NRG Stadium, March 20
With 2012’s world-conquering, hip-hop-enabled “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line realized their wildest dreams — and painted a giant target on their backs. Ever since, the duo has been trying to keep the party going while urging fans to take them more seriously, the impetus for last year’s third LP, Dig Your Roots.
NRG Stadium, March 21
Fast approaching a half-century of soundtracking Texans’ good times, ZZ Top keeps chugging along like one of their iconic riffs. Last seen thrilling a jubilant Super Bowl LIVE crowd, the trio stands as proof that few problems in this world can resist their stiff dose of beards and boogie.
NRG Stadium, March 22
Every decade has a singer or two whose nondescript image conceals a voice whose songs are playing every other time the radio is on. Once it was Don Williams; nowadays it’s Chris Young, the 31-year-old Tennesseean behind hits like “I’m Comin’ Over,” “Voices” and “You.”
House of Blues, March 22
One year removed from their first release in five years, The Hand of John L. Sullivan, Flogging Molly will return to Houston with British folk outfit Skinny Lister. The last time I witnessed their live antics was two years ago, when the band tossed Guinness dry stouts into a sweaty FPSF crowd. For nearly an hour, Dave King and his merry band of Irish-rock gents kept fans' heart rates as high as their spirits despite the unforgiving heat emanating from the pavement of NRG Park. It was a sweaty mess of fast-paced tunes, aggressive drinking and Celtic appreciation. If you'd care to experience something similar with central air-conditioning in the mix, this HOB show won't be one to miss. With Skinny Lister. MATTHEW KEEVER
Smart Financial Centre, March 22
Duran Duran adding another U.S. leg to their tour behind 2015’s Paper Gods isn’t that surprising, considering it’s their first album to reach the U.S. Top 10 since 1993, and its principal themes — pop music’s eternal tension between substance and style, as reflected in relationships and society — are just as relevant now as in their Rio days. Younger guests like Kiezsa and Janelle Monáe, who were born into the hybrid world Duran Duran helped to create, and big names on the production team (Mr. Hudson, Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers) all help clear room for the group’s classic sound within a contemporary space; the pillars of their catalog now dominating “classic hits” stations like Houston’s 95.7 The Spot should take care of the rest. To borrow a title from Paper Gods, Duran Duran still have a face for today, and probably for the next 25 years, too.
NRG Stadium, March 23
Fall Out Boy’s successful 2016 appearance confirmed mall-punk’s viability with 21st-century rodeo audiences, so here come the virtual founders of the genre. Blink themselves are on the upswing, recharged by the 2015 installation of ex-Alkaline Trio front man Matt Skiba and last year’s comeback album, California, whose songs include “Cynical” and “Sober.”