A potential storm in the Gulf may wreak havoc with the live music schedule this week, but should Houston audiences be spared, last week's mainstream music schedule gives way to a strong lineup of critically acclaimed touring acts featuring diverse sounds including rock, R&B, soul, adult contemporary, hip-hop, and EDM.
CultureMap's biggest, best, and most notable shows of the week are as follows:
New Found Glory at HOB
It appears there are plenty of emo fans in Houston as yet another band partial to punk hooks and lyrics not afraid to express all the feels visits the Bayou City. New Found Glory rode the wave of early-2000s pop-punk up the charts next to such luminaries as Good Charlotte and Saves the Day but with a much more playful and, some might say, goofier sensibility.
One of the few true survivors of the era, NFG reached as high as No. 3 on the charts with 2004's Catalyst on the back of high energy performances and headlining slots on the Vans Warped tour. The band comes into town as part of its From the Screen to Your Stereo to Your Town tour, an obvious tongue-in-cheek reference to their beginnings on MTV, back when that station played actual music videos.
New Found Glory is at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Wednesday, July 10. Real Friends and The Real November open. Tickets start at $24.50, plus fees. Doors open at 6 pm.
Free show of the week: The Song + Story Series
Call it VH1 Storytellers for local bands. The Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer in downtown Houston is now hosting the Song + Story Series every Friday through August 16, featuring local acts breaking down their songs in an intimate setting. This Friday will feature electro-soul act The Hue, followed by Ben Jerrad on July 19, Chase Jordan on 7/26, Franchelle Lucas "Fre Wuhn" on August 2, Gio Chamba on August 9, and Max Flinn on August 16. The best part might be the free samples Saint Arnold Brewery will provide to attendees, which makes for a great way to discover local acts and a cheap night out on the town.
The Song + Story Series takes place at the Hines Center, located at 500 Prairie St., on Fridays through August 16. Friday’s event features The Hue. Admission is free. Show starts at 7 pm.
21 Savage at WOMH
Let's send positive vibes and a prayer to the weather gods ahead of the 21 Savage show on the lawn at White Oak Music Hall this Friday. No other venue has struggled more with cancellations over the past few months due to the chaotic nature of Houston climate (MGMT) or band break-ups (Turnpike Troubadours), which is a real shame, because the White Oak lawn has the distinction of being one of the best places to catch a show in Houston.
A tropical depression forming in the Gulf makes this date a toss-up, so check your weather forecast before you head out. In the event that it does go down, fans will see one of the hottest rappers in the world right now, the Atlanta-based rapper appearing on tracks by Cardi B and Post Malone, all the while dealing with his own issues centering around his citizenship in one of the more high-profile ICE crackdowns.
21 Savage plays the White Oak Music Hall lawn, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Friday, July 12. Young Nudy and Calboy open. Tickets start at $18, plus fees. Gates open at 6:30 pm.
Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan
This Cynthia Woods bill is a bit of a head-scratcher. Michael McDonald is the definition of adult contemporary rock, rising to fame as the voice of the Doobie Brothers before embarking on a successful solo career with numerous radio hits your dad swears by. His middle-of-the-road style is so distinct, it became a hilarious running joke in the Steve Carrell film The 40-Year-Old Virgin. The main reason to head out to this one is 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chaka Khan, who has experienced a career renaissance based on an electric live show and four decades of hits, including those from her time in funk band Rufus ("Tell Me Something Good") and her solo career ("I Feel for You," "Through the Fire").
Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan perform at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Friday, July 12. Devon Gilfillian opens. Tickets start at $49.50, plus fees. Gates open at 6 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Diplo
If Michael McDonald is the definition of adult contemporary, Diplo is the face of the excess of EDM. Even if many don't know his music, his over-the-top personality, constant social media posts, and ties to many hot, young stars in the entertainment industry have made him a very rich man. But when it comes down to it, it's his dub and Caribbean-influenced beats that make him a performer too hard to ignore, playing the Svengali to the buzziest artists in the world (M.I.A., Skrillex, Justin Bieber).
His persona has been so central to his success, that it even spawned a spoof series, What Would Diplo Do?, starring James Van Der Beek as the man himself. If you're a fan of the beats, this is your chance to see one of the biggest performers in the world inside and outside the genre.
Diplo takes over Stereo Live, located at 6400 Richmond Ave., on Saturday, July 13. Tickets are $69, plus a $17.33 service fee. Show starts at 10 pm.
CultureMap recommends: The Head and the Heart
Seattle group The Head and the Heart came around at the perfect time when acoustic folk-rock bands became all the rage (thanks, Mumford and Sons), shooting up the charts and becoming a touring mainstay in the process. They built their cred with smart business decisions, including signing to the interminably cool Sub Pop records before hitting the big leagues on a major label. First gaining traction with "Lost in My Mind" from their debut 2010 self-titled album, the band has consistently found radio success with hits such as "All We Ever Knew" and "Missed Connection." They back that up with a driving live show, a must-see for anyone who enjoys woods and wires over a rock foundation.
The Head and the Heart are at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Saturday, July 13. Hippo Campus opens. Tickets start at $44, plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.