The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Ariana Grande, Yes Indeed! Fest, Titus Andronicus, Front 242, etc.
Ariana Grande at RodeoHouston 2015
Photo by Marco Torres
Toyota Center, September 18
For a star the metaphorical size of Ariana Grande, there really isn't much in the way of anything new to report on her since she stopped in town earlier this year to play RodeoHouston. A look a recent setlists shows that she's pretty much playing a slightly expanded version of her rodeo show that we still, months later, aren't sure was good or bad. Not that a largely similar show this time really matters; this is pop music, and if you've got enough radio singles and a good smile, tweens will scream their heads off for you. Even if you're maybe good, maybe bad. Even if you lick donuts and say you hate America. Pop-music fans are forgiving like that. With Prince Royce. (CORY GARCIA)
Yes, Indeed Festival
Continental Club, September 19 (5 p.m.)
Compact and eclectic, Yes, Indeed is a must-attend event for local-music lovers, and with almost 30 acts for only $15 (in advance), it’s probably Houston’s biggest live-music value of the fall season. Now in its fourth year, the one-day festival has taken on local sponsors like 8th Wonder Brewery and Heights Vinyl and beefed up the talent by bringing in Brown Sabbath, an Ozzy-oriented offshoot of Austin Latin-funk overlords Brownout, and party-starting Houston DJ duo Wrestlers to headline. Other guests from out of town include Austin’s Bee Caves (dark indie-Americana) and New Orleans’ AF the Naysayer (hip-hop/electronica fusion), but the nucleus of Yes, Indeed! is local music, and lots of it: veterans like Young Mammals, Electric Attitude, Bang Bangz and the Wandering Bufaleros; several of 2015’s most talked-about acts — Moji, Black Kite, Jealous Creatures, the Wheel Workers, Guilla — and more than a few who will surely lay claim to that title next year. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 day-of; a steal either way for this kind of lineup.
Walters Downtown, September 19
On their first three albums, Titus Andronicus earned a reputation as one of America’s hardest-working and most exciting indie-rock bands of the new millennium, developing a curious Civil War fascination even as their sound followed the arena-chasing example of fellow Jersey natives Bruce Springsteen and Gaslight Anthem. However, they lacked that Big Statement that could grab people’s attention outside their own tight-knit fan base, but now they have it in The Most Lamentable Tragedy (Merge). Presented as a rock opera in five acts, their fourth album takes almost 30 songs and more than 90 minutes to unspool its convoluted plot about a hero and his evil twin. Clearly, both their ambitions and the grandiose music of TMLT place Titus Andronicus among rock’s other great Angry Young Men of past generations — The Who, The Clash, Elvis Costello — who grew up quickly enough but had a much harder time mellowing out. With Spider Bags and Baked.
Numbers, September 19
It’s a Numbers dream come true: an opportunity for fans who have been dancing to “Headhunter” or “Welcome to Paradise” at the club for decades to see Front 242 in person. At the vanguard of ‘80s industrial music through 1988 breakthrough Front By Front, the Brussels-formed group also coined the term “Electronic Body Music” and to this day is synonymous with that particularly throbbing strain of techno. Since the zenith of their popularity in the early ‘90s — the video for “Rhythm of Time” was featured in the 1992 stalker thriller Single White Female — Front 242 has worked steadily, both together and with the members’ other projects, and tours Europe often (the States not so much). Recently they released the single “Lovely Day,” inviting fans to send in their remixes via Bandcamp and promising to release the top three on their next single; the response was so overwhelming they’re still still sorting through the winners. In honor of the group’s first Houston appearance since 1993, the Press recently spoke to Patrick Codenys, who joined Front 242 in 1982. With The Hunger and JG & the Robots.
SIX MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
SXSW Houston Meetup: Reps from the Austin networking bonanza will be on hand to talk shop; plus a panel of Houston veterans — Warehouse Live talent buyer Jason Price, Tontons singer Asli Omar, our own Marco Torres — relive a few of their SXSW experiences. Free; see link for more info. (Warehouse Live, 5-7 p.m. September 18)
Chelsea Wolfe: Freshly anointed princess of Goth-pop stares into the Abyss on latest LP. (Rudyard's, September 18)
Chris Knight, Charlie Robison: One's from Kentucky and the other Bandera, but both singer-songwriters are among the most pugnacious and poignant to ever strap on a guitar. (House of Blues, September 18)
Guitar Shorty: Houston-born live-wire blues guitarist is still out there brawling behind 2010's Bare Knuckle. (Dosey Doe Music Cafe, September 18)
Travis Tritt: Solo appearance by the Southern-rock conscience of '90s Nashville. (Dosey Doe, September 19)
The Neighbourhood, Bad Suns: Where pop, indie-rock, R&B and New Wave collide. (Revention Music Center, September 19)
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