Concerts

Houston Concert Watch 12/28: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Los Skarnales, and More

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring its "Ghosts of Christmas Eve" production to Toyota Center on Thursday.  Shows from Tobe Nwigwe, Los Skarnales, Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Falstaff, the Texas Turbines, and the Boomtown Brass Band are also on tap this week.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring its "Ghosts of Christmas Eve" production to Toyota Center on Thursday. Shows from Tobe Nwigwe, Los Skarnales, Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Falstaff, the Texas Turbines, and the Boomtown Brass Band are also on tap this week. Photo by Tomas Del Coro. Creative Commons.
It seems that Houston dodged a bullet this past weekend, with the effects of a holiday cold snap relatively minimal, certainly when compared to the rest of the country. Now that the plants have been lugged back outside and the old sheets taken off the shrubbery, it’s time to make concert plans to close out the year in style.
So you thought the gaggle of Christmas concerts was over? Not so fast! The Trans-Siberian Orchestra brings its “Ghosts of Christmas Eve” production to Toyota Center on Thursday. The TSO may be viewed as a rocked-up version of Mannheim Steamroller, the prog-rock / new-age concept that had great success during the ‘80s with banks of synthesizers churning out “updated” versions of Christmas carols. There is something for every stripe of rock fan in a TSO show: shreddy guitar solos, musical bombast, lasers, lights, and lots of pyro.
Houstonian (Alief, represent!) Tobe Nwigwe has enjoyed a successful career as a rapper, but he has recently added acting to his resume, appearing in the Netflix series "Mo” as a character who memorably extols the virtues of Shipley Do-Nuts. Nwigwe was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist just a few weeks ago, so his concert on Friday at the 713 Music Hall is bound to be epic, capping off what has been an incredible year for him.
Los Skarnales will play Friday night at the Heights Theater, presenting an evening of “roots Tex-Mex, ska, cumbia, punk, reggae, rockabilly, danzon, glam punk, and surf all in one night live and in your face!!” OK! The Babylonz and Mas Pulpo will open for Los Skarnales, a band which has been a Houston institution for almost 30 years. The vatos rudos of Los Skarnales caution, “This is one pachanga you don’t wanna miss!”
Opportunities for music-based New Year’s celebrations abound on Saturday night, and these are some of the best bets. Asleep at the Wheel, stalwart custodians of the western swing tradition, will be at the Dosey Doe Big Barn for a show that includes a three-course dinner. Those looking for country music inside the loop can head for the Continental Club and the Horni Tonk Society’s New Year’s concert featuring Johnny Falstaff’s Skyranch, along with Christopher Seymore and The Western Cosplay.  Some serious boot scootin' is bound to occur.
For more roots music, slide into Under the Volcano, which will welcome the Texas Turbines on Saturday for an evening filled with “majestic songs of heartbreak and pain.” That means that both kinds of music will be played, country and western. At the Heights Theater, it’s the Boomtown Brass Band and their mix of ‘20s and ‘30s jazz, plus dessert and a champagne toast. Whatever you do on New Year’s Eve, be safe, be careful, and be ready for a concert-filled 2023!
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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