The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Katy Perry, Mötley Crüe, Erasure, Untapped...
Photo by Kevin Mazur-Wireimage/Courtesy of Rogers & Cowan
Katy Perry Toyota Center, October 10 & 11
People can hate on pop concerts all they want, but they're probably viewing them all wrong. If they attend expecting a musical experience that rattles their very core, they will likely be disappointed. But approach it as a spectacle, and the experience is and it's almost always enjoyable. (You wouldn't watch Superbad the same way as Citizen Kane, now would you?) Perry is a walking spectacle that churns out pop hit after pop hit, and her stage show is bound to be highly entertaining. SELENA DIERINGER
Photo by Toshi Sakurai/Courtesy of Chick Corea Productions
Chick Corea Wortham Theater Center, October 10
Don't expect a set program at "Chick Corea, Solo Piano," the kickoff to Da Camera of Houston's latest jazz series. It's more of an "open rehearsal" with Corea, alone with just 88 piano keys, exploring his latest interests, revisiting his most-loved tunes and turning works by classical composers such as Scriabin and Scarlatti on their heads.
It's Corea improvising as a soloist, in a genre he helped launch with his 1971 release Piano Improvisations. Recorded over two days in Norway, that LP proved to be a landmark -- Corea was the first jazz pianist of his generation to record such a solo album, which in turn led to the emergence of jazz solo piano as a genre. No telling what this latest improv session will lead to. OLIVIA FLORES ALVAREZ
Ringo Starr & the All-Starr Band Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, October 10
Whether master drummer or rock's ultimate fool on the hill (or maybe a little of both), Ringo Starr is one of the most beloved personalities in the Western Hemisphere, not to mention a Lightnin' Hopkins freak from way back. Earlier this year, acts from Bettye LaVette to The Head and The Heart played his 74th birthday party in L.A., and now that it's time to fire up the All-Starr Band again -- he's got a recent album, Ringo 2012, to plug -- he's once again recruited the kind of top hands who are available for ex-Beatle prices: Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather (Toto), Gregg Rolie (Journey), Richard Page (Mr. Mister) and Gregg Bissonnette (David Lee Roth and a University of North Texas alum).
Don't expect Starr's first Houston stop in many moons to reach the level of McCartney mania, but rather something more along the lines of Ringo himself: utterly charming, a little mysterious, and full of more peace and love than a deluxe Woodstock DVD. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Joe Dilworth
Erasure Bayou Music Center, October 10 & 11
Who would have guessed that years after most synth-pop bands went the way of Flock of Seagulls haircuts that both Depeche Mode and Erasure are not only still around, but as popular as ever and making some of the most rewarding music of their careers? And while the Mode acquitted themselves just fine on last year's Delta Machine, Erasure has been on an even bigger roll.
Ex-DM synth genius Vince Clarke and Andy Bell -- one of the great pop front men in show business, who can go from country to soul to Broadway like it's nothing -- surprised just about everyone with last year's enchanting holiday album, Wonderland, and have already returned with another set, the EDM-influenced The Violet Flame. Houston has kept a special place in its heart for Erasure since their first gig here at Numbers in 1988, and this two-night stand at Bayou Place only confirms their enduring appeal. With Dangerous Muse. CHRIS GRAY
Untapped Houston Discovery Green, October 11
A sure sign that Houston's standing in the hipster world only continues to improve, Untapped returns for this September 19 rain date with full flight of acts that pair well with not only the 200-something beers on offer but the hordes of twenty- and thirtysomethings who will consume them. Fort Worth's ferocious Toadies top the bill, winding down a big year celebrating the 20th anniversary of their Texas alt-rock touchstone Rubberneck, but plenty of Houstonians may be more interested in the return of Robert Ellis, the prodigal son who has been scarce in these parts since releasing sophomore New West set The Lights From the Chemical Plant in February.
Rounding out the talent is Manchester Orchestra offshoot Bad Books and a Houston complement that offers people's champs the Suffers, vatos rudos Los Skarnales, the mellow men of Featherface and electro-pop trio BLSHS, hands down the local scene's rookies of the year. Gates at 2:30 p.m. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Mötley Crüe in 2011
Photo by Jay Lee
Mötley Crüe Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, October 11
So this is it. Mötley Crüe had plenty of competition through the years, but the sleaziest hair-metal band to ever slither up from the Sunset Strip is also the best, and this year has decided to pack it in with all the attendant farewell-tour fanfare. Not so long ago, four cocky L.A. guys named Vince, Tommy, Mick and Nikki gave rock's MOR-bloated corpse a massive shot in the arm (pun fully intended) with 1981 debut Too Fast For Love, and today the Crue has lasted long enough to see its songs covered by the likes of Florida Georgia Line and the Eli Young Band on the recent Nashville Outlaws tribute album.
Incredibly, after all the drugs, booze, strippers, groupies, paramedics, sex tapes, tabloids, jail time, rehab and reality shows, the foursome really does deserve to be remembered best for its songs -- and they had some great ones, from "Shout at the Devil" all the way down to ultimate power ballad "Home Sweet Home" and of course "Girls, Girls, Girls." Their final bow in the Bayou City comes with a distinct bonus, too: original shock-rocker Alice Cooper opens, boa constrictor in tow as always.CHRIS GRAY
Living Colour Warehouse Live (Studio), October 12
This show will be just weeks from the 25th anniversary of Living Colour's opening set for the Rolling Stones at the Astrodome. A lot may have changed over that quarter-century, but where Dome is truly a relic that's seen better times. Living Colour is a different story.
That November 1989 evening in the Dome, the NYC rockers were the whale in the room, huge and angry and thrashing violently, but ultimately no match for the vastness of the venue. This year, they'll up close and personal in a room with great acoustics, a beautiful thing when combined with songs that have held up well over time. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Against Me! at Fitzgerald's in March
Photo by David Ensminger
THREE MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Gaslight Anthem, Against Me!: How busy is this weekend? This one almost went right by us. (Warehouse Live, Saturday 11)
Glitch Mob: Big hit at ACL last weekend. Beats aplenty. (House of Blues, October 11)
Jagged Edge, Jon B: Ladies' choice... (Arena Theatre, October 11)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.