The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Dave Matthews Band, Lil Pump, ZZ Top and More

Dave Matthews Band is coming to town.EXPAND
Dave Matthews Band is coming to town.
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Dallas sees two of its most influential tastemakers in music this week with a rare show at Top Ten Records featuring Kill the World (Paul Slavens’ solo project) and Wanz Dover. On Friday, fans of local music will also get to catch Quaker City Night Hawks in Deep Ellum and Texas natives ZZ Top at Dos Equis Pavilion.

The Funky Knuckles
9 p.m. Monday, May 13 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. Diamond Rodrigue

8 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $13, prekindle.com

After the disbandment of synth-pop outfit Silly Kissers, Jane Penny, Thom Gillies and David Carriere went on to form Tops in 2011 with Riley Fleck, Jackson Macintosh and Marta Cikojevic. The Los Angeles-by-way-of-Montreal indie rock band has released three studio albums, the latest being 2017's Sugar at the Gate — an album rich with syrupy sweet lyrics, hard-hitting guitar riffs and catchy hooks. DR

Lil Pump
With Lil Skies, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., tickets start at $25 at livenation.com

There are two explanations for the existence of 18-year-old Florida rapper Lil Pump. Some rumors have it that he was bioengineered as a joint venture between record execs and marketing algorithms: Lil Pump, the product of business acumen developed for the sole purpose of generating enormous streaming numbers. The less sensational narrative involves acute media savvy and a vertex where on-trend SoundCloud aesthetics, candy-coated hooks and catnip-for-teens swagger converge for millennial success. Since popping off at 16 (he’s responsible for that catchy “Gucci Gang” song), Lil Pump has collaborated with titans like Kanye West and Lil Wayne, gone certified triple platinum and served a mini prison sentence (like, literally, a few days). Scoff all you want at the dude’s hollow lyrics and tasteless presentation, but the guy’s living a pretty interesting life — it’s better than flipping burgers or rat-racing it, anyway. “Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang.” Jonathan Patrick

Quaker City Night Hawks
With Vandoliers and Convoy and the Cattlemen, 9 p.m. Friday, May 17 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $15-$20

Fort Worth band Quaker City Night Hawks attributes its success to its brand of rock 'n' roll, which has roots in Texas boogie with a Memphis-like soul and heavy blues sound, and they dub their music simply as music in the "spirit of rock 'n' roll." The foursome made waves throughout North Texas when it formed in 2009  Live, the band's rhythm, guitar riffs and vocal harmonies will get your hips moving even against your will. DR

New Kids on the Block
8 p.m. Friday, May 17 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $29.95 and up

In terms of boy bands, few have eclipsed the legacy and stardom achieved by New Kids on the Block. Since forming in Boston in the late '80s, the band has charted countless hit singles, performed thousands of shows and inspired millions of joyful shrieks from dedicated fans who have followed the band's career arc from adolescence into adulthood. Jeff Strowe

ZZ Top
With Bad Company and Cheap Trick,  6:10 p.m. Friday, May 17 at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., $54 at paviliondallas.org

The tres hombres who comprise the band ZZ Top are planning to celebrate their 50th year on the road with one big bash in Texas. The Houston band is hitting their hometown as well as Dallas and Austin before embarking on their 50th anniversary tour later this summer. Lead singer Billy Gibbons formed ZZ Top in 1969, and the band hit its stride once it finalized its lineup of rhythm guitarist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. Two other bands nearing their own anniversary tours will join the bearded blues men (including Beard, despite his lack of whiskers). Arena rock notables Cheap Trick and English super group Bad Company will be present and accounted for when ZZ Top plays Dallas for the first time during their fifth decade. All together, the three bands have released more than a dozen platinum-selling albums and have penned innumerable classics, from “La Grange” to “No Smoke Without Fire” to “Surrender.” Nicholas Bostick

Dave Matthews
8 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., $50-$115

The Dave Matthews Band released their debut album Under the Table and Dreaming 25 years ago. The anniversary of the album also marked the band’s eligibility to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But the Hall of Fame took a pass on Dave Matthews Band. Despite some affirmations of their talent over the years, they’ve become a band that people love to hate. Maybe it’s because some of their albums sound the same. Maybe it’s because their fan base is perceived to be riddled with drunk frat boys. Maybe it’s because one of the band’s drivers (from Selma, Texas) emptied the contents of their bus’ septic tank while driving across a bridge in Chicago as a boatload of tourists passed underneath. Either way, they’ll be playing at Dos Equis Pavilion if people want to go sing along to “Crash Into Me,” or simply make fun of the people singing along to “Crash Into Me.” Jacob Vaughn

Riverboat Gamblers
8 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $50-$115

The Riverboat Gamblers mark a point where punk and rock converge. Fast-paced guitar and bass lines drive each song forward, as singer Mike Wiebe belts heavy lyrics and Ian Walling hammers away on drums. The band will open up a night at Three Links for other heavy hitters Peelander-Z, Daikaiju and From Parts Unknown. Riverboat Gamblers has garnered a destructive stage reputation, as Wiebe has been known to smash instruments and swing from the rafters during performances. This demolition crew of a band will be a hard act to follow. JV

Toad the Wet Sprocket
7 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $40-$59.50

California-born alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket formed in 1986. The band has since broken up and reunited twice, and its latest album, New Constellation, was released four years ago. (The band has released six albums in its 31 years.) Toad the Wet Sprocket's name derives from a Monty Python skit, which vocalist Glen Phillips says was a last-minute decision and a "joke that went on too long." The band's first major successes came in the early '90s with hits such as "Walk on the Ocean," "All I Want" and "Something's Always Wrong." DR

Kill the World
With Wanz Dover, 6.30 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at Top Ten Records, 338 W. Jefferson Blvd., $10 (with no one turned away for lack of funds)

Known for his radio show on 91.7 KXT and being a member in the popular local rock band 10 Hands, Paul Slavens is finally getting proper recognition as a solo artist as he explores a more experimental avenue with his project Kill the World — which includes a recent collaboration with fellow Denton artist Lorelei K. Sunday night’s show at Top Ten Records also includes Wanz Dover, another local music staple. Dover will play half his set with his band the Last Afronauts and the other half performing tracks off his new album Der Klang Von Fonix — the sequel to Music For Hospitals, an album Dover wrote after his own lengthy hospital stay back in 2015. DR

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