Muse Toyota Center, March 12
The prospect of a new Muse album (The 2nd Law) was overshadowed by the band's dalliance with dubstep, which was a shame, but not surprising in the current musical climate. When one of the world's biggest stadium-rock bands' tinkering with electronics becomes a dealbreaker, it tells you something about their fickle fans.
Thankfully Muse made it work -- somewhat -- with singles like "Follow Me," but we doubt that the band will be selling glowsticks at the merch booths. We're guessing their going the dance route probably turned off vocal Muse proponent Glenn Beck, too. With Dead Sara. CRAIG HLAVATY
Major Lazer House of Blues, March 12
Diplo and Switch's reggae/dancehall-oriented project Major Lazer casts the DJ duo -- one from Philly, one from London -- as a couple of EDM robots who are a whole hell of a lot more fun than Daft Punk, even if you don't buy the backstory that they're actually Rastafarian zombies. (Or something like that.) Recently Lazer's PR folks announced that the twosome's third and forthcoming album, Free the Universe, has been postponed until April, but we suspect that won't slow down the party at House of Blues all that much. Like, not at all. CHRIS GRAY
Bad Religion House of Blues, March 13
Bad Religion released its 16th studio album, True North, this past January, following up 2010's The Dissent of Man with another excuse to go out on the road and school kids on the past 34 years of OG L.A. punk history. Thankfully, their recent set lists are digging back into material from How Could Hell Be Any Worse? and Suffer, rather than sticking to the more modern stuff.
True North is a worthy addition to the band's universe, though, with 48-years-young lead singer Greg Graffin sounding almost as angry on tracks like "Fuck You" and "Land of Endless Greed" as he did at 16. CRAIG HLAVATY
Pitbull Reliant Stadium, March 14
Last August at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Pitbull put on a show that encompassed the heat and energy of Carnaval and New Year's Eve in one long, hot and frenetic dance party. Somewhere along the way, the rapper with the ability to spit lyrics of love and lust at rapid-fire speed transformed himself into the pied piper of club anthems. Now he's bringing his never-ending party to RodeoHouston, which precedes Thursday's concert. MARCO TORRES
Yo Gabba Gabba! Live Bayou Music Center, March 14
Because kids are never too young to start rockin', Yo Gabba Gabba! is here to help the little tykes do so intelligently and without being complete tools about it. The Nick Jr. show starring a crew of adorable monsters and robots is approaching its sixth year of offering toddlers a cooler soundtrack than Teletubbies, plus occasional pop-ins by real-life musicians. The Gabba Gabba gang periodically sets out on tour to entertain their pint-sized fans, sometimes impressing even childless reviewers like one of ours, who wrote, "We were left singing the words to 'Party In My Tummy' all weekend without feeling like a total goofball" in December 2010.
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This time around, the Gabbas' objective is to help their audience "Get the Sillies Out!!" with the help of very special guest Biz Markie, a longtime friend of the show. If the Biz can't teach your child the true value of friendship, we're not sure who else you should even ask. Shows at 3 and 6 p.m.; see bayoumusiccenter.com for ticket info. CHRIS GRAY