The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Jay Z & Beyoncé, Invincible Czars, New Mercies

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Jay Z & Beyonce Minute Maid Park, July 18

So far one of the biggest blockbuster tours of 2014, with a top ticket price of $251 to match, has not been a disappointment in terms of drama. Jay Z's elevator brawl with sister-in-law Solange made a fitting prologue, and then came Beyonce's recent onstage insinuations of her husband/partner's possible infidelity via some new lyrics to her B'Day song "Resentment."

Or it could all just be an act, part of the couple's carefully constructed bad-girl/boy personas for this "On the Run" summer outing. At the very least, Minute Maid Park should make a fine venue (as stadiums go) to catch two of the millennium's biggest pop stars at the peak of their considerable powers, with the added benefit of the Houston media going absolutely haywire with Beyonce sightings anytime the Beyhive's queen is back in her hometown.

Invincible Czars Continental Club, July 18

It's always interesting to see what the Invincible Czars will get up to next. In the past, the Austin art-rockers with the revolving-door membership have released anything from distinctive versions of Tchaikovsky's "1812" overture and Nutcracker Suite to copious original works with a little bit of anything from the Melvins to Mussorgsky.

Now, following the Czars' all-new score to the 1915 silent film Martyrs of the Alamo last year, they've just released a four-song EP showcasing the works of Graham Reynolds and Peter Stopschinski, collaborators in the fearless, pan-genre Golden Hornet Project and two of Texas' leading neo-classical composers. With the Wheel Workers and Poon, Austin's only all-female Ween cover band(!).

New Mercies Fitzgerald's, July 19

After B.E. Godfrey pulled up stakes for New York last month, this time it's Lucas Gorham heading off to L.A. "to get a life change," he says, "Also I wanna expand my career by going to a place where the music industry is busier." Fair play to both of them; as Gorham says on one of his new songs, "U Can't Live Ur Life 4 Some 1 Else." (Prince may be showing through there a little.) Luckily Gorham isn't leaving without giving us a glimpse of his latest musical direction.

In recent months he's put his gonzo-R&B band Grandfather Child on the shelf in favor of the New Mercies, a solo exercise that mingles synthy '80s soul, that trap sound that's all the rage, and some super-mellow ambient beats. Rounding out Saturday's eclectic bill are two more adventurous local electronica acts, Children of Pop and the double-team of NIKKOO and P.L.X.T.X., plus Native Tongues-like Houston rap crew Def Perception and DJ sets by Fat Tony and MAKE (aka Josiah Gabriel). Whew. Thank God all those guys are sticking around...for now.

More shows on the next page.


Tesla: Quintessential bluesy hard rockers who are not above a power ballad or two. (House of Blues, July 18)

The Houston Symphony does Star Trek: Into Darkness: Beam us up. (Jones Hall, July 18)

Mark Jones & Twenty Paces, Shellee Coley: Sweet local Americana twin-bill in Tomball. (Main Street Crossing, July 18)

Otenki, etc.: Huge bill of stylish young H-town rockers to watch, also featuring Southerland Nights, Catch Fever, Karma Points and Spencer Fort; downstairs is local but rootsier with Second Lovers and Adam Bricks -- and free for 21 and up. (Fitzgerald's, July 18)

94.5 The Buzz Weenie Roast: Come early for Baltimore bashers J. Roddy Walston & the Business; staying through Stone Temple Pilots/Chester Bennington is up to you. (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, July 19)

Gritsy 8-Year Anniversary: Only for that ass, by the Gritsy DJs featuring OG Ron C and Chopstars. (Warehouse Live, July 19)

Quiet Company: Performing Weezer's Pinkerton in its entirety, of course. (Walters, July 19)


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