It's been a tough week for Houstonians, especially for the sports fans.
First the Texans lose in epic fashion, then the beloved Astros get blown up in the outcome of a cheating scandal. They couldn't write a sadder country song if they tried — although many have.
Thankfully, there's always music to get us through the tough times and bring a little light into the darkness. This week offers a diverse mix of shows across the spectrum. The music doctor is calling in a prescription to either cry into your favorite local microbrew or dance the pain away.
CultureMap's biggest, best, and most notable shows of the week are as follows:
Seventeen at Smart Financial Centre
After the announcement of NCT 127 as a RodeoHouston headliner, it's impossible to ignore the K-Pop wave crashing hard onto American shores. Another sign of the times, South Korean act Seventeen is here to get all your Instagram likes.
Don't ask us why they're called Seventeen — when there's only 13 members. Or why they are broken into sub-groups such as a hip-hop unit, vocal unit, and performance unit. All we know is there are people making a lot of money off these guys. Seventeen's third album, 2019's, An Ode, sold 700,000 copies in it's first week and Billboard named it the best K-Pop album of the year. Take that, BTS!
Seventeen performs at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land on Wednesday, January 15. Tickets start at $55 plus fees. The show starts at 8 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Bit Brigade at Insomnia Gallery
Gamers and guitar riff fans will converge on this unique show on Wednesday night to see the Athens, Georgia act Bit Brigade play the Nintendo (original NES, that is) 8-bit classic Mega Man III live with rock instruments (here's a video of them rocking through Mega Man II).
Cool on it's own regard, an added sense of tension will be thrown into the mix as the band will play synced to an expert gamer as he navigates the adorable blue robot through the various challenging levels. What happens if the player can't beat Gemini Man or Magnet Man? Do they start over? Is the show cut short? We're itching to find out as much as we are to hear this fantastic, groundbreaking soundtrack performed loud over amplifiers.
Bit Brigade performs Mega Man III at Insomnia Gallery, 708 Telephone Rd., on Wednesday, January 15. Tickets start at $12. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: The Suffers and Big Freedia
A match made in heaven. The best in Gulf Coast Soul meets the Queen of New Orleans Bounce. Hometown favorites The Suffers play a venue worthy of their giant-sized personality and will be matched by Big Freedia, who we will see later this year on tour with pop star Kesha at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land on April 23.
Both acts haven't released an album in a while, with The Suffers' last album, Everything Here, coming out in 2018 and Big Freedia releasing the 3rd Ward Bounce EP the same year. But no matter — this is easily the best lineup of early 2020.
The Suffers and Big Freedia are at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline Street, on Friday, January 17. Tickets start at $25 plus fees. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
Jagged Edge at Arena Theatre
The brainchild of master R&B producer Jermaine Dupri, the Atlanta, Georgia quartet Jagged Edge had a successful run on the R&B and pop charts at the tail-end of the New Jack Swing era. Songs like "He Can't Love U," "Let's Get Married," "Where the Party At," and "Promise," charted high and led to millions in album sales before a shift toward pop-oriented boy bands and harder hip-hop softened their success.
The group persevered and continued to release music and are still drawing decent crowds of fans who grew up on their upbeat, smooth sound.
Jagged Edge perform at Arena Theatre, located at 7326 Southwest Fwy., on Friday, January 17. Raheem Devaughn opens. Tickets start at $39.50 plus fees. Show starts at 8:30 p.m.
The Ocean Blue at White Oak Music Hall
Recalling the best of British new wave and dream pop, American band The Ocean Blue, gained modest popularity in the early days of indie-alternative rock emergence in the late '80s, early '90s with chiming guitars and shimmering synths.
Hits like "Between Something and Nothing" and "Drifting, Falling" recall the best of Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths, and Cocteau Twins, not surprisingly landing the band on MTV alt-rock show 120 Minutes and college radio. Don't be surprised to hear a few cover songs from those influences during encores.
The Ocean Blue play White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Friday, January 17. Motorcade opens. Tickets are $25 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Josh Rouse at Heights Theater
Critically acclaimed indie roots singer-songwriter Josh Rouse is the definition of a highwayman. The Nebraska native has lived across the landscape of the U.S. (and Europe too), seemingly absorbing the stories of his surroundings wherever his path may lead.
The man has hardly a dud in his catalog, his 2005 album, Nebraska, written about his home state picking up his major accolades. It's melding of his many influences — he grew up a fan of The Cure and he's recorded in Spanish — that has endeared him to fans of multiple genres. Expect a varied setlist; he has been nothing more than prolific over the last few decades.
Josh Rouse and Chuck Prophet are at Heights Theater, located at 339 W 19th St., on Friday, January 17. Tickets start at $22 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.