Houston Concert Watch 11/21: Willie Nelson, Blue October and More

Willie is one of our favorite people ever.
Willie is one of our favorite people ever. Photo courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Did you get all your Thanksgiving shopping knocked out already? Best wishes to you if you haven't. Make sure if you're heading out to put on your game face and be ready to make sacrifices if you need to; no one will know the pie is store bought if you put it on the right platter. As for Black Friday, you made the choices you think are best for you, but try and save a few bucks so you can check out this week's lineup of shows.

Pick of the Week: Willie Nelson
11/25 - Smart Financial Centre

This week is heavy with Texas-born acts, headlined by one of our greatest exports. It’s been a wild year for the one and only Willie Nelson, with some of his fandom only now, somehow, learning that he has left-leaning politics. Election Day might not have turned out how he hoped, but if history is any indication, nothing keeps Willie Nelson down for long. Spend some time with a Texas gem while you can.

Best of the Rest:
H-Town Thanksgiving
11/22 - White Oak Music Hall

Every holiday should have some sort of annual live music celebration, concert constants you can count on in the chaos of modern life. With a lineup that features Z-Ro, Slim Thug, Lil Keke, Lil Flip, Paul Wall and Yung Martez, you've got some of Houston hip-hop’s finest taking the stage for a performance you can be thankful for. If someone wants to round up some of the best to pick up a mike every Thanksgiving, that would be pretty sweet.
Blue October
11/24 - Revention Music Center

Few artists perform with the intensity that Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld brings to the stage. It’s not chaos - the shows don’t feel like they’re going to fall apart - but he has a presence that seems so much bigger than the physical body he inhabits. Current setlists lean heavy on their most recent effort, I Hope You’re Happy, so make sure to squeeze in a few spins of that to make sure you’re ready to sing and scream along.
Cannibal Corpse
11/24 - Warehouse Live

Christmas season starts the day after Thanksgiving — don’t let all the holiday decor that is already up fool you — but if you’re not quite ready or just aren’t interested in embracing the feel-good energy of the holidays, nothing will take you to the opposite side of the spectrum like Cannibal Corpse. “Hammer Smashed Face” is about as far away from “All I Want For Christmas is You” as you can get. Break out your best, gross shirt you rarely get to wear and make a night of it.
Slaid Cleaves
11/24 - Mucky Duck

Slaid Cleaves may not have been born in Texas, but he’s one of us now, and “Texas Love Song” is one of the most delightful love songs of the past decade. Besides, how can you not want the chance to hear it in a venue he namechecks in the song itself? A great songwriter in a great, intimate venue is not a bad way to cap off one of the most hectic days of the year.
Bonus Roadtrip Option: Elvis Costello & The Imposters
11/23 - Thackerville, OK

Got family up in Dallas? Since you’re already up that far north, hop across the border for a trip to WinStar Casino. Why waste Black Friday fighting your way through malls and department stores when you could be chasing that gambling high then singing your heart out with a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There will be plenty of time to get your shopping on before Christmas, and Costello doesn’t come around every day.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia