Best Of Dallas

The 9 Best Concerts of the Week: Kendrick Lamar, Dave Matthews Band, Tech N9ne and More

Kendrick Lamar plays the Dos Equis Pavilion on Thursday night.
Kendrick Lamar plays the Dos Equis Pavilion on Thursday night. Timothy Norris

Kendrick Lamar plays the Dos Equis Pavilion on Thursday night. - TIMOTHY NORRIS
Kendrick Lamar plays the Dos Equis Pavilion on Thursday night.
Timothy Norris

Summer means big concerts around Dallas. Catch Kendrick Lamar at Dos Equis Pavilion, Brian McKnight at Music Hall at Fair Park, Kenny Chesney at AT&T Stadium and more.

Natalia Lafourcade
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $62.50 and up

During the early 2000s, the Mexican singer was well known for her early pop-rock beats and was widely regarded as one of the best Latin pop rock artists. It wasn’t until 2015’s Hasta la Raíz, her sixth studio album, that she started to add a different tone and show Latin roots. The album, based on her personal life, mixed pop-rock sounds and folk strums. That led her to transition into the folk scene. Her latest album, Musas, is connected with Mexican roots and gives homage to Latin American folk music. Juan Betancourt

TDE Champions Tour
With Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and more, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3939 S. Fitzhugh Ave., 214-421-1111 or, $29 and up

2017 was a banner year for Top Dawg Entertainment, and to celebrate, the West Coast record label is taking its elite roster of hip-hop talent on the road this summer for The Championship Tour. This will be the first time ever the whole TDE camp is on the road together, including Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Lance Skiiiwalker and Sir. No matter how much collectivism is stressed, the standout and the talk of the tour will undoubtedly be Lamar, who has redefined what it means to be a superstar rapper in the 21st century. In 2017, Lamar released DAMN., his fourth studio album, and shook up the country with its complex dialogues on God, fear, lust, pride, loyalty and of course being humble. The album earned plenty of accolades, including Grammy Awards and Juno Awards, but Lamar’s ground-breaking Pulitzer Prize for music will always set him apart from his contemporaries as he became the first winner who’s not a classical or jazz musician. The Pulitzer championed the work for its “affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” The Championship Tour isn’t just a victory lap for Lamar — it’s a victory lap for SZA, whose debut studio album achieved platinum status and several Grammy nominations, and the entirety of the formidable TDE empire. Mikel Galicia

MC Chris
8 p.m., Thursday, May 17, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., 214-742-3400 or, $16-$18

No rapper embraces the nerd life like MC Chris. His catalogue includes rhymes from Star Wars bounty hunter Boba Fett and Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter. Gangster, right? Professionally, the MC's humor originates with Cartoon Network's nighttime adult programming block Adult Swim. He made a living as a writer, actor, songwriter and lead animator for shows such as Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He's released 11 studio albums since 2001, and rumor has it another is on the way this year. Diamond Victoria

Brian McKnight
8 p.m., Friday, May 18, Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave., 214-565-1116 or, $79.50-$99.50

Smooth singing R&B artist Brian McKnight made it big with hits like "Back at One" and "Anytime." But it's not just his voice that's garnered him millions of ardent fans. The man can play just about any instrument needed for his albums and has been nominated for 16 Grammy Awards. DV

Ray Wylie Hubbard
8 p.m., Friday, May 18, The Levitt Pavilion, Founders Plaza, Arlington, 817-543-4301 or, free

Ray Wylie Hubbard has never been part of the mainstream, but he likes it that way, and it's served him well so far. The Texas country singer-songwriter, now in his 70s, got his start about 40 years ago but didn't see major critical acclaim until sometime in the '90s. Hubbard explores themes of mortality on his latest LP, last year's Tell the Devil I'm Getting There as Fast as I Can, with his son Lucas lending a hand on guitar. Catch his free, all-ages performance on the lawn at Levitt Pavilion. DV

Tech N9ne
7:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583, $35

Fresh off the heels of his 20th studio album, rap legend Aaron Yates, aka Tech N9ne, is gracing Dallas with a show as part of his Planet Tour. At the not-so-obvious age of 50, N9ne has remained one of the foremost practitioners of his craft and has cemented his legacy as one of the most prolific rappers of all time. Planets is yet another monster of an album in a catalog of acclaimed albums, including Special Effects and All 6’s & 7’s, and has already helped N9ne dethrone Gucci Mane and E-40 as the rapper with the most Top 10 albums on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart. His latest release is characterized by the same raw, personal and at times downright defensive lyrics. But as with most struggles in his life, Tech N9ne is seemingly fueled by the obstacles he’s presented and the growing pains of life. Whether he’s contending with the loss of his mother on “Fear,” emphatically declaring his standing as an independent artist or simply kicking back with a cold “Caribou Lou,” Tech N9ne is a master lyricist worthy of your leisure spending dollars. Nicholas Bostick

Kenny Chesney
5 p.m. Saturday, May 19, AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, $25 and up

Touring behind a new album set to drop later this summer, Kenny Chesney is hitting big arenas across North America. The de facto king of stadium-ready country anthems is putting the finishing touches on Songs for the Saints, a collection of tracks inspired by the tragedy and eventual triumph of the people of the Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma. For such heavy subject matter, lead single “Get Along” suggests brighter, poppier territory, exploring the necessity of living in the moment and cherishing the small pleasures in life. Still, the music falls right in Chesney’s wheelhouse, so longtime fans have no need to worry — he’s still wearing that hat, he’s still muscled and sleeveless, and he’s still the country phenom you’ve come to adore. JP

Dave Matthews Band
8 p.m. Saturday, May 19, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3939 S. Fitzhugh Ave.,, $49.50-$716

The sound of Dave Matthews Band is often slagged off because of the audience that sees the band year in and year out. Whether its fans were the jocks, hippies or frat guys you knew in school, it’s easy to hate this band. But the band has more to it than endless jamming and vocal squeals. The jazzy, rock and folk act is will release a new album early next month called Come Tomorrow. You'll probably hear some of these new tunes live, but the band has a lengthy back catalog to choose from, so it should be a rather adventurous set list. And if you haven’t heard, the Dos Equis Pavilion is the new name of what people will always know as the Starplex. Eric Grubbs

David Crosby
7 p.m., Sunday, May 20, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $81-$136

David Crosby, a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash,  was a fixture in '60s rock 'n' roll and continues to make music on his own. In 1993, he released a solo album, Thousand Roads, and went on hiatus for 20 years until 2014's Croz. His latest album, Sky Trails, came out late last year in collaboration with Snarky Puppy's Michael League. DV
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Diamond Rodrigue
Contact: Diamond Rodrigue