It's shaping up to be a great week in the music world. First, there's the buzz over the trailer to the sure-to-be-epic Queen movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. And here in Houston, we have two extremely hard options with a BBQ festival and a musical beer gathering — in addition to other great concerts around the 281/713 area codes. Not too shabby.
These are some tough choices for music fans to make this weekend as the Great Texas BBQ Festival (Saturday and Sunday) and Karbach's Love Street Music Fest (Sunday) get underway. In other words, Houstonians are spoiled in their choices over the next week with some major shows and affordable festivals for the family to enjoy.
Here are our favorites:
Tom Jones seduces Sugar Land
Sure, he’s getting up there in age, but Tom Jones (age 77) still has a certain je ne sais quoi. There’s a pretty good chance he made your mom or grandmother feel strange things when he gained superstar status in the late-’60s. He came onto the scene with a killer voice, killer hooks, and killer moves. He would go on to sell 100 million albums, be knighted by the Queen of England, and become a pop culture standard a la Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as cousin Carlton’s unabashed favorite artist (the “It’s Not Unusual” dance made Alfonso Ribeiro a pop culture standard as well). Expect a swingin’ good time and his biggest hits “Delilah,” “She’s a Lady,” and “What’s New Pussycat,” among many others when he hits Sugar Land.
Tom Jones brings the swingin’ ’60s to the Smart Financial Center at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land on Wednesday, May 16. Into the Ark opens. Tickets start at $49.50 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.
No Shoes Kenny Chesney at Cynthia Woods
Country superstar Kenny Chesney is no stranger to Houston. He’s practically a resident at RodeoHouston, having played the rotating stage eight times since 2001. He returns to what feels like his second home as his Trip Around the Sun tour hits The Woodlands. The guy even married a Houstonian in ex-wife, actress Rene Zellweger. The Tennessee raised heartthrob is still touring behind one of his most highly acclaimed albums, 2016’s Cosmic Hallelujah, and filling stadiums in the process, as the “No Shoes Nation” still comes out in droves to see him sing a number of his 29 No. 1 country hits.
Kenny Chesney brings the country hits to Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, TX, on Thursday, May 17. Old Dominion opens. Tickets start at $60 for seated, $32.50 for lawn. Gates open at 7:30 pm.
ZZ Ward hits The Heights
A fresh and exciting voice, Zsuzsanna Eva Ward aka ZZ Ward, grew up in Oregon listening to blues and hip-hop before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the music industry. One of the rare solo acts to play multiple instruments and write her own songs, Ward made some waves with her first record Til the Casket Drops, and found her self gaining some airplay on alternative charts. Five years later and she’s back with her second, self-assured record The Storm, which sees her teaming up with Fitz from Fitz and the Tantrums and Gary Clark Jr.
ZZ Ward plays the Heights Theater, located at 339 W 19th St., on Thursday, May 17. Ruen Brothers opens. Tickets start at $22 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Guitars, beats, and meats at Great Texas BBQ Festival
Moved from April due to weather, the Great Texas BBQ Festival moves to the more spacious confines of the Post HTX location in the heart of downtown. Launched by the minds behind Day for Night, this fest 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, the event also features a good line-up of musical talent to dance off those extra calories, including Robert Earl Keen, Dawes, Morris Day and the Time, The Suffers, Lucero, Wanda Jackson, Junior Brown, and many more. And what’s better than BBQ, beer and music? Not a darn thing.
The Great Texas BBQ Festival brings the tunes and smoked meats to Post HTX, located at 401 Franklin St. Tickets start at $20 a day plus fees, $40 plus fees for the weekend, with various VIP packages.
Aussie Tash Sultana is blowin' up
She comes from the land Down Under and has been slaying audiences worldwide. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana has little musical output but has been steadily on tour over the last few years due to her incredible talent as a performer. Starting out as a busker at a young age, she overcame addiction struggles to focus on her music career. Her profile blew up following a series of viral videos, leading to her signing a record deal. She’s only released an EP and a series of singles of eclectic, looped sounds, including reggae, psych-rock and indie, but through the power of social media, she’s selling out shows and her appearance in Houston should be close to doing the same.
Tash Sultana performs at White Oak Music Hall Lawn, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Saturday, May 19. Reuben Stone opens. Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Gates open at 7:30 pm.
Karbach Love Street Music Fest returns
Named after the center for hippie culture in the HOU back in the ’60s, Love Street found its way into the musical lexicon when The Doors released a song named after the important cultural location. And now a music festival shares its name. After a successful first year, the Karbach Love Street Music Fest is back and bigger than ever with a great line-up for alt-rock fans at a steal of a ticket price. The Houston craft brewery will have plenty of suds to drink alongside headliners Bleachers (fronted by rumored Lorde love interest Jack Antonoff), as well as sets by radio heroes Cold War Kids, ’90s hitmakers Everclear, one of Houston’s best bands, The Tontons, and The Unlikely Candidates.
The Love Street Music Fest takes place at Karbach Brewery, located at 2032 Karbach St., on Sunday, May 20. General admission tickets are $20 plus fees in advance, $40 the day of the event. Gates open at 1 pm.