The Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, 7/28 - 8/3

Alright, folks, July is in its waning days. Starting Thursday it'll already be August, which is something we can look at a couple different ways. On the one hand, we could try and finish off this month strong. On the other hand, we could try and start next month off on the right foot. Or we could just do both. With shows like Boris and Tori Amos left still in July and a brace more to come later in the week, we're leaning toward that last option.

Boris With Ceremony and Nothing, 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or, $15 When the term "noise rock" is applied to mind-bending bands such as Swans or Big Black, it's a categorization with a compliment implied in the label. Tinnitus-baiting fans with brains aren't complaining that these groups stack insane amounts of amps on top of already insane stacks of amps; they're suggesting the groups handle the loud noise with a sensory-assaulting flair. Anyone who doesn't include trailblazing Japanese group Boris, now into their third decade of performing, has likely lost their hearing from going plug-less at too many shows. As is the case with the best arbiters of all-things-blistering, Boris blend styles to at once avoid easy classification and send a listener's senses into the most dizzying of tailspins. The group's new album, aptly titled Noise, lays it on heavy and spreads it out generously. Yeah, you heard me. Kelly Dearmore

Tori Amos With Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 214-880-0202 or, $39.50-$59.50 After more than 20 years in the recording industry, everyone's favorite brooding songstress is still going strong. Tori Amos has long been a favorite of people who enjoy soft, confessional pop with a touch of badassery, and her latest release, whose namesake world tour makes a stop at the Winspear Opera House on Tuesday, is no exception. Critics from NPR, The New York Times and SPIN all raved about Unrepentant Geraldines, Amos' 14th studio album, and praised her return to the emotional ballads her fans had come to miss in previous releases. If past stops on the tour are any indication, you can expect an equally emotionally intense performance in Dallas. If you aren't a fan of the latest album, then you'll still at least be able to hear your favorites from Under the Pink and American Doll Posse. Amy McCarthy

Peter Murphy With Jersualem and Nervous Curtains, 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or $35-$49 "The Godfather of Goth," Briton Peter Murphy, is swinging back through Dallas touring behind his 10th solo album, Lion. Last year he came through and made many of his longtime fans happy by playing an entire set of Bauhaus tunes. Such an occasion is much more the exception than the norm, though: On his current tour Murphy is mostly drawing from his last two solo albums, with a few cuts from his '80s college radio classic Deep and a few Bauhaus tunes thrown in. For some fans his set might skew a little too heavy toward his more recent output, but then again in the '90s he refused to play Bauhaus tunes altogether. At least nowadays Murphy will throw out a few of the hits to reward his fans for patiently sitting though his new material, which actually owes more to Murphy's deep love of glam-era David Bowie than the normal gloom and doom associated with his own music. Wanz Dover

Ben Kweller With Amy Cook, 8 p.m. Friday, August 1, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $24-$38 Ben Kweller has a long and storied past in North Texas. As one of the founding members of Radish, a Greenville band that sat just on the cusp of buzz-band status before fading into oblivion, Kweller and his bandmates did plenty of rocking around Dallas and greater North Texas. As a solo artist, he has enjoyed wide indie success and a few trips up the pop charts. "Wasted and Ready," the song that he's probably best known for, is also his highest-charting track to date and gave us "sex reminds her of meat and spaghetti," one of the most ridiculous song lyrics of all time. The 2000s have largely been filled with collaborative efforts with other musicians, like his "The Bens" tour through Australia with Ben Folds and Ben Lee. Friday night's show at the Granada promises to be a fun trip down memory lane, even if you missed out on the Radish days of yore. AM Ray LaMontagne With the Belle Brigade, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 2, at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., 214-565-1116 $50-$65 Although he's often compared to such heavyweights as Otis Redding and Van Morrison, singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is much more akin to folks like Steven Stills and Tim Buckley. Such a distinction is crucial. Where Redding and Morrison made transcendent music that crossed genre lines with amazing ease, Stills and Buckley were talented but flawed artists who stumbled as much as they succeeded. LaMontagne does have an impressive voice and his songs have a sincerity missing from many like-minded tune smiths. He's really good -- but he's not great. That being said, LaMontagne's show at a drastically underused venue should provide a romantic date night for those couples who don't mind their folk-rock on the raspy side. Darryl Smyers

Da Mafia 6ix With World Life, Tunk and the Outfit, TX, 8 p.m. Saturday, August 2, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $25 It's been an eventful year for the former members of prescient hip-hop crew Three 6 Mafia. Juicy J made it big with the dance-hop album Stay Trippy. Co-founder Lord Infamous passed away with a heart attack. And, triumphantly, DJ Paul reunited most of the group, renamed them (for legal reasons) Da Mafia 6ix, and then proceeded to release a true-to-form mixtape, 6ix Commandments. Fortunately, 6ix Commandments was a satisfying return to the graveyard moods and devilish productions of the crew's early days, which did a lot in the way of erasing the bad taste left by Three 6's late-period follies. The past year also proved to be a moment of redemption, as the proto-trap prophecies Three 6 pioneered two decades ago were firmly suffused into the mainstream; in so many ways, 2013 was the year trap finally went public. With a proper reunion album in the works and rumors that DJ Paul plans to bring Infamous' casket along for the tour, it might just be the right (and most macabre) time to finally catch the Mafia's circus live. Jonathan Patrick

Sarah McLachlan 8 p.m. Sunday, August 3, at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 214-880-0202 or, $79 Listen, you're going to see Sarah McLachan at the Winspear Opera House because you love puppies, '90s movies with Nicholas Cage, the Cinder Calhoun character from Weekend Update, and the 2010 Winter Olympics. All joking aside, McLachlan is a 26-year veteran of the music business and has used her fame for much more than personal gain. She's used it for social change through the creation of the Lilith Fair tour, the establishment of a music school and advocacy for the ASPCA. Her latest album, Shine On, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200, and by all reports her tour of North America's most prestigious venues has been an intimate affair akin to a victory lap. So gussie yourself up for a special occasion. Who knows, it might even benefit some puppies. Jaime-Paul Falcon

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Jeff Gage
Contact: Jeff Gage