Music Picks: Queen, Everclear and more

Queen + Adam Lambert

6 p.m. Thursday, July 10, at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or, $35-$125

Let's be very clear here: The last Queen show was performed 28 years ago at Knebworth House in England. It was the last show because that was the last time band leader, vocalist and rock icon Freddie Mercury shared a stage with bandmates Roger Taylor and Brian May. Since then Taylor and May have occasionally played Queen's music live with replacement singers who range from Elton John and Paul Rodgers to, well, Wyclef Jean. Musicians have the right to play their music however they wish, so the teaming of Queen with American Idol standout Adam Lambert has been met with little skepticism. Lambert is an exciting artist, May and Taylor are legends and people love Queen's songs. So when the nostalgia tour rolls through the AAC tonight, enjoy yourself. It's the closest you can get to the real thing. Jaime-Paul Falcon


With Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog, 8 p.m. Friday, July 11, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or, $28.50

Art Alexakis is a zombie. You cannot kill him or his band, Everclear. More than two decades in, despite experiencing many highs (Sparkle and Fade, So Much for the Afterglow) and lows (Slow Motion Daydream) and a list of lineup changes that is longer than Stacy Keibler's legs, the Everclear train is still chugging on. And while Alexakis — the only original member left — continues to churn out alternative albums and create polarizing and misunderstood video characters (Hater Jesus from "Hater" being the best example), Everclear's bread-and-butter will always be playing their early material. The alternative music lexicon will always love their more alterna-pop-oriented hits like "Everything to Everyone" and "Wonderful." But they were at their best when they were cranking out balls-out rockers like "Heroin Girl" and "When It All Goes Wrong Again," so it's a good thing they still play some of those. Brian Palmer

Lionel Richie

With CeeLo Green, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 181 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or, $25-$320

While best known for the pedestrian soft rock that has defined his lengthy career as a solo artist, Lionel Richie made his very best music back in the '70s as a member of the Commodores. Ballads such as "Easy," "Sail On" and "Three Times a Lady" as well as the masterful funk of "Brick House" helped the band cross over into the rock and pop markets. Since leaving the Commodores in 1982, Richie has made some massively successful music by basically making every safe choice imaginable. He is now more of an entertainer than a singer and his shows have become the equivalent of a slick and glossy Las Vegas production. Of course, the collection of forty-, fifty- and sixtysomethings in attendance will eat it up, as Richie's easy digestible confections are the perfect midsummer snacks. Darryl Smyers

Erykah Badu

8 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at Winstar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 1-800-622-6317 or $45-$75

Dallas' favorite artist, activist and attention grabber Erykah Badu is a performer who commands immediate reaction. Whether she does so through her remarkable catalog, heated feuds with other enigmatic personalities or by stopping traffic with a bit of public nudity (the video for "Window Seat" wasn't filmed in front of a green screen, just FYI), Badu is electrifying. She's expertly morphed into a multifaceted performance artist of great substance, even while adding to her celebrity with some innocent silliness. Indeed, it was none other than a mischievously grinning Badu who, while in New York City last month to perform with Dave Chappelle and Public Enemy, toyed with a reporter on the sidewalk and tried to smooch him in front of a live camera. Such a clip wouldn't be so notable if it weren't for the fact that Badu is rightfully just as big of a deal around the country as she is right here. Kelly Dearmore

The Polyphonic Spree

With Sam Lao and Quaker City Nighthawks, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $22-$26

The Polyphonic Spree, the massive Tim Laughter-led collective that's gone from whimsical oddity to legitimate international draw, have never been predictable. Sure, the arc spanning the group's almost 15 years together can be broadly viewed as "sunny" or "uplifting," especially after a few spins of their latest album, 2013's Yes, It's True. But such generalities miss the Spree's real strength: diversity. The psychedelic-leaning group's themes have grown varied and at times dark as the years rolled on, while the arsenal of instruments is staggering. (Hello, French horn!) And, lest we forget, the white choir robes of their origin were replaced by oddly colored ones, and later bleak militaristic garb. Locally based rock artists, roots players, avant-garde purveyors and many more have made up the history of the Polyphonic Spree, whose tale has become as colorful and storied as any in Dallas music. Kelly Dearmore


With Def Leppard, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 13, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 181 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or, $35-$350

Writing a preview article about KISS is kind of like writing a promo for McDonald's. Besides the fact that every good joke about both has probably already been made by Chuck Klosterman or Jim Gaffigan, you are either familiar with the brand or you aren't. KISS are a Big Mac, in other words: You've probably tried them, and they either enriched your life in a way that's sort of difficult to understand or they gave you diarrhea. What's far more interesting than thinking up jokes about KISS is a hilariously compelling factoid like knowing that, in 1980, Lynda Carter, riding higher in the public eye than Wonder Woman's spangled briefs, performed a cover of "I Was Made for Lovin' You" for her second (!) TV special, Encore! If you were of TV-watching age in the early '80s, this will strike you as one of the most quintessentially early '80s television moments imaginable. If you weren't, then you probably don't give a shit about KISS anyway. Steve Steward

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DC9 at Night Writers