharing may take place. Jeff Strowe

8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31 at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave, $25 at

Back in 2010 a little known rapper by the name of Maichael Atha, dropped a mixtape titled Trunk Muzik. The release made Atha, a.k.a. Yelawolf, a top prospect in the eyes of Shady Records founder Eminem. Now seven years after signing with Shady, the Alabama-born rapper has announced his amicable departure from the label after the release of Trunk Muzik 3. A release date for the third installment of Yela’s breakout mixtape has yet to be announced, but the rapper is already touring under its banner. The Trunk Muzik 3 Tour will end after winding its way to Huston after the show at the Granada. Joining Yela for the tour are the duo of Nashville rapper/singer Jelly Roll and Waylon’s own grandson, Struggle Jennings. The two joined forces shortly after Jennings’ 2016 release from prison and have gone on to drop Waylon & Willie and a follow-up album less than six months later. Their countrified rap style fits in nicely with Yela’s normal delivery, though Jennings and Jelly Roll tend to lean more toward a slower country music influence, compared with the cavalcade of sound normally delivered by the headliner. Nicholas Bostick

10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Stereo Live, 2711 Storey Lane,, $25-$40

Ten years into their enormously successful DJ careers J2K and Autobot, collectively known as Flosstradamus, are already one of the premier acts in EDM today, known for expertly blending hip-hop trap music with up-tempo electronic music. Flosstradamus has a reputation for delivering dynamic live shows featuring elaborate stage setups, grand light shows and of course over-the-top antics from Autobot, who always knows how to work a crowd whether he’s dancing, spraying water or on the mic encouraging the crowd to get rowdy. Mikel Galicia

Riverfront Jazz Festival
Friday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 2, at Dallas Convention Center Arena, 650 S Griffin St., $55-$125

The Riverfront Jazz Festival is back after a successful debut last year and features some of the best voices and talent in all variations of jazz, including Erykah Badu, Kenny Lattimore, Bobby Rush and more. Spanning three days, consider your Labor Day weekend plans made. DV

with Mind Spiders, Nervous Curtains and The Bralattes, 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10 at

Before forming post-punk synth-rock trio Nervous Curtains in 2008 with drummer Robert Anderson and companion keyboardist Ian Hamilton, DOMA award-winning vocalist and pianist Sean Kirkpatrick had a brief stint in Spoon and a long run on synths and keys in local favorite band, the pAper chAse. But Kirkpatrick’s distinctive haunting, thunderous, driving and evolving style has been known to many fans of local music for decades – first in the mid-’90s in Denton-based Maxine’s Radiator, then in Dallas-by-way-of-Denton’s The Falcon Project. Over the years, Kirkpatrick garnered numerous DOMA nominations from Best Instrumentalist to Best Pianist/Keyboardist to Best Solo Act. Commemorate Nervous Curtains’ 10th anniversary at this all-local stacked bill with three more local favorites: Mind Spiders, Sealion and don’t show up late or you may miss one of Dallas’ best all-girl acts, The Bralettes. The three-piece girl band’s brand of catchy, danceable lo-fi bubblegum punk has already attracted a local following, and the trio’s Friday EP was one of the best local EPs of 2017. Daniel Rodrigue
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Diamond Rodrigue
Contact: Diamond Rodrigue