Welcome to the good month of March, which will bombard you with music festivals. There's 35 Denton, Spillover and in Austin there's the big one, South By South West. But before you let the hives of festival fever settle in, take a gander at all the shows happening this week. There's Waka Flocka Flame in Denton, Fleetwood Mac at American Airlines Center and the Cold War Kids at the House of Blues. As per usual, there's plenty more, my pals. Take a look.The Grotto, 517 University Drive, Fort Worth, 817-882-9331, Free
All Jacob Furr really needs in order to tell a compelling story is a guitar and his memories. The Fort Worth folk musician has a knack for keeping the strumming, singing and other backing instruments simple. That way, his tales hit all of the right notes and stay clearly in focus, just like a true folk teller. It can get truly devastating, like on his number "Branches" which tells the harrowing story of how his wife of three years passed away due to cancer. Furr's got a handle on wonderfully detailing these human emotions for all to hear.
A Place to Bury Strangers is that rare breed of modern indie band that actually gets what made the '90s such a great decade for sonic guitar worship. Channeling the best parts of noise merchants like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, they have created a dark, apocalyptic sound that often eclipses their predecessors in noise, feedback and fury. They swing through Dallas this weekend supporting their fifth studio albumTransfixation
, an album that manages to up the ante of sonic superiority and post-punk angst. APTBS shows aren't so much concerts as they church services where feedback is the lord and the audience are the congregation undergoing a musical absolution. As exciting as the upcoming JAMC Psychocandy tour is, APTBS have been one-upping that album since their conception. Bring earplugs. You will need them.Wanz DoverFleetwood Mac 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, at American Airlines Center, 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $65.90-$199.96
How much do you love Fleetwood Mac? Apparently not as much as Fleetwood Mac loves Dallas, because after less than three months of being away, the legendary rock act is returning to the American Airlines Center. There isn't a lot that needs to be said for Fleetwood Mac that hasn't already been said. Their career spans almost five decades. They have enough hit tracks to fill entire volumes. They have a talisman in Stevie Nicks who most girls in their mid-20s aspire to be, (and now they have Christine McVie back as well). They're one of the few bands to have more than a 100 million records sold. Why they're back in Dallas again so soon is frankly a little beyond us, but then the best things in life are usually better left unquestioned. If you missed them last year, then now's your chance to make amends.James KhubiarWild Child With Whiskey Shivers, Holiday Mountain, 8 p.m., Thursday, March 5, at House of Blues, 2200 N Lamar St., 214-978-2583, $17
Well ain't it just a family affair at the House of Blues. Wild Child, Whiskey Shivers and Holiday Mountain all have the same manager in Pat Cassidy, who's also an occasional film producer. Wild Child is an indie folk band from Austin that's released two albums, the latest of which,The Runaround
, had a single make its way to NPR's Best Songs of 2013 list. Not surprisingly, the band's also quite a big deal back in its native Austin, which may as well be the exact same demographic. They haven't been christened today's best indie hipster band for no reason.HDBWaka Flocka Flame With Dj Whoo Kid, Ace Young'n, AV The Great, Elijah Heaps, DJ Ju$trill, 8 p.m., Thursday, March 5, at Rockin' Rodeo, 1009 Avenue C, Denton, $25-$75
Rockin' Rodeo is a very reliable source as a country bar. It's a large space that houses the able-bodied and fresh-faced fans of rustic Texan life. So, why is Waka Flocka Flame coming here? Probably to utilize that space for some bigger acts to come through Denton. The folks that are bringing Waka Flocka into town, Monocle, are behind the well-booked music festival, Oaktopia. Anl, well, they have their eyes set on basically flipping the bird at a criticism that this writer has of Denton: it's lack of diversity. Monocle is looking to bring in some glossy names in the dance, electronic and rap genres. Maybe Denton is on the heels of becoming the best version of itself or perhaps it's a wave of Karmic justice thanks toCarles' retirement
seeping into Denton.HDBAlan Jackson With Jon Pardi and Ashley Monroe, 7 p.m. Friday, March 6 at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, verizontheatre.com, 972-854-511 or $25-$87.50
For those of us who grew up on country music, Alan Jackson will always hold a place in our nostalgic hearts. As we sit and complain about the current state of country music, it's important to remember that plenty of the greats are still around, touring and making good music. One of those greats, of course, is Alan Jackson. Outside of massive hits like "Livin' on Love" and "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow," Jackson has had a solid career recording in multiple genres, including country, bluegrass and gospel. And who could forget "Murder on Music Row," the clairvoyant early 2000s hit Jackson recorded with George Strait that predicted the current sad state of country music. Like the other country music greats, Jackson is still quite the showman, which helps explains why he can easily pack a room with people eager to hear songs that are now almost 20 years old.Amy McCarthyCold War Kids With Elliot Moss and the Vanity, 8 p.m. Friday, March 6 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $32.75-$39.83
Once upon a time Cold War Kids were poised for world domination. There wasn't a corner in the world where you were safe from the warbling opening riff to "Hang Me Up to Dry." Granted, the band hasn't exactly fallen from grace, but they've never been able to rekindle the magic ofRobbers & Cowards
. A shift to more pop-oriented sensibilities swapped the band's dissonant wails for a shine that dresses up their one-time minimalism. Regardless, vocalist Nathan Willet has proven that no matter the genre the band employs, he can deliver outstanding performances with his vibrato and vigor. A career-spanning set list combined with the instrumental expertise of the band should placate every level of fan. Even if audience members hail from a different eras of fandom, the band has shown they're capable of a show that'll chill you to the bone. So make sure these Long Beach boys aren't playing for an audience of one, Dallas.Matt WoodJohn Mellencamp 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Ln., 214-768-3139 or smu.edu/mcfarlin, $42.50-$129.50
I was at a large event in Indianapolis a few years ago and my brother suggested that we were in the "most white trash crowd" we had ever been in. It seemed plausible, but I was skeptical. Then suddenly, John Mellencamp came up on the big screen in that Indianapolis auditorium. No, he wasn't on stage. He was in the crowd. I had to tell my brother he was right. But then that's how the artist formerly known as John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp rolls: in and amongst his people. "Sucking on a chili dog outside a Tastee-Freez?" What was his reading level when he wrote that? When that song came out you have to wonder how many people asked "Did he just say he was sucking on a chili dog?" every time it was played on the radio. Seriously, no pretension. But then there's that great line, "Life goes on/Long after the thrill of living is gone." Maybe someone said that to him when he was a little kid.Jeremy HallockBayside With Senses Fail, Man Overboard, and Seaway, 7 p.m., Saturday, March 7, at Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd E, 214-390-1904, $17.50-$35
Bayside is 15 years strong. It's only right that the band, which is old enough to be a sophomore in high school commemorate the accomplishment with a tour. Bayside was formed in Queens, New York in the year 2000. Throughout the duration of the band's career, they've released six albums and done what every great post-punk emo band should do: play the Van's Warped Tour multiple times. If that's your scene, then catching them at Gas Monkey Live is pretty much the next best thing.HDBMavis Staples 7 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $35
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Go see Mavis Staples play. Go. See. Mavis. Staples. Play. I'll say it a third time if you didn't get the point. You should gather up all of your friends and family and go to The Kessler Theater to see Mavis Staples perform. I'm not going to sit here and type out the giant list of accolades and reasons you need to go see Mavis Staples perform. You're reading the music section of an alt-weekly, which means you know music. Therefore you also know you should go see Mavis Staples, because you know you'll regret it if you never do. Seriously, meeting and seeing Staples perform is one of the highlights of my adult life: She's amazing, she's a legend and she has interesting opinions on Tony Romo. Go see Staples perform live and in person. You won't just have a good time, you'll be a better person for it.Jaime-Paul Falcon
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