The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Weekend, 7/11-7/13

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So let's get this straight: right when it's starting to resemble something akin to a real Texas summer, with some triple-digit temperatures in the forecast, we start hearing about a polar vortex? Well, anything's possible. And with the World Cup drawing to a close this weekend, we might all be teetering on the verge of abject sadness.

But have no fear! There are concerts aplenty in and around Dallas (even Oklahoma) this weekend. So let's all just forget about those summertime blues.

Everclear Friday, July 11, at South Side Ballroom

Art Alexakis is a zombie. You cannot kill him or his band, Everclear. Over two decades in, despite experiencing many highs (Sparkle and Fade, So Much for the Afterglow) and lows (Slow Motion Daydream) and a list of lineup changes that is longer than Stacy Keibler's legs, the Everclear train is still chugging on. And while Alexakis ­­ the only original member left ­­ continues to churn out alternative albums and create polarizing and misunderstood video characters (Hater Jesus from "Hater" being the best example), Everclear's bread-­and-­butter will always be playing their early material. "Electra Made Me Blind" is still one of their most underrated, blistering rockers, and the alternative music lexicon will always love their more alterna-­pop-­oriented hits like "Everything to Everyone" and "Wonderful." But they were at their best when they were cranking out balls-­out rockers like "Heroin Girl" and "When it all goes Wrong Again," so it's a good thing they still play some of those.

Brian Palmer
Lionel Richie Friday, July 11, at Gexa Energy Pavilion

While best known for the pedestrian soft rock that has defined his lengthy career as a solo artist, Lionel Richie made his very best music way back in the '70s as a member of the Commodores. Ballads such as "Easy," "Sail On" and "Three Times a Lady" as well as the masterful funk of "Brick House" helped the band cross over into the rock and pop markets. Since leaving the Commodores in 1982, Richie has made some massively successful music by basically making every safe choice imaginable. He is now more of an entertainer than a singer and his shows have become the equivalent of a slick and glossy Las Vegas production. Of course, the collection of forty­, fifty­ and sixty­-somethings in attendance will eat it up, as Richie's easy digestible confections are the perfect mid-summer snacks.

Darryl Smyers
Erykah Badu Saturday, July 12 at Winstar World Casino

Dallas' favorite artist­-slash-­activist­-slash­-attention­-grabber, Erykah Badu is a performer who commands immediate reaction. Whether she does so through her remarkable, though infrequently added-­to catalog, heated feuds with other enigmatic personalities or by stopping traffic with a bit of public nudity (the video for "Window Seat" wasn't filmed in-­front of a green screen, just FYI), Badu is electrifying. She's expertly morphed into a multifaceted performance artist of great substance, even while adding to her celebrity with some innocent silliness. Indeed, it was none other than a mischieviously grinning Badu who, while in New York City last weekend to perform with Dave Chappelle and Public Enemy, toyed with a reporter on the sidewalk and tried to smooch him in front of a live camera. Such a clip wouldn't be so notable if it weren't for the fact Badu is rightfully just as big of a deal around the country as she is right here.

Kelly Dearmore
(Hed)P.E. With Eyes Set to Kill, December in Red, 8:00 p.m. July 13 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $15

(Hed)P.E. is an American rapcore band based in Huntington Beach, California. They have released ten albums since making their debut in 1994, and are generally known for utilizing elements gangsta rap, punk, reggae, and blues to create their signature "G-funk" style.

Michelle Ofiwe
New Edition 7:30pm, Saturday, July 12 at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $84-140

Long before One Direction or Mindless Behavior earned the screams of a thousand fangirls, New Edition roamed the earth as the first true-blue boy band, complete with sugary sweet love songs ("Candy Girl," "With You All the Way") and the personalities to match. For a while, it seemed like the reign of Ricky, Michael, Bobby, Ronnie, and Ralph would never end: with worldwide tours, chart-topping hits, and an endless slew of New Edition merchandise, the quintet's popularity spiked like never before in the mid-1980s. After Bobby (Brown)'s eventual departure in 1986, internal bickering and financial issues eventually did the group later in 1998. Thankfully, we did get some great parting gifts: the now-infamous Bell Biv DeVoe (comprised of Ricky, Michael, and Ron) went on to rule the 1990s, and so did a newly-controversial Brown with hit records like "Prerogative." The group's since tried to orchestrate a reunion many times with varying degrees of success, so here's hoping a 2014 run sticks.

The Polyphonic Spree Saturday, July 12 at Club Dada

The Polyphonic Spree, the massive, Tim Laughter-­led collective that's gone from whimsical oddity to legitimate international draw, has never been a predictable one. Sure, the arc spanning the group's almost 15 years together can be broadly viewed as "sunny" or "uplifting," especially after a few spins of their latest album, 2013's Yes, It's True. But such generalities miss the mark on the Spree's real strength: diversity. The psychedelic-­leaning group's themes have grown varied and at times dark as the years have rolled on, while the arsenal of instruments is staggering. (Hello, French horn!) And, lest we forget, the white choir robes of their origin were replaced by oddly colored ones, only to soon be replaced by bleak militaristic garb for a time. Locally-­based rock artists, roots players, avant­garde purveyors and much more have made up the history of the Polyphonic Spree, which has certainly become as colorful and storied as any tale in Dallas music.

Ishi With Dark Rooms, Night Driver, Jenny Robinson, Bear Cub, 8:00 p.m. July 11 at Trees, 2709 Elm St. Dallas, TX, 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $10

If you don't know Ishi by now, make this show an opportunity to see what one of Dallas' hard-working bands looks like.

Holly Williams With Carrie Rodriguez, Sunday, July 13 at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St, 214-272-8436 or thekessler.org, $17.50-25

As the granddaughter of the legendary Hank Williams and daughter of Hank Williams Jr., Holly Williams' connection with country music comes as no surprise. It also makes sense that the young Williams was soon writing and performing country hits at the tender age of 17 before quickly signing her way onto international tours with names like Billy Bob Thornton, Jewel and Keith Urban. Williams has been delivering hits ever since, partnering up with some of the biggest names in rock and country music to release a slew of projects, including her recent release, 2013's The Highway.

KISS Sunday, July 13 at Gexa

Writing a promo about KISS is kind of the same thing as writing a promo for McDonald's; besides the fact that every good joke about both has probably already been made by Chuck Klosterman or Jim Gaffigan, you are either familiar with the brand or you aren't. KISS is a Big Mac, in other words; you've probably tried them, and they either enriched your life in a way that's sort of difficult to understand or they gave you diarrhea. What's far more interesting than thinking up jokes about KISS is a hilariously compelling factoid like knowing that, in 1980, Lynda Carter, riding higher in the public eye than Wonder Woman's spangled briefs, performed a cover of "I Was Made for Lovin' You" for her second (!) TV special, Encore! If you were of TV-­watching age in the early '80s, this will strike you as one of the most quintessentially early '80s television moments imaginable. If you weren't, then you probably don't give a shit about KISS anyway.

Steve Steward
The Dirty River Boys 8:00 p.m. July 12 at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Boulevard, $14-$180

The Dirty River Boys are an American rock band from El Paso, TX. Their debut album, The Science of Flight, was released last year to positive reviews.


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