The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Taylor Swift, Mac Demarco & More

There are two types of people in this world: People with a rabid, undying adoration for Taylor Swift, and people who do not know what it feels like to experience joy. Fine, even if the Cult of Swift isn't your thing, we've got bands that defined '90s alt-rock (Garbage), artists successfully trying to recreate them (Demarco), and even the return of JewelRunners El-P and Killer Mike. And if none of those sound appealing, then maybe you've been mixing up your facepaint to answer the calling of the Juggalos — so don't worry, you're covered. 

With Tasseomancy, 8 p.m. Monday, October 12, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $10-12
BRAIDS' members are young — all four members are in their (very) early 20s — but the Canadian band is already earning quite a bit of critical buzz for their cool and collected brand of experimental pop. (Heavily influenced by Animal Collective, it should be added.) Led by the talented Raphaelle Standell-Preston, BRAIDS makes challenging music that somehow manages to go down smooth. Their 2011 debut full-length, Native Speaker, was two years in the making, and songs such as "Lemonade" and "Plath Heart" aptly demonstrate the band's work ethic and charm. Darryl Smyers

Run the Jewels
9 p.m. Monday, October 12, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St.,, $20-25
Run the Jewels is the meow meow meow hottest thing in music right meow. EL-P and Killer Mike's meow meow collaboration is so popular meow that they were able to fund a remix meow album that will consists of nothing but cat noises meow meow through Kickstarter with ease. Meow meow meow, meow. They leaked their own album to the meow meow internet, and Twitter meow decided that it's so good meow that people meow are spontaneously combusting. Honestly a meow show meow meow preview isn't needed. Meow. This is the meow show of the week, the month, meow and most likely the year. The House of Meows meow holds around a thousand meow people, so make meow damn sure you're meow one of those meow at this show. Meow meow purr. Would hate meow to see you out there meow meow frontin' like you were six months from meow. Hiss. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Ani Difranco
with Ane Egge, 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 13, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $40
For girls of a certain age, Ani DiFranco is a feminist icon. Her angry feminist aesthetic has formed the backbone of many a rebellious teenage girl, and she hasn't slowed or mellowed almost 20 years later. DiFranco's anger, which is decidedly still well placed considering our current political climate, is perhaps her defining feature, one that is best displayed onstage. Those needing an outlet for their feminist rage will find comfort in DiFranco's angsty, folky tunes. Perhaps more notably, though, DiFranco's accomplishments as an instrumentalist and musician are woefully underappreciated. If you make it out to Granada on Tuesday night, you'll see exactly what we're talking about. Amy McCarthy

With Torres, 8 p.m. Thursday, October 15, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or, $35

You take a hell of risk naming your band "Garbage." It's a move that sets up a pristine alley-oop for any music writer looking to mercilessly dunk on your band the second they condemn your debut album. Thankfully, the '90s alt-rock icons found success from borrowing the charm of lo-fi fuzzheads like Pavement or Built to Spill, adding a dash of pop and including a female touch through front woman Shirley Manson's highly personal lyrics. Since that self-titled debut in 1995, Garbage has managed to warp and bend those very rules that defined the band while retaining a sincerity at its core. It's a bit like Ally Sheedy at the end of The Breakfast Club — sure, she's sporting a makeover that makes her more like Molly Ringwald, but you feel better knowing that under the surface she's just as much an outcast and basket case. And in the end, isn't that the part we want to identify with? Matt Wood

Los Lobos
With Lance Lopez, 8 p.m. Friday, October 16, 2015, at Gas Monkey Bar 'N Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., 214-350-1904 or, $10-500
Los Lobos is one of a handful of American bands that have sustained a notable and distinguished presence on the American music scene for over 30 years. A crossover band before the term was coined, they write music that has been a bridge between Mexican and American cultures ever since they emerged from East LA. Los Lobos is the best at what they do on the planet. And in my humble opinion, David Hildago is a musical treasure approaching the stature of Willie Nelson. Doug Davis

Taylor Swift
With Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes, Saturday, October 17, at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, 817-892-4000 or, $59.50-$200

Move over literally everyone else because Taylor Swift is coming into town, so cancel the rest of your life now. To celebrate and make even more money off her first-ever full-pop album, 1989, Swift is on tour and stopping at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington to sing and dance and probably just kill us all. Will any members of her supermodel squad be there? Will she bring out a special musical guest to sing with and cause mass hysteria? Will she do that thing where she pauses in the middle of the show and looks out at the crowd in awe and smiles? The chances are high because it’s what Swift does. She sits in her bedroom and writes songs, releases them, watches them dominate the radio and Earth, basically, and then watches it come full circle months later in concert. It’s Swift’s world and we’re just living in it. Paige Skinner

The Polyphonic Spree
With Derek Rogers, 8 p.m. Saturday, October 17, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $22
Over the past decade-plus, the Polyphonic Spree has morphed size, shape and hue. The band is a living organism, cells of piano, percussion, trombones, trumpet and choir churning to make up a body. It's a bright, jubilant life form, with an outer layer that’s been seen, in the wild, in technicolor. On October 17 at the Granada Theater, the band is marking the 15th anniversary of the debut LP The Beginning Stages Of. It’s been 15 years since the white robes of “Light & Day.” A decade-plus-five-years since “Soldier Girl.” So, you know, we’re pretty damn old. Once, at an early 2000s show in Deep Ellum, I saw the Polyphonic Spree’s concert open with a Russian folk band that played a bass the size of the door. The Russian band sang “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.” It was weird and wild, like all of Polyphonic’s luminescent shows. That's why Granada’s show will be a can’t-miss: The Spree is performing their debut album in its entirety. After that the band will move to Austin, and then end a fall/winter tour at our own Majestic Theatre. This will be fun. Nick Rallo

The D.O.C.
7 p.m. Saturday, October 17, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6507 or, $33-55
If you're gonna stage a comeback, you've gotta start from your come-up. So having The D.O.C. play in Dallas makes perfect sense — especially at the Bomb Factory, where he last performed 20 years ago. Back then, he'd gotten his start by contributing lyrics to NWA's Straight Outta Compton, which may or may not be a big deal right now, especially. But after an accident nearly destroyed his larynx, it's been a long road to recovery for the gangsta rap forefather. On top of the self-evident significance of the hometown show, it's even being filmed as part of a new documentary featuring the Dallas rapper (as if you needed another reason to go). MW

Insane Clown Posse
With P.O.D., Stitches, Young Wicked and Dope D.O.D., 7 p.m. Sunday, October 18, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or, $30

Juggalos and Juggalettes, rejoice! Detroit-based wicked clowns Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope will be in Dallas very soon. While this will not be the annual "Gathering of the Juggalos," this event should hold true to witnessing a bunch of sloppy clown-clad adults enjoying wanna-be hip hop, whilst likely engaging in acts to reach ultimate inebriation insanity. Although this will only be the eight-year anniversary of Violent J beating a member of the audience 30 times with a microphone, we bet you'll still find something mildly ignorant and/or obscene while out at the South Side Ballroom on this cool Sunday evening. By the way, in case you didn't know P.O.D. was still a band or touring, they are, and they will be joining ICP on their tour this fall. Sara Button

Mac Demarco
8 p.m. Monday, October 19, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $22-$25

There’s something undeniable about Mac Demarco's boy-next-door charm and penchant for infectious bedroom pop melodies that makes anyone who enters his world instantly hooked. It’s hard to believe that the kid who played a free show at Bryan Street Tavern three years ago and wrote Mac 2 at the tender age of 22 has made it big in such a short amount of time, but he’s paid his dues. He writes, plays and records all of his music on reel-to-reel tape at his own Jizz Jazz Studios in New York and tours as much as he chain smokes. Last year he played a sold-out show at Lola’s in Fort Worth, so it makes sense that the increasingly popular Canadian goofball-cum-rockstar has booked a show at House of Blues this time around. He’ll be touring in support of his new mini-LP Another One, which takes more '80s cues than his previous efforts, but fans should expect him to play deep cuts from Salad Days as well. Juan Vargas
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matt Wood
Contact: Matt Wood