Tonight, Tonight: The Smashing Pumpkins at The Palladium, O.A.R at House of Blues, Film School at The Nightmare and Despised Icon at The Prophet Bar

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Hump day once again and what an interesting collection of acts we have descending upon Dallas this evening. Tonight, there's a little bit of something for everyone--so long as that something includes alternative rock, jam bands, post punk or deathcore.

The Smashing Pumpkins, Bad City at The Palladium
Perhaps you may have read my preview for this show in this week's print edition, but just in case, it may well deserve another mention. Plus, in the print story, I failed to mention tonight's opening act, Chicago's Bad City. Sure, Josh Caddy and crew have had their share of criticism, but any band that sounds like Cheap Trick is alright by me. Welcome to the Wasteland, Bad City's debut album came out last month and features an odd but intriguing '70s arena/'90s alternative rock mish-mash. Knowing that main Pumpkin Billy Corgan is a huge Cheap Trick fan, it's a safe bet in thinking that he had a hand in putting Bad City on this tour. The band backing up Corgan is an entirely new Smashing Pumpkins, so it will be interesting to see what songs make the set list.

O.A.R. at the House of Blues
It's very easy to think of Maryland's O.A.R. as this generation's Grateful Dead. More so than Phish or Widespread Panic, Marc Roberge and the rest of this jam-happy quintet make the groove-happy aesthetic of prime Dead their own. Much more politically active than the Dead, O.A.R. is made up of a bunch of well-educated young men who actually think they can make a difference. And although the band's music is hit and miss (so was the Dead's), the pleasant reggae-tinged indie rock and occasional stabs at roots rock have made O.A.R. surprisingly popular, especially with the college kids. Definitely not your typical collection of stoners looking for the next buzz.

Film School at The Nightmare
San Francisco's Film School has been around since the late '90s and the band seemed to hit its high water mark with its self-titled, sophomore effort from 2006. Film School's hipster post-punk really never sounded better than on cuts such as "Harmed" and "Pitfalls." The band signed to a major label and then took a step back with its next effort, Hideout. But with Fission, Film School's new release that hit the streets in August, the band seems to have righted the ship. Funny how going back to an indie label can do that for you.

Despised Icon at The Prophet Bar
Canadian deathcore band Despised Icon is widely considered as one of the founding bands of the deathcore genre. Featuring dueling vocalists Alexandre Erian and Steve Marois, Despised Icon can create a hell of a cacophonous noise. This is the band's final tour as members claim to want to pursue other interests. But the band's only been around since 2002. Seems the guys got sick of one another rather quickly. In any case, tonight's show also features Misery Index and Revocation. Bring the earplugs and give Despised Icon a roaring send off.

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