The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Elton John, Nite Jewel and More

Sir Elton John plays American Airlines Center Friday and Saturday night.
Sir Elton John plays American Airlines Center Friday and Saturday night. Stian Roenning and Biagio Musacchia

This week offers another holiday concert if you haven't already gotten into the spirit of things. The Polyphonic Spree plays its annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Majestic Theatre on Saturday. Catch a two-night bill with legendary Sir Elton John at American Airlines Center on Friday and Saturday. Matthew and The Arrogant Sea, Goodie Mob and Nite Jewel pad out the rest of the week, among others.

Jason Mraz and Toca Rivera
With Gregory Page, Dec. 11 and 12 at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., $39.75-$99.50 at

It will be a two-night stand for singer/songwriter/heartthrob Jason Mraz just a few weeks shy of Christmas. Joined by longtime percussionist Toca Rivera for these acoustic-centric sets, the pair will have the opener Gregory Page with them. Mraz, a multi-Grammy winner, might be best known for his tune "I'm Yours" in 2009, but he's released a number of records since then. His latest, Know, came out this year. He might never be cool with the hipster crowd who can't stand his gentle voice and acoustic-driven songs, but he's still enough of a draw with the pop and folk crowds for him to headline the mighty Majestic. Eric Grubbs

Goodie Mob
With Cure for Paranoia, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., tickets start at $30 at

Local rap fans take notice because one of the best Southern hip hop acts of all time is swinging through our fair city. Borne out of the same seminal Atlantan weird rap energy that gave rise to Outkast, Goodie Mob — CeeLo Green, Big Gipp, Khujo Goodie, T-mo Goodie — muddled sinister and sorrowful street tales with woke lyricism and the uplifting power of community. Set in dense, often bleak but always beautiful productions, their tracks captured the crunk, midnight stylings of the Dirty South while at once elevating the regional aesthetic to the post-geographical, high-art space so much contemporary hip hop now occupies. CeeLo’s thrilling, oddball timbres alone are worth the price of admission. Jonathan Patrick

Matthew and the Arrogant Sea
9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, $50 and up at

Often referred to by their shorthanded initials, MATAS, the Denton-based psychedelic folk act has now been making music for close to 20 years. Their trademark lies in taking dark and sometimes sinister lyrical compositions and turning them into something majestic and glowing. Like kindred spirits, The Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, or Spiritualized, the band makes trippy soundscapes that are easy to get lost in. It's perfect music for late-night contemplation or deep explorations of the soul. For this show on the home turf, the band are promising something particularly special. Horns and strings will be up on stage to add some technicolor character to the songs, and perhaps there will even be a little collaboration with some of Denton's other finest local musicians. Jeff Strowe

Generation Axe
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $35-$125

Generation Axe is the heavy metal super group formed by legendary guitarist Steve Vai back in 2016. The band consists of other metal mainstays including former guitarist with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde; classically trained Yngwie Malmsteen, who incorporates several classical music techniques into his guitar playing; former Boston-based band EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt; and Nigerian Americian guitarist Tosin Abasi. Diamond Victoria

Elton John
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $285-$1,281 at

Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour does a two-night stand at AAC just before the holidays kick in. The former Reginald Dwight claims this is his final tour, so you should consider going if you have the cash and really want to hear his classic tunes. On this tour, he usually plays 24 songs, and they're all the big hits and fan favorites. Whether it's "I'm Still Standing," "Bennie and the Jets" or "Levon," there will not be any stinkers that make you want to visit the bathroom or the concession stands. If this truly is a send-off for one of the biggest entertainers of our time, it should be a long and powerful goodbye. Eric Grubbs

Nite Jewel
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $12 and up at

Over the past decade, electronic singer-songwriter and multimedia artist Ramona Gonzalez has refined the neo-nostalgic R&B-influenced electro sound of her solo project, Nite Jewel, from a lo-fi synth-pop experimentalist with hints of influence by Ariel Pink to a more direct ’90s Janet Jackson-influenced sound. After signing with Secretly Canadian in 2011, Gonzalez left the label following creative differences on 2012’s One Second of Love. She released 2016’s Liquid Cool and the 2017 album Real High on her own imprint Gloriette Records. Nite Jewel makes a rare Texas appearance thanks to Parade of Flesh, who booked a stacked bill worth showing up early for the local support by Nite, SRSQ and a DJ set by producer Yung Wave. Eighties-influenced, dream-pop duo Nite is signed to Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records, and in October, Dias Records released Unreality – the debut album by SRSQ, an ethereal solo project of vocalist/keyboardist Kennedy Ashlyn of Them Are Us Too, which conjured some dreamy early 4AD sounds. Daniel Rodrigue

Petty Theft
9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Avenue, Plano, free

Petty Theft is a staple in the Dallas cover band scene. Hitting bars in and around Dallas on a regular basis, Petty Theft revives the catalog of, you guessed it, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. So grab a beer with your friends and don't be shy about belting out a few Petty lines of your own. DV

Cannabis Corpse
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at Dada, 2720 Elm St., $13-$15

Texas may not have joined the other handful of states to green-light pot in recent years, but you can still celebrate it tonight with the marijuana-themed death metal band Cannabis Corpse – not to be confused with the other like-named death metal band Cannibal Corpse. In fact, Cannabis Corpse's music, while totally original, parodies other bands' music within the genre. Cannabis Corpse features members of Municipal Waste and GWAR. DV

The Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., $35 and up at

Christmas time is here. And as tradition dictates Dallas’ premier psychedelic choral rock band, The Polyphonic Spree, will spread holiday cheer and make allusions to sugarplums for the 16th year running. Tim DeLaughter and his Yuletide crew of singers, dancers and musicians will don their most festive motley to perform Christmas classics, a la the band’s 2013 album, Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays, Vol. 1. Those unfamiliar with the band’s annual present to Dallas are in for a spectacle. Between the practical legion of performers populating the band’s choral and orchestral sections, and DeLaughter’s personal artistic flair; The Polyphonic Spree’s Holiday Extravaganza ends up landing somewhere between Mannheim Steamroller and The Flaming Lips. Grab your ugliest sweater or your best George Bailey cosplay and bring the whole family. Also for those feeling especially gracious, Toys for Tots and the North Texas Food Bank will be on hand to accept donations of brand new toys and canned food, respectively of course. Nicholas Bostick

With Weather Warlock and Pinkish Black, 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 at the Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., tickets start at $24 at

Soundtracking decades of stoner lore and stoned experiences, Sleep’s cult masterpiece Dopesmoker ranks among the finest modern rock records in the canon. A haze of stoner rock, psych and drone, the album is one single, hourlong track stretching into infinity. Its indulgent solos and repurposing of Steve Reich and Terry Riley-like minimalism leaves it drifting in the ether, achieving something altogether grand, numinous, meditative. After the ’98 album was shelved by label bosses without so much as an official release, Sleep fizzled, too, ultimately breaking up and splitting into various side projects. But 2018 has seen the rock masterminds regrouped and reborn. Only a masterpiece could satisfy the band’s die-hard cult following; thankfully, Sleep didn’t disappoint. Their return release, The Sciences, takes everything that made Dopesmoker otherworldly and cranks it up to 11. It’s louder, sharper and stoned-er. Revival tours are typically a mix of nostalgia and romance, a chance to see once great artists go through the motions. Not so with this year’s iteration of Sleep — expect pure, unruly fire. And lots and lots of smoke. Jonathan Patrick
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Diamond Rodrigue
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