The Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Raekwon, Deep Purple and More

Just when it seemed like the summer was going to go easy on us, last week gave us some reminders that yes, we do still live in Dallas and shit gets pretty hot here. (It didn't even get that hot. Maybe we're getting soft.) We rolled into August over the weekend, which means the pavement should be melting soon, but fear not: There are plenty of great concerts coming up to help stave off those midsummer blues. From "The Gambler" to "The Chef," these are our picks for the week ahead:
Funky Knuckles
10 p.m. Monday, July 6, at Sundown at Granada Theater, 3520 Greenville Ave., 214-823-8305 or, Free
The Funky Knuckles have been together for over six years. The jazz fusion band released an album called Meta-Musica in 2014 that climbed to No. 1 on iTunes’ jazz charts on the first day of its release. Together, the Knuckles are a force to be reckoned with. That’s because, individually, they’re all seasoned players who’ve worked with superstars like Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michelle, Talib Kweli, Puff Daddy and the Polyphonic Spree. H. Drew Blackburn
The Free Loaders
7 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, at The Free Man, 2626 Commerce St., 214-377-9893, Free

The Free Loaders have earned their praise in this city. They haven't been sitting around on their asses all these years. They’ve played show after show, no matter if it was in a club, at a party or some boogie event where the music isn't meant to be appreciated. This band of blues, jazz and swing musicians can range anywhere from three to eight members depending on the situation. However, expect a great show packed with fun from experts at their craft. And, if we're all lucky, Mavericks owner and dance savant Mark Cuban will show up and teach us how to do some line dancing. HDB
Fifth Harmony
With Bea Miller, Debbie Miller + the Nerverending and Natalie LaRose, 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or, $29.50-$49.50

Before Carly Rae took the crown, Fifth Harmony's full-length debut Reflection was a leading candidate for pop album of the year; track after track, an appropriately youthful energy emanates from each member in her turns at the mic. Thanks to a happy helping of finger-snappy beats, I can't help but think of The X Factor veterans like a street gang on that West Side Story wave. And that's no insult to a girl-pop group that brags and boasts like your favorite hip-hop: "Every day is payday," so go the first words on "BO$$" which builds its hooky locomotion around a Michelle Obama namedrop and a brassy riff. It follows "Top Down," a "drive slow, homie" in a jazzy convertible with an added dose of windswept hair. Far as my ears can make out, the five-piece is a unit of equals, and "Worth It" makes a first-person value statement that speaks for all of the above. Who am I to disagree? Let's just say Ms. Jepsen knows she better look out next time. Brian Peterson
Kenny Rogers
With Wynonna and the Big Noise, 7 p.m. Thursday, August 6, at Choctaw Casino, 4216 S. Hwy. 69/75, Durant, Oklahoma, 888-652-4628 or, $35-$95

With a career spanning six decades, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and even a successful roasted chicken restaurant chain under his belt, Kenny Rogers is overdue for a break. Rogers’ musical style is undoubtedly on a more traditional country track, but also embraces aspects of blues and pop music, and he has consistently teamed up with an eclectic mix of artists (such as Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie) to deliver an unforgettable experience for fans. Essentially, Rogers is one of the last great entertainers; his live show is an all-encompassing experience. Never one to miss an opportunity to reach a new audience, Rogers has made memorable appearances on The Muppet Show, Reno 911 and at 2013's Glastonbury Festival. However, when “The Gambler” announced his Through the Years world tour, with farewell tour stops in South America, New Zealand and Australia last year, many fans saw it as a sign of the end of live Rogers performances.That being said, his stop across the border at Choctaw should be one for the ages and it's not to be missed. Molly Mollotova
With Ghostface Killah, Dillon Cooper and the Outfit, TX, 8 p.m. Friday, August 7, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $25-$45

Back in '93, Wu-Tang dropped one of the most iconic hip-hop albums ever recorded, Enter the 36 Chambers. Each Clan member had his own distinctive sensibility, delivery and rhetoric. Within the span of two years, most of the outfit went on to release solo efforts including ones from Method Man, ODB, GZA and Raekwon, with the latter two having the most cultural impact to this day. Raekwon "The Chef" cooked up some marvelous rhymes with Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, which prominently features fellow Wu-Tang member and “co-star” Ghostface Killah. The album, produced by RZA, was arguably his most cinematic sounding, while lyrically focusing on the seedy criminal underworld. In the course of the past five years, Wu-Tang has gone back-to-basics with each member touring his respective “classic” album. Raekwon will be on tour with Ghostface, and will more than likely play OB4CL in its entirety. If the performance is anything like the energetic duo served at Rock the Bells in 2011, then the show is a must-see for any hip-hop aficionado. Juan Vargas
Gary P. Nunn
With Scott Dean, 8 p.m. Friday, August 7, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $20-$35

Despite being born in Oklahoma, the state that ultimately lays claim to Gary P. Nunn is Texas. He grew up in Brownfield and went to the University of Texas at Austin, where he got caught up in the "cosmic cowboy" movement. After dabbling as a bass player with a few of the city's bands, he became a member of the Lost Gonzo Band and recorded six albums. When he went solo, Nunn fully embraced his love of outlaw country and made his biggest hit, "London Homesick Blues." Austin's respect for him came full circle when the song was chosen as the theme for Austin City Limits (the show, not the festival) and used for nearly 20 years. Public television theme songs might not be the epitome of outlaw country ideology, but he's spread Lone Star pride all the same. Matt Wood
Rascal Flatts
With Scott McCreery, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 8, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or, $25-$54.75

Rascal Flatts are one of the biggest country acts of this generation. What's funny is that when I was in high school, my brother played them for me for the first time and literally said, “These guys are going to be one of the biggest ever.” The Columbus, Ohio group, formed in 1999, have produced 12 No. 1 singles. The band just released their latest album Rewind in 2014. Say what you will about them (and many people do), but the band continues to sell out gigs and move records by the tons. All the while, their songs make it into hit feature films like Cars. If you're thinking about catching them at this outdoor, midsummer Dallas gig, you should get your tickets now because a sellout is a foregone conclusion. James Khubiar
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights
With Wesley Geiger, Dead Flowers and Quaker City Nighthawks, 7 p.m. Saturday, August 8, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or, $18

Jonathan Tyler is a charismatic and seasoned performer. If you were one of the dozens who turned out for the DMD (I refuse to remember what that even stands for) Fest, you will certainly recall how Tyler saved the first day. Most of us went from, “This is the worst day of live music I have ever seen” to, “At least that was pretty cool” within a few moments. Tyler is a good songwriter; his music has even been used for TV shows that are known for great music, like Boardwalk Empire. He makes blues rock that doesn’t suck and his fun stage presence can make us laugh when we want to cry. Tyler has been known to tour nationally, opening shows with acoustic sets. But he has a great band with serious chops, so seeing him at a place like Trees is a showcase performance. If you work for the weekend, he has songs that rock. If this is date night, he has pretty ones. Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights paired with three other great North Texas bands makes this a good night for anyone curious about fine local music. Jeremy Hallock
Deep Purple
With David George and the Roaming Soldiers, 7 p.m. Sunday, August 9, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Granda Prairie, 972-854-5111 or, $10-$89.75

Deep Purple is still going, just short of five decades into its existence. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple laid the foundation for what would become heavy metal. Like most bands of such longevity, they have gone through a variety of lineup changes with drummer Ian Pace as the only remaining founding member currently in the band. However, bassist Roger Glover and vocalist Ian Gillian from the band's most successful late ‘60s and early ‘70s lineup are also still around. In 2013 they dropped their latest effort, Now What, recorded with the legendary Bob Ezrin, an album that finds Deep Purple perfectly comfortable sticking with their roots in organ-driven acid rock. To the delight of many old school fans, they have resisted updating their sound and keep their brand of classic rock classy. They are coming through Dallas on the back half of the Now What world tour after missing Dallas on the their first trip to America for the tour. Wanz Dover

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Jeff Gage
Contact: Jeff Gage