Overkill Scout Bar, September 16
As the screamin' front man for New Jersey thrash-metal legends Overkill since Day 1 of the group's formation, Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth has seen, experienced and learned a lot in three and a half decades. So what is the one piece of advice that his 2014 self might offer the 1980 Blitz? "Give up the fucking cigarettes, man," he laughs heartily. "Throw them away!"
Ellsworth's voice is in fine condition, and he can certainly hit those super-high notes, on the band's newest effort, White Devil Armory (eOne Records). While not a concept album per se, its 11 tracks are essentially short stories featuring a character, "the Armorist" who embarks on a journey of war, cage-fighting, medical emergencies, devils, politics and religion -- all set to brutal double bass drums, deep bass notes and shredding guitar solos. Rocks Off will have a full interview with Ellsworth Tuesday morning. BOB RUGGIERO
Chris Robinson Brotherhood Fitzgerald's, September 17
Take "brotherhood" with a grain of salt here; Chris Robinson's Black Crowes co-founder and actual brother Rich Robinson is nowhere in sight here. Instead, his five-piece Brotherhood aims for a third-eye-friendly "New Cosmic California" sound that still allows for plenty of CCR-style choogle. The Brotherhood got off to a fast start by releasing two albums in 2012 alone, Big Moon Ritual and The Magic Door, and returned to shelves this spring with Phosphorescent Harvest, which Robinson told Relix magazine is their way of "greasing the wheels of the great cosmic engine." They may be hippies (big time), but you can't call 'em slackers. CHRIS GRAY
Paul Ramirez Band Continental Club, September 17
Versatile Houston blues-rockers the Paul Ramirez Band's sets are mellow enough for a late-night lounge vibe, only pocked with heavier, Cream-like moments of pure jam and sometimes a cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In the Wall, Part 2" that heads straight to the planetarium. Now working on a followup to 2012 debut Sex With a Dragon, on which the Santana-esque "Gypsy Woman" was a highlight, the group balances a keyboard-heavy Latin-jazz groove with Ramirez's probing guitar solos, some of which can get pretty far out there. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Blaggards Under the Volcano, September 17
Year in and year out, no matter what trends may come and go, Houston's stoutest Irish rockers will always be those battlin' Blaggards. Since July 2004, Patrick Devlin, Chad Smalley, Mike McAloon and now Brittany Johnson (the newest Blaggard) brandish a three-pronged rock trident of AC/DC, Social Distortion and Thin Lizzy that has pierced many a good man's liver and led more than a few fair young maidens down a path of temptation to the strains of "Fields of Athenry" or "Folsom Prison Blues." Wednesday's "Halfway to St. Paddy's Day" bash should be no less raucous or green-blooded for taking place in September. CHRIS GRAY
Coheed and Cambria House of Blues, September 17
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is a mouthful, and also the name of C&C's second album, the one they're playing all the way through on this fall tour. Call it what you want -- smart business, nostalgic cash grab, giving the fans what the want -- but as long as they can pull it off, it's going to send the fans home happy.
IKSSE3 is peak Coheed, a mix of solid pop hooks and anthemic epics, all while telling the story of...well...I think there are robots and superpowers and space truckers. It's a weird story, so maybe dust off the comic books and read them so you can follow along. CORY GARCIA
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