Summer is officially over in exactly one month, but that's not saying too much for Texas. The oppressive heat should linger for several more months. There's been a lot of wet weather lately, however, which means an outdoor show this week may mean trudging though a little mud — but that'll just make Slipknot's show at Gexa even more metal, right? If that sounds a little too messy, Explosions in the Sky, Alice Cooper and Coldplay, among others, offer up humidity-free fun this week.
Explosions in the Sky
With Preoccupations, 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 213-932-6501 or thebombfactory.com, $25. Still touring strong behind last spring's Wilderness, this Austin four-piece has earned its reputation as a must-see live act. Built on a template of turning soft and sinewy into something cathartic and cacophonous, Explosions in the Sky's instrumental numbers draw the listener in with creeping anxiety before pummeling them back into a celebratory realty. It's a soundtrack that works equally well for attacking the dreaded workout, ferrying one's way through traffic gridlock, or lazily letting the mind wander while perched back at the lake. The tunes' cinematic qualities have made them obvious selections for various films, commercials and television shows, the most well-known example being the theme music for Friday Night Lights, an act that will likely earn the band at least an honorable mention in the Texas Music Hall of Fame. As the new material skews a bit more on the concise and lean side, Monday night's show at The Bomb Factory will likely feature some new wrinkles for long-time fanatics. However, there are still sure to be plenty of epic crescendos and more than enough fists in the air to make it well worth attending. Just try to refrain from yelling "Texas Forever." Jeff Strowe
The Fixx 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933, or granadatheater.com, $29 to $49. Five years after abruptly canceling their headlining stop at Granada Theater for Mike Schoder's then seven-year-ownership anniversary, the Fixx is back to make amends with a show on Tuesday. Hey, better late than never, right? The British new wave band, mostly remembered for hits such as "One Thing Leads to Another" and "Red Skies at Night," have since released a new album titled Beautiful Friction, after nine years of studio silence. The album received a warm welcome from critics back in 2012 and is still a great fit into anyone's record collection who prefers to remember the band as they were 30 years ago. Diamond Victoria
8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $47.50 to $87.50. Theatrical shock-rocker Alice Cooper is the macabre gift that keeps on giving. After almost five decades of touring nearly every year, the 68-year-old returns to Texas with his Spend the Night With Alice Cooper 2016 Tour, bringing his pioneering psycho-dramatic heavy metal show to fans spanning generations. Cooper said earlier this year that a reunion album with the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper Band is in the works, a nod to the heavy rock sound the Detroit band was known for in the early 1970s. This year’s tour has brought all the old favorites to Cooper’s loyal fans, with witty-yet-gory performances high on both drama and nostalgia. With a set list drawing from a discography reaching more than 30 studio, complication, theatrical and live records, performances on his latest tour include hits from 1971’s Killer album, 1989’s glam-rock era Trash record and Theater of Death from 2010. School may be back in, but that’s no reason not to feed your Frankenstein. Karen Brooks Harper
Def Leppard 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111, or gexaenergypavilion.net, $25 to $125. This year started out pretty rough for '80s icon Def Leppard. The band struggled to fill venues earlier this year when lead singer Joe Elliot began having difficulty with his voice, ultimately being forced into a months-long hiatus from singing by his doctor, and guitarist Vivian Campbell entering in and out of remission due to Hodgkin's lymphoma. Now back on their feet again, the pioneers of new-wave metal are able to bring their latest album to the stage, self-titled and released late last year. The harmonies and production are on point with classic Def Leppard albums that typically come to mind, such as High’N’Dry, Pyromania and Hysteria, adding to their canon of glam rock and proving the Leppard's spots haven't changed too much. DV
With Marilyn Manson and Of Mice & Men, 6:30pm Thursday, Aug. 25 at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave, 214-421-1111 or dallaspavilion.org, $30 to $89.95. An unexpected spinal surgery for Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor delayed the start of this heavy hitting co-headlining tour with Marilyn Manson, which was originally slated for June 25. Taylor is still in the process of recovering, but that hasn’t slowed down his legendary metal band from continuing the tour. No doubt it will maintain their reputation for delivering a high-energy, tightly executed performance as they work through their discography that now spans over 20 years, even if Taylor can’t headbang as much as he’d like. Buyers beware: If you’re in attendance, be sure to not only pay attention but also respect others. Throughout the tour, Taylor hasn’t hesitated to have security remove fans for texting during the show or elbowing others in the face. Notorious shock-rocker Marilyn Manson co-headlines with metalcore band Of Mice & Men opening. Mikel Galicia
With Alessia Cara and Bishop Briggs, 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, 817-892-4000 or attstadium.com, $29.50 to $179.50. If you're a fan of Coldplay, no one should judge you. You and your fellow fans, however, still feel some sort of connection with the music of Chris Martin and company. Coldplay's fans pack stadiums with people who feverishly defend the British band’s dulcet melodies against critics who use the band as a punchline — as Paul Rudd did it in The 40-Year-Old Virgin — and continue to buy their albums even after the release of Prospekt’s March. So you go ahead and blare “Yellow” from the speakers in your car and sing along to it as if you own the entire highway. Danny Gallagher
Brad Paisley 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111, or gexaenergypavilion.net, $32 to $67.
When Brad Paisley isn't writing and performing sweet, tender songs that make women melt into a big pile of love — or even haunting songs about death — he's writing some hilarious, off-the-wall, kind of stupid songs about the things happening to or around him. That's the charm of Paisley, though: He's the perfect balance of sweet and salty. While other country crooners might be singing about a woman's tight jeans and lipstick (not that Paisley doesn't sing about that, too), Paisley's strength is observing his surroundings and singing about them with some, or a lot of, humor sprinkled in. Paige Skinner
Lee Ann Womack
With Robert Earl Keen and Madison King, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 213-932-6501 or thebombfactory.com, $33 to $93. Lee Ann Womack, a Texas native, is best known for the 2000 crossover hit “I’ll Make You Dance,” but she’s actually spent the better part of her career trying to shake the “radio” prefix from her particular brand of country music. That’s probably never been truer than of her latest album, 2014’s Grammy-nominated The Way I’m Livin’, with its pared down production, pedal steel guitar and numerous covers of country classics. In fact, if a song here wasn’t written around or before 1975 (Roger Miller’s “Tomorrow Night in Baltimore,” Neil Young’s “Out on the Weekend”), then you can bet it at least sounds like it was (the album’s title track, for instance). Womack plays the Bomb Factory as a part of Most Good Music, a benefit concert for The Salvation Army, where she’ll be joined by another luminary of Texas country, Robert Earl Keen. Elliot Wright
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 972-343-2444 or southsideballroomdallas.com, $42.45. Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals roll into South Side Ballroom on the back end of a worldwide tour promoting their latest album, Call It What It Is. What you can call it, in addition to a long-overdue reunion with his most famous and celebrated backing band, is a timely statement lyrically centered around the violence of recent times — the brunt of which, sadly, is being directed towards people of color. As serious about his activism as he is about his music, it’s no surprise that Harper has funneled his recent bouts of energy towards addressing current injustices and strife. Unlike some of his kindred spirits, however, Harper tends to tread easy on speech, opting instead to let the music and his lyrics do the talking. Expect an evening full of thunderous rock swagger, rhythmic grooves, and bluesy soul riffage. It's likely that a couple of his singalong hits — "Burn One Down," "Steal My Kisses," "Diamonds on the Inside" — will find their way into the set list, as well. Jeff Strowe
8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, sold out. Lil Yachty, a red-haired Atlanta MC with a delightfully awkward delivery, is at the forefront of this surreal new sound, where productions are eccentric and flows are abstracted by off-time rhymes and a wobbly, almost sleepy style. A few months ago, Yachty swung through town in support of Young Thug, but fresh off the release of his sophomore mixtape Summer Songs 2, and Yachty's returning to Dallas — this time in the lead role. On his first visit, Yachty showed that the energy of his exceedingly fanciful approach translates excellently live, as much the work of an astute showman as the theater of a next-gen artist. Before the raw sinews of the hip-hop present congeal into the hard lines of the future, get in on the ground floor and catch Lil Yachty's traveling circus as he embarks on his first headlining effort, The Boat Show Tour. Jonathan Patrick
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