The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Kendrick Lamar, R. Kelly & More

We've got bad news, folks. You know all of those Halloween plans you made? Well, they're all garbage now because Kendrick Lamar, Future, Marilyn Manson and R. Kelly are playing this weekend. You have an undisputed King, a mixtape machine, the antichrist and a rhyming legend. But don't fret, your costumes are probably welcome at half of these shows. And if they're not, go ahead and do it anyway — unless you've settled on the wholly original "Donald Trump" costume, in which case stay home and take time to reevaluate.

7 p.m. Monday, October 26, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $10-12
You can tell pretty quickly that Cheatahs is one of those bands with an intimidating number of influences. Krautrock and shoegaze are layered with noise rock and hints of psych throughout their 2014 self-titled debut. The minimalism of krautrock should, in theory, be antithetical to the wall-of-sound shoegaze thrives on, but the opposing forces end up creating a tension that's all the more interesting for this group. Matt Wood

Gerard Way
8 p.m. Tuesday, October 27, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St.,, $30-35
Since founding My Chemical Romance 14 years ago, Gerard has come a long Way. (Sorry, not sorry.) Quickly approaching age 40, he's married, has a daughter and has traded his black eyeliner for a red-haired David Bowie aesthetic. That feeling even translated to his 2014 solo debut Hesitant Alien, for which he graciously borrowed from his '70s glam rock heroes to create a critically appreciated release. Hot Topic jokes aside, he has gracefully transcended his youth and evolved into a talented dispenser of Dad Rock. MW

Kendrick Lamar
With Jay Rock, 8 p.m. Thursday, October 29, at South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or, Sold Out

When superstar rapper Kendrick Lamar teased an announcement of his upcoming tour, the 1st Annual Kunta’s Groove Sessions, it wasn’t clear if Dallas would be included in the tour’s limited eight-city run of “intimate” shows. Thankfully, Texas-based booking company Scoremore announced a Dallas date the next day. Lamar’s long-awaited tour in support of his seminal 2015 release, To Pimp a Butterfly, is likely to be one of the most special events of the year. Lamar will perform his chart-topping tracks from the rich, deeply-layered and complex album that touches on a number of delicate topics ranging from black oppression to the beauty of black culture to mental health. To execute the jazz and soulful sonic achievements of the album, Lamar will be backed by a full band, the Wesley Theory, adding yet another unique element to the evening. Mikel Galicia

Freakers' Ball with Marilyn Manson, The Cult
5 p.m. Friday, October 30, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-851-5111 or, $35-70

Marilyn Manson has lived up to his legend. For those who haven't kept up with him since before he did the awkward glam goth thing around the time of his Mechanical Animals album, he may be hard to recognize without his ass cheeks hanging out. Granted, Manson is no tenor, but his vocals have power. It's easy to forget that buried underneath all that makeup and those ungodly rumors, there's a musician with a strong point of view. Screaming statements like "Rock is not dead," he'd put many into a state of cult-like worship. Manson may very well be an "Anti-Christ Superstar," but he's a superstar, nonetheless. Eva Raggio

Rageville Music Festival
With Future, Paper Diamond, 12th Planet, Araabmuzik and KEITH APE, 8 p.m. Friday, October 30, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6507 or, $58-$103

With a stage name like “Future,” Atlanta native Navyvadius Wilborn must have known he would jump to the top of the hip-hop game just a few years after releasing his debut single, “Tony Montana,” in 2011. Not only has the astronaut-status rapper given us his third studio album this year with Dirty Sprite 2, he also linked up with Drake for a surprise collaboration album, What a Time to Be Alive. Both albums topped the charts, giving him two No. 1 albums this year. With all of this attention, there’s no doubt 2015 will long be regarded as a monumental year for Future. He’ll relish the moment and give the Future Hive, his fans, what they want when he comes back to Dallas for the fourth time this year to headline the Rageville Music Festival with help from DJ Esco, only the coolest DJ in the world. You can expect to hear tracks from the mixtapes Monster, Beastmode and 56 Nights along with his current list of hits. Be prepared to vibe to his insane beats, savor his passionate lyrics and enjoy the, uh, future. Aria Bell

The Rich Girls
8 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $12-24

Four-plus years into their existence (which started on a New Years dare), the Hall & Oates cover band's string of free shows over the summer was emblematic of how the Rich Girls place pure enjoyment (for both the band and their audience) over any other concerns, including those of the monetary variety. As a group, they have very few delusions of artistic grandeur or pretentions to fame, despite a good deal of consistently positive attention from local press. Free from the stress of their other projects, the Rich Girls’ regular gigs serve as an escape — a reminder of the simple joy of performance. Brian Peterson

Ghostland Observatory 
7 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6507 or, $40-50

In a month of ghosts and ghouls, it seems only fitting that Ghostland Observatory occupies The Bomb Factory on October 31. Beyond the name, many of their performing outfits absolutely scream Halloween (a slacker Draculacostume comes to mind). Their synthesizer and drums combination creates a lot of open space in their songs, which is where Aaron Behrens' vocals fit in perfectly. The effect is seriously haunting, which should only add to the possibilities for this show's date. MW

R. Kelly
With Jazmine Sullivan, 8 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or, $63.75-$179.95

R. Kelly’s career has stretched from making perfect party bangers to bewildering operas. From the first chapter of his undeniable masterpiece Trapped in the Closet, you know you will never be the same again. It’s easy to take shots at R. Kelly’s hip-hopera, but only out of cowardice at realizing you will never create anything of such magnitude. He rhymes “dresser” with “Beretta.” He throws in lines such as, “I knew you would do some bogus shit up in my house,” as sincere, heartfelt dialogue. He frequently notes that he is in “some deep shit,” with his trademark descending vocal slide. Flip him over, and you have the untouchable “Ignition (Remix),” the most crucial song to any party playlist. Play it too early, and people won’t be prepared to “toot, toot” and “beep, beep” as R. Kelly has his ’fro handled. But if you play it too late, you’ll miss the chance to create that eternal bond when an entire room simultaneously declares it’s the freakin’ weekend, baby, because everyone just wants to have them some fun. MW

The Coathangers
With the Birth Defects, 8 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at The Foundry Bar, 2303 Pittman St., 214-749-1112 or, Free

Over the years, the ladies in Atlanta’s resident tongue-in-cheek indie trio, the Coathangers, have developed quite an affinity for Dallas. This year alone, they’ve already headlined Trees and returned for Spillover Fest. Now, on Halloween, they’ll be back in town for not one but two shows, and you better believe they’ll be here to party. Coming up on their 10-year anniversary, the band once known for their chaotic sound have now settled into an elder statesmen role in the indie touring scene. They’ve gone from opening for the Black Lips to headlining Red Bull Sound Select Shows, and with a new split record out, it’s obvious the trio aren’t slowing. So fear not, if you miss the band’s early show at The Foundry, you’ll have a second chance to catch them as they headline Parade of Flesh and Vice Palace’s Halloween extravaganza at Pariah Arts later in the night. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Chris Cornell
8 p.m. Sunday, November 1, at Majestic Theater, 1925 Main St., 214-670-3687 or, $46.50-$76

The other night I went to this bar in Arlington and saw a guy sing “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (in the style of George Jones) on karaoke; due to the canned band in the backing track and the deep-hall reverb and slapback delay, the karaoke DJ (aka a “KJ”) slathered on the vocals. His rendition reminded me of “Say Hello 2 Heaven” by Temple of the Dog, which features Chris Cornell’s signature lead vocal wail. That a karaoke version of a country song made me think of a popular grunge ballad is kind of funny, because “Say Hello 2 Heaven” is maybe … I dunno, just a little bit over the top? I know it’s about a friend who died and all, but that happened almost a quarter century ago, and I have a hard time not rolling my eyes when that song’s mega-serious, sad-bro shuffle galumphs out of the PA at Twin Peaks or wherever. By contrast, hearing that karaoke dude sing a different sad-bro song in a mostly empty karaoke bar on a Monday night was legitimately heartbreaking. In any case, the Soundgarden frontman will be in town on a solo tour that reworks Soundgarden songs and his solo material into an acoustic format. According to a recent Rolling Stone article, he’s been reworking other covers, too, notably a tweak on Bob Dylan called “The Times They Are A Changin’ Back.” Break your rusty cages and run to see him at the Majestic on Sunday. Steve Steward
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Matt Wood
Contact: Matt Wood