Houston Concert Watch 12/5/18: Elton John, OneRepublic and More

You get two chances to spend one last night with Elton this week.
You get two chances to spend one last night with Elton this week. Photo by Marco Torres
The tree is up. The lights are hung. Red and green are everywhere. The holidays are in full swing, but if you’d rather put off shopping for another week, live music is a pretty good alternative when it comes to things that will destroy your feet. Here’s a look at what’s going on around town.

Pick of the Week: Elton John
12/8-9 — Toyota Center

It’s a two-night stand for one of the greats as Elton John lands in Houston for the final time. It’s beyond the scope of this brief paragraph to talk about how important Elton John is, so let’s instead talk about how you might want to light a candle and say a prayer that he’ll stay in good health long enough to knock these shows out of the park. On a completely different note, have you ever wondered what Elton John would look like in a fight? On one hand, you worry about him breaking his hands on someone’s face, but on the other, he doesn’t seem like the type that would take any grief lightly, ya know?

The Best of the Rest:
Chris Issak
12/5 —
House of Blues

If we were seeding this season’s holiday tours, you have to think this one would be near the top. After all, aren’t you at least a little curious about how you build a set that contains a whole mess of holiday favorites AND “Wicked Game,” one of the sexiest songs of all time; it’s a song so hot it’s hard to imagine any ice would stand a chance. The rest of the set is filled out with Issak originals and assorted covers; if you’re a Roy Orbison fan still looking for more after the hologram, this show should help you out.
Ryan Bingham
12/8 — Heights Theater

The Heights Theater is already one of the best venues in the city to see an intimate concert, and Ryan Bingham is going to make the most of the space as he goes acoustic for a solo show that promises songs and stories. Think of it as your opportunity to catch one of the best episodes of MTV Unplugged you could, but with an artist too talented for the cable channel to embrace. Plus, who doesn’t love a little storytelling during the holiday season?
Icarus the Owl
12/9 — Satellite Bar

I was cleaning out my old home over the weekend, and in one of my bedside drawers I found an old Icarus the Owl sticker that I got at a Warped tour a while back. I had to smile because it was a reminder of one of the most pleasant interactions I’ve had at a festival. The band wasn’t booked that day, but they were outside the venue, doing what they could to get people to check out their album. I respect the hustle, and so I root for these guys whenever they come to town, and you should too.
12/10 — House of Blues

Hooray for radio events! If you’re a fan of the band, you know it’s rare that they come around these parts and play a venue as small as the House of Blues; The Pavilion is a little more their speed if you don’t know. Not a bad early Christmas gift if you know someone who is a fan of the group. Ryan Tedder and company haven’t dropped any new originals in a bit, but they’ve still got their hits and with this being December you’ve got to think they might bust out their cover of “White Christmas.”
Bonus Roadtrip Option: A Very She & Him Christmas Party
12/10 — Austin

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are back at it again, breaking out their musical collaboration for some holiday fun in what is an extremely small tour; their four-date run literally only hits California and Texas. Who knows when they might be out doing their thing live again, so even though this show is taking place on a Monday, it might very well be worth the investment if you’ve been meaning to see them.
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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