Sir Elton John Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, May 1
Sir Elton John's list of accomplishments is as big as his wardrobe, so we'll spare you the introductions. The 68-year-old superstar is coming off another run of "Million Dollar Piano" shows at The Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas (where he will return in October) and headed off to festivals like New Orleans' Jazz Fest and eventually Rock In Rio, where he will co-headline with Rod Stewart. Not too many of Sir Elton's peers can pack a set - which should number around 25 songs Friday - with wall-to-wall hits like he can; this is a man for whom songs like "Tiny Dancer" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" qualify as "deep cuts."
Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials Dosey Doe Music Cafe, May 1
"Lil' Ed" Williams comes by his status as one of Chicago's top latter-day bluesmen honestly; he was born there, and learned his trade at clubs like Big Duke's Blue Flame on the West Side, where some of the headliners included Howlin' Wolf and Junior Wells. Williams, who inherited a talent for slide guitar from his uncle J.B. Hutto, has been leader of the Imperials since he had to sneak into such places because he was underage, and basically cut his legendary 1986 Alligator Records debut Roughhousin' as an all-night jam session. More recently, the Imperials were voted Living Blues' magazine's Best Live Performer from 2011-2013 and released their eighth album, Jump Start, in 2012.
Madness on Main Street 3700 Main Street, May 2
A sure sign that FPSF is not far away, Madness on Main Street returns to the Mid-Main ecosystem to help local music fans brush up on their decision-making and time-management festival skills. Frankly, we prefer this one because it's largely indoors and at FPSF even the highest-profile local acts tend to go onstage in mid-afternoon. Make of that what you will, but there's no denying that MOM's lineup is positively loaded with emerging Houston-area talents: Black Kite, Moji, -Us, George West, Def Perception, the Gold Sounds and Race to the Moon look good, for starters. But there's also seasoned hands like Craig Kinsey, the Beans, PuraPharm, Electric Attitude, Chase Hamblin, the Hue (formerly known as H.I.S.D.), BLSHS, Robert Kuhn and Nathan Quick (among others), as well as out-of-towners including Denton's The Birds of Night and FEA, featuring Jenn and Phanie from Girl In a Coma. Advance tickets starting at $12 via sigslagoon.com or right here.
SEVEN MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Second Lovers: Local roots-rockers (recently profiled here) now working on next album with New York City Queens' John Stephens. (House of Blues, May 1)
Martin Solveig: French super-DJ also largely responsible for the sound of Madonna's MDNA album. (Stereo Live, May 1)
Bri Bagwell, Breelan Angel: Make Friday night girls' night with this local pair of gleaming honky-tonk talents. (Firehouse Saloon, May 1)
ZZ Top, Jeff Beck: Between the ex-Yardbird guru and Bayou City bearded ones, the fingerboards will be burnin'. (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, May 2)
Kaiser Chiefs: Politically oriented power-Britpop blokes of "I Predict a Riot" fame are back on this side of the pond behind last year's Education, Education, Education & War. (Warehouse Live, May 2)
Saul Williams: Activist/hip-hop poet now making the blogs swoon with "Burundi," a duet with Emily Kakal of Warpaint. (Fitzgerald's, May 2)
Los Lobos: East L.A. legends rock "Cinco de Mayo at Miller." (Miller Outdoor Theatre, May 3)
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