Live Music Now

These are the 7 best concerts to catch in Houston this week

These are the 7 best concerts to catch in Houston this week

Jesse McCartney
Singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney is at the House of Blues on June 20. Photo by Grant Spanier
musician Ruthie Foster
Ruthie Foster will play a free show at Discovery Green this Thursday, June 21. Ruthie Foster/Facebook
Kinky Friedman
Kinky Friedman, musician, activist and Texas treasure, plays McGonigel's Mucky Duck on Friday, June 22. Photo courtesy of Kinky Friedman
Kesha
Kesha co-headlines with Macklemore at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday, June 23. Photo courtesy of Kesha
Diana Krall
Diana Krall performs at the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land on Saturday, June 23. Photo by Mark Seliger
Jesse McCartney
musician Ruthie Foster
Kinky Friedman
Kesha
Diana Krall

After a huge week in live music, the concert scene slows down somewhat, but there are plenty of good shows to choose from if you’re looking to get out and get down in Houston.

Jesse McCartney jumps off
The next in former boy band members hits a Houston stage after appearances of Justin Timberlake and Harry Styles. Singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney returns to touring with the Better with You tour, based on the single of the same name. McCartney started off in the boy band, Dream Street, before finding success with several Top 20 albums and singles in the 2000s. Anyone with kids who are into Disney shows will know McCartney as his tunes have been used in a number of soundtracks.

Jesse McCartney performs at the House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Wednesday, June 20. Nina Nesbitt opens. Tickets start at $25 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.

Hop Along to White Oak
Getting a lot of breathy buzz in major music publications, Hop Along has just released its best album in Bark Your Head Off, Dog. The Philly indie band is part of the tsunami of new bands drawing on '90s indie as influences in their sound (especially Pavement), but Hop Along adds another dimension by adding strings and Frances Quinlan's personal lyrics. Come see what the fuss is all about.

Hop Along skips into the White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Wednesday, June 20. Bat Fangs opens. Tickets are $15 plus a $6.57 service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.

Ruthie Foster's Discovery Green blues
Discovery Green’s Thursday night concert series continues what is the best happy hour value in town with free shows in the heart of downtown, allowing music fans the luxury of relaxing on the lawn, and enjoying cold beverages and food options while taking in a concert. Kudos to those behind the programming as well, as the line-up has been eclectic and diverse with different sounds each week. This edition features Grammy-nominated blues artist Ruthie Foster driving down from Austin to perform with the Peterson Brothers. Foster's latest is Joy Come Back

Ruthie Foster performs with the Peterson Brothers at Discovery Green, located at 1500 McKinney St., on Thursday, June 21. Admission is free. Show starts at 7 pm.

CultureMap Recommends: A Kinky night
Musician, activist, politician, novelist, cigar maker, and all around Renaissance man, Kinky Friedman is always a treat to see live. He's a tried-and-true Texas legend, and seeing him perform is a must for any serious music fan. He's back with his first album of all-original material in four decades with Circus of Life, an apt description for Friedman's extraordinary path. Expect lots of storytelling in what is sure to be a memorable and intimate show.

Kinky Friedman plays McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, located at 2425 Norfolk Street, on Friday, June 22. Tickets are $30 in advance plus a $5 service fee. Show starts at 9:30 pm.

Diana Krall jazzes up Sugar Land
Diana Krall is a superstar not just in the jazz world, but the mainstream as well. Over 25 years, the smoky Canadian chanteuse and acclaimed pianist has sold millions of albums worldwide and won countless awards, including three Grammys. And she must be cool as hell — based on her choice in spouses, marrying the influential British icon, Elvis Costello. She'll delve into her varied and deep songbook, including tracks from her latest, Turn Up the Quiet. 

Diana Krall gets jazzy at the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd., on Saturday, June 23. Tickets start at $59.50 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.

CultureMap show of the week: Kesha and Macklemore
Who would have thought that two of the more uplifiting, progressive pop stars today would turn out to be once-critical punching bags Kesha and Macklemore? Starting off as a Britney Spears/Katy Perry wannabe (see "TiK ToK," her appearance on Flo Rida's "Right Round"), the Los Angeles native morphed into a cultural force in recent years, speaking out against sexual abuse in the music world following accusations against her former producer. Her latest album, Rainbow, has received accolades for her expanded sound and taking on her attackers head on.

Seattle rapper Macklemore moved past his "Thrift Shop" days to become a voice for inclusion with the hit "Same Love," that even caused controversy in Australia when he performed it during the halftime of a major rubgy match during the height of that country's same-sex marriage battle. While the two may not be similar sonically, other than their duet "Good Old Days," their push for positivity in today's socio-political landscape is noteworthy. A portion of the reasonably priced tickets for the Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore tour will go towards their charitable causes.

Kesha and Macklemore co-headline at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Saturday, June 23. Wes Period opens. Tickets start at $24 for lawn seating, $30.50 for reserved seating. Gates open at 7 pm.

Indie chameleon Caroline Rose blooms
Once an Americana act on Bright Eye's Saddle Creek label, New York City-based artist Caroline Rose took a right hand turn into indie-rock territory on this year's Loner, for the most part ditching the twang in favor of synths, dance beats, and bright guitar riffs, maintaining the sharp, incisive lyrics that make her an artist to watch that produced one of the best albums of 2018. Think of Beck's shifting soundscapes but performed by lady with a penchant for track suits. 

Caroline Rose White Oak Music Hall performs at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Saturday, June 23. Cardoid opens. Tickets are $10 in advance plus a $2.62 service fee. Doors open at 8 pm.