Houston's 10 Best Concerts In February

Houston's 10 Best Concerts In February
Photo by Carlota Guerrero/Courtesy of Sony Music

SOLANGE
Super Bowl LIVE, February 2
In a year marked by what seemed like unending catastrophe, the 2016 release of Solange's album A Seat at the Table was a pleasant surprise.
The singer mixed classic R&B vocals along with vignettes of resistance into an album that was both personally and politically Solange. Songs like "Don't Touch My Hair" and "Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)" gave voice to the everyday aches and pains of blackness, and for many, the album was a salve against those larger social maladies. That comfort, combined with the artist's riveting approach to visual art through fashion, suggest that Solange's Super Bowl LIVE concert will be a collective, cathartic experience not to be missed. Houston loves us some Solange, and we know this hometown hero won't disappoint us. KATIE SULLIVAN

BRUNO MARS
Club Nomadic, February 3
If you want to save a few bucks, Mars is actually headlining a gig at Toyota Center later this year. However, for those just itching to be a part of the Super Bowl festivities, Mars’ ticket is one of the hottest. The pop superstar will headline a gig at Club Nomadic, a sort of travelling pop-up nightclub that seats nearly 10,000 folks. Tickets aren’t cheap (you’ll have to hit the secondhand market), but for those who want to experience a little big-game-weekend revelry, you can’t do much better than this. Chainsmokers and bro-country’s own Sam Hunt headline a gig the previous night, while Taylor Swift closes out Nomadic’s Houston run with an invite-only gig on Super Bowl eve. CLINT HALE

WOMEN IN PUNK FEST
Vinal Edge Records, February 4 (7-9 p.m.)
Created by local musician, professor, author and Houston Press contributor David Ensminger, this all-ages, free showcase pays homage to the contributions of female artists in punk rock. According to Vinal Edge owner Chuck Roast, the evening grew out of Ensminger's recent series of Facebook posts detailing “120 Days of Women in Punk.” “The event is meant to shed light on all the contributions of women to the underground music culture, including all the subgenres that encompass the punk ethic," Ensminger himself says. "It also serves as the culmination of my series on women and punk, which is a transcript of my new book, my seventh, that I have been sharing online in a transparent effort to create conversations, which are dedicated to the same subject." What more appropriate place to celebrate than H-Town's favorite punk record store, with a sampling of Houston's finest punk musicians? Bands scheduled to appear include Screech of Death, Supergrave, No Love Less, Mel Hell and the Texas Mod Crushers and Clare, the relatively new group featuring members of Ex-Girlfriends and Vivian Pikkles and the Sweetheart Uber Alles. KRISTY LOYE

CUBA GOODING & THE MAIN INGREDIENT
Fitzgerald’s, Feburary 4
No, not the Cuba Gooding you are thinking of who won an Oscar for his role in the film Jerry Maguire acting alongside Tom Cruise; that’s junior, his father Cuba Gooding Sr. is the lead singer of soul group The Main Ingredient who had two top-ten hits back in the 70s with “Everybody Plays the Fool” and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely.” Other notable singles include “Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love),” “I'm So Proud,” and “You've Been My Inspiration.” The group was not on the Motown record label, but with their R&B harmonies, melodies, and soulful lyrics it would be easy to make that assumption. Gooding was later signed to Motown himself as a solo act, where he had a hit in 1983 with “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend.”  A bit of a departure for Fitzgerald’s, usually known as a home for punk rock and indie acts, this should be a great show to kick off the Super Bowl weekend, for Houstonians and visitors alike. DAVID ROZYCKI

ERIKA WENNERSTROM
The Stash Factory (109 N. Hardeman, Sealy), February 4
If you want an escape from a typical Houston music Saturday, drive 90 minutes west out to see Erika Wennerstrom at Sealy’s Stash Factory. Wennerstrom, who is perhaps more readily known as the lead singer of Heartless Bastards, has what Texas Monthly calls an "enormous voice," but her reputation as a shy performer makes her performances hard to come by. Still, her gritty yet sonorous vocals have a unique bite in a world full of tender singer-songwriters, and her lyrics plunge to dangerous depths without drowning you. Wennerstrom's songs cut straight to the quick, with a burning incisiveness that could cauterize anyone's internal wounds. Plus, it's not every day you get to see a concert in a century-old mattress factory. Gas up your truck; it will be worth it. KATIE SULLIVAN

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL
House of Blues, February 12
Dashboard Confessional vocalist Chris Carrabba remains as emotive as ever, channeling dogged sincerity as he makes a bid for a woman's hand on the recently released acoustic track "May." Though Carrabba has not set a firm date for the release of his band's next album — their seventh, and first since 2009 — this monthlong tour from New York to California might be his way of testing the waters to see if the climate is right for the next A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar. New music would be great, but so long as the set list includes "Hands Down," "Screaming Infidelities" and "Vindicated," longtime fans will continue buying tickets. MATTHEW KEEVER



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