Houston Concert Watch 2/26: Tennis and More

Tennis at Coachella in 2017
Tennis at Coachella in 2017 Photo by Mathew Tucciarone

RodeoHouston kicks off this week, and you know what that means, folks. It's time for carnival rides, funnel cakes and mutton bustin'. So get your boots shined, your jeans hemmed, your hats fitted and break out those belt buckles because it's time to ride! Midland will open this year's festivities, but the Grammy-nominated Texans aren't the only act worth seeing in the Bayou City this week. For more of the best music in town, keep scrolling.

Pick of the Week:
White Oak Music Hall – 03.02

Despite her affinity for sailing, vocalist Alaina Moore has admitted in recent interviews that she only learned how to swim in the past year. That might come as a surprise to longtime fans of Tennis, a duo that is well-known for its sea legs. Moore and her husband Patrick Riley practically live on a boat, and their ethereal dream pop has been linked with water since 2011’s Cape Dory. But the musically-intertwined couple has proven, ten years since their formation, that they are still full of surprises and heartfelt ballads. On tour in support of their fifth studio album SWIMMING, Tennis will perform their lo-fi, retro tunes at White Oak Music Hall on Monday.

The Best of the Rest:
Amanda Shires
Heights Theater – 02.27

In 2016, Amanda Shires had an idea. Fed up with a lack of representation, the Lubbock native contacted fellow singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and proposed forming a female version of The Highwaymen. Aptly named The Highwomen, Shires and Carlile teamed up with Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris to record an album, which has since been met with critical acclaim. Not one to sit still for too long, Shires is back on tour in support of her solo material. She is scheduled to perform her empowering Americana at the Heights Theater on Thursday, supported by L.A. Edwards.

House of Blues – 02.28

For the past three decades, Swedish rockers Opeth have been captivating audiences with their genre-hopping abilities. Beginning as a death metal outfit, the group dabbled in psychedelic rock before developing into a thoughtful, extended prog-rock act. Opeth's latest record, In Cauda Venenum - which translates to "Venom in the Tail" - has been met with critical acclaim and is already regarded by many as their greatest album to date. On tour in support of their 13th offering, the self-declared "most evil band in the world" will visit House of Blues on Friday.

White Oak Music Hall - 02.28
After 2016's The Dream Is Over launched them into the limelight, Toronto punk rockers PUP were tasked with following up their breakthrough sophomore album with another hard-hitting, self-deprecating offering. But would they be able to entice new fans while maintaining their appeal to longtime listeners? In a word, yes. Three years later, Stefan Babcock, Nestor Chumak, Zack Mykula and Steve Sladkowski returned to the fray with Morbid Stuff, which the band has described as a "recklessly fun ode to nihilism and depression." Supported by Screaming Females and The Drew Thomson Foundation, PUP - an acronym for Pathetic Use of Potential - will bring their snarky lyricism and anthemic guitar riffs to White Oak Music Hall on Friday.

The Wonder Years
White Oak Music Hall – 02.29

For the past decade and a half, The Wonder Years have been putting out some of the most earnest, heartfelt pop-punk in the business. Shifting between whispering vocals and shrill cries, front man Dan "Soupy" Campbell shares the most intimate details of his life with his fans, in the hope that others might find solace in his lyrics. Over the course of six studio albums, the Philadelphia rockers have explored themes of loneliness on the road, feelings of inadequacy and general unrest about this whole life thing, combining elements of emo, punk and alt-rock for some pretty anthemic tracks. On tour in support of Burst & Decay II, their second acoustic outing, The Wonder Years will bring their emotionally exhaustive tunes to White Oak Music Hall on Saturday.

NRG Stadium – 03.03
Midland's debut album On The Rocks earned the Texas-based country rockers two Grammy nominations, and their sophomore effort Let It Roll has been well-received as well. Some critics have likened the band's sound to that of a polished Dwight Yoakam, which is unlikely to upset a trio whose name is an ode to one of the Kentucky native's songs. The disheveled urban cowboys are scheduled to kick off the first of this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concerts on Tuesday.
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever