Houston's 10 Best Concerts in June
Who were those masked men?
Photo courtesy of ATO Records
House of Blues, June 9
Alt-country statesmen but also one of the most kinetic rock bands Texas has ever seen, in nearly 25 years the Old 97’s are one of the very, very few groups with such longevity to have (arguably) never made a bad record, or indeed even a mediocre one. At least two of their early albums, Wreck Your Life and Too Far to Care, rank as late-century Lone Star classics; several others, say, power-pop thrill ride Satellite Rides or their panoramic Grand Theater suite of 2010-11, almost meet that lofty standard. Call it a second wind if you must, but after a few years of tending to reissues, their families, Rhett Miller’s intermittent solo career and such, the Dallas lads hit a real groove on 2014’s Most Messed Up and carried that momentum straight into February’s Graveyard Whistling (ATO), which whirls cracks like “Jesus loves you more than I do” around a boiler-stoking train beat steadier than ever. CHRIS GRAY
White Oak Music Hall, June 9
True pop-rock acts are few and far between in Houston, but for an expansive city with ever-expanding tastes, there's always room for something new. Polaroid Summer is a fresh local quartet consisting of members from Houston-area groups Lost Element and VerseCity, with a collective discography that promises a polished pop vibe. On their single "The Giant," their sound could easily blend into a playlist with acts like Bastille and Walk The Moon, and it's quite possible that Polaroid Summer could help to fill a void in the local scene currently not being tapped into. If you've been in search of something fresh to enjoy in this notorious Texas heat, Polaroid Summer might be the band to help you do just that. ALYSSA DUPREE
Rudyard's, June 10
So this is how it goes: On June 10, football, etc. will be celebrating the release of their new album, corner, over at Rudyard’s. A few weeks later, they’ll head across the sea for a string of dates that will hit Italy, France, the UK and Germany before bringing their brand of emo-indie to fans across the U.S. Those fans have a lot to be happy about, because corner is a great record, one that will absolutely be in the discussion at the end of the year when it comes to best Houston releases. football, etc. have always been a good band, but even on first listen, corner impresses with how it feels like the band has become even better. The melodies are fantastic and Lindsay Minton's singing just kills the entire time. In a city full of great artists, football, etc. don't always get the shine they should, but corner proves we should all be paying attention. CORY GARCIA
NRG Stadium, June 11
What does Metallica have in common with U2? On the surface, not much. But dig a little deeper and come June 12 you’ll have seen two classic-rock outfits who recently returned to Houston for jam-packed shows at NRG Stadium. Bono, The Edge and crew brought the goods on May 24 during their Joshua Tree tour, and no doubt James Hetfield and the Gods of rock will do the same during their spin through Houston. Metallica certainly isn’t in its prime anymore, but the band is experiencing a career resurgence of sorts with its latest LP, Hardwired...to Self-Destruct. Expect songs from the band’s solid new record, along with classic hits of yesteryear, from one of the biggest bands still going today. CLINT HALE
MUTOID MAN, HELM'S ALEE
Warehouse Live, June 14
The fact that this band is successful or even exists is a complete fluke. Somewhat of a supergroup, Mutoid Man formed as a side project, officially, with 2013 EP Helium Head, and has been kicking out high-energy, heavy rock tunes ever since. Ben Koller (Killer Be Killed, Converge, All Pigs Must Die) is one of the finest metal drummers in the scene today; front man Stephen Brodsky (Converge, Kid Kilowatt) somehow balances several bands and solo endeavors the way his guitar work dances between serious technicality and explosive riffage; and bassist Nick Cageao, FOH sound engineer at famed Brooklyn metal club St. Vitus, balances the overall sound (excuse the pun). With lyrics that barely make sense and a voice whose serrated edges betray his sunny onstage disposition, Brodsky might be hustling his audience — there’s a solid, melodic vocalist in there pretending to be an angry metalhead. If that’s not enough reason to catch this band, which hasn’t seen a Houston stage since 2015, openers Helm’s Alee are a progressive three-piece from Seattle whose killer sludge-metal tunes feature guitarist/producer Ben Verellen, who has played with such acts as Pelican and These Arms Are Snakes and helped produce Mastodon’s 2006 release Blood Mountain. KRISTY LOYE
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