Barbeque, hip-hop and alt-rock legends, campfire troubadours, California cool, and even Star Wars. This week’s Houston concert round-up is as diverse as the city itself and it’s the first week on a while when all the great acts performing simply couldn’t fit into one tidy listing. If you have other plans that don’t revolve around music in the week ahead, it’s time to break them, or you’re simply missing out on a fabulous – and varied – lineup.
All-star lineup: The Great Texas BBQ Festival
What’s better than barbeque, beer, and music? Not a darn thing. Launched by the minds behind Day for Night, the Great Texas BBQ Festival, situated at Sam Houston Park downtown, features a weekend of music and meats grilled by 20 of the best BBQ teams around, competing for $20,000 in a sanctioned event. In other words, come hungry. In addition to great grub, dance off those extra calories with a great lineup of musical talent including Robert Earl Keen, Dawes, Morris Day and the Time, The Suffers, Lucero, Wanda Jackson, Junior Brown, and many more.
The Great Texas BBQ Festival brings the tunes and smoked meats to Sam Houston Park, located at 1000 Bagby St. Tickets start at $20 a day plus fees, $40 plus fees for the weekend, with various VIP packages.
Movie masterpieces: John Williams at the Symphony
If you’ve ever gone to the movies over the last 40-plus years, you’ve heard a John Williams score. Star Wars, Jaws, Superman, Jurassic Park, E.T., Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and so many more iconic Hollywood soundtracks have been composed by Williams, his orchestral ouevre as much a part of our collective memory as any pop star during that time span. The Houston Symphony will perform some of his masterworks over the series of four shows. This is a must attend event for any cinephile, young and old. Just try and not get goosebumps.
The Houston Symphony performs the best of John Williams at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, located at 615 Louisiana St., on Friday, April 21, Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 22. Friday and Saturday performance time starts at 8 pm, Sunday performances are at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Ticket prices start at $50 plus fees for the Friday and Saturday night performances, $45 plus fees for Sunday performances.
Alt-rock classics: The Breeders
Led by twin sisters Kim and Kelley Deal, the fantastic alternative rock band The Breeders recently reunited following the former’s departure from the Pixies and we are all beneficiaries for it. Featuring the classic line-up, including bassist Josephine Wiggs and drummer Jim Macpherson, the band produced one of the ’90s most endearing albums, Last Splash, featuring the hits, “Cannonball” and “Divine Hammer.” The group is touring behind the acclaimed comeback album, All Nerve.
The Breeders make their return to Houston to play House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Monday, April 23. Post Pink opens. Tickets start at $25 plus fees or $12.50 each plus fees if you buy two. Doors open at 7 pm.
Hip-hop reunited: Eric B. and Rakim
Hip-hop heads be warned. Following the Breeders, another classic reunited act returns to Houston. Eric B. and Rakim took the rap world by storm and changed the game in how producers built hip-hop songs, featuring funky jazz riffs and James Brown samples alongside lyrics that flowed like smooth poetry. Masterpiece albums, Paid in Full and Follow the Leader, released in the late-80s, defined the rap genre for the next decade as many tried to replicate the sound that eventually would branch off to influence other genres like trip-hop, drum 'n bass and jungle. Rakim is still considered one of the best MCs of all time and Eric B.'s turntable technique revolutionized what could be accomplished on the 1s and 2s.
Hip-hop legends Eric B & Rakim perform at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Tuesday, April 23. Yo-Yo opens. General admission tickets are sold out but there are limited seated left or check the resale market. Doors open at 7 pm.
Tay-Tay's faves: Haim
They've opened for Taylor Swift, Rhianna, and Florence + the Machine, been nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy, appeared on Saturday Night Live, and have been featured on some of the most popular Hollywood soundtracks. They are Haim, three sisters, Este, Danielle and Alana, who took their last name as their band moniker and blew up the charts with their hip version of classic A.M. radio pop-rock, filtered through the sunshine of their home state of California. They are touring behind their latest album, 2017's mega-hit, Something to Tell You, which produced the radio earworms, "Want You Back," and "Little of Your Love."
Haim will perform at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas St., on Wednesday, April 25. Lizzo opens. Tickets start at $39.75 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Hawaii in The Woodlands: Jack Johnson
Anyone with children under the age of 12 will know Hawaiian surfer-dude Jack Johnson from the adorable Curious George soundtrack that catapulted him into living rooms of parents forced to sit through the film for the 100th time. But anyone who loves hanging around a campfire on the beach, watching the sunset after a day on the waves will have an affinity towards Jack Johnson's easy going tunes drenched in island vibes. He's easily the most laid-back superstar, having sold 25 million albums worldwide. He's touring behind his 2017 album, All the Light Above It Too. Anyone not in shorts, sandals and a tee will be overdressed at this show.
Hawaiian troubadour Jack Johnson plays at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands, on Thursday, April 26. Fruition opens. Tickets start at $35 for lawn seating plus fees, or $70 for seated areas plus fees. Show starts at 7:30 pm.