The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Rick Springfield, Catfish & the Bottlemen, Dale Watson, Ratatat, etc.
Rick Springfield, Loverboy, the Romantics
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 22
This tour might not be such a big deal if it were at House of Blues — where one of today’s bigger solo male pop stars, Nick Jonas, happens to be playing the same night — but it’s at the Pavilion, meaning the market for ‘80s nostalgia tours remains not only resilient but profitable, particularly when the performers are responsible for some of the biggest pop-rock earworms of that hit-heavy decade. Rick Springfield has long supplemented his “Jessie’s Girl” earnings with successful careers as an author and actor, including roles in True Detective and the Meryl Streep film Ricki and the Flash this summer alone. Long after the “Talking In Your Sleep” days, Detroit power-pop champs the Romantics have become favorites on Little Steven’s Underground Garage, both the satellite-radio channel and the syndicated FM program. Finally, the indefatigable Canadians behind “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” and “The Kid Is Hot Tonite,” Loverboy, have now endeared themselves to multiple generations of weekend warriors.
Catfish & the Bottlemen
House of Blues, September 23
A band is doing well in Britain when it is featured on the cover of longstanding music bible NME; it’s doing even better when the cover copy says, “Step aside, Liam!” That’s big talk from even the notoriously excitable UK music press, but thus far the excellently named four-piece Catfish & the Bottlemen have shown all the signs of being a real contender. A clever strategy of setting up shows in the parking lots of gigs by bands like Kasabian quickly got the Bottlemen noticed; from there it was a pretty short hop to Universal Records and 2014’s brash and lofty The Balcony, an album that — while it may not be quite as majestic as vintage Oasis — again confirms how deeply the gritty but stylish sounds of the Strokes have seeped into the water supply of Great Britain’s millennial indie-rockers.
Dale Watson, Rosie Flores
Discovery Green, September 24
Surely Discovery Green will be a fine place to see Dale Watson, but it’ll be hard not to feel a twinge of sadness that he’ll never again play Blanco’s, his Houston honky-tonk home for many years, and now closed for almost two. But life goes on, and the 52-year-old founder of “Ameripolitan” music — basically what we used to call country, until country music turned into watered-down pop and classic rock — is thriving, making his Austin City Limits debut in 2014 and this year releasing Call Me Insane, another excellent album full of both humor (“Heaven’s Gotta Have a Honky-Tonk”), heartbreak (“Burden of the Cross”), a little of both (George Jones tribute “Jonesin’ For Jones”), and plenty of hard twangin’ in between. Joining him Thursday is Rosie Flores, the San Antonio native who has been a maverick and a trailblazer since her first album, 1987’s Rosie Flores, was produced by Dwight Yoakam’s longtime guitarist Pete Anderson. Now a longtime resident of Austin, Flores is a grande dame of rockabilly who can rip up the stage with the best of them; her latest evidence is 2012’s Working Girl’s Guitar.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, September 24
A virtuoso of the Fender Telecaster, Bill Kirchen is not only a stellar songwriter, player, and performer whose oeuvre extends from Bakerfield truckers' twang to rockabilly, he is widely acknowledge as one of the top practitioners of his craft and has spent part of his career teaching guitar. He was part of Austin's twang supergroup the Twangbangers, formed in 2001 with Redd Voelkaert, Dallas Wayne and Joe Goldmark. Kirchen's most recent album, 2013's Seeds and Stems, prompted Rolling Stone to label him "in these roots-conscious times, very much a pioneer." Part of St. Andrew's "Coffee House Live" series; concerts take place in the West U church's Warren Family Center. (WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH)
Warehouse Live, September 24
They say New York is a state of mind, and no one seems to capture that quite as well as Ratatat. On Magnifique, their first album in five years, this Brooklyn electronica duo has captured the essence of John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever swagger and turned it into something that's once again relevant. If you haven't already heard that they'll be in town, you may want to consider buying a ticket, because it's going to seem like the entire city went without you if you miss it. (ALYSSA DUPREE)