Houston Concert Watch 7/27: Beatles, Two Tons of Steel, and More

Kevin Geil and Two Tons of Steel bring their crossbreeding of country and punk to the Mucky Duck on Friday.  Also on tap this week are shows from Ian Moore, Sum 41, and the (sort of) Beatles.
Kevin Geil and Two Tons of Steel bring their crossbreeding of country and punk to the Mucky Duck on Friday. Also on tap this week are shows from Ian Moore, Sum 41, and the (sort of) Beatles.
Americans are traveling again. Whoo boy are they. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, air travel is now back to pre-pandemic levels, and if you have taken a flight recently, you know that it’s a a mob scene at many airports around the country. Orlando, the home of the Mouse, is the most popular domestic destination this vacation season, with Seattle, Honolulu, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Denver registering high on the list. If, however, you are doing the staycation thing, here are some ideas for getting out and about in H-Town this week.
There is a poster from 1976 hanging in my house that advertises an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone with the Beatles on the cover. The copy reads, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! And You Know That Can’t Be Bad!” The same could be said of this evening’s concert, Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Four costumed musicians playing the mop tops from Liverpool will join the Houston Symphony for an exploration of “Yesterday,” “Penny Lane,” “I Am the Walrus,” and the like, Beatles songs that wander from the basic rock and roll instrumentation. Better still, the concert is free, with no tickets required. Head out to the Pavilion and see if these guys can measure up to Houston’s own Fab 5. That will be a tall order. Hmm, what about a battle of the bands?
If you are in search of musical intensity, head for the Mucky Duck, which will host Two Tons of Steel on Friday. Since 1997, San Antonio’s Kevin Geil has fronted this unique collision of country and punk, continuously honing a live show that is guaranteed to pin your ears back. Two Tons’ cover of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” is truly something to behold, not to mention their take on Van Halen's "Ice Cream Man."  And if you dig that, you will be in for a fun, raunchy, psychobilly kind of a time. But this is no joke, no Dr. Demento-style giggle fest. This is the real deal. Two guitars, stand-up bass, and drums. Count it off and crank it up!
Though he has lived in Seattle for some time, guitar hotshot Ian Moore still likes to come back to Texas every year for some birthday gigs. This year, his Houston stop will be at the Heights Theater on Friday. Moore grew up in Austin, going out to hear music with his parent from an early age. After distinguishing himself with a stint in Joe Ely’s band in the early ‘90s, Moore went on to rock radio fame with singles like “Muddy Jesus” and “How Does It Feel?” Not only that, he opened for many of his idols, including ZZ Top, the Stones, and Bob Dylan. With those years of chasing stardom behind him, Moore plays pretty much what he wants these days, and that seems to be just fine with his loyal Texas fans. Stevie Ray Vaughan himself told a young Moore, “You’re going to get compared to me. You have to have your own voice, and you’ve got to trust it.” And so he has.
Sum 41 has always been an eclectic outfit, incorporating elements of rock, metal, thrash, and punk into their material. But don’t call them a “punk” band. As guitarist Dave Baksh explains, "We just call ourselves rock. It's easier to say than punk, especially around all these fucking kids that think they know what punk is. Something that was based on not having any rules has probably one of the strictest fucking rule books in the world.” In a tip of the hat to “South Park,” Sum 41 has christened its current tour “Blame Canada,” with a stop this Sunday at the House of Blues, co-headlining with Simple Plan.