Darius Rucker onstage at the Woodlands Pavilion in June 2019Photo by Christi Vest
It has been 20 weeks since Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo would be ending early. Somehow, it feels like 20 years have passed since the cancellation shook Houstonians to their cores and made it clear that local leaders were taking the COVID-19 outbreak seriously. We all miss live music and are eager to return to our favorite local venues, but in the meantime - which seems to be never-ending as the weeks drag on - we will continue to make do with live-streaming concerts. Below are half a dozen of our favorite options for the next week.
6 p.m. CST – July 29
Aaron Lewis made a name for himself as the front-man and principal songwriter for Staind, the alt-rock outfit that rose to prominence in the late ‘90s thanks in no small part to a cosign from Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst. “It’s Been Awhile,” “So Far Away” and “Right Here” dominated the airwaves during the early 2000s before Lewis, seemingly out of nowhere, decided to try his hand at another genre. For the better part of a decade now, the New England native has made a living as a country artist. Since 2011, he has released a trio solo albums that have been received favorably by even the most apprehensive listeners. Wednesday, the powerful vocalist and self-declared "Northern Redneck" will perform the first of three acoustic shows from his couch.
Darius Rucker, Clint Black, Tracy Lawrence 7 p.m. CST – July 30
Darius Rucker became a household name as the lead vocalist for Hootie & The Blowfish, a blues-influenced pop outfit whose debut album Cracked Rear View has been certified platinum 21 times since its release in 1994. Unable to recreate the success of that first offering, Rucker tried his hand as an R&B artist in the early 2000s but saw little success. Eventually, the South Carolina native signed to Capitol Nashville and released his first country record in 2008, and hasn’t looked back since. Joined by Clint Black and Tracy Lawrence, Rucker will live-stream his 11th annual “Darius & Friends” performance from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville Thursday night. Proceeds from the show will benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Stone Temple Pilots 7 p.m. CST – July 31
Nearly 30 years ago, a San Diego quartet with a name based on a motor oil acronym released their first studio album. Initially dismissed by many as a poor man's Pearl Jam or Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots (STP) would go on to solidify themselves not only as mainstays but as innovators in the grunge movement. Earlier this year, the band - now fronted by vocalist Jeff Gutt following the deaths of both Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington - released its first-ever fully acoustic record, but reception was lukewarm at best. So instead of live-streaming in support of their new material, the latest iteration of STP will perform their Grammy Award-winning debut Core in its entirety this Friday.
Amanda Shires 5 p.m. CST – July 31
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 put together the supergroup’s first proper record, which was met with critical acclaim and much fanfare. Shires also boasts eight solo studio albums to her name, most recently 2018's To The Sunset. Earlier this year, before the pandemic effectively shuttered concerts worldwide, she visited the Heights Theater in support of her latest single, “Deciphering Dreams.” Fans of her emotive soprano can watch her live-stream on YouTube this Friday.
Underoath 7 p.m. CST – July 31
Seven years after their formation, Florida rockers Underoath finally achieved mainstream success with They’re Only Chasing Safety. Supported by “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” and “Reinventing Your Exit,” the band’s fourth studio album introduced listeners to vocalist Spencer Chamberlain, who replaced founding member Dallas Taylor. Since then, Underoath has received a handful of Grammy nods, most recently in 2018 for “On My Teeth,” the lead single from Erase Me, their latest offering and first in eight years. Fans of post-hardcore screamo can see Underoath perform their breakout 2004 record in its entirety on Friday night.
Leon Bridges, Deer Tick, Robert Ellis 7:30 p.m. CST – August 1
The coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding, Leon Bridges has had quite a year. Since putting out a collaborative EP with Houston's own Khruangbin in February, the Forth Worth native has released two singles since the world went into quarantine: "Inside Friend" featuring John Mayer, and "Sweeter" featuring Terrace Martin. The former is a celebration of introversion, and the latter is a commentary on racial injustice in the United States. Alongside Deer Tick, Robert Ellis, The Tallest Man On Earth, Sharon Van Etten and Courtney Marie Andrews, the Grammy Award-winning crooner will live-stream a performance on Saturday. Proceeds will benefit the Newport Festivals Foundation.
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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.