Good luck trying to get to all the music events this weekend. Houston is home to a monstrous amount of concerts between now and Sunday, including three big ones at the now little-utilized Toyota Center following the Rockets' recent, heartbreaking playoff defeat (too soon?).
Two extremely affordable music fests will go down within a few miles of each other north of downtown - making it easy for diehard scenesters to get to both. Sunday has no less than three stellar options for fans to attend, and one of them is free.
Slap on that sunscreen. It's going to be a wild ride. Here are CultureMap's most notable shows of the week.
A new direction for Harry Styles
Like Justin Timberlake almost two decades ago, Harry Styles is poised to be the biggest solo star from a hugely popular boy band (One Direction, or One D to loyal fans), who also dabbles in extracurriculars (e.g. his respectable acting turn in the harrowing Dunkirk). Whether or not his debut, self-titled album, will be as big as JT's Justified is another matter, but it recieved favorable reviews for embracing a new rock sound. One thing Styles can do like the former N'SYNC member is perform — expect a professional showman that can work a crowd into a tizzy. The crossover country star, Kacey Musgraves, fresh off her Saturday Night Live debut, will open.
Harry Styles takes over the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Thursday, June 7. Kacey Musgraves opens. Tickets start at $29.50 plus service charges. Doors open at 7 pm.
Sunflower Bean sprouts up
New York City seems to pump out great, impossibly cool bands every so often that become a growing concern on the national stage and Sunflower Bean seem poised to be the next in a long line of acts favored by those who like a bit of grit with their guitars and rock stars who also double as models for fashion magazines. After releasing one of the most exciting debuts in 2016's Human Ceremony, the Bean is back with their second, more mainstream Twentytwo in Blue. At only $12, this is a great chance to see what the buzz is about.
Sunflower Bean hits White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Friday, June 8. Nude Party and Jesse Jo Stark open. Tickets are $12 in advance plus a $5.39 service fee. Doors open at 8 pm.
The return of country-pop superstar Shania
After years away from the spotlight, Canadian country-pop powerhouse, Shania Twain, is back with new album, Now, and a huge tour to reacquaint herself with audiences. The highest selling female country star in history had been a relative recluse over the last 15 years during her marriage to famed rock producer Mutt Lange. The end of that union means we are seeing signs of Twain returning into her superstar routine, singing her hits ("Man! I Feel Like A Woman!," "That Don't Impress Me Much," "You're Still the One") for adoring audiences worldwide.
Shania Twain makes her Houston comeback appearance at the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Saturday, June 9. Tickets start at $39.95 plus fees. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Just an '80s and '90s loving friend, Biz Markie
New York City rapper, DJ, and beatboxer Biz Markie has enjoyed a fruitful career despite being largely known for one song, "Just a Friend." The song was one of the biggest early hip-hop hits that has endured in pop culture throughout the following decades, most recently in television shows, Empire and Black-ish. Biz will be throwing down a set of classic hip-hop as part of his Decades Collide '80s vs. '90s tour in what should be a fun party.
Biz Markie lays down the jams at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Saturday, June 10. Tickets start at $15 plus a service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.
Madness on Main celebrates the local scene
The Houston music scene pared down to its purist essence, the Madness on Main festival celebrates its fifth year with a variety of local and national acts, artists, and more at White Oak this Saturday. The fest features three stages chockful of emerging local talent, culminating in a headlining performance by NYC's precocious auteur, Har Mar Superstar, who is always a titular thrill. The best part is it's a cheap ticket to enjoy over 20 acts, alongside food trucks, cutting edge art, and cold beer, and cocktails.
Madness on Main takes place at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St. on Saturday, June 10. Tickets are $20 in advance plus a $7.73 service fee. Kids under 12 are free. Gates open at 4 pm.
Happy 24 to Saint Arnold Brewing
Dedicating oneself to anything for 24 years is reason to celebrate, but when it involves beer and music, it's even better. Saint Arnold Brewing Company will commemorate its opal anniversary with a stacked line-up of great Texas music, including local hip-hop from Trae the Truth, the ska-cumbia-reggae-punk fusion of Los Skarnales, and most likely new tunes from one of the best local alt-rock acts, Wild Moccasins, ahead of their July album release. Ten bucks will get you into the party, $35 will get you in along with two beers and a special 24th anniversary glass (probably not made of opal, but still cool).
The Saint Arnold 24th Anniversary Party goes down at Saint Arnold Brewing Company, located at 2000 Lyons Ave. on Saturday, June 10. Tickets start at $10 plus fees. The festivities start at 4 pm.
Maroon 5 takes over Toyota Center
Say what you want about Maroon 5, the ladies will be crowding into the home of the Rockets this Sunday to see The Voice judge Adam Levine and company perform their latest radio-friendly pop-funk as part of the group's Red Pill Blues tour. Thanks to Levine's high profile, his band's popularity remains high, and should stay that way seeing as their latest single, "Girls Like You," featuring it-girl Cardi B, is starting to climb up the charts.
Maroon 5 take their toll at the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St. on Sunday, June 10. Julia Michaels opens. Tickets start at $49.50 plus service charges. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Show of the Week: Ray LaMontagne and Neko Case
In what is probably the best line-up of the week by two performers that could easily headline their own sold-out shows in slightly smaller venues, acoustic troubador Ray LaMontagne will be joined by the fiery presence that is one of indie-rock's most revered songwriters in Neko Case. The former garnered fame during a time when Bon Iver and Iron and Wine made earnest, acoustic odes the sound du jour. The latter is practically royalty in indie circles for her earth shattering vocals and cheekily smart lyrics on songs by the Canadian supergroup, The New Pornographers, and acclaimed solo albums. Both are touring behind new albums that critics are salivating over — LaMontagne's Part of the Light and Case's Hell-on. Both are fantastic performers with some of the most unique voices in music today.
Ray LaMontagne and Neko Case appear on stage at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Sunday, June 10. Tickets start at $59.50 plus fees. Show starts at 7:30 pm.
Free show of the week: Tontons, The Suspects, and Vodi
Canned Acoustica continues its run of free, stripped down shows at Discovery Green and this line-up just might be this season's best, with some local favorites and up-and-comers. The great indie-rock act, The Tontons, ska-reggae band, The Suspects, and classic rock-influenced Vodi will perform along with others. Attendees are welcome to bring blankets, picnics, and chairs to enjoy the outdoor evening show.
Canned Acoustica at Grace Lawn at Discovery Green, located at 1500 McKinney St., on Sunday, June 10. Admission is free. Show start 5 pm.