Houston Concert Watch 8/17: Mötley Crüe, Robert Earl Keen, and More

Def Leppard (pictured), Mötley Crüe, Joan Jett, and Poison will bring some big-hair '80s sounds to Minute Maid Park Friday night.
Def Leppard (pictured), Mötley Crüe, Joan Jett, and Poison will bring some big-hair '80s sounds to Minute Maid Park Friday night. Photo by Tilli Antoine. Creative Commons.
Looking over the list of this week’s concerts, the phrase “embarrassment of riches” popped into my head. Which led to a bit of research as to the idiom’s origin. It seems that the source is the English translation – by John Ozell - of the 1726 French play L'Embarras des richesses. Indeed, there are so many excellent concert choices this week as to make a decision difficult. Having said that, perhaps the following will help to narrow the field. After all, it's better than flipping a coin.
Friday is the tough night. Three (count ‘em) shows all at once. We’ll start with the big one, the Stadium Tour, featuring co-headliners Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, plus “Special Guests” Poison and Joan Jett. This travelling circus has been moving around the country for the past couple of months, arriving at Minute Maid Park this weekend. Some might think that a gathering of aging rockers might be, well, kind of boring. But Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has, over the past week, livened things up by breaking the internet with a photo of himself and what is, we assume, his proudest possession. Get to the show early, and don’t miss Joan Jett. She still brings it every time.
If that’s not your thing, there are other options available on Friday night. How about Incubus at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion? I mean, you’ve got to hand it to a band who called its first album Fungus Amongus. The sometimes wacky Californians are now in middle age but back on the road, with Sublime opening. And for those who might be curious, yes, there is a band called Succubus, as well as an outfit going by the name of Inkubus Sukkubus. As the television used to tell us on Saturday mornings, “Knowledge is Power!”
The guys in Slightly Stoopid have always exuded a certain joie de vivre. And why not, growing up in sunny San Diego? As band member Kyle McDonald has said, “Whether you’re skating, surfing, playing music, or not doing shit, we live in the best spot on Earth.” Slightly Stoopid stands out from many of the other jam bands in that they have a horn-augmented sound described as "a fusion of folk, rock, reggae, and blues, with hip-hop, funk, metal, and punk."  The band and its fans, lovingly referred to as Stoopidheads, will congregate on Friday at the always-groovy White Oak Music Hall.
Jesse Dayton has straddled a number of genres in his 30-plus years as a professional musician, distinguishing himself in settings ranging from old-school country to psychobilly to punk. This guy has played guitar with Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, the Supersuckers, and X. As someone once said, “He’s been everywhere, man.” Fittingly, Dayton’s latest album, Mixtape Volume 1, is a collection of ten covers, songs first recorded by Neil Young, AC/DC, George Jones, and others. Dayton will play two shows on Saturday at the Mucky Duck, both of which will be streamed online. All fans of Texas music should check out Dayton’s recent memoir Beaumonster, which chronicles the East Texan’s wild ride through the music business.
Robert Earl Keen has been doing this troubadour thing for a while - but not for much longer - so don’t miss your chance to see one of Texas’ premiere singer-songwriters on his home turf this Saturday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. It has been a long road for Keen, who began his career playing at Anderson Fair and, prior to that, on the front porch of a house he shared with Lyle Lovett in College Station. Earlier this year, Keen announced that he would be leaving the road behind after one final tour. Some performers (I’m looking at you, The Who) have undertaken multiple “farewell tours,” but in this case, it’s probably the last time go-round for this unique Texas artist.
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Contributor Tom Richards is a broadcaster, writer, and musician. He has an unseemly fondness for the Rolling Stones and bands of their ilk.
Contact: Tom Richards