The Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: Sam Smith, Alabama Shakes and More

As we close in on the weekend, Dallas may be in for a bit of a break from the heat — as in, the highs may only hit 100 rather than 105. Okay, so that's not much of a relief, but hey, it's August in Texas so you can't expect much. Fortunately, there are still plenty of reasons to leave your house this week, thanks to blue-chip shows like Sam Smith and Alabama Shakes (both at Verizon Theatre) and great club shows like METZ and Snow Tha Product (both, coincidentally, at Trees).

SummerFest 2015
With Travi$ Scott and Chief Keef, Fredo Santana, Sir Michael Rocks, Robb Banks, Shorty K and G.U.N., 7 p.m. Thursday, August 13, Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd. E., 214-325-5261 or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $35-$200

For a mini-fest with Chief Keef and Travi$ Scott as headliners, you think they could've come up with something more inventive than "SummerFest," but oh well. Combining Chief Keef — the 19-year-old with strong opinions regarding snitches — and Travis Scott, whose last tour was one of the most insane of the year, could only mean chaos. By any feasible definition of the word, this show will be lit. Matt Wood

With Big Ups, Dilly Dally and Sealion, 8 p.m. Thursday, August 13, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 217-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $13

At a time when most artists on the seminal Sub Pop label, such as Beach House and Fleet Foxes, are on the mellower side of indie music, METZ’s blistering noise rock is a welcome addition to the club. The vibe doesn’t correlate with the mild head-bopping at most club shows, either. The Canadian trio’s punk rock ethos is as apparent on recordings as it is in a live atmosphere: Distorted guitars, frenzied drum beats and rough vocals that balance between singing and screaming make nods to the ’90s alternative rock of early Bleach-era Nirvana. METZ’s sophomore album II was just released in May, and the first track “Acetate” doesn’t hold back the energy. Get in head-banging mode for the stop at Trees, because it will be loud and fast. (Last November’s performance at Untapped Festival was no exception, and no doubt they’ll be more at home at Trees.) According to singer and guitarist Alex Edkins, II “punches you in the gut.” In a good way, of course. Kristin Lockhart

Camp Lo
With Alsace Carcione and DJ Love, 9 p.m. Thursday, August 13, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com $13/$15 at the door

New York hip-hop duo Camp Lo had their last single in 1997, which somehow was 18 years ago. But one-hit wonders be damned, because they've been steadily putting out albums all the way up to Ragtime Hightimes, which came out in May. The album pairs interstellar beats with back-and-forth verses between Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede. Production stays current with modern music trends; the beat off "Bright Lights" sounds like a Toro Y Moi track, so the boys have done their homework. MW

Jill Scott
With BJ the Chicago Kid, 8 p.m. Friday, August 14, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $59-301

Who is Jill Scott? That was the question (and the name of her debut album) 15 years ago, when the dynamic songstress first appeared on the scene. Since then, Scott has scored three Grammys, begun successful acting and modeling careers, and continued to pursue her passion for spoken-word poetry. But her talents don’t stop there. Following the release of her fifth studio album, Woman, Scott has spoken publicly about body shaming in the entertainment industry and how it has affected her outlook on her career. According to Scott, every woman has her own power and deserves to feel confident regardless of her specific body type. Through all of her artistic efforts, Scott has solidified her place in history as a strong, body-positive, educated feminist. Now, just weeks after the release of Woman to rave reviews and the premiere of her new single “Fool’s Gold,” Scott has embarked on a summer tour, playing to sold-out crowds with BJ the Chicago Kid, who also appears on the track “Beautiful Love.” Molly Mollotova

Snow Tha Product
7 p.m. Saturday, August 15, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $20

Born in California but repping Texas, badass bar dropper Snow Tha Product is currently traversing the country on her The Rest Comes Later tour, blowing up rooms of 1,000-plus fans and leaving them drunk and exhausted in her wake. In other words, Snow (born Claudia Alexandra Feliciano) is out here to tear some shit up in her own way. This is where you’d usually hear her compared to a slew of other female rappers who’ve risen to popularity over the last five years, but that would be doing Snow’s work a disservice. She’s released six mixtapes at this point, been signed to Atlantic and is driving fans to pack out clubs across the nation. Snow doesn’t need to be compared to other artists, male or female. She already stands on her own. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Spector 45 Tribute
With the Assassins, Seis Pistos and Hello Lover, 9 p.m. Saturday, August 15, at Three Links, 2709 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $8
The story of Spector 45 is as tragic as it gets: One of Dallas' most beloved bands around the turn of the decade, Spector 45 came to an abrupt end when two of its members, Frankie Campagna and Adam Carter, died a month apart by their own hands. The spirit of the band has since lived on in murals and even a documentary, but until recently, a reunion has been unthinkable. This weekend, however, Spector 45's lone surviving member, Anthony Delabano, will be playing a tribute with a collection of former members and collaborators of the band under the name .45. Jeff Gage

Summer Slaughter Tour
With Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After the Burial, Cattle Decapitation, Beyond Creation, Splattafish, and A Tragedy at Hand, 2 p.m. Monday, August 17, at Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd. E., 214-325-5261 or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $28-$200

If you want to host a metal festival, make sure to include the word "mayhem," "brutal" or "slaughter." Viking imagery doesn't hurt either. This year, the traveling band of shredders on the Summer Slaughter Tour includes Born of Osiris, Obscura and Veil of Maya as lead acts. One of the supporting acts also has our favorite name of them all: Cattle Decapitation. You can't get any more metal than that. MW

Sam Smith
With Gavin James, 8 p.m. Monday, August 17, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $45-$89.50

If this generation longs for a return of icons such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, we might be getting close. It seems we’ve found a little of both in Sam Smith, whose solid vocals and chic style (he’s usually seen rocking a fancy tuxedo or stylish sport coat) have the feel of a classic throwback. Over the past three years, the 23-year-old has built a lane of his own, but just two years before releasing his chart-topping debut album In the Lonely Hour, Smith was scrubbing floors and toilets in a local pub near his hometown of London. Five months after the album’s release, it had become the second best-selling album of 2014 (right behind Taylor Swift’s 1989). Known now as an openly gay artist, most of his music is credited to a tough break-up with his former boyfriend. Break-ups just might prove to be good for something, because that break-up won him four Grammys earlier this year, including Record of the Year for the international, chart-topping success “Stay With Me.” Devin Papillion

Alabama Shakes
With Drive-By Truckers, 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 18, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $35-$59.50

If you haven’t heard the distinctive, bluesy tunes of Alabama Shakes, you’re missing out on one of the best indie-rock bands of this generation. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, an immensely impressive vocalist with a range in both timbre and emotion that is unsurpassed by her contemporaries, Alabama Shakes’ 2015 release Sound & Color is quickly proving to be one of the best records of the year, and might be one of the most impressive sophomore albums of all time. At Tuesday night’s show at the Verizon Theatre, expect to be shaken to your bones by Howard’s vocals and the equally excellent band that backs her. Speaking of the band, their playing is tight, their interplay is charismatic and, most important, they don’t overshadow Howard, the true star. Recorded, Alabama Shakes sound plenty great, but live, the experience is totally different in the most awesome way possible. Amy McCarthy

Michael McDonald
8:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 19, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $75-$120

When he's not posing for pictures in turtlenecks and convincing photographers to use their mastery of Photoshop to make his blue eyes seem even more piercing, Michael McDonald is a purveyor of, well, blue-eyed soul. And that means that he's a white dude who croons "R&B-tinged" songs that are frequent players on Muzak and chart-toppers on adult contemporary stations. A long-time touring member of Steely Dan and an occasional player in the Doobie Brothers, McDonald has made a career out of being the soulful white guy, often belting out his Diane Warren-penned numbers from behind a piano and then making Motown-tribute records in an attempt to balance the blue-eyed with the soul. The House of Blues will lend a soaring backdrop to the husky voice of the man who melts the hearts of soccer moms everywhere. Jennifer-Elaine Davis

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