Houston Concert Watch 7/10: Cage the Elephant, Totally Tubular Festival and More

Matt Schultz and Cage the Elephant will perform on Friday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Shows from Jesse Dayton and New Kids on the Block are also on tap this week, plus the Totally Tubular Festival.
Matt Schultz and Cage the Elephant will perform on Friday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Shows from Jesse Dayton and New Kids on the Block are also on tap this week, plus the Totally Tubular Festival. Photo by Stefan Brending. Creative Commons.
Guess what? I was just jamming with Bob Weir and the rest of the Grateful Dead. No, I’m not tripping balls. What I am doing is having a bunch of fun with an online app (I guess that’s the correct term) that has been introduced to coincide with the release of the 50th anniversary edition of the album Grateful Dead Live from the Mars Hotel.

This link will take you to a webpage that contains several popular Dead tunes, with isolated guitar, bass, drum, keyboard and vocal tracks. A virtual mixing board enables the user to mute a track – say, Jerry Garcia’s lead guitar – and play along with the rest of the band as if Jerry had called you onstage to sit in. It’s sort of like karaoke for any instrument you might choose. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to check the rubber bands on my tie-dye project.

Ticket Alert
Tickets are on sale today for Rick Wakeman’s appearance on Saturday, October 26, at the Heights Theater. The “Caped Crusader” will present a one-man show (one man and a dozen keyboard, that is) which will feature a new piece, “Yessonata,” containing themes from songs that he co-wrote as a member of Yes. Here’s hoping that Wakeman will leave some room in the show for a few stories. He’s quite the raconteur, as the video above demonstrates.

Songwriter Jimmy Webb will perform on Sunday, December 1, at the Dosey Doe Big Barn. What’s that? Who’s Jimmy Webb? Only the guy who wrote some of the best songs from the 20th century, tunes like the beautiful “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” the sublime “Wichita Lineman” and the mind-boggling “MacArthur Park.” Yes, dammit, “MacArthur Park.” Check out this video of Webb playing it with David Letterman’s band. (Webb is the keyboard player who isn’t bald and doesn’t wear sunglasses indoors.) Singer-songwriter Paul Zollo wrote, “A night with Jimmy at the keys is not unlike getting to hear George Gershwin or Cole Porter live.” What he said!

Heart’s show scheduled for Tuesday, October 8, at Toyota Center has been postponed due to lead singer Ann Wilson’s health issues. A recent medical procedure discovered an unspecified form of cancer, and Wilson has elected to pursue chemotherapy treatment this fall. Previously purchased tickets will be valid for a rescheduled date to be announced soon, so hang on to them. Get well soon, Ann, we need you out there!

Concerts This Week
Around town, individuals of a certain age are rejoicing this week, and among their number are a couple of my music scribe colleagues at the Houston Press. I’m talking here about the Totally Tubular Festival, which will make a stop tonight at the 713 Music Hall. When concert promoters say it’s totally tubular, they mean totally. We’re talking Thomas Dolby (“She Blinded Me with Science”) Thompson Twins (”Hold Me Now"), Men Without Hats (“The Safety Dance”), Modern English (“I Melt with You”), Wang Chung (“Dance Hall Days”), Bow Wow Wow (“I Want Candy”) and Tommy Tutone (“867-5309”). You’ll think you’re back in 1982. Now if I could just find my Members Only jacket. Does anyone have Martha Quinn’s phone number?
The last few years have been tough for Cage the Elephant and, in particular, the band’s front man Matt Schulz. Weapons charges, a divorce and remarriage, psychosis brought on by a reaction to prescription drugs and the death of Schulz’s father all contributed to delay the release of the band’s latest album, Neon Pill, for several years, but Schultz says that he is once again in fighting trim. Check out Cage the Elephant on Friday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
It's been quite a couple of years for Jesse Dayton. He released Death Wish Blues, his Grammy-nominated collaboration with guitarist Samantha Fish, in 2023, and now Dayton is on the road in support of his latest solo effort, The Hard Way Blues. That’s a lot of blues, Jesse. For more on the new album, check out the recent Houston Press interview with Dayton.  You can catch the Beaumonster in action on Friday at the Continental Club, with Brooklyn Twang dude Luba Dvorak opening.
And what the hell, stick around for the Continental Club 24th Anniversary Bash on Saturday, featuring Xanadudes, the Allen Oldies Band, the New Duncan Imperials, Shame on Me, Journey Agents, Jane Woe, Lonesome Haunts, Dune TX, Cactus Flowers and House Tiger. Hit the link for times and venues, as the celebration will encompass both the Continental Club and Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge down the block.
ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill once told a story about meeting the members of New Kids on the Block. “So you’re the New Kids on the Block, huh?” The Dust asked. “Well, I’m the old fart down the street!” Though the “kids” are now well into old fart territory themselves, they are in the midst of a national tour, with a stop scheduled for Saturday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
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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