Who were those masked men?
Who were those masked men?
Photo courtesy of ATO Records

Houston's 10 Best Concerts in June

OLD 97'S
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

POLAROID SUMMER
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

football, etc.
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

METALLICA
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

GIRLPOOL
Walter's Downtown, June 16
Girlpool emerged in 2014 as indie-rock wunderkinds. Founded by then high-schoolers Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, the duo embraced the simplicity of a bass and a guitar to create their quintessential sound. Their music captures the uneasy vulnerability and confusion of youth with stark-naked maturity. Songs like "Slutmouth" and "American Beauty" wrestle with the hostile ambivalence endemic to modern girlhood, one that demands ready access to a young woman's sexuality yet loves to hate her for it. Their latest album, Powerplant, marks an evolution for the group. By introducing a drummer into the mix, Girlpool departs from their early investment in minimalism, imbuing their raw reflections with more depth and maturity. The sophomore effort proves that this band has more to offer its audience, and Houston audiences would do well to catch them while they can. Hat-tip to Walter's; y'all sure do know how to book 'em. KATIE SULLIVAN

ALICE BAG
Walter's Downtown, June 17
You can’t talk about American punk-rock music without mentioning Alice Bag. As a young, feminist Chicana outcast from East L.A. in the 1970s, Bag was the epitome of punk. Her Mexican influences brought a distinctive sound to the typical all-white, male-dominated scene, while her post-glam bedlam stage persona made The Bags a staple in the genre. Throughout the years she’s been in countless numbers of bands, including the Castration Squad, The She*Riffs and Cholita, and after 40 years in the game continues to push against the grain. The 58-year-old dropped her self-titled solo debut, Alice Bag, just last year; that’s after bouncing off a book tour for her 2011 memoir, Violence Girl, as well as teaching gigs (she’s also noted to be a pastry chef). Talk about resilience. ?Bag headlines this all-ages show over the stellar lineup of female-fronted Texas punk bands: FEA, Screech of Death and Houston’s own Mydolls. VERONICA ANNE SALINAS

HOUSTON SYMPHONY FEAT. THE SUFFERS
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, June 17
The ten-piece Gulf Coast soul band The Suffers has barely slowed down since the release of their 2016 self-titled album, but after a whirlwind world tour, our hometown heroes are finally back in Houston and back in the studio. Of course, we're hoping their June show will give loyal fans a first listen to some of their freshest material. But even more so, we're excited to hear the band play alongside the Houston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke. The Suffers are already known for their tight instrumentation and genre-blending compositions, but the move to collaborate with HSO shows they're still evolving and eager to take the next step. There's endless, unimaginable potential to be had bringing together these two sonic powerhouses; catch this show and witness their musical magic firsthand. KATIE SULLIVAN

FUTURE
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, June 22
So, you’re Future. You’re one of the hardest-working men in the rap game today. You’ve just released a great self-titled album in February. Critics and listeners alone love it. What do you do next? Simple: Release another album the following week. Somehow, Future topped his self-titled release with HNDRXX, one of the finest R&B albums released over the past year and proof that Future can pretty much do anything he wants at this point. By this point, Future has more than enough hits and deep cuts in the tank to account for a headlining show, and there’s no doubt he’ll have a few surprises in store as well for his first run through Houston since opening for Drake last Labor Day weekend. CLINT HALE

NAILS
White Oak Music Hall, June 23
During an interview with metal shaman Max Cavalera two years ago, he talked about his love for the underground DIY metal ethic. A man with his ear to the ground, he senses when big acts will rumble through the scene with the foresight of a primitive soothsayer. His prediction? Nails. A band featuring some of the hardest, most aggressively violent arrangements performed in metal today. Labeled as “powerviolence,” the music is a cross between grindcore and what sounds like four post-punk dudes murdering their instruments. Nails is the kind of band that creates albums that more resemble a soundtrack to mass apocalyptic destruction than an angsty yet palatable Mayhem Fest staple act. We’re on the heaviest end of the pendulum here, because the guitarist is none other than Leon Del Muerte, whose musical résumé reads like a Who’s Who list of badass mothers — Murder Construct, Terrorizer LA, Impaled and Exhumed, to name a few. This show will be one not to miss not just because of Cavalera’s recommendation, but because the band has already been known to cancel tours and claim hiatus. Whether that’s true or not, we know at least they’re on tour and scheduled for an H-Town stop to support their latest release, 2016’s You’ll Never Be One of Us. Our recommendation? See them while you can. KRISTY LOYE

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