Bayou City

Houston's 10 Best Concerts in November

Hard to believe it's been nearly three years since Fall Out Boy played the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Hard to believe it's been nearly three years since Fall Out Boy played the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Photo by Marco Torres
Toyota Center, November 7
There’s something to be said for the third act of Fall Out Boy’s career. The first act witnessed the band exploding onto the pop-punk scene and pretty much ruling the pop-rock roost for a few years. The second act was a blend of the band maturing, fracturing and eventually falling apart, only to reunite after some much-needed downtime. Turns out, a little downtime is all Fall Out Boy needed to become the band it always wanted to be. Sure, Pete Wentz and crew may not move the needle the way they once did, but the band’s last two efforts – 2013’s Save Rock and Roll and 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho – easily rank among their best. A new album is on tap in January, so Fall Out Boy is already back out on the road — and donating the proceeds of this Toyota Center stop to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Come for nostalgia, but stay for a band that finally seems to have figured it out. CLINT HALE

Toyota Center, November 8
Much has been discussed in regards to "4:44," Jay Z’s mid-summer album that has since inspired numerous think-pieces and even course curriculum from its content. Like, how it’s not a “Jay-Z album but rather a Shawn Carter one” or how, at 47, Jay-Z is still captivating listeners with the nifty wordplay that made him the greatest rapper of all time. Giving fans something else to discuss, his tour supporting "4:44" is vastly different from any previous Hov. There’s no rectangular stage, just him standing in the middle of the arena, seen by all. He’s going to spill his guts and wince at repeating songs like “4:44” while being jubilant on songs of defiance such as “U Don’t Know” and “Bam.” He’s going to lay into his performance the same way he has for almost 21 years now: back-and-forth pacing, crowd engagement and sporadic pondering, as if Jay Z himself doesn’t know what his next move on the stage is going to be. Most of all, he’s going to use this tour as a living, breathing therapy session. Hov may not be considered peak Superman, but he can still show up and leap higher than a single bound and drop a life gem or two. BRANDON CALDWELL

White Oak Music Hall, November 8
In the mid-1980s, Scotland’s The Jesus and Mary Chain submerged a melodic sweet tooth in a haze of deafening feedback and driving percussion on Psychocandy and Darklands, albums that quickly became cornerstones of the rapidly coalescing indie-rock scene. By dialing back the noise a bit and sharpening the hooks to a razor’s edge, on 1989’s Automatic they created an all-time classic full of traits vital to the very best rock and roll: catchy, melancholy and a little dangerous. Jim and William Reid’s brotherly rows and chemical appetites quickly became as legendary as their songs, and the legend grew until the band ultimately imploded on tour supporting 1998’s Munki. Time hasn’t so much mellowed the Reids, who reunited JAMC at Coachella 2007 and delivered a memorable set at Day For Night 2016, as it’s given them a taste of the remarkable legacy they’ve created — which, as heard on the band’s first studio album in nearly 20 years, this spring’s Damage and Joy, turns out to be as addictive as any other drug. CHRIS GRAY

Toyota Center, November 10
Axl Rose and crew packed the house last summer at NRG Stadium, so why not return for a victory lap – albeit in a somewhat smaller venue – and give the fans another show? To say some are surprised this tour has not only survived but thrived is an understatement, considering the ego and volatile personalities involved. Turns out, most reviews of the tour to this point have been quite favorable, and the fellas in GN'R (most notably the enigmatic Rose) have seemingly been on their best behavior. For those who have yet to see the band live, this might make for a nice time to do so. Sure, they may reunite for another tour down the road, but to predict the path of Axl Rose is a fool’s errand. The current tour is billed the Not In This Lifetime Tour; you may not find a more aptly titled tour in 2017. CLINT HALE

House of Blues, November 11
The Grammy-nominated indie-pop faves return for what will undoubtedly be a rousing yet long overdue show. After an anticlimactic FPSF that culminated in their set's cancellation because of severe weather, The Shins owe Houston fans at least a set and a half and one solid encore. Their live shows are intimate affairs without the self-conscious, trite parade of pain for art’s sake that is too often center stage at dream-alt shows. While most fans may have come on board after the Garden State soundtrack’s success, The Shins' following has stayed loyal despite front man James Mercer’s disbanding the group in 2012 and re-forming with all new members four years later. Upheavals aside, this year’s Heart Worms feels like a return to form for the singer and songwriter who has long been the brains behind the curtain. KRISTY LOYE

Heights Theater, November 17
John McCauley has been trying to show us the way of Deer Tick since their album War Elephant was originally released through Houston’s Feow! Records. This year the band released the double-length set Vol 1 and Vol 2, proving not just that they’re at the top of their game, but are making the kind of music that Wilco has spent the past 20 years attempting to make. Full of either acoustic twang for days or pop hooks buried in '70s rock guitar, this is the show that will show both sides of Deer Tick. With Solomon Georgio. DAVID GARRICK

Satellite Bar, November 18
These Austin indie staples will be back in town for some more buzzy, shoegaze goodness. The three piece’s fondness for tone, fuzz and melody creates a sonic texture as interesting as it is satisfying. Their songs resemble a sonic flood of heavy distortion that submerges every stage it touches, and no amplifier is left on low and no ear left untickled. Former openers for Smashing Pumpkins with several international tours under their collective belts, Deathstarr is what Austin serves up best: professional-grade locals. With songs that draw listeners into a deep tide of instrumental noise, then push them back out to sea with bassist Alex Gehring’s siren-sweet vocals, Deathstarr write music that taps into a communal headspace between performer and audience. Call it psychedelic, call it alternative, call it Austin’s best under-the-radar cult following, just don’t call it “maybe next time.” KRISTY LOYE

Warehouse Live Ballroom, November 21
Even though he's just 26 years old, Tyler, The Creator's standing in the rap game has been established for years. More than a decade ago, he started Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, a hip-hop collective that spawned his solo career and served as a jumping-off point for the likes of Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean. Since then, Tyler has released four studio album. He boasts a deep, unsettling voice and is best-known for his graphic depictions of violence against women, homosexuals and, perhaps most notably, himself. His lyrics have received their fair share of criticism over the years, but Tyler's star continued to shine bright amid all the controversy. Most recently, he released Flower Boy, which displays the Los Angeles native at his most introspective since his emergence. Supported by an all-star cast of R&B crooners and rap heavy-hitters, Tyler's latest album sees Tyler coming to terms with his own sexuality and sounding much more comfortable in his own skin, all to critical and commercial acclaim. MATTHEW KEEVER

White Oak Music Hall, November 21
Last year I fell in love with the indie sounds and pop hooks of the Beach Slang album A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings so much that, when I saw them open for Minus the Bear, I left before the headliner. In the vein of what Paul Westerberg did with the Replacements, this band creates the same kind of chaotic energy as the Mats' early days, except more sober and composed. Openers Dave Hause, a former punk who echoes Westerberg's solo work, and Nebraska’s See Through Dresses will give you dream-pop feels. DAVID GARRICK

Revention Music Center, November 24
Justin Furstenfeld and his Blue October bandmates are an interesting case study in life as rock stars. Once upon a time, Blue October was the next big thing – all over the radio, selling out arenas, you name it. Turns out Furstenfeld – a loyal Houstonian – was battling some major substance and depression issues. Years later, Blue October finances and releases its own music, the radio play has lightened, the buzz has waned and Furstenfeld seemingly couldn’t be happier. He is a family man, happy and sober, and as focused as ever on Blue October the band, as confirmed by their performance at the annual Bud Light Weenie Roast in The Woodlands this past summer. The band seemed as tight and on-point as ever during their fairly abbreviated set. For those who want a little more this time around, you’re in luck, as Blue October is the sole big draw this trip through town. CLINT HALE
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