The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: The Decembrists, Ricky Martin & More

Fall festival season is getting into full swing in Texas, but while Denton's Oaktopia Fest has just come and gone the biggest, most obvious one this week (and the week after) is down in Austin. Of course, we can think of plenty of reasons to not feel the need to make the trek down to Austin City Limits and primarily they have to do with the shows happening right here in Dallas, including the Decembrists, Brand New and Ricky Martin, plus a homecoming for Denton ex-pat Neon Indian.

The Free Loaders
7 p.m. Tuesday, September 8, at The Free Man, 2626 Commerce St., 214-377-9893, Free

The Free Loaders have earned their praise in this city. They haven't been sitting around on their asses all these years. They’ve played show after show, no matter if it was in a club, at a party or some boogie event where the music isn't meant to be appreciated. This band of blues, jazz and swing musicians ranges from three to eight members depending on the situation. However, expect a great show packed with fun from experts at their craft. And, if we're all lucky, Mavericks owner and dance savant Mark Cuban will show up and teach us how to do some line dancing. H. Drew Blackburn

With Young Ejecta and Moth Face, 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 29, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $12

The soothing sound of Seoul's indie-pop electronica has a subtle energy that keeps it from putting you to bed. Echoes of Washed Out and Beach House are noticeable, but plucky guitar tracks keep things moving forward and add solid ground to cloudy arrangements. If you're opting to see Seoul live, however, it may be best to just let yourself get lost and float away with it. Matt Wood

The Lighthouse and the Whaler
With Keeps, 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 30, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $12/$14 at the door

Driving drums are the motor that keeps the Lighthouse and the Whaler pushing relentlessly forward. Indie drummers are either subtle and unnoticeable or borderline show stealing, and TLTW's falls in the second category. Skyscraper synthesizer parts are the backdrop for the beating percussive force, and although the parts are complicated they never quite overwhelm the rest of the band. MW

Neon Indian
With the Outfit, TX and Roger Sellers, 7 p.m. Thursday, October 1, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6507 or thebombfactory.com, $3 RSVP/$10 at the door

Chillwave sure came and went fast, didn't it? Luckily, the best of the best from the movement survived, including Denton's Neon Indian. Headed by Alan Palomo, the principal songwriter and performer, the band has found their niche in electronic rock, with Palomo exploring increasingly diverse landscapes as his career treads on. They were strong out of the gate, but if new single “Slumlord” is any indication, their next album, VEGA INTL. Night School will be their greatest work yet. Don't miss out on the music, or Palomo's superb dancing, when they hit The Bomb Factory for the latest Red Bull Sound Select show. Corey Dieterman

Shannon and the Clams
With Fungi Girls, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 1, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $12

Shannon and the Clams' surf rock is equal parts bitingly aggressive and unflinchingly fun. It's hard to keep lead singer Shannon Shaw's siren vocals from stealing the show, but the entire band has an unparalleled understanding of their surf genre while adding enough twists to make sure the audience is twisting right along with them. MW

The Decembrists
With Olivia Chaney, 8 p.m. Friday, October 2, at The Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 214-670-3687 or liveatthemajestic.org, $36.50-$46.50

On one tour poster for the Decemberists, the loquacious and folky band from Portland, is an owl wrought in metallic gold and silver. Fans of the Decemberists will recognize it as a perfect icon for the band, who’ve been releasing bold-eyed and winged songs since 2001. In early 2015, the band released What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, and the album's no less erudite. Notable songs include “Calvary Captain,” the maypole dance-romper “Better Not Wake the Baby” and, appropriate for sort-of fall in Texas, the “Anti-Summersong.” Diving deeper into their discography, you’ll feel like you’ve read four issues of The New Yorker. Their music is fun, a little weird and always-unpredictable. The Decemberists are making their stop to Dallas’ Majestic Theatre onOctober 2, just seven days from the release of the new EP, florasongs. Speaking of which, Florence, Italy born folk-singer Olivia Chaney (she’s on Nonesuch Records) will support. ICYMI: The Decembrist s will be performing ACL Live in Austin the following day, Friday, October 3. Nick Rallo

Whiskey Myers
With Scoot Brown Band, 9 p.m. Friday, October 2, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $12.50-$15

Just in case the band's name (and their lead single, "Ballad of a Southern Man") didn't tip you off, let us clue you in: Whiskey Myers is about as Texas as deep-fried butter, brisket barbecue or Big Tex himself. Between these five country boys, there's just no-frills, no-fuss country music. And if it ain't broken, well, you know the rest. MW

Kenny Loggins
With Aquile, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 3, at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington, 817-459-5474 or levittpavilionarlington.org, Sold out

The Levitt Pavilion will become the danger zone on October 3. Arguably no musician has made more of a career from cutting original songs for Hollywood movies than Kenny Loggins. In the 1980s, Loggins produced a number of songs for the silver screen including “Footloose,” “Danger Zone” and “Playing With the Boys” (for the blockbuster Top Gun). While a lot of artists sometimes lend their songs to the soundtracks of films, Loggins made cutting original soundtrack songs an art unto itself. Outside of soundtracks, Loggins has had a very successful career that's included four platinum albums. In a time where many '80s artists are touring on nostalgia tips, Loggins is one of the must-see acts. His repertoire calls back not only to our favorite songs but our favorite movies, making it an even more immersive experience when you're trying to get your '80s fix. James Khubiar

Brand New
With Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band, 8 p.m. Saturday, October 3, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6507 or thebombfactory.com, Sold out

Hearkening back to a time when "emo" was more than a fashion choice, Brand New's hyper-emotinal and vulnerable lyrics are a trademark that has resonated with anyone with a heart for years. Though they still proudly brandish the genre of emo, their music bridges genre gaps and makes condolences with pop to create songs with hidden depth and catchy melodies. MW

Rick Martin
With Ha-Ash, 7 p.m. Sunday, October 4, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or gexaenergypavilion.net, $26-$127

“Woke up in New York City in a funky cheap hotel/She took my heart/And she took my money/She must've slipped me a sleeping pill.” How in the hell were those lyrics part of a massive crossover hit? Jesus, the late '90s were just a free for all when it came to lyrics, and it’s lucky for Ricky Martin that no one noticed. This makes sense because Martin is, if anything, a musical survivor. Over his 30-year career, Martin has been a teen idol, a Latin heartthrob, a crossover sensation and now an elder statesmen. His largest success may have been over 16 years ago, but there's a reason he’s still commanding venues as large as Gexa Energy Pavilion. There's good reason for that, too: We all really like to shake our “bon bons,” damn it, and Martin knows how to make us do it. Jaime-Paul Falcon

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