The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Paul Simon, Poison, Minus the Bear and More

Paul Simon says farewell at American Airlines Center on Friday night.
Paul Simon says farewell at American Airlines Center on Friday night. Ticketmaster
This week, we see what is slated to be legendary folk singer-songwriter Paul Simon's last concert in Dallas as he brings his farewell tour to American Airlines Center on Friday. If you missed Justin Timberlake last week, catch his second show Monday night. Poison plays Toyota Music Factory on Saturday night, or for something easier on the wallet, Polyphonic Spree plays a free show at The Box Garden on Saturday night.

With Tex Zimmerman and his All Star Revue, Paul Slavens and more, 5 p.m. Monday, May 28, Dan's Silverleaf,103 N. Industrial St., Denton, 940-320-2000,, $10

It seems like Bob Dylan is touring somewhere nearby every year. But if you still haven't caught the magic of the folk singer live, Dylanfest at Dan's Silverleaf features some of the area's best musicians. (Plus, it's hard to understand Dylan's once charming, less-than-perfect vocals these days anyway.) Dylanfest is a yearly celebration of all things Dylan, and proceeds benefit the charity Instruments of Change. Diamond Victoria

Justin Timberlake
7:30 p.m. Monday, May 28, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687,, $49 and up

Justin Timberlake brings his Man of the Woods tour to Dallas for a two-night stand at the cavernous American Airlines Center at a time when his career is at a bit of a crossroads. As a global superstar for close to two decades, he's always enjoyed excellent album and ticket sales, prime-time performance slots at awards shows and sporting events, and plum roles in ace Hollywood films. He's an adept crooner and a versatile dancer, and he possesses enough "aw shucks" sincerity to woo even the unlikeliest of fans, such as the 88-year old grandmother he brought out onstage last week at a show in Florida. However, the past year has been filled with some backlash. There were his Twitter controversies over the use of cultural appropriation and his tepid response to the Super Bowl incident with Janet Jackson that again became relevant this winter as Timberlake took the field as the halftime performer. And then there is the music on his latest album, a hodgepodge amalgamation of hip-hop, bro-country and folk-inspired tunes that has been celebrated in some circles but largely panned in others. Regardless, Timberlake remains a genuine pop star capable of filling arenas and giving fans their money's worth. Now at the midway point of this tour, his stage presence should be pretty refined, making Sunday and Monday's back-to-back shows essential to those dedicated fans and intriguing enough for the casual folks to tune in for the duration. Jeff Strowe

Nightmares on Wax
8 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, Trees, 2709 Elm St.,, $20

For the uninitiated, "Nightmares on Wax" splashed across a gig poster might conjure to mind the soundtrack from a dark '70s or '80s slasher flick. But for fans of George Evelyn and his many collaborations with N.O.W., the name invokes a lengthy, decade-spanning back catalogue of genre-bridging and genre-bending tracks that call to mind a much more laid-back and positively uplifting vibe — especially on the last two full-length albums. Since 1989, Nightmares on Wax has continued to be a mainstay and one of the most iconic names on the roster of U.K.-based independent record label Warp Records. After releasing numerous notable singles, such as “You Wish,” “Flip Ya Lid” and "Les Nuits," Evelyn established himself as a respected electronic and trip-hop trendsetter, and his down-tempo and trip-hop approach to production creates a unique, influential sound built on numerous genres, including modern jazz, funk, soul and R&B, as well as hip-hop, acid house and dub. A live band on the tour supports Evelyn’s latest full-length release, Shape the Future, a record that conjures on-the-couch vibes paired with positive messages and observations. Daniel Rodrigue

Hawthorne Heights
5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 469-487-6149,, $20-$22

The Ohio natives of Hawthorne Heights have delivered punchy post-hardcore rock to fans for more than a decade. The band has also seen numerous lineup changes over the years but has settled nicely these days on a quartet including two original members — JT Woodruff on lead vocals and guitar and Matt Ridenour on backing vocals and bass. Hawthorne Heights' popularity took off in 2004, and this year's Bad Frequencies is its first album in five years. Although reluctant to label itself "emo" or "screamo," Hawthorne Heights certainly embodies some of those styles made popular in the early aughts by the likes of Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. DV

Paul Simon
8 p.m. Friday, June 1, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-665-4299, $50 and up

Nearly six decades into his career, one of America’s most iconic songwriters has announced his imminent retirement after one last trip around the world. Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound Tour will end this September in New York City along with Simon’s tenure as a full-time musician. But the occasion so far hasn’t been a somber farewell for fans or the man himself. Simon’s been pulling out all the stops along this final lap, belting out everything from the deepest Simon & Garfunkel cuts to his own classic hits. Overwhelming audiences are desperate to mourn Simon’s recession from the spotlight with songs such as “The Boxer,” “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “El Condor Pasa.” Perhaps the levity has something to do with Simon’s loose take on retirement. While he won’t be performing as often, he’s still due to release a new album this fall and has already hinted at possible one-off shows in the future. Regardless of what happens, Simon’s voice will grace Dallas in full earnest. Grab your ticket while you can; this one’s likely to sell out. Nicholas Bostick

With Cheap Trick and Pop Evil, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 2, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 316 W. Las Colinas Boulevard,, $22 and up

Poison’s most successful record is called Open Up and Say…Ahh!. The cover features a half-beast, half-man, mouth open, teeth bared, with a giant dangling tongue Gene Simmons would envy. In other words, when it comes to Poison, you know what you’re getting. You’re getting clumsy sexual metaphors like “She goes down slow like a shot of gin.” (Since when do shots go down slowly?) You’re getting crunchy, glue-drenched hair, faux androgyny and gassy pop metal anthems that go nowhere. The only substance in Poison’s music, really, is the blatant disregard for taste that animates every hit. Which, when you think about it, is a good thing. Taste doesn’t lead to euphoric, beer-drenched nights. Taste doesn’t inspire yelling out lyrics to a song that topped the charts 30 years ago. Taste doesn’t factor into a Poison concert — taste is never that fun. Jonathan Patrick

8 p.m. Saturday, June 2, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $30-$56

If you can get past the KFC bucket and creepy white mask, you can start to enjoy Buckethead's music. Otherwise known as Brian Patrick Carroll, Buckethead transcends any one genre and has reportedly released hundreds of studio albums in his 31-year career. He's considered by many critics to be one of the best guitar players who's lived, but the instrumentalist's talent doesn't stop there. Buckethead excels in bass, banjo and the keys as well. DV

Polyphonic Spree
6 p.m. Saturday, June 2, The Box Garden, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano,, free

Polyphonic Spree is truly a one-of-a-kind band. The revolving-member symphonic pop choral is the product of frontman and founder Tim DeLaughter's desire to create something with the pop sensibilities of the Beatles or the Beach Boys. An act perhaps best experienced live, Polyphonic Spree combines about 15 horns, keys, strings and woodwinds to conjure something magically whimsical and totally refreshing. Check out the band's free show at the newly opened Box Garden venue at Legacy Hall in Plano. DV

Speedy Ortiz
7 p.m. Sunday, June 3, Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $15

With a sound straight out of the ’90s and a name that references a character in the Love and Rockets comic book series, Speedy Ortiz is one of today's best touring indie rock bands. Singer and guitarist Sadie Dupuis fronts the group with time signatures that are both erratic and catchy. But as audacious as this band sounds, the members click so well that it never comes across as clumsy or careless. Speedy Ortiz has riffs that are as energetic and strident as what you hear in Superchunk songs. As much as this band rocks, there is a melodicism and pop sensibility that makes its music accessible. And like Stephen Malkmus from ’90s indie rock group Pavement or Liz Phair, Dupuis’ lyrics are worth reading, incorporating a sophisticated sense of wordplay and dark humor. Jeremy Hallock

Minus the Bear
With The New Trust, 8 p.m. Sunday, June 3, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave.,, $30

Minus the Bear has released six albums, but its third, Planet of Ice, remains a fan favorite. The band is celebrating its release from 11 years ago, so expect this show to have the album played from start to finish. Guitarist Dave Knudson continues to drop jaws with his inventive playing, which mixes well with the keyboard-heavy math pop. And if you're up for staying out really late on a Sunday, hop on over next door to Sundown, where Minus the Bear keyboardist Alex Rose will do a DJ set. Eric Grubbs
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Diamond Rodrigue
Contact: Diamond Rodrigue