Free gigs, club shows, arena spectacles, and stadium extravaganzas — this week features them all in Houston. Let’s hope the rain in the forecast doesn’t put a damper on a stellar line-up of concert going options throughout the Bayou City this week.
These are CultureMap’s best and biggest shows for the days ahead:
Starting off as a cult-act on the famed punk label, Fat Wreck Chords, but moving to the big time with a contract with Geffen Records, Rise Against is now one of the biggest hard-rock bands in the U.S. with several multi-platinum albums, most notably known for radio-friendly songs, “Savior” and “Prayer for the Refugee.” They roll into town with their Mourning in Amerika Tour behind this year’s acoustic-laden The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1 and last year's Wolves. They’ll be joined by a band that could have easily headlined this show a decade ago, the Davey Havok-fronted AFI. For fans of this corner of the music universe, this is a killer line-up.
Rise Against headlines the Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave. on Wednesday, September 12. AFI and Anti-Flag open. Tickets start at $25.75 plus service charges. Doors open at 6 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Party on the Plaza’s new season
The Party is back! One of the coolest music events in Houston and easily the best happy hour option in the city, Party on the Plaza offers four free shows over six weeks at Avenida Houston, nestled between the George R. Brown Conference Center and Discovery Green. This Thursday kicks off its new season with two Grammy Award-winning Latin acts, Venezuela-bred Los Amigos Invisibles and Austin’s Grupo Fantasma. There will be food and beer specials at every show.
Other can’t-miss shows include Houston’s own R&B-soul superstars The Suffers and Xenia Rubinos on Thursday, September 27; ’80s retro cover band, The Molly Ringwalds, and Southern rockers Roxy Roca on October 11; singer-songwriter Hayes Carll and bluesy Charles Crockett on October 25. Arrive early for beer specials between 6-7 p.m.
Party on the Plaza kicks off with Los Amigos Invisibles and Grupo Fantasma at the Bud Light Stage at Avenida Houston, located at 1001 Avenida de Las Americas, on Thursday, September 13. Admission is free. Bands start at 6:45 pm.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood
The former frontman from the famed blues rock outfit, The Black Crowes, Chris Robinson started his own project, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, following the unceremonious breakup with his brother, Rich Robinson. Unlike the Crowes, who played straight ahead rock mixed with Southern blues, the Brotherhood is much more indebted to jam acts like The Grateful Dead and Phish. It still features Chris Robinson’s inherent charisma and his vocal talents, however. While some fans of his previous band might be disappointed, this is a show worth checking out for those who are firmly on Team Chris in the Black Crowes divorce. The Brotherhood are touring behind 2017’s Barefoot in the Head.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood performs at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 North Main St., on Friday, September 14. Tickets start at $23 plus a $9.51 service fee. Doors open at 8 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Want to see the biggest show on the planet right now? Fans of Beyoncé and Jay-Z will be able to pay to be in the presence of Queen Bey and Hova twice as they fill NRG Stadium this weekend with the second part of their On The Run tour, officially titled OTR II, that has been selling out internationally. The two biggest, richest, glamorous pop stars in the world and the definition of super couple just released the acclaimed album, Everything is Love, but the show will cover hits from both performers.
Of course, Houston turns out for their hometown girl, so this hot ticket will be going for hefty amounts on the resale market, with VIP packages going upwards of $2,000. If you’re a diehard, the Carters rehearsed 60 songs for the tour, so it’s likely the sets will change from Saturday to Sunday night.
Beyonce and Jay-z bring their marital extravaganza to NRG Stadium, located at 1 NRG Parkway, on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16. DJ Khaled and Chloe X Halle open. Tickets start at $79 plus service charges. Show starts at 7:30 pm both nights.
Mike Ness won’t stand for your BS. That’s the lesson one concert-goer learned when he thought giving the middle finger to one of the toughest frontmen in rock at one of his shows a few weeks ago because of Ness’ open political stances. If that’s not enough excitement to get you out to the Social Distortion show, maybe one of the most consistently great catalogs of So Cal punk rock delivered by Ness’ grizzled, world-lived baritone will get you there.
Social Distortion bring their firebrand punk music to White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Saturday, September 15. Justin Townes Earle and Valley Queen open. Tickets start at $40 plus a $14.44 service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.
Music is coming: Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience
Sick of waiting for the final season of Game of Thrones to return? Really need that dragons and semi-nude maiden fix? Series composer Ramin Djawadi is here for you. The Game of Thrones Live Experience brings a full orchestra combined with awe-inspiring visuals to give a musical recap of the hit HBO fantasy — that will get you more amped than a Dothraki before a fight — for the last six episodes when they are released next year. For more, stay tuned for a CultureMap Q&A with the Emmy-nominated Djawadi out this week.
The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will breathe fire to the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Monday, September 17. Tickets start at $39.50 plus tax. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Swedish alt-folk duo First Aid Kit
Give it up to the Swedes. It must be something in the water or air that produces so many talented musicians from the Scandinavian country. Add alt-folk duo First Aid Kit to that list. Comprised of sisters, Klara and Johanna Söderberg, First Aid Kit has released music since 2010 but made major international waves with one of 2014’s best albums, Stay Gold, the acclaim earning them a devoted fanbase and even a Swedish postage stamp. Their latest, this year’s Ruins, continues in the same vein, combining beautiful harmonies, woodsy folk, and melodies that Swedes do so well.
First Aid Kit brings Swedish melodies to White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Monday, September 17. Julia Jacklin opens. Tickets are $29.50 plus a $11.39 service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.