Houston Concert Watch 5/10: Ed Sheeran, The Cure and More

Mega pop star and recent courtroom victor Ed Sheeran will perform on Saturday at NRG Stadium.  Shows from Lewis Capaldi, Ian Moore, Ray Wylie Hubbard and the Cure are also on tap this week.
Mega pop star and recent courtroom victor Ed Sheeran will perform on Saturday at NRG Stadium. Shows from Lewis Capaldi, Ian Moore, Ray Wylie Hubbard and the Cure are also on tap this week. Photo by Sean Reynolds. Creative Commons.

We have concerts from two young British popmeisters, two bona fide Texas treasures, and an antimonarchy icon on tap this week in Houston, with funk from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Morris Day and the Time just around the corner. The summer concert season is underway, so get a running start, and let’s jump on that moving train.

Ticket Alert
Few things announce the arrival of summer like triple-digit temperatures. But a close (and much more festive) second is the Red Hot Chili Peppers kicking out the jams at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25. A small number of decent seats are available in just about all sections, so sock up!

Quirky pianist Ben Folds will perform on October 17 at the Bayou Music Center. In addition to fronting the band Ben Folds Five and working as a solo artist, Folds is also a photographer (his work has been featured in National Geographic), a record producer (William Shatner’s Has Been) and actor (he played the role of a botany professor on the television show “Community” and contributed the song “Ass Crack Bandit” to the episode “Basic Gluteal Numismatics”). Now that’s multitalented! Presales are in progress, with the general ticket sale beginning on Friday.

Chicago, still featuring original members Robert Lamm (vocals, keyboards), Lee Loughnane (trumpet) and James Pankow (trombone), has just announced a huge tour (over 60 dates), which will make a stop at the Smart Financial Centre on September 20. Tickets are on sale now for a show that – barring the much-maligned and vaguely obligatory “song from our most recent album” – will be hit after hit.

Look out, a flashback is coming! In this case, it’s the Funk Flashback on Saturday, May 27, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Morris Day and the Time (“Jerome!”) will headline a bill that includes Rose Royce, the Zapp Band, Confunkshun, the Ohio Players and Atlantic Starr. A good selection of tickets is still available, and the prices are not outrageous. Go fill your funk prescription, stat!

Concerts This Week
Nothing like a breakup song, eh? I’m talking weepers like “Without You” (Harry Nilsson), “Crying” (Roy Orbison) and “Alone Again (Naturally)” (Gilbert O’Sullivan) (And don’t the parentheses make that last one even sadder?) Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi joined this pantheon of boo-hoo a few years ago with “Someone You Loved,” a tune that hit number one and ranks as the fourth-most streamed song on Spotify at 2.76 billion spins. That’s “billions” with a “b.”

Capaldi will turning the faucet on some mass waterworks Thursday at the 713 Music Hall, but the good news is that the twenty-something lad actually has one hell of a sense of humor. ‘Cause Knowledge is Power: “Someone” is actually about the passing of Capaldi’s grandmother. But don’t tell that to anyone who might be wallowing in the song after a nasty split.
The Heights Theater always does a fine job of showcasing Texas talent, and this week is no exception. On Thursday, Ian Moore will do some serious plank spanking, with The Last Jimenez opening. The following night, OG cosmic cowboy Ray Wylie Hubbard (“Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”) will command the stage, with Kelley Mickwee, a member of Shinyribs’ Shiny Soul Sisters opening the show.
You got to love old rock stars that are still kind of feisty. Cure front man Robert Smith - even though he looks like your auntie on her way to HEB to pick up a rotisserie chicken – found time to raise some sand this week. It all got started when Smith shared (on social media) an editorial cartoon lampooning the coronation of King Chuck III and containing the phrase, ““All hail the nature arbitrary / of privilege that’s hereditary.”

Was Smith’s action misconstrued? Probably not, considering that, in 2012, when asked about the possibility of his accepting a knighthood, Smith said, “I would honestly cut off my own hands before I [did that]. Because how dare they presume that they could give me an honor. I’m much better than them. They’ve never done anything, they’re fucking idiots. I should be King.” Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt that a representative from the British Consulate will be on hand for the Cure show Friday evening at Toyota Center.
Ed Freaking Sheeran! The man just won a lawsuit alleging that he had purloined Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On” and utilized it in the composition of his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud,” and this was a relief not only for Sheeran, but for the entire creative community as well.

As Sheeran pointed out during the trial, his song only contains four chords, all of which have been used frequently by songwriters the world over. Hell, even the daughter of one of the songwriters was on Sheeran’s side and gave him a hug when the verdict was announced (the lawsuit was brought by a company that owns a substantial portion of a song catalog containing “Let’s Get It On”). The beloved British ginger will include Houston on his victory lap, with a show on Saturday at NRG Stadium.
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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