The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Slipknot, Travi$ Scott, Bobby Long, Bill Anderson, etc.
Slipknot, Lamb of God, Bullet For My Valentine
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 4
Earlier this summer the Rockstar Mayhem tour took some heat — and from its own co-founder, Kevin Lyman — because crowds were down, leading to Lyman’s charges that the traditional headliners had grown “old and fat.” Turns out he was just looking in the wrong place: metal’s real pacesetters will be at the Pavilion Friday opening for the revived Slipknot, the masked farm boys gone bad whose guttural growls and “maggot” mentality are in vintage form on 2014’s .5: The Grey Chapter. Main openers Lamb of God emerged from the nightmare of singer Randy Blythe’s overseas arrest, incarceration and eventual exoneration with this summer’s VII: Sturm and Drang, their livid but triumphant seventh album and an unimpeachable argument that the Virginia-based band deserves a spot among metal’s true heavyweights. So does Bullet For My Valentine, the Welsh quartet proudly keeping Iron Maiden’s UK power-metal torch aloft; their fifth studio effort, Venom, recently debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart. With Motionless In White.
House of Blues, September 4
On his new album, Rodeo (Epic), the sounds Travi$ Scott happens to create with the helping hands of a ton of industry co-conspirators – Kanye West, Toro Y Moi, The Weeknd, Quavo of Migos, Future, 2 Chainz, Swae Lee, Young Thug and Justin Bieber, plus an equally long list of cutting-edge producers – evoke moments of Mad Max set in a bando in Atlanta. There’s clobbering, massive drums and synth notes; he’s a quick study. Travi$ Scott’s art, if you will, is to lead like-minded people into a vortex of temporary nihilism and shouting matches over gothic trap soundscapes. Read our longer review of Rodeo here. (BRANDON CALDWELL)
Warehouse Live (Greenroom), September 4
British singer-songwriter Bobby Long grew up with the well-mannered blues of countrymen like Eric Clapton, but loving long-haired Yanks like Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons too. Indeed, he wrote his university thesis about the social impact of revered troubadors such as Woody Guthrie and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, while managing to finagle a spot on the first Twilight soundtrack. After bulking up his sound on 2013 sophomore album Wishbone, Long has just released Ode to Thinking, an appropriately introspective and bittersweet collection of late-night soul.
Dosey Doe, September 4
“Whispering” Bill Anderson is a throwback to the Nashville of Nudie suits and Minnie Pearl at the Grand Ole Opry, a country gentleman of the highest order who happens to be a world-class songwriter to boot. His first effort to top the country charts came back in 1958 with Ray Price’s “City Lights,” written when Anderson was 19. Over the next five decades Anderson sent more than 35 other songs into the Top 10, both tunes he recorded himself (“Po Folks,” “Mama Sang a Song”) and recorded by top stars like Connie Smith, Eddy Arnold, Conway Twitty, Steve Wariner and Randy Travis. Anderson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982 and will be 78 on November 1, and has hardly slowed down as he approaches his eighties. Brad Paisley and Allison Krauss’ “Whiskey Lullaby” or Brett Eldredge’s “Lose It All”? Yep, that’s Whispering Bill too.
SIX MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
Of Montreal: Houston favorites, Kevin Barnes' garishly clad psych-pop collective always puts on a show to remember; local friends Wild Moccasins open with a guest DJ set. (Walters Downtown, September 4)
Motley Crue: One more song and dance in Houston on Vince, Tommy, Mick and Nikki's (allegedly) final tour. (Toyota Center, September 5)
Man Man: Danceable Philly experimental-pop band is a gas to see live; with Shilpa Ray. (Warehouse Live, September 5)
DigiFest: Got teens? They'll know who Tiger Beat-approved entertainers like Alyssa Shouse, Kaylin and Myles, Jack and Jack, and Nash Grier are. Promise. (Revention Music Center, September 5)
Talat Aziz, Asha Bhosle: Masters of the lyrical Indian singing style known as ghazal. (Arena Theatre, September 5)
The Hunger, To Whom It May, Vanilla Sugar, Tydings: Rockin local alt-rock/reggae bill for exactly zero dollars. (Scout Bar, September 6)