Houston Concert Watch 2/8: Springsteen, Anthrax and More

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are back on the road, with a show at Toyota Center on Tuesday.  Concerts from Anthrax, Eric Johnson, Jim Lauderdale, Bill Kirchen, and Adam Sandler are also on tap this week.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are back on the road, with a show at Toyota Center on Tuesday. Concerts from Anthrax, Eric Johnson, Jim Lauderdale, Bill Kirchen, and Adam Sandler are also on tap this week. Photo by GabboT. Creative Commons.
OK, let me get this straight. Cracker Barrel, the restaurant chain that is to southern cuisine what the Olive Garden is to Italian fare, has come up with a promotion for Valentine’s Day in which couples who propose at a Cracker Barrel location have a shot at winning free food for a year. Second prize? Free food for two years! Guys, once you are married, you might get to count dinner at Cracker Barrel as a “night out,” particularly if your bride has low expectations. But if you are not married yet, you will stay that way with a Cracker Barrel proposal. I’m telling you, man, don’t do it. If you really want to impress your beloved, here are some shows that might do the trick.
The Mucky Duck will play host to two legends this weekend. On Friday, Jim Lauderdale will be onstage performing selections from his incredible selection of songs, tunes that have been recorded by George Strait, the Dixie Chicks and Elvis Costello, to name just a few. Then on Saturday, Telecaster master Bill Kirchen will show us what serious twang is all about. In the “who knew?” department, Kirchen and Iggy Pop went to high school together. But they didn’t play in the same band.
The story goes that Eric Johnson can, in a blindfold test, identify the make of the cable plugged into his Stratocaster and the brand of battery in his stomp boxes. And you know what? Maybe he can. The Texas guitar player with the fleet fingers and the elite ears will perform on Saturday at the House of Blues.
Is there a band with a more metal name than Anthrax? Tough to say, but these guys are as legit as it gets. Along with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, they are part of “The Big Four,” and for good reason. The band is celebrating its 40th anniversary with an international tour that also features Zakk Wylde’s band Black Label Society and thrash veterans Exodus. There is bound to be some serious head banging going on Saturday night at the Bayou Music Center, so if you bought the first Anthrax album when it came out, you might want to check in with your chiropractor before the show. Just sayin’.
Adam Sandler at Toyota Center on Monday? Yep, you read that correctly. He’s been a movie star for some time, but he periodically likes to take a detour, and that’s what he’s doing here. For a twist, Sandler will spend a large portion of his act singing goofy songs and playing guitar (he’s quite capable). I’ve got to say this for Sandler: since he got to be an 800-pound gorilla in Hollywood who can do whatever he wants, he has used his clout to hire former colleagues and old friends, and that is admirable. Just like Redd Foxx did when “Sanford and Son” was riding high. Hell, Sandler even gave Rob Schneider a job. Now that’s a mensch!
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, here’s an idea: Bruce Springsteen at Toyota Center on Tuesday. Controversy has swirled, as they say, around the Boss’s current tour, with tickets selling for thousands of dollars and allegations of some serious price gouging. Er, make that “dynamic pricing.” But, as anyone who has seen him knows, Springsteen puts on one hell of a show. Leave home plenty early, though, since the highways will be jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive.
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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