The Five Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Aerosmith, Buxton, Charlie Robison, etc.
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at Toyota Center in 2012
Photo by Barry Sigman
Aerosmith, Slash Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 25
Aerosmith's reputation has been tarnished by some bad records and worse decision-making over the years, but even that can't obscure this fundamental truth: in their prime, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry's Boston bad boys not only lived up to the hype as America's Rolling Stones, but on immortal mid-'70s LPs Toys In the Attic and Rocks, managed to out-raunch Mick and Keef themselves. One decade-long trip off the deep end later, they came roaring back to be one of the biggest bands of the late '80s and early '90s with the killer one-two combo of Permanent Vacation and Pump.
Despite various hiatuses, that dreadful Armageddon ballad and Tyler's American Idol stint, Aerosmith has remained a top concert draw to this day, due mostly to hit-studded shows where the mediocrity recedes and the Toxic Twins step to the fore in all their bloozy glory. One of Perry's most successful guitar acolytes, opener Slash is a happy man these days, still cranking out all those Appetite for Destruction favorites with maximum intensity live and periodically releasing no-frills installments of agreeable hard rock such as next month's World On Fire. CHRIS GRAY
Crosby, Stills and Nash Bayou Music Center, August 25
No less an authority than David Crosby dubbed Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1974 stadium tour "Doom" tour for its manic mix of music with huge highs and lows, drugs, fights, crazy financial expenditures and the aforementioned egos. A number of those shows were recorded. And while shitty bootlegs have circulated for years, Rhino's massive new box set (simply titled CSNY 1974) has 40 live songs over three CDs, as well as a DVD with rare video footage shot during two of the shows (though the audio seems sourced from other shows), and a thick booklet with essays, photos, and liner notes. "We knew [the tour] was something special," Nash told Rocks Off last week. BOB RUGGIERO
Buxton McGonigel's Mucky Duck, August 26
Opening for the Whigs at Fitz downstairs back in June, Buxton used the lower-key (for them) performance slot to drop seven cuts set to be featured on the forthcoming followup to 2012's Nothing Here Seems Strange, and proved how much the La Porte transplants have grown over the years. The new songs sounded beefier and much more full of life -- the jangly "Icebreaker" should be a hit, as well as brooding set-closer "Miss Catalina." Buxton seems to be reinvigorated, so hopefully the new album drops sooner than later. JIM BRICKER
More shows on the next page.
Charlie Robison Main Street Crossing, August 27
Little brother of top Austin tunesmith Bruce Robison, Charlie Robison is no slouch in the songwriting department himself, with the kind of attitude that earned him the longstanding nickname "bad boy of Bandera." That was when he was still playing Music Row's major-label game (somewhat), convincing Sony to release the excellent albums Life of the Party and Step Right Up around the turn of the millennium. Since then he's lost the label, married and divorced a Dixie Chick, grown his hair out and endeared himself to Texas audiences time and again with his maverick ways. Last year he returned with High Life, which finds Robison covering simpatico artists like Bob Dylan, The Band, Kinky Friedman and Sir Douglas Sahm. CHRIS GRAY
The Mighty Orq Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, August 28
As dependable a performer as you could ask for, The Mighty Orq is usually not hard to find, averaging two or three gigs a week when he's not out of town. A multiple Houston Press Music Award winner for both his guitar talents and his blues mojo, last summer Orq released a new album, Soulful City, a love letter to both Houston's rich blues legacy and the steely Resonator guitar with which he crafted it. CHRIS GRAY
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