It's a Choose Your Own Adventure for music fans this week — and everyone's a winner. We may not get Day for Night this December, but the following seven days might be a wonderful consolation with massive shows galore. To put it in perspective, who are you going to see Saturday? Will it be Drake? Taylor Swift? Lauryn Hill? Interpol? Staying home is not an option.
Drink those fluids, put those insoles in those shoes, and get the credit card ready. It's time to get ready for a seven-day marathon for concerts in Houston. These are CultureMap's biggest and best concerts this week:
CultureMap free show of the week: The Suffers
Call this a second chance for anyone that missed The Suffers' album release shows, and take the time to celebrate the Houston R&B collective's excellent second album, Everything Here. The best part is this show is free as part of the stacked Party on the the Plaza music series put on by Avenida Houston. The band has been on tour, playing shows in Japan, Canada, and most recently Sonoma, California, but they return home to play for friends and family before heading out again. If you haven't caught them yet, what are you waiting for? This is no doubt Houston's best band right now, taking the heart of H-town to the masses.
The Suffers play Party on the Plaza at the Bud Light Stage at Avenida Houston, located at 1001 Avenida de Las Americas, on Thursday, September 13. Xenia Rubinos opens. Admission is free. Bands start at 6:45 pm.
STRFKR at White Oak
Sometimes you just need to dance and STRFKR has you covered. The second Portland, Oregon indie band at White Oak this week (The Decemberists play Tuesday), this one's sure to be sweaty as the quartet is heavily indebted to synths, beats, and pscyhedelia, mixed into a cauldron of exuberance and color, the weirdness of The Flaming Lips with a dash of Grandaddy wonder. The band is celebrating 10 years together, touring behind this year's Being No One, Going Nowhere remix album.
STRFKR celebrates their 10th anniversary at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 North Main St., on Thursday, September 27. Shy Boys open. Tickets are $18 in advance plus a $8.06 service fee. Doors open at 8 pm.
Ozzy rides the crazy train to Cynthia Woods
How is Ozzy Osbourne still standing? It's one of rock's great mysteries. The guy can barely speak discernible English, but put him in front of a microphone and he transforms into a god — the grandfather of heavy metal and hard rock, enthralling masses of tattooed devotees. The former lead singer of the groundbreaking Black Sabbath and a successful solo artist in his own right, Ozzy continues to tour hard as though his very life depends on it, and as long as that happens, fans will ride his "Crazy Train" while they "Bark at the Moon." For those who haven't scored a ticket, you better really love the guy. Tickets are sold out and getting a hefty asking price on the resale market.
Ozzy Osbourne and his icon status perform at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Friday, September 28. Stone Sour opens. Tickets start at $124 for resale lawn tickets, $190 for reserved seat resale tickets. Gates open at 6:30 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Taylor Swift at NRG
Speaking of hefty ticket prices, Taylor Swift is back in town, this time with her biggest show yet at NRG Stadium as part of her Reputation tour. While the album of the same name was met with some apathy compared to the unstoppable 1989, it didn't stop Tay-Tay from launching one of the biggest drawing tours of the year with its insane production and set design. This might be in the biggest venue in town, but no matter where you're seated, the show will be a remarkable thing to witness.
Taylor Swift takes over NRG Stadium, located at 8825 Kirby Dr., on Saturday, September 29. Charlie XCX and Camila Cabelo open. Tickets start at $97 plus a service charge. Gates open at 7 pm.
Drake for three at Toyota Center
The forecast calls for showers because it's going to rain on exotic dancers in Houston this weekend as Drake, and former Bayou City men's club owner, hits town for a three-night stand at Toyota Center. If I was the Rockets GM Daryl Morey, I'd place an enforced curfew on his team Saturday through Tuesday to keep the players on the straight and narrow. For music fans, Drake's new double album, Scorpion, has been everywhere and unavoidable, whether you like it or not. If you're one of the Drake faithful — and there is a lot of you based on the "In My Feelings" internet dance craze - this will be the best weekend ever.
Drake headlines the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Saturday, September 29, Sunday September 30, and on Tuesday, October 2. Migos opens. Tickets start at $59.50 plus service charges. Doors open at 6 pm.
CultureMap Recommends: Interpol
Interpol are nothing but survivors. The impossibly cool New York City band came of age when The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and various other bands had made the city the center of the music universe, saving alt-rock from the mediocrity that was the late-'90s post-grunge era. Two masterstroke albums, 2002's Turn on the Bright Lights and 2004's Antics made them stars, but the years following led to diminishing returns. This year's Marauder, along with one of the singles of the year in "The Rover," brings them back to their highest heights. Get there early. Fellow NYC band and opener Sunflower Bean is fantastic.
Interpol descends on the White Oak Music Hall lawn, located at 2915 North Main St, on Saturday, September 29. Sunflower Bean opens. Tickets start at $32.50 plus a $12.26 service fee. Gates open at 7 pm.
Lauryn Hill in Sugar Land
Ticket buyers beware. Lauryn Hill is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the seminal album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, winner of boatloads of Grammys and any accolade that can possibly be bestowed on a musician. However, her latest tour has been dogged by late start times, booted openers, and angry audiences. When she's on point, there's no denying that Hill is a star, despite the fact she hasn't released any new music in ages.
Ms. Lauryn Hill plays the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Saturday, September 29. Shabazz Places and Patoranking open. Tickets start at $31.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Beers and boots: ZiegenBock Music Festival
Fans of Texas country music will get all they can handle with the ZiegenBock Music Festival at Sam Houston Race Park. The Randy Rogers Band, Pat Green, Casey Donahew, Reckless Kelly, Roger Creager, Kevin Fowler, and many more will perform at the beer-sponsored fest. Take your friends — special ticket packages have just been announced that will save you some money for some suds.
The ZiegenBoch Music Festival scoots over to the Sam Houston Race Park, located at 7575 North Sam Houston Pkwy., on Saturday, September 29. Tickets are $29.50 in advance plus a service charge. Gates open at 11 am.
Dog days are over: Florence + the Machine
The powerfully uplifting voice of U.K. songstress Florence Welch aka Florence + the Machine returns to Houston, hot on the heels of her acclaimed new release, High as Hope. Welch blew up internationally with 2009's aptly named album Lungs and hit song "Dog Days Are Over," followed by the just as huge 2011 offering Ceremonials and single "Shake It Out." Her bombastic odes are just what we need right now, expressing joy and hope in dark times, a respite from the 24/7 news cycle of death, destruction, and despair.
Florence + the Machine perform at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands on Sunday, September 30. Kamasi Washington opens. Tickets start at $39.50 for lawn and reserved seating plus service fees. Gates open at 6 pm.
Emo night: Dashboard Confessional
It'll be the night for emo kids to reminisce about simpler times, back in the early-aughts when vocally expressing your feelings at concerts was the only viable public outlet before social media came along to ruin it all. Dashboard Confessional, the mastermind of hopelessly handsome Chris Carrabba, served as the voice for so many teens searching for someone who understood them. "Screaming Infidelities," was the soundtrack for many, and it's home on The Places You Have Come to Fear Most, made it a generational touchstone. The band is touring behind this year's Crooked Shadows as part of the Summer Ever After tour, a level of anticipation for which may have suffered from all the fans discovering anti-depressants, growing up, and having kids of their own. Regardless, expect a lot of singalongs and possibly tears of joy and/or sorrow.
Dashboard Confessional waxes nostalgic with emo kids at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Monday, October 1. All Time Low and Gnash open. Tickets start at $38.50 plus service charges. Doors open at 6 pm.