Houston music fans, rejoice!
This is the best part of the year for music as many artists head out on tour, the weather is a little more bearable (stay away, rain!), and festival season in Texas attract a lot of acts to Houston. There might be hangover for those who attended the monster Beyoncé and Jay-Z show, but it'll be quickly forgotten with a huge line-up this week.
Here are CultureMap's best and biggest shows of the week:
Intimate show from Graham Nash
There’s not much that Graham Nash hasn’t seen or done in his storied career. A two-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall Fame for his work with The Hollies and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the U.K.-born artist wrote songs for a generation throughout the ’60s and ’70s. If you want to check out this show, better hurry. Only a few tickets are left for this intimate performance. While pricey, the change to see this legend in such a small environment won’t come again.
Graham Nash performs at The Big Barn at Dosey Doe, located at 25911 I-45 North in The Woodlands, on Thursday, September 20. Tickets start at $158. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Dierks Bentley in The Woodlands
The last time many Houstonians saw country crooner Dierks Bentley, it was at NRG Stadium during RodeoHouston festivities in 2017. The Nashville-based, honkytonk, singer-songwriter hit No. 1 on the country charts 16 times for catchy songs such as “What Was I Thinking?,” “Drunk on a Plane,” and “Somewhere on a Beach.” He’ll lead a strong country lineup at Cynthia Woods this Friday, touring behind this year’s The Mountain.
Dierks Bentley headlines the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Friday, September 21. Brothers Osborne and Lanco open. Tickets start at $30. Gates open at 6 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Childish Gambino
When did Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino get so huge? Unlike a lot of pop stars that blow up, then fade away, Glover slowly built his brand through his decently good albums, his stand-up comedy, and role on the cult-hit show, Community. Star status came in 2016 when he struck gold with both the show he created, Atlanta, and his album, Awaken, My Love. Those two projects earned him award-winning respect from both the television and music industry in the form of Emmys and a Grammy.
The subsequent release of the 2018 single, “This Is America” and it’s thrillingly artistic and timely video catapulted him to even greater heights and he’s took advantage of it with an arena tour and a coveted headlining spot at ACL Festival in a few weeks (you can see him on a billboard on I-45 North, coming into downtown). If there is one thing this man can do, it’s entertain on a mass scale.
Childish Gambino takes over the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Saturday, September 22. Rae Sremmurd opens. Tickets start at $49.50. Doors opens at 7 pm.
Indie-rock heroes Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo is one of those bands whose commercial appeal never matched their critical devotion. The New Jersey-based band offers up one of the most consistently great catalogs of music over the last 30 years, drawing on Velvet Underground meets Sonic Youth influences. They’ve built a devoted fanbase, but in a just world, they would have sold millions of albums for their beautifully melodic and low-key sound. Touring behind this year’s There’s a Riot Going On, any fan of alternative music should make an effort to catch this show at White Oak this weekend.
Yo La Tengo brings the indie sounds to White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Saturday, September 22. Tickets start at $22 plus a $9.22 service fee. Doors open at 8 pm.
Andrew W.K. parties hard at White Oak
Andrew W.K. is the ultimate frontman, harking back to at time when music was a bombastic celebration of living. It’s there in the title of his many songs about partying (the still great “Party Hard,” “It’s Time to Party,” “Party ‘Til You Puke”) and songs about the power of music to elevate and transcend daily travails. The best part about Andrew W.K. is his ability to combine metal, dance, and riffs to bring together disparate parts of the musical spectrum. His latest, You Are Not Alone, is Bat Out of Hell-era Meatloaf meets Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and one of his best and most grandiose statements, combining all the blood, sweat, and tears of W.K.’s career, perfectly capturing the essence that makes him a fantastic performer.
Andrew W.K. plays the White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Sunday, September 23. Killer Hearts open. Tickets start at $20 plus a $8.63 service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap Free show of the week: Bayou City Music Series at Buffalo Bayou
The powers-that-be in Houston continue to offer up live music that won't cost you a thing as the Bayou Music Series goes down in Buffalo Bayou Park this Sunday with its Soundtrack of the Gulf event. A great way to spend time with friends and family, this edition features local and regional talent in one of the city's best green spaces, including Port Arthur zydeco accordionist C.J. Chenier, vocalist Annika Chambers, and Archie Bell, former lead singer of Archie Bell & The Drells, whose early funk single “Tighten Up” topped Billboard’s R&B and pop charts in 1968.
Blankets and lawn chairs are welcomed, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. This event was rescheduled from September 15. Hopefully, the rain will stay away this time.
The Bayou City Music Series goes down at The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park, located at 105 Sabine St., on Sunday, September 23. Admission is free. Bands start at 5:30 pm.
CultureMap recommends: k.d. lang at Jones Hall
Chanteuse k.d. lang (small caps, please) shouldn’t have ever made it big. A queer woman from the flatlands of Alberta, Canada, who sang traditional country & western, while standing up for LGBTQ and animal rights, was far from the mainstream when she first started her music career in the 1980s. Ultimately, her strong stances and that voice that won her international acclaim, tearing down barriers that once existed.
Her 1992 album, Ingénue, and hit single, "Constant Craving," served as her coming out party, moving away from country sounds to more adult contemporary, racking up millions in album sales as well as a Grammy Award. She’ll revisit the classic album with the help of the Houston Symphony, in addition to many of the other songs that will surely showcase those pipes that changed the music industry in momentously positive ways, influencing countless performers in the process.
k.d. lang celebrates her finest album with the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall, located at 615 Louisiana St. on Monday, September 24. Tickets start at $39. Show starts at 7:30 pm.