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Summer Sounds

Enough shows to keep concertgoers busy all season long

Summer concert season is upon us once again in Houston. We can look forward to ungodly sunburns, severe chafing and mild heat exposure, and that's just from walking to your car. It's a necessary evil for those of us who plan to brave the Gulf Coast elements and enjoy some of the best touring acts ever. The concert lineup this year is a wildly varied one, with enough blues, metal and pop to take care of the entire family — and keep hearing doctors in business — until Labor Day. We have hot legs, Mr. Roboto, and only a prescription from Dr. Feelgood can...Sorry, looks like heatstroke has melted our brains already. Have fun and stay cool, Houston.

Queensryche

House Of Blues

May 22

Bellevue, Washington's Queensryche has been prog metalling it up since 1981, and with albums like Operation: Mindcrime, the band has a wickedly large cult following. We once met a guy who had not one but two Queens­ryche tattoos. On the same leg.

"106.9 The Point B-Day Bash: Lost 80's Live" With A Flock Of Seagulls, Dramarama, Gene Loves Jezebel, When In Rome

The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park

May 23

Houston's favorite station for '80s and '90s nostalgia brings us a lineup that only a valley girl would love, for sure. A Flock Of Seagulls may be a pop culture punch line, but you have to admit that "I Ran (So Far Away)" is still a stone-cold jam.

Battle of the Bands

Fitzgerald's

May 24

There will be a Battle of the Bands competition featuring Metalloyd, Kemistery, Dead Rotting, Hood, Destroying the Delta, The Dark in Texas, Iron Pigs, The Abyss, Red November, Vindicate, Skeptical, and I, Human. 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

B.B. King

Arena Theatre

May 29

You really can't get any more legendary or bluesier than Mr. B.B. King. One of the last living blues prophets hits town today with his prized guitar Lucille in tow to school blues fanatics of all ages.

No Doubt, Paramore, The Sounds

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

May 31

It's been nearly half a decade since Gwen and the boys hit the road together. Between having kids and releasing solo pop overdoses, Stefani has been busy as hell, and the rest of the band has spent time backing Scott Weiland and doing other hired-gun work. After this tour, the group will be recording its follow-up to 2001's Rock Steady.

Better Than Ezra

House Of Blues

June 6

It's hard for us to believe that it was 16 years ago that Better Than Ezra released Deluxe. Even though BTE went on to record numerous other albums and release a handful of successful singles, "Good" from Deluxe remains the band's lone No. 1 hit. A new album, Paper Empire, hit stores just a few weeks ago.

Styx, REO Speedwagon, .38 Special

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

June 7

So you don't know what to get your boomer dad for his birthday this summer? How about this oldster-approved show, where your parents can go back to a time when all they cared about was having fun and dancing, before your whiny ass was born.

Jonas Brothers

Toyota Center

June 7

Ahhhh! It's Joe!! Ahhhh!! It's Kevin! Ahhhh!! It's Nick! ­Ahhhh!! My parents can't afford the mortgage this month because they bought me tickets to the Jonas Brothers from a scalper! Ahhhh!!

Third Eye Blind

House Of Blues

June 9

That "Semi-Charmed Life" band returns to Houston, plugging its new Ursa Major release. Can you believe lead singer Stephan Jenkins is 44? Can you believe Third Eye Blind released other singles besides "Semi-Charmed" and "Jumper"?

Gavin Rossdale

House Of Blues

June 13

The former Bush front man and current Mr. Gwen Stefani hits town today to perform cuts off last year's solo album WANDERlust and a handful of his '90s grunge-lite classics. It's going to be lonely backstage for Rossdale, as his better half Gwen is also on tour with her band No Doubt. We wanna know who's watching their babies Zuma and Kingston...

Yanni Voices: Live In Concert

Toyota Center

June 13

Here's some little-known facts about Yanni: He attended college at the University of Minnesota, where he received a degree in psychology; he was briefly in a band with John Tesh; and he once challenged Chuck Norris to a bare-knuckle boxing match at a bar in Hollywood, where he made the erstwhile "Texas Ranger" cry like a woman after two minutes.

David Allan Coe, Resin Valley Reefer Boys

House Of Blues

June 14

Mr. Coe turns 70 in September. Coe has done enough drugs and drink to rival Lemmy and Keith Richards, all the while singing X-rated country songs that would make the late GG Allin feel right at home. We all have at least one favorite David Allan Coe song with a title that we can't say out loud.

David Byrne

Jones Hall

June 15

The former Talking Heads front man and CBGB's scene vet hits town to perform a few Heads songs and a handful of tracks from his two collaborations with Brian Eno. He threw away that big suit from the Stop Making Sense concert movie, so don't hold your breath.

Jenny Lewis, Heartless Bastards

Warehouse Live

June 24

When Miss Lewis isn't fronting indie swooners Rilo Kiley, the fiery redhead and former child film star has her own twangy solo projects. She's currently touring behind her critically lauded solo album Acid Tongue, released just last fall.

Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood

Toyota Center

June 24

Clapton is still God. Even at 64 years of age, the man still manages to astound guitar students with his live work. Humans will still be deciphering his illustrious playing with Cream, Derek and the Dominos, and a monolithic solo career, until the sun burns out. Listen to "Layla" again if you don't believe us. If that doesn't convince you, congratulations on being an emotionless robot.

Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

June 30

Bob Ritchie, a.k.a. Kid Rock, is still riding high from his ridiculously successful "All Summer Long" single almost a year after its release. What better way to capitalize than with a headlining tour with Southern rock royalty Lynyrd Skynyrd? The Budweiser will no doubt be flowing all over The Woodlands like a busted dam.

"Vans Warped Tour" With Bad Religion, Flogging Molly, Shooter Jennings, Underoath

The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park

July 3

Each year, you can count on the Warped Tour to deliver solid bands, wicked sunburns and enough teen rebellion to fuel a rocket to the moon. With the floundering economy, tour founder Kevin Lyman scaled back the festivities. Fewer bands on tour will mean longer sets for groups in front of the sweaty throngs. For older bands like Bad Religion, this means longer career-spanning sets, and for newer bands, it's a chance to make an even bigger impression on the crowd.

Beyoncé

Toyota Center

July 4

What better way to celebrate our country's birthday than with Mrs. Jigga herself, Beyoncé Knowles? Lady B comes home to wow all the single ladies with songs from last year's massive I Am...Sasha Fierce. Who knows, maybe Shawn Carter will be sipping something strong backstage...

Aerosmith, ZZ Top

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

July17

This could be one of those shows where you might very well see three generations in one family rocking out in unison. Concerts as boogie- and raunch-fueled as this don't come through very often, and seeing that between both Aero and ZZ you have about 500 years of rock experience, we should be in able, if not shaky, hands.

Rise Against, Rancid

Verizon Wireless Theater

July 18

Two generations of punk rock converge on Bayou Place today as Rancid and Rise Against go head-to-head as duel headliners. Rancid has been lording over pits since the early '90s, and just recently released its first album of new material since 2003's Indestructible. Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath has a punk howl in him whose likes haven't been heard since the days when Henry Rollins used to testify in basements with Black Flag.

Coldplay

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

July 22

After selling a trillion copies of its four studio albums (not really, but awfully close), Britain's Coldplay has come into its own as one of rock's hugest acts. After enduring years of being backhandedly compared to U2 and Radiohead, folks are now discovering how powerful Chris Martin and company are in their own right.

Rod Stewart

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

July 24

Mr. Hot Legs has been shimmying onstage for close to 50 years, and the dude can still make even your Grandma get the vapors. He's found a way to climb back into our hearts, over the past decade releasing five albums chock full of his covers of some of music's most loved songs. We all may change, but his rooster haircut has stayed the same.

Judas Priest, Whitesnake

Verizon Wireless Theater

July 24

Leather-clad Rob Halford and the old crew are set to perform 1980's British Steel in its entirety today. Whitesnake will probably play "Here I Go Again" at least twice. No word yet whether Halford will be hitting up Montrose's premiere leather/Levi's club Ripcord after the show, but a boy can surely dream.

"Crue Fest 2" With Mötley Crüe, Godsmack, ­Hinder

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 8

For a second straight year, a group of men that should have rightfully been tagged and bagged two decades ago hit H-Town for a night of rock debauchery. Mötley Crüe brings this years "Crüe Fest" to order with fellow sleaze-tastic rockers Godsmack and Hinder in tow. A lot of guys' girlfriends will probably be backstage...

Green Day

Toyota Center

August 8

A generation removed from Dookie, Billie Joe, Tre and Mike bring their damaged rock opera spectacle to the massive confines of the Toyota Center. The band will be firing off cuts from their new 21st Century Breakdown full-length, along with nuggets from their already beloved catalog of anthemic punk singles and masturbatory odes.

"Mayhem Festival" With Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Trivium, Cannibal Corpse

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 15

This is the kind of show that would have made our mothers shudder for our eardrums — and our very souls — back in the day. Nothing much has changed, except the fact that we will be bringing fancy new earplugs. Manson has reunited with guitarist Twiggy Ramirez, delighting plenty of folks who grew up on Antichrist Superstar in the late '90s. And Slayer? Still as brutal and sadistically loud as ever.

Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, Poison

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 19

Take your pick of songs from this list if you think that you might not want to hit this up: "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Dream Police," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "Photograph," "Surrender," "Unskinny Bop," "Rock Of Ages," "I Want You To Want Me," "Nothin' But A Good Time." Now what was that about doing laundry and walking the dog?

Incubus, The Duke Spirit

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 21

Few modern rock bands in the past decade have been as soulful and eclectic as Incubus. They started out as little more than a Chili Pepper-biting teen act, but moved on to more textured sounds as they grew older. Albums like Make Yourself and Morning View earned the group a dedicated and passionate following. We can't think of a band better suited for an outdoor show in The Woodlands.

Heart

Arena Theatre

August 27

The Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, formed Heart in 1973. They were quickly compared to Led Zeppelin, with Ann's Robert Plant-style howl bowling over fans and critics alike. A whole new generation of young girls has found out about them through the band's inclusion on the soundtrack to the monstrously popular videogame Guitar Hero.

Depeche Mode, Peter Bjorn & John

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 30

Depeche Mode closes out our long hot summer with a night sure to be full of dark pop and tortured ballads dealing with emotional waste and inner turmoil under The Woodlands' sky. The first cold front is at least a month off, kids, so no trench coats tonight.

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