What started as a slow week on the concert announcement front quickly picked up steam. This week a slew of blues, soul and punk rock heavy hitters announced or altered plans to grace us with their presence.
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- A few weeks ago, we told you about The Last Waltz 40 Tour that is making its way to the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie on March 30. The promoters behind the anniversary celebration of The Band's 1976 farewell concert event had been teasing a couple of new additions to already scheduled luminaries such as Dr. John, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson and Don Was. It's now safe to say that they have followed through by adding original Band multi-instrumentalist Garth Hudson to the bill. As one of only two surviving original members, Hudson keeps a low profile, recording occasionally and appearing in public even less. This is a rare chance to hear Band material straight from the source. Tickets ($65 to $149.75) are on sale now at verizontheatre.com.
- Seventeen-time Grammy nominee, heartland rocker and fiercely spirited equality advocate Melissa Etheridge will bring her "This is ME" tour to the Majestic Theater on June 29. Last fall she released an album of Stax Records covers, Memphis Rock and Soul, so this show will present longtime fans with some new arrangements and setlist offerings. The intimate Majestic Theater will be an ideal environment to appreciate Etheridge's fine-tuned songwriting and impeccable musicianship. Tickets ($42.75 to $95.75) go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, March 17, at axs.com.
- Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ have announced a very special, full-band tour in support of their first album as a duo, TajMo: The Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' Band. The two blues legends will stop at Dallas' Strauss Square on Sept. 20. Taj Mahal has been a purveyor of blues and world music beats for over 50 years, in which time he's written for and toured with a who's-who of musical giants, from The Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton to Ali Farka Toure. Keb' Mo', no rookie himself, has been around since the early '80s as one of the leading voices in the Americana scene. He's also a guitar gunslinger whose interplay with Taj Mahal's multi-instrumental chops should make for quite a sight. Tickets ($35 to $99) go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, March 17, at axs.com.
- "Hello...is it me you're looking for?" Yes, Lionel Richie. And we'll see you August 3 at the American Airlines Center — with Mariah Carey in tow. We're super bummed that you've had to postpone this date (originally scheduled for May 15) but are hopeful that you'll be in better shape than ever after your knee surgery. We're also eagerly anticipating Mariah's "All The Hits" package. We're hoping for a duet or two, if it's not too much to ask. Tickets ($39 and up) are on sale now at ticketmaster.com. All tickets for the prior date will be honored.
- Brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zack Hanson will take you back to the '90s with their 25th Anniversary tour, stopping at the House of Blues on Sep. 12. All grown up and surprisingly free of any career-wrecking scandal or baggage, Hanson still tours the world to play the pop earworm "Mmmbop" and even puts out new music every couple of years. They've also entered the brewery game with their own signature beer, Hanson Brothers, and its corresponding festival The Hop Jam, which takes place every year their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pro tip: Use the beer as a selling point to convince a hesitant friend or significant other to attend. Tickets ($40 to $45) go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at livenation.com.
- Forty years after forming, seminal L.A. punk outfit X, comprising Exene Cervenka, John Doe, DJ Bonebrake and Billy Zoom, is still intact and touring. They will take over the Kessler Theater on May 25 for a night of rock 'n' roll and storytelling. The ferociousness of their sound and the fire in their lyrics hold up as strongly today as they did in the late '70s and early '80s and they continue to tinker with the formula to resist becoming a staid nostalgia act. Tickets go on sale noon Friday, March 17, at thekessler.org.
- The Kessler Theater has also announced a June 7 performance from North Mississippi All Stars. Embarking on a summer tour behind the recent release of their aptly titled new album, Prayer for Peace, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson are continuing down a more globally focused and topical path with their blistering version of blues rock. The Dickinson brothers are renowned for putting on sprawling and epic live shows. You'll dance, you'll sing along, and you'll be awed by directions their songs take. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, March 17, at thekessler.org.