Cover bands are the pinnacle ideal for music super-fans and subversives alike, allowing them to feel closer to their favorite bands or play the songs the way they should’ve been played in the first place (in their minds, at least). What better way to spend a night than getting a glimpse of bands long gone or hearing new takes on old standards? That’s just what’s in store for Dallas this week, along with new material from the likes of Joe Purdy and Steely Dan, as well as the tour kickoff for Vans Warped Tour.
With Friday's Foolery, 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, Free.
At Three Links, CoLab has been tasked with a daunting weekly expectation — performing an improvisational hip-hop show. The Dallas collective combines funk, soul, R&B and hip-hop to create an unexpected fusion sound with their incredibly talented arsenal of musicians. Above all else though, the quality they pride themselves on most is the “ass-shakin’” effects of their music, which should be all the reason you need to show everyone that them hips don’t lie. Matt Wood
Big Mike’s Box of Rock
9 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at Lola’s Saloon, 2736 W. Sixth St., Fort Worth, 817-877-0666 or lolasfortworth.com, $2.
I know what you're thinking. I'm not too terribly keen on cover bands either, but Big Mike's Box of Rock delivers. The group recently started a new residency at Lola's Saloon each Tuesday and it covers the best rock 'n' roll songs from 1960 to 1999. Rock musician and guitar-shredder "Big" Mike Richardson himself heads up the six-piece, as he has for his multiple DFW-based bands over the past 20 years. Head to Fort Worth this week to see what they can do. Rachel Watts
7:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave, Dallas, TX 75219, 214-222-3687, or americanairlinescenter.com, $29.58 - $139.50.
The only modern band that comes close to combining Steely Dan’s combination of pop hooks, musical perfection, salacious sarcasm and jazz-referencing arrangements is White Denim; while White Denim is a well-known, critically cherished rock band, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever see the level of popularity (or record sales) of Steely Dan. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker managed to sneak some pretty brainy songs onto the FM airwaves in the 1970s, but in 2016, there isn’t really any room for the smartest kids in the class to make a lot of money. Steely Dan, like most of their AOR-era brethren who are still alive, kicking and dividing their time between arenas and the casino circuit, are the veterans of a bygone era. They truly don’t make bands like they used to, so grab tickets before they’re snapped up by everyone’s dads. Steve Steward
With Garrison Starr, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at The Kessler Theatre, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $22-$30.
Singer-songwriter Joe Purdy is perhaps best listened to while sipping rail whiskey. But if you’re reduced to your iPhone in a Starbucks, you’ll still dig him. The Arkansas native incorporates harmonicas and fiddles into his music, along with his strumming on an acoustic guitar. His folk-heavy sound mixed with his old-time lyricism sets him apart from others in the genre. His songs of young love and travelin' on channel the likes of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Purdy’s rustic feel has remained with him in his 15-year career and his latest album, Who Will Be Next?, was released a couple of weeks ago to much critical acclaim. Diamond Victoria
8 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $29.50-$99.50.
Clarence Greenwood, aka Citizen Cope, is a bit of a musical chameleon. Born in Memphis, raised in Washington, D.C., and now based in Los Angeles after a lengthy residence in Brooklyn, Cope's a one-man band trafficking in all sorts of rhythmic mayhem. His ballads have heightened scenes of hit CW dramas and romantic comedies, while his more upbeat grooves have helped sell Pontiacs and Acuras. Cope's music resides in that outdoor-festival circuit of musicians, alongside acts like Jack Johnson, Dispatch and Jason Mraz. He takes elements of his geographic background — Memphis soul, DC hardcore, and So-Cal beats — and filters them through a jammy acoustic angle. He's toured alongside the likes of Dave Matthews and Santana, and if you went to college in the late '90s or early '00s it's likely you jammed out to several of his songs in your dorm room or friend's Honda Civic. He also may have even traveled through your campus and played a Spring Fling or two. He's been on the road doing his “intimate solo acoustic” show for awhile. Thursday night at the House of Blues would be as good of a time as any to get that nostalgia back on. Jeff Strowe
Vans Warped Tour
With Yellowcard, New Found Glory, Issues, Four Year Strong, the Story So Far and more, 11 a.m. Friday, June 24 ,at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1 Ave., 214-421-1111 or dallaspavilion.org, $40.
The youth are not concerned with death and taxes. The only known certainty is that every summer the Vans Warped Tour will roll into town with 50-plus alternative, pop-punk, metalcore and ska bands to mark the beginning of summer. This year, Dallas is the official first stop of the 41-city tour, almost guaranteeing local fans will see their new favorite bands at their most energetic and anxious to deliver their best show possible before the heat and strain of travel bogs them down. And why wouldn’t they? Warped Tour has a reputation for breaking up-and-coming bands into mainstream success, with some of their best-known alumni including Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, Katy Perry and My Chemical Romance. It’s not all newcomers, though. The tour features headlining veterans Less Than Jake, New Found Glory and Texas natives Bowling For Soup. The daylong affair also features a skating half pipe, meet-and-greets with the bands, tons of freebies and a reverse daycare—a place for parents to hang out while their kids take in the festival. Mikel Galicia
With Matt Whiskey, 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, at Annette Strauss Square, 2389 Flora St., 214-880-0202 or attpac.org, $39.75-$79.75.
He's a visionary songwriter from Kentucky that's been crowned the savior of country music thanks to the skilled manner in which he blends retro sounds of the past with modern edge and urgency. But no, we're not talking about Sturgill Simpson. Three decades ago, Dwight Yoakam resuscitated the classic Bakersfield style that Buck Owens and Merle Haggard made famous a generation prior. It’s worth noting that in the pre-deregulation and pre-Napster landscape, Yoakum was able to keep Top 40 country as hillbilly as possible; he was topping airplay charts and selling millions of records, unlike most Country-Music-Saviors-of-the-Month. Even Simpson or Chris Stapleton, as relatively successful as they both are now, can never dream of enjoying the prominent place Yoakam long enjoyed as he became an icon of honky-tonks, minivans and movie theaters all at once. While the big chart numbers are a distant memory for him now, Yoakam’s last couple of albums, 2012’s 3 Pears and 2015’s Second Hand Heart, are as incendiary, fresh and blood-pumping as his older platinum sellers. The mainstream may have veered away from Yoakam’s sound, but it’ll never be as cool as it was when it followed the Streets of Bakersfield. Kelly Dearmore
Reunion Lawn Party
With A Hard Night’s Day, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at Reunion Tower Lawn, 692 Sports St., 214-712-7040, or reunionlawnparty.com, Free.
A Hard Night’s Day is Dallas’ own Beatles tribute band. They’ve been spreading the gospel of John, Paul, George and Ringo for about 20 years now, and even recorded at Abbey Road studios. It’s been 47 years since the original Beatles played their final show in London atop Apple Headquarters. And though their music has stood the test of time on recordings alone, A Hard Night’s Day offers a taste of Beatlemania to those of us who weren’t around to experience it first hand. DV
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The Dan Band
8 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583, or houseofblues.com, $20-$25.
Take a handful of dudes singing their versions of angsty female-driven songs from the past few decades, pepper in a few f-bombs and you’ve got the Dan Band. Headed by comedian Dan Finnerty, you may remember these guys’ version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” from the film Old School or as the wedding band in the film The Hangover. They recently released The Wedding Album with a pop-punk cover of Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” and a less-than-sexy cover of “Bump N’ Grind,” among other things. Their satire isn’t as obvious as, say, “Weird Al” Yankovic, but the Dan Band embodies their own unique brand of fun. DV
7 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill, 10261 Technology Boulevard E., or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $10-$20.
Cory Branan’s voice is as weathered as his boots, but his brand of alternative country breathes fresh air into a sometimes-stale market. The singer’s latest album, The No-Hit Wonder, released back in 2014, has shown the musician in a slightly different, perhaps more positive, light than previous albums. This could likely be due to his settling down and starting a family. But the lovelorn drinking songs aren’t all gone. Yearslong fans will still get a dose of the sometimes-melancholic singer with tracks off the new album, such as “All the Rivers in Colorado.” DV