The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: NERVO, KTRU Outdoors, Bryan Adams, etc.
Photo courtesy of Skye Media
Folk Family Revival Dosey Doe Coffee, April 10
Folk Family Revival were country enough to land a date in the Hideout tent at this year's Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, though only on the far outer edges. The Magnolia-bred Americana quartet owes an obvious debt to Ryan Adams' existentialist roots-rock, but by and large front man Mason Lankford's songs hold up just fine on their own. Friday night is the release party for FFR's latest effort, Water Walker, which offers plenty that should appeal to the Father John Misty/My Morning Jacket/Ryan Bingham crowd. CHRIS GRAY
NERVO Stereo Live, April 10
You know what you don't see a lot of on dance music club and festival stages? Women. Oh, they may be there as scantily-clad props to make the male DJ look cool, but female DJs are a rarity on the marquee or festival flyer. And that's a bummer. Are we really to believe that a genre that is so popular with young adults at a time when making dance music is easier than ever has only produced a handful of female artists worthy of headline attention?
Maybe that's a bit much to lay at the feet of Australian duo NERVO, but it's something worth considering. NERVO prove that women can write songs just as good as their male counterparts and rock parties just as hard. They've co-written a song that won a Grammy and written tracks for some of the biggest names in music. They've got serious chops. Even if EDM were full of female headliners, they would stand out. And hopefully, one day in the future, we won't have to write statements like that. CORY GARCIA
X Warehouse Live, April 10
X was the antithesis of the sun-dappled L.A. folk-rock scene of the '70s - a band that coalesced around legendary Hollywood punk club the Masque, not Laurel Canyon, and one that took inspiration from seedy porno shops and fleabag motels instead of nature walks and copious dope smoking. Fronted by one of the great couples of the era, Exene Cervenka and John Doe, X introduced listeners to a side of Southern California that movies and TV didn't touch through essential albums like 1980 debut Los Angeles and '82's Under the Big Black Sun. Doe and Cervenka eventually broke up, and then so did the band, but soon enough X realized the music they made was just too vital not to keep doing it. So now here they are, and we're all better off for it. With Folk Uke. CHRIS GRAY
KTRU Outdoor Show Rice University (Central Quad), April 11
The big news this spring is that KTRU is coming back to FM, via a low-power transmitter situated atop Rice Stadium, by the end of the year if everything goes according to plan. There's no better opportunity to celebrate the station's good fortune than its 24th annual Outdoor Show, a Rice tradition that this year welcomes a trio of headliners that reflect beat-driven music's dominance over collegiate ears in 2015: Berlin-based man-machine Objekt, UK house/grime DJ Bok Bok and futuristic 21-year-old Washington, D.C. rapper GoldLink.
But also along are Merge Records' indie-punk veterans Ex Hex and an eclectic bunch of locals including charismatic MC Fat Tony; quirky indie-poppers Deep Cuts; Heaven Spacey, the hip-hop-oriented new project of Grandfather Child's Lucas Gorham; and Fire Alarm, winners of KTRU's yearly Battle of the Bands contest. That's a lot of music for one afternoon, and it's all free and always all ages. CHRIS GRAY
Be the Match Fundraiser Fitzgerald's, April 11
Pegstar, the Houston-based booking brains behind Fitzgerald's, Free Press Summer Fest and the as-yet-unnamed new venue on North Main, has always had a soft spot for those in need; proceeds of its very first show in November 2011 went toward 9/11 survivors. Last year Pegstar begat the "Fitz Benefit Show Series," with the goal of raising $10,000 by last call.
As with that one, proceeds from Saturday's third installment will go to Be the Match, a bone-marrow registry of potential matches for those fighting blood diseases like leukemia and lymphoma. Stepping into the boots of stars of past and present will be almost a dozen top Houston acts, among them Another Run as Radiohead, Catch Fever as U2, Empty Shells as Nirvana, Sunrise & Ammunition as St. Vincent, -Us as Drake and lots more, plus DJ Fredster on hand to kill any dead air. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Photo courtesy of BWR PR
Bryan Adams Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, April 11
Before he matured into an adult-contemporary balladeer, Bryan Adams was the prince of mid-'80s radio-rock; a little softer than Springsteen and not quite as angry as John Mellencamp, his songs had a golden sheen practically built for poolside boomboxes and car stereos. (His most MTV-friendly looks didn't hurt, either.) A native of Kingston, Ontario, Adams broke through with 1983's Cuts Like a Knife, but it was the next year's Reckless -- whose 30th-anniversary edition is the reason for the 55-year-old's visit to The Woodlands Saturday -- that made him a superstar thanks to a staggering six singles that hit Billboard's Top 15, a list that only starts with "Run to You" and "Summer of '69." CHRIS GRAY
Ride With Mitch II Texas Grand Prize Bar, April 11
Music is a contact sport, especially the kind practiced by Houston vatobilly veterans the Flamin' Hellcats, but it still pales in comparison to the sport of motocross, where sometimes bones break, and badly so. Sadly, that's what Mitch Van de Mortel, one of the top riders on the circuit, who wrecked his knee in late 2013 about the same time his father and coach Dennis needed open-heart surgery. There's no health insurance in motocross -- these guys are all on their own -- but there does happen to be a big rally Saturday at NRG Stadium, so Van de Mortel's friends in the Hellcats and local noir-rockers Southern Backtones are throwing him a big benefit at Grand Prize Saturday night. Grand prize from the raffle is a custom Blast Cult guitar valued at more than $3,000. CHRIS GRAY
Cake in 2011
Photo by Marc Brubaker
THREE MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
The Factory Party, Telephantom, Camera Cult: Chilly synths for a good cause; fundraiser for the National MS Society. (Fitzgerald's, April 10)
Coal Chamber, Filter, Combichrist: Get all the '90s aggro-rock you can take. (Scout Bar, April 11)
Cake: Sardonic alt-rockers behind "The Distance" and "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" know how to show a crowd a good time. (House of Blues, April 12)
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