As Tropical Depression Harvey strengthened into a tropical storm Wednesday evening, representatives for several large Houston venues and promoters remained apprehensive about any possible cancellations or postponements of the slate of concerts scheduled for this weekend across the Bayou City. Although some disruption is probably inevitable as the storm draws nearer to the Texas coast, they all seemed to agree that taking any action while Harvey was still more than 48 hours away from landfall would be premature.
Fortunately, perhaps, Harvey looms ahead of a fairly light weekend for the city’s major venues. Toyota Center is dark until August 31. By far the biggest shows this weekend are Coldplay Friday night at NRG Stadium and Lady Antebellum with Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young Sunday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion; others include Lyle Lovett & His Large Band tonight at Hobby Center, the Piano Guys Friday at Revention Music Center, and A Simple Plan Friday at House of Blues. A spokeswoman from Live Nation said that, as of now, all of them would proceed as planned.
“Live Nation is monitoring the weather forecast closely,” she said. “We will update you if changes are made to our scheduled shows.”
About 1 p.m. Thursday, Live Nation announced that Lady A's concert was off: "Due to the anticipated weather event in Houston this weekend, and in the interest of Fan safety, Sunday’s Lady Antebellum YOU LOOK GOOD WORLD TOUR stop at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman has been cancelled. Refunds will be made automatically at point of purchase."
For Sugar Land’s Smart Financial Centre, which is preparing to welcome R&B superstar Mary J. Blige and opener Lalah Hathaway Friday night, “as of now the show is scheduled as planned,” said spokesman Andrew Huang. “If anything changes, we will notify ticket buyers and the media of any changes in plans.”
Over at White Oak Music Hall, a busy weekend kicks off with Spearhead tonight and the local stoner-rock triple bill of locals Blues Funeral (releasing their new album, Awakening), Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom, and Doomstress; Day 2 of the Chris LaForge memorial weekend Saturday; and white-hot Austin punks A Giant Dog Sunday. “As far as I know everything is still on schedule and they are keeping a close eye on the weather,” spokeswoman Ashly Montgomery said.
The staff of Warehouse Live seemed to be keeping a sense of humor about the situation.
“We will be handing out Warehouse Live-branded floaties, inner tubes, and life vests for impromptu kayaking around and possibly through the venue,” joked Box Office Manager Hunter Heimburger, before passing along a more official-sounding statement.
“As always our main concern at Warehouse Live is the quality experience of our customers and their safety,” it said. “Warehouse Live along with our partners and promoters have an eye towards the skies and on the weather reports. If we feel that the safety of our customers and of the performers themselves are in peril, we will move to reschedule shows and events we have during this time. We will alert our customers through email and social media. Stay safe and enjoy the music.”
One local band that sounds ready to brave the elements is dragon-slaying hard rockers Knights of the Fire Kingdom, who are scheduled to release their second full-length album, Bat Blood Wine, with DR Belt and Warlung Friday night at Rudyard’s. “We didn't set [the] show up, so until we hear otherwise from the promoter [locals Easy Credit Group], we're still absolutely planning on playing,” says drummer Jeoaf Johnson.
As of 10 a.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service reported that Harvey was fast approaching hurricane status, heading north-northwest at approximately 2 mph from 24.0 degrees north and 93.3 degrees west, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. Much of the Texas coast lay under Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings, with the area nearest Houston still under a Tropical Storm — for now. Earlier Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott pre-emptively declared 30 counties as disaster areas, a swath of land stretching along nearly the entire Texas coast from the Rio Grande Valley to Beaumont, and including Brazoria, Fort Bend, Harris and Galveston counties.
The Houston Press will update this article as necessary with any Harvey-related concert activity; feel free to let us know of any via Twitter at @hprocksoff. For now, the shows will go on.
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** As of 8 a.m. Friday, tonight's Coldplay show is still on. Promoter Live Nation has promised an update by noon.
** The fundraiser for KPFT's Electroluv program scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Last Concert Cafe has been postponed to an undetermined later date.