The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Ariana Grande, John Oates and More

Ariana Grande is coming to town.
Ariana Grande is coming to town.
Mike Brooks
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School's out for the summer, which means plenty of you can get your concert jollies on. Go big with Ariana Grande at  American Airlines Center on Tuesday night or catch a family-friendly free show at The Rustic on Friday night with Esther Rose. John Oates, Rude King and more pad out the rest of the week's music.

Paul Slavens and Friends
9 p.m. Monday, May 20 at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, 940-320-2000, danssilverleaf.com, free

Paul Slavens, frontman of the late '80s and early '90s band Ten Hands, is pretty well-known around these parts. His radio show on KXT 91.7 has earned him many Dallas Observer Music Award titles, including this year's nomination for Best Radio Show/Podcast. But he also hosts an impromptu show at Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton. He takes song-title suggestions from people and creates music based on those titles right on the spot. You can catch him at Dan's most Monday nights. Diamond Rodrigue

The Funky Knuckles
9 p.m. Monday, May 20 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, free

The Funky Knuckles have been together for almost a decade. In 2014, the band's second album, Meta-Musica, hit No. 1 on iTunes’ jazz chart the first day of its release. The band has played with major national and local acts such as Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michele, Talib Kweli, Puff Daddy and The Polyphonic Spree. The band incorporates elements of improv and thoughtful compositions into its sets. Last year's release, New Birth, has received much critical acclaim within the jazz community. DR

Ariana Grande
8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $34.95 and up

It's Ariana Grande's world, and we're all just living in it. Such seems to be the case as the 25-year-old from Florida has catapulted her way into pure pop stardom. Alongside kindred spirits like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, her name is synonymous with female empowerment, high-end fashion and powerhouse vocals. With five albums, scores of Billboard hits, and a burgeoning acting and modeling career, her reach extends to all facets of the entertainment world with nearly every one of her moves scrutinized and dissected for deeper meaning. Her legions of fans, dubbed "Arianators," hang on each of her words and dress the part when attending her concerts. The results are a veritable cosplay of whimsical pop sugar with colors, glitter and glam abounding throughout the arena and its corresponding concourses. While you're singing along to "7 Rings" and "Into You," take a gander around the venue and see the fandom in action. Jeff Strowe

The Drums
8 p.m. Wednesday, May 22 at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $27

Hot off the release of their fifth studio album, Brutalism, indie pop band The Drums will be making an appearance at the Granada Theater with indie-rock multi-instrumentalist Tanukichan. The Drums have been creating their brand of emotional dance music since 2010, but for their latest release, frontman Jonny Pierce has taken complete control of the album production, making it more of a solo record than a full-band project. Largely written in response to a painful divorce, Brutalism is The Drums’ most honest and raw album to date. Touring with a four-piece band, Pierce will perform songs from the band’s nearly decade-long tenure for what will surely be a night of magic, mischief and commiseration. David Fletcher

John Oates
7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington. $35-$80

While legendary pop-soul band Hall & Oates are coming to the WinStar in late September, fans of the duo won't need to wait quite as long to be graced with half of their presence. John Oates is out touring this spring with his Good Road Band, and this low-key venue in Arlington should be just the perfect setting for checking them out. On his own, Oates' music gears not just toward blue-eyed soul, but into a variety of genres, offering forth shambling country-tinged tunes, California surf-style jams and folk-inflected campfire rambles. It's all delivered through Oates' charming and easygoing voice that puts listeners both at ease and in the mood to dance and mingle. With the warm weather arriving, this night under the stars should make for a most pleasing concert-going experience. JS

Esther Rose
9:30 p.m. Friday, May 24 at The Rustic, 3656 Howell St., free

A true appreciator of old-school country music, Rose put out one of 2017's most enjoyable listens with her debut album, This Time Last Night. Filled with honky-tonk bluster, cry-in-your-beer tales of woe and tragic tales of misfortune, the songs contained within radiated a classic vibe of a bygone Nashville era when Hank Williams, George Jones and Emmylou Harris haunted the streets and bars. Rose's work quickly caught the attention of Jack White, who enlisted her help with his most recent album, Boarding House Reach. She's also been a featured performer at American Fest, where her eclectic and unique contributions have helped her grace many of the event's largest stages. She's got a new album in the works, so this show should be a good chance to witness Rose's songwriting growth and development firsthand. JS

Matthew Logan Vasquez
with The Peterson Brothers and PR Newman, 8 p.m. Friday, May 24 at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $20 and up

Matthew Logan Vasquez is the frontman of Delta Spirit and a founding member of alt-country supergroup Middle Brother. He pens buoyant, celebratory numbers that are catchy enough to be featured in hit TV shows such as Friday Night Lights and Sons of Anarchy, as well as pensive, heartfelt ballads that can bring a tear to the eye. This dichotomy is on full display in his live shows, regardless whether he's performing solo or with a backing band. JS

with We Are the Asteroid and Cani Sciorri, 8 p.m. Friday, May 24 at Independent Bar and Kitchen, $15

The band Cherub enjoys an almost mythical status among Texas noise rock. Their two seminal, early-'90s albums on the legendary Trance Syndicate label, Icing and Heroin Man, set the gold standard for noisy punk coming out of Austin (and all over Texas) at the time, and their influence from their remarkably short run as a band would be felt for the rest of that decade. After a 20-year hiatus, Cherub came out of retirement in 2016 with their 2 Ynfynyty reunion album, which found the band just as vicious as they were in their heyday — and possibly even more so. This past fall they signed a deal with independent heavy music giant Relapse. Even back in the '90s Cherub shows in Dallas were incredibly rare, making their gig at Independent Bar and Kitchen a must-see. Wanz Dover

Rude King
9 p.m. Friday, May 24 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10-$12

Rude King is from Chicago, but it might as well be from Dallas. They are veterans of the North Texas ska scene, performing at venues like The Kessler, Trees and Three Links. The band left the Windy City for the Lone Star State in 2006, and they haven’t turned back since. Rude King is part of the trio of heavy-hitting ska acts sharing the stage Friday with Los Kung Fu Monkeys and How’s My Driving. It will be a night of crisp brass sections, ear-piercing guitar riffs and dance-inducing beats. Jacob Vaughn

Rosegarden Funeral Party
with Diamonds and Rat Rios, 9 p.m. Saturday, May 25 at Armory D.E., 2714 Elm St., free

The members of Rosegarden Funeral Party have been in and out of their hometown of Dallas for the last couple of months. The band’s spring tour has had them traveling from California to Oregon, Utah to Denver and from New Orleans back to North Texas. Rosegarden Funeral Party sounds like they were pulled out of the ’80s, but with every release they put out, and with every show played, they become bigger than the era itself. The show at Armory D.E. is their last in DFW until late June. JV

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