RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
Toyota Center, January 7
The legendary funk-rockers are on tour in support of their 11th studio album, 2016’s The Getaway. After a five-year pause between releases, the Chili Peppers returned with a revitalized sound as vocalist Anthony Kiedis tapped into a failed relationship for lyrical inspiration. Produced by Danger Mouse, The Getaway showcases a familiar RHCP with subtly different undertones, likely because it is the band’s first record produced by anyone but Rick Rubin since 1989’s Mother’s Milk. But longtime fans needn’t fear. One listen to the album’s lead single “Dark Necessities” will assuage any concerns as Kiedis’ sliding vocals and Flea’s signature bass riffs flood listeners’ ear canals. MATTHEW KEEVER
JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY
Stampede, January 13
There was a time when I honestly thought John Michael Montgomery was going to be the next Garth Brooks (more on this soon). John Michael Montgomery had the charm, good ol' boy good looks and radio hits early on in his career. For whatever reason, after absolutely storming the gates of country music with his first three albums, Montgomery somewhat faded from public view; the radio hits ceased at least. Nevertheless, and while Montgomery likely should be playing bigger venues than Stampede at this point in his career, anyone who wants to relive one of the great runs in '90s country music is in for a treat next Friday. CLINT HALE
XANADUDES (NOW WE ARE HERE)
Continental Club, January 14
A couple of months ago, I dragged my brother, sister-in-law and our friends Melissa and Russell over to Continental Club for the phenomenon that is XanaDudes (Now We Are Here). On the surface, the act is a 1980s cover band made up of some familiar Houston music faces. But, XanaDudes is so much more. The band came together a year ago this month, so they were performing ‘80s favorites before Stranger Things premiered and long before W magazine declared the 1980s 2017’s hottest trend. This band is full of veteran players, which means the music sounds fantastic and is delivered with verve and respect. My brother, sister-in-law, Melissa, Russell and most of the crowd we encountered that night lived through the Reagan years and our hearty applause on the show closer, Erasure’s “Chains of Love,” was a resounding endorsement of a highly entertaining night. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, January 15
The Eagles ended 2016 with a salute from President Obama at the Kennedy Center Honors, but started it off by losing founder and co-pilot Glenn Frey in January, meaning Don Henley is a full-fledged solo artist for the first time in more than 20 years — and for good this time. Luckily he is coming off arguably his finest solo album to date, 2015’s Cass County, a bittersweet but stunningly beautiful reconsideration of his native East Texas environs, told with the hard-bitten wisdom of encroaching old age but an even deeper affinity for classic country music. CHRIS GRAY
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE
Warehouse Live, January 18
Fresh off their newly minted contract with Roadrunner Records, the gothic metalcore quintet will visit Warehouse Live to treat adolescent Houstonians to a heaping helping of aggressive shock-rock. Many of MIW’s songs bring to mind the Antichrist Superstar era of Marilyn Manson, with electronic nuances peppered into the mix for a more contemporary sound. Fans will need to arrive early to hear their performance, since the Pennsylvania-born act is listed as the opener for Issues and Falling in Reverse. MATTHEW KEEVER
WE BELONG: HOUSTONIANS OF MUSLIM DESCENT DISSENT!
Walters Downtown, January 20
We could try to convince you this is a critical show to pencil into your event calendar, but we can’t do it better than the event organizers, who wrote “On January 20, a man takes the highest office in the country who has spent the last year and a half vilifying many groups in this country and around the world. We, as Houston musicians who are Muslim or are from Muslim families, are standing up on this day. This man and the people he surrounds himself with say that us, our families, and many of our friends do not belong in this country and that this country does not belong to us too. He is wrong.” Doubling as a benefit for ACLU of Texas, the night is more than a show of support, it’s also a killer show, with sets by TURNAWAYS, Ruiners, Revels and Giant Kitty. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
DAVE MATTHEWS & TIM REYNOLDS
Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, January 25
No, not Dave Matthews Band. Rather, Dave Matthews is teaming up with longtime friend/collaborator Tim Reynolds for a more low-key evening in Sugar Land. Regardless of your opinion of DMB, and they certainly vary from overrated Phish wannabe to cult-like phenomenon (the truth lies somewhere in the middle), Matthews knows how to please an audience. And with Reynolds in the fold, these two will treat those in attendance to an evening full of hits, banter and deep cuts. CLINT HALE
Heights Theater, January 21
Somehow the territory around Lubbock, some of the flattest plains on the planet, has produced some of the most brilliantly bent minds in Texas music. Even taking into account the Flatlanders and Tommy X Hancock’s crew, Terry Allen’s creativity engine was especially born in overdrive, long since spilling over into sculpture, painting, and sketchwork. Even decades after their original release, his biting, cinematic records Juarez and Lubbock (On Everything) — reissued last year by North Carolina label Paradise of Bachelors — continue to cast impossibly long shadows over lesser songwriters who could barely dream of populating their albums with such disagreeable and yet oddly endearing characters. CHRIS GRAY
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Lucky's Pub, January 29
Six and a half years ago, Staind front man Aaron Lewis released a country album, much to the bewilderment of his fans and the music industry at large. Guided by the single “Country Boy,” which featured George Jones musing as the devil, Town Line was well received by the scene, debuting at No. 1 despite being critically panned. Since then, Lewis has released two full-length country albums, including last year’s Sinner, which debuted at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200, led by the single of the same name featuring guest vocals by Willie Nelson. MATTHEW KEEVER
Warehouse Live, January 31
It happened in 2007. Thanks to the prevalent bait-and-switch technique of "Rickrolling," an English singer-songwriter's career was revived. Message-board contributors would click a hyperlink to something purportedly relevant to the conversation only to have a YouTube window open and Rick Astley's "Never Gonna' Give You Up" blare through their speakers. The practice is still popular. Astley, who had retired nearly two decades prior, was able to reemerge as an Internet phenomenon, 30 years removed from the song's original release. True, his scheduled performance at Warehouse Live later this month could be a hustle — if you hear Astley's signature tune playing overhead as you wait for the lights to dim, go ahead and leave because you'll have been conned. But maybe he'll show up. MATTHEW KEEVER