Houston's 10 Best Concerts In September

Doughbeezy gets lit in 2014
Doughbeezy gets lit in 2014
Photo by Marco Torres

HARVEY HOE DOWN
Warehouse Live, September 7
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Warehouse Live has turned off its mikes and turned itself into a command center for disaster relief.
Instead of hosting shows, the venue opened itself up as a donation distribution center, spending days sorting and packing critical goods for hard-hit areas like Beaumont and Port Arthur. Now that (most of) the flood waters have receded, Warehouse Live has turned back to what it does best: bringing the city the best local music, and this time, for a great cause. For just a $5 donation at the door, The Harvey Hoe Down will treat you to nine different local acts, including the hardcore punk band Dead to the World, psychedelic rockers Den Mother, or the rapper Doughbeezy. Don't stay cooped up,now. After a long day of cutting up drywall and hauling out floorboards, it's time to get outside and enjoy some of the beautiful music Houston can make. KATIE SULLIVAN

JANET JACKSON
Toyota Center, September 9
Much like her brother Michael, Janet Jackson is a mononym, an entity your mind can conjure with a simple mention of her name. Three decades after her monumental album Control and 1989 followup Rhythm Nation, Jackson is still a trailblazer and one of the few artists with a more than reasonable gripe about being omitted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Last year, Jackson canceled her Unbreakable World Tour after revealing she had become pregnant with her first child. She was also about to deal with a divorce from her husband. Rebranding the tour and finding a new focus meant that Jackson could perform not only the hits she's known for but the Unbreakable records that vaulted her back to record-breaking status as an artist. The State of the World tour, as she explained in May, is about love; at the moment, the Bayou City could certainly use plenty of it. Janet is the first big show in Toyota Center since Harvey. May it be more than memorable. BRANDON CALDWELL

ZZ TOP
Smart Financial Centre, September 10
A ZZ Top show anywhere in the Houston area is special. One exactly two weeks removed from Hurricane Harvey’s record-setting devastation on the band’s home turf has historic potential. As the rains fell and floodwaters rose, ZZ issued a statement of sympathy containing a callback to 1981 LP El Loco, reeking of Gibbons-esque prose: “Long ago, we recorded a song called 'Heaven, Hell or Houston.’ We’re confident that, in the near future, the first word will describe the title's third word and the middle will soon be overcome.” If ZZ Top rises to the occasion, which is pretty much a sure thing, the Lil Ol’ Band’s Smart Financial Centre debut will be a huge step in that direction. Earmarking $100,000 toward recovery efforts is a damn good place to start. CHRIS GRAY

CANNED ACOUSTICA
Discovery Green, September 10
The physical and psychic wounds inflicted by Hurricane Harvey are still raw, and will be for a while. What our ailing community needs almost as much as physical supplies is spiritual relief, a chance to come together and lift each other up, maybe sing a few songs along the way. So let’s hope this doesn’t get canceled. If Canned Acoustica organizer Mark C. Austin, who did as much to help out his fellow Houstonians during the storm as anyone, has his way, it won’t be. Founded in 2010 as a modern twist on the old-fashioned hootenanny, all monies channeled to the Houston Food Bank, Canned Acoustica put in two more years, both installments packing the house. Now rebooted monthly through November, the lineup now as then features an eclectic cluster of Houston’s most vibrant acts — this time, it’s OG vatos rudos Los Skarnales, cumbia king Gio Chamba, bristling femcee Genesis Blu, slinky glam-pop auteur –Us, and singer-songwriter Romina Von Mohr — out to prove that turning down the amps doesn’t mean turning down the energy. Houston needs a show like this right now. CHRIS GRAY

LUCERO
White Oak Music Hall, September 11
Hailing from a city known for its blues and barbecue, Lucero just might be Memphis' saltiest export. For nearly 20 years, the group has blended country and punk rock to form a unique and emotive sound, with Ben Nichols' raspy vocals serving as the backbone of every tune. Soaked in whiskey and heartache, Nichols' lyrics serve as a comfort and perhaps a warning to the downtrodden. Over the last decade, the band the band has added a bit of polish and production via brass and piano while maintaining its signature grit. Lucero's last album, 2015's All A Man Should Do, saw Nichols baring his soul in his signature self-deprecating way. Notably, on "I Woke Up in New Orleans," the front man sings of wanting to return home and change his ways while lamenting that it's probably a little too late to change the path he chose all those years ago. MATTHEW KEEVER



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