The 10 Best Concerts This Week: Willie Nelson, Red Hot Chili Peppers and More

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' career has surpassed three decades, but they aren't showing signs of slowing down soon. Catch them at American Airlines Center Sunday night.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers' career has surpassed three decades, but they aren't showing signs of slowing down soon. Catch them at American Airlines Center Sunday night. Timothy Norris

click to enlarge The Red Hot Chili Peppers' career has surpassed three decades, but they aren't showing signs of slowing down soon. Catch them at American Airlines Center Sunday night. - TIMOTHY NORRIS
The Red Hot Chili Peppers' career has surpassed three decades, but they aren't showing signs of slowing down soon. Catch them at American Airlines Center Sunday night.
Timothy Norris
Now that we are out of that weird bubble between Christmas and New Year's, we can start remembering what day it is and what we're supposed to be doing. And although we got robbed of Lil Wayne this week and Willie Nelson's two Granada Theater's shows have sold out, what we're supposed to be doing is checking out some great concerts. Red Hot Chili Peppers more than make up for the week's losses and Josh Abbott Band is here to remind you that nobody does country like Texas.

Willie Nelson and Family

8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, and Wednesday, Jan. 4, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, sold out

Legends don’t come much bigger than Willie Nelson. As an actor, musician and activist, Nelson has had an incalculable footprint on both popular culture and the arts. His pioneering image of an outsider rethinking country music’s tradition and forms — welcoming the influences of jazz, rock and liberal politics — has changed the course of country music quite literally forever, helping to usher in a new wave of progressive singer-songwriters who are much more willing to experiment with genre boundaries (Sturgill Simpson being one example). Fortunately, every time Nelson swings through Dallas, he brings a little extra enthusiasm with him. Texas is his home after all — he was born here, he recorded his best effort, Red Headed Stranger, right here in Dallas, and he also experienced his first arrest for marijuana in our city (sorry, Willie). Perhaps that’s why Nelson has provided Dallas with two dates this time around — that’s two chances for you to catch the icon live. And, let’s not kid ourselves, as Nelson creeps past 83 years of age, the window for finally seeing the man, myth and legend in the flesh is slowly shrinking. All-female trio Runaway June opens both concerts. Jonathan Patrick

Josh Abbott Band
10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, and Saturday, Jan. 7, Billy Bob’s Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 817-624-7117 or, $18 to $35

Josh Abbott and his band of fellow fraternity brothers have come a long way from their humble beginnings spent gigging for beer money in bars around Texas Tech University. The past several years have seen their star steadily rise as the drunken collegiate audiences have multiplied to include festival headlining slots, high-profile celebrity fans, and song placements in big-budget film and television soundtracks. Ever the Texans, though, the band still tends to reserve a large portion of their touring schedule for shows in the Lone Star State. Friday night's performance at Billy Bob's will likely bring out the best in the band, with their raucous mix of bare-bones country, ruminative songwriting, and sweet Texas soul serving as the perfect remedy for your post-holiday blues. Jeff Strowe

Dale Watson and Ray Benson
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6., The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or, $22

Ask any of the truckers who have run into him along the highways, or any of the musicians who join him in the honky-tonks of Austin and you'll likely receive confirmation of why Dale Watson has been granted the nickname of "The Real Deal." Whereas many neo-traditional country acts in the past couple of decades have sung about trucking and life on the open road, the Austin-based Watson has kept it decidedly real. Kelly Dearmore

The Roomsounds
with Whiskey Folk Ramblers, the Hazardous Dukes, 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, Three Links, 2704 Elm St., 214-653-8228 or, $10

There’s something keenly satisfying about the sort of bluesy, open-hearted, Southern rock the Roomsounds deal in. Wide-eyed sincerity and slow-burning guitar play are the anchors that drive this four-piece outfit’s sound. At turns creaking, growling, humming and wailing, the Roomsounds' string-heavy ballads feel vintage and well-worn, borrowing as much from '60s nostalgia as '90s indie rock. Fans of Rhett Miller and the Old 97’s — and other similar Tex-Mex-flavored alt-country and Americana acts — will find plenty to enjoy in this show, which promises as many hooks and jangly riffs as love-drunk tales of joy and loss. With the Whiskey Folk Ramblers and the Hazardous Dukes opening the evening, listeners are in for a deep set of campfire moods and warm, analog comforts. Jonathan Patrick

Herman’s Hermits
with the Association and Chubby Checker, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, WinStar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave, Thackerville, Oklahoma, 580-276-4229 or, $34 to $55

Formed in the mid-'60s, Herman’s Hermits are an inexplicably relatable British pop-quartet from the beginnings of Beatlemania. Designed as a non-threatening R&B troupe, the group had minor successes in the States with danceable Billboard No. 1 hits like “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” and “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” and remained a steady feature during the 1970s. After their time in the spotlight the group has stayed alive through the efforts of its remaining band members Barry Whitwam (who plays in his own version of the band billed as "Herman's Hermits starring Barry Whitwam,” in North America) and original singer Peter Noone, who’ll be heading down to Winstar to play through some obscure but enjoyable English beats. The show should be a treat for anyone with this band in mind or to at least celebrate the less remembered gem of a decade defined by its musicians. Nicholas Bostick

Graceland Ninjaz

with Wild Boys and CARZ, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd.,, $10 to $25

What better way to ring in the King's birthday than with a party band fronted by Elvis himself? Well, maybe not the real Elvis, but he's pretty damn close. Graceland Ninjaz are a unique brand of cover band. They play anything — from Lady Gaga to Prince — but with the uncanny vocals of Elvis. So quit crying in the chapel, throw on your favorite Elvis cape and celebrate a rock 'n' roll icon. Diamond Victoria

The Mammoths Album Release
with Charlie's Bow Tie, Bryce Bangs, Madisons, Marcus & Jess and Five Weeks, 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or, $10

Being reduced to just another band from Austin is something that happens far too often in the Live Music Capitol of the World. Year in and year out, hundreds of eager, young musicians play local venues and house shows, eager to make a name for themselves. Unfortunately, when a scene is brimming with that much talent, competition is stiff and it's hard to become more widely recognized. But psychedelic rock outfit the Mammoths have become widely recognized, and for good reason. The quartet weaves soulful lyrics with rhythm and blues to create their sound, a sound which parallels that of a young Led Zeppelin. They are making their second stop through Dallas on Saturday night at Trees for the EP debut of their latest album, So Cold (currently available on Spotify). It's also the last show before the kickoff of their two-month tour across the U.S., where they will also be filming a documentary of their lives on the road. Diamond Victoria

Graham Bonnet Band
8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or, $16

You wouldn't think a bad boy frontman like Graham Bonnet, whose voice is revered as one of the best in rock 'n' roll, used to write advertisement jingles back in the '60s and '70s. But that's exactly what he did, and he's come a hell of a long way since then. Bonnet's lent a hand in several bands including Rainbow, Alcatrazz and M.S.G. (although he only played one concert with them before being fired for drunkenly exposing himself on stage). Tonight however, he fronts his latest band, aptly called Graham Bonnet Band, at Trees. Diamond Victoria

Red Hot Chili Peppers
with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave.,, $50 to $105

Mock the Red Hot Chili Peppers all you want. Say that frontman Anthony Kiedis simply reads the Wikipedia page for California over leftover funk and punk beats. Well, if they are that infamous on the internet, there are thousands of other people willing to pay good (to crazy) money to see them play the American Airlines Center. They have a decent new album to promote, called The Getaway, and they have plenty of hits from Californication, By the Way and Blood Sugar Sex Magik to play, too. That is saying something for a band that has been around since the '80s doing exactly what they want to do. Look for famous Chili Peppers superfan Michael "Grubes" Gruber somewhere in the audience, and you'll find someone in heaven. Certainly catch opening act Trombone Shorty with his Orleans Avenue act, who brings New Orleans jazz and funk into the modern world and is as relevant as ever. Eric Grubbs

John Paul White
7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at Dada, 2720 Elm St., 214-742-3400 or, $16 to $18

Former member of the Grammy Award-winning duo the Civil Wars, John Paul White has broken an almost decade-long silence with the release of his album, Beulah, in August of this year. The singer-songwriter, whose solo career has been anticipated by many, has been working behind the scenes for years, penning other artists' songs, such as Jason Aldean's "Relentless." He's also been a co-writer with Taylor Swift. Diamond Victoria
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Diamond Rodrigue
Contact: Diamond Rodrigue