The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Kanye West, Oaktopia & More

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This week marks the start of fall. Usually small talk about the weather is awkward at best, but this is something to look forward to. Especially because this week also marks the fourth annual Oaktopia fest in Denton. Navigating through one set to the next will be a little easier now that the triple-digit temperatures have gone by the wayside. But let's not speak too, soon, right? Also populating the music scene this week are Post Malone, Kanye West and Ray LaMontagne, among many more.

The Ataris
With Sir, Pseudo Future, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, at The Prophet Bar, 2548 Elm St, $12 to $15.
The Ataris saw the peak of their fame in 2003 with their cover of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer." That was back when boy bands who played their own instruments were just edgy enough to appeal to the up-and-coming indie crowd. Still, the Ataris had some pretty catchy songs. Their breakthrough album, So Long Astoria, became a canon of pop punk and indie rock with anthems like "In This Diary" spilling cliches about "listening to '80s songs and quoting lines from all those movies that we love" and how "being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up." It's no wonder they were a big deal with the 15- to 18-year-old crowd over a decade ago. After all, their lyrics, like high school, are filled with existentialism and awkward moments. These days, the Ataris have grown up a little, and so have their fans. Diamond Victoria

Carrie Underwood
With Easton Corbin and the Swan Brothers, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $49.50 to $79.50.
Somehow the newest Sunday Night Football theme, “Sunday Night,” manages to be worse than ever before. This is mostly because the theme’s singer, Carrie Underwood, took a legitimately great song, 2014’s duet with Miranda Lambert “Something Bad,” and added pro-NFL lyrics like “America’s game, been waiting all day / The best of the best have come to play / The gang’s all here, let’s turn it up / It’s the NFL, can’t get enough.” But to condemn Underwood for doing the other most American of things, maximizing her opportunities, would also be disingenuous. As hard as it is to get away from those thoughts, “Two Black Cadillacs” is still a great song. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Post Malone
With Jazz Cartier and Larry June, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at House of Blues, 2200 N Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $25 to $39.50.
It’s only been 18 months since Post Malone burst onto the music landscape with his viral hit “White Iverson,” but in that short time the former Grapevine resident has established himself as a rising star with a still-climbing trajectory. This homecoming performance is one of the most recent accomplishments for the rapper-turned-singer, as he headlines his first tour that will see a 41-city run sponsored by Monster Energy. Malone’s loyal fan base will be among the first to hear new music from his soon-to-be released debut album Stoney, which includes his newest single “Deja Vu” with Justin Bieber, with whom he toured earlier this year. That collaboration with Bieber only adds to his numerous high-profile co-signs that include Kanye West, 2 Chainz and Jeremih. With Jazz Cartier and Larry June opening, this show features a trio of young talent that shouldn’t be missed. Mikel Galicia

Kanye West
8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-665-4797 or americanairlinescenter.com, $29.95 to $140.
Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour has an air about it that feels like a once-in-a-lifetime event. Since its launch in Indianapolis last month, the internet has been inundated with and amazed by photos and videos of West’s decision to once again forgo the traditional stage setup and opt for suspended platforms hovering feet above the crowd. Operating outside of the norm and ditching the traditional has been a staple of West’s polarizing career no matter the medium, be it fashion design or music. For his latest album, The Life of Pablo, West flipped the standard release on its head and has updated the album at least a dozen times since February, calling it a “living, breathing, changing creative expression.” The critically acclaimed album features a gospel flair with unrelenting, self-aware songwriting. Not only is this the first opportunity for West’s obsessive fans to see live performances of the new album, it’s the first time to see their peerless leader since the Yeezus Tour in 2013. Mikel Galicia

Ten Hands
With Nolatet, 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346, or thekessler.org, $15 to $25.
Besides Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, no other band is as synonymous with the glory days of Deep Ellum as Ten Hands. Beginning in 1986, the group quickly garnered a solid local following that has not diminished in three decades. Although Ten Hands formally stopped playing in the mid '90s, there had been sporadic reunion shows until 2004 when several members left town. Now they are back again to play The Kessler for the first time since 2014. Darryl Smyers

With Norah Jones, Beirut, Rae Sremmurd and more, 6 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Sept. 22 to 24, in downtown Denton, oaktopia.com, $50 to $200.
Now in its fourth year, Oaktopia – once the little Denton fest that could – appears ready to consolidate its spot as the best music festival in North Texas. Once a hip-hop-centric affair (which was a rarity in and of itself), Oaktopia has evolved into one of the most eclectic lineups in the area, although it hasn’t lots touch with its roots, hence the appearance of Rae Sremmurd and Erykah Badu (sorry, Lo Down Loretta Brown) on this year’s bill. It’s just that plenty of other artists and genres have been thrown into the mix, like rock ’n’ roll party boy Andrew W.K. and, biggest of all this year, nine-time Grammy winner and UNT alumna Norah Jones, who’s preparing to release her first album in four years next month. That’s not even to mention the growing comedy lineup, the art and food trucks, and of course the extensive local lineup, which will be featured in the nightly Blood Moon club shows. Caleb Wossen

Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at MajesticTheatre, 1925 Elm St., 214-670-3687 or liveatthemajestic.com, $25 to $75.
It’s amazing it took this long for Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle to make an album together. The celebrated folkie and country legends have been mutually admiring each others’ work for years, and they finally mostly formalized the admiration in the form of a joint tour back in 2014. But it took until this year for the pair to produce an album together, titled simply Colvin & Earle, which saw its release over the summer. Both have been busy writing books in recent years, but together they’re a bit like the folk music Black Canary and country Green Arrow to make an album of the World’s Okayest songs – which is great for the children of their fans, who now get to pay for just one set of tickets to treat their parents out to a night on the town. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Counting Crows
With Rob Thomas, 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at Allen Event Center, 972-912-1057 or alleneventcenter.com, $30.50 to $90.50.
There aren’t a lot of bands who enjoy widespread success after they’ve released a greatest hits album. Fewer still have been nominated for an Academy Award for their work. Counting Crows experienced significant success throughout the ’90s, touring extensively and receiving high-volume radio play. However, following the release of Shrek 2 in 2004, Counting Crows put themselves back on the map with their song “Accidentally in Love.” They even had to amend their Greatest Hits album to include the breakout track. But well before that single, Counting Crows were a band lauded for their stage performances, all the way back when “Mr. Jones” went to No. 2 on the charts. A large portion of their back catalog is subject to heavy alterations during shows, something that kept many longtime fans returning to see them play. Now, they’re bringing their sensibilities to the stage once again, touring with other peak 2000s artist Rob Thomas. If nothing else, longtime fans have something new to experience with his inclusion. Taylor Frantum

Ray LaMontagne
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 972-343-2444 or southsideballroomdallas.com, $49.50.
If anyone ever tells you making music doesn’t pay, just point out that Ray LaMontagne has only put out six albums, and has largely flown under the radar with an occasional blip of popularity, but still can afford to live on a hundred-acre farm. Of course, what that really proves is that making mellow music lends itself to commercials and prime time TV pays. You can be a soft spoken troubadour, but if Shondra Rhimes thinks your music is perfect for a slow motion shot on one of her 13 ABC shows, than you are destined to make bank. In an alternate universe, Sam Beam and Mr. LaMontagne have a secret Prestige-esque blood feud over this. After all, there’s only so much soft-spoken indie folk the public can take. Right? Jaime-Paul Falcon

Prophets of Rage
With AWOLNATION, 7 p.m., Sunday, September 25, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111, gexaenergypavilion.net, $13 to $62.50.
After much hype and anticipation, members of this metal/rap supergroup have set out on tour promoting their "Make America RAGE Again" platform along with their EP, The Party's Over. Performing with AWOLNATION, these former members of Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill will assist you in your rage toward this election year's unprecedented level of absurdity and hatefulness. Kristy Love

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