Houston's 10 Best Concerts in April

The Orwells
The Orwells
Photo by Kelly Puleo/Courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR

THE ORWELLS
The Secret Group, April 7
Self-professed Pixies fanatics the Orwells found themselves with a wad of Apple cash to spend after their song “Who Needs You” was picked up for an iPad commercial in late 2014.
The Chicagoland suburbanites started the corresponding album, Disgraceland, shortly after graduating high school in Elmhurst, Illinois (also hometown of poet Carl Sandburg), but moved to the city proper and logged many van miles in time for its followup, February’s Terrible Human Beings. Simply naming a song “They Found a Body In the Bayou” should be enough to charm Houston-area fans of the Orwells’ youthfully demented brand of fuzz-pop, but fortunately the band’s virtues – or was that vices? – extend well beyond that. CHRIS GRAY

JOHN EGAN
Anderson Fair, April 8
Among Houston’s steadiest bluesmen and most distinctive guitarists, John Egan is also a keen student of Bayou City musical lore. The stinging tones of his signature Resonator guitar, last heard on record with 2014’s Amulet, have returned to haunt the brand-new Magnolia City, this time filtered through Townes Van Zandt’s “Marie” and two Lightnin’ Hopkins tunes, “Once a Gambler” and “Mojo Hand.” Such a high bar to clear is no sweat for Egan, who invests those Texas standards (plus Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm”) with the same gravity he does originals like “It Ain’t the Gun” and “Midnight Raven Blues.” Honed by Egan’s long-running Monday residency at the Big Easy, Magnolia City deals in echoes of the present as well as shadows of the past, bolstering a repertoire that is Houston to the bone. Egan will also preview Magnolia City at a Cactus Music in-store 5 p.m. Friday. CHRIS GRAY

CLAPTONE
Clé, April 9
The beginning of Clé's summer sessions are a reminder that the heat is coming. So is the mysterious German DJ known as Claptone, one of the best electronic artists scheduled to hit Houston over the next few months. “The Drums” will be echoing off the walls of Midtown high-rises during the Masquerade. Little is known of the man with a golden-beaked mask who exploded on the scene with an incredible remix of Wu-Tang’s "C.R.E.A.M.," but the music he produces will no doubt get butts shaking and hips swinging in the water. Being masked and dressed in a black long-sleeved shirt, white gloves and top hat is not the ideal outfit for a swelteringly humid pool party, but don’t worry about the Charmer: The people who come out to see him will not dress modestly at all. If you are only able to make it out to one of Clé's Summer Sessions, make sure it's this one. JACK GORMAN

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS
White Oak Music Hall, April 11
Drive-By Truckers have spent more than 20 years trying to reclaim the South’s tarnished nobility, only in a much different way than politicians would have. Never a band for making apologies, the canny Truckers know that the best chance of changing people’s minds — about Southern rock as much as the Old South of George Wallace, et al. — is by elevating the Muscle Shoals Swampers as much as the great Lynyrd Skynyrd. They understand that while humor rarely triumphs over hardship, it often lessens the ache. And if those hard-learned lessons come in a gale of tornadic guitars, so much the better. CHRIS GRAY

BUZZFEST
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, April 15
To call Buzzfest polarizing is an understatement. Some swear by the annual festival, while others regard it as a chance for bored suburbanites to get together, drink too much and listen to terrible music. The reality, however, is somewhere in between. Yeah, Buzzfest is typically home to bands whose critical and commercial relevancy has long since passed. Take a quick look at this year’s lineup – headlined by Godsmack, P.O.D., Breaking Benjamin, Filter, and Toadies, to name a few – and that much is confirmed. However, it’s also an outdoor festival at a great venue in a month that often finds outdoor weather quite nice. And yeah, the music isn’t exactly high-class, but it’s fun, and there’s something to be said for just turning your mind off for a day and banging your head. CLINT HALE



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