It's a great week to be a Gen X music fan. Several bands whose heyday came in the era of baggy jeans and flannel will be making appearances on Houston stages this week
Not that it's a bad thing — some of them are the very best at what they do, critically and commercially adored by fans. Some are, well, let's just happily welcome them back. But the fact they are all playing on some of the largest stages in the city is an indication that nostalgia still holds big sway over concert-goers.
These shows are balanced by some of the better current touring indie and hip-hop acts, so the kids will have plenty to choose from in the days ahead.
CultureMap's biggest, best, and most notable shows of the week are:
Temples at White Oak Music Hall
A throwback to the psychedelic side of British rock, Temples doesn't sound like any other band from the other side of the pond. Their debut, Sun Structures, was one of 2014's best, which included baroque melodies, folky song structures, all laced with a microdose of LSD.
Their follow-up, Volcano, fell away from the magic of the first album, but they returned to the special Kool-Aid that made the band so special for this year's excellent Hot Motion. Retro never sounded so good.
Temples are at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Thursday, October 24. Tickets start at $23 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Wilco at Revention
Few bands are more critically acclaimed than Chicago act, Wilco. The Jeff Tweedy-led vehicle, started from the breakup of cult American act Uncle Tupelo, and quickly established itself as one of the best indie rock acts of the last 20 years.
While they existed just beneath the surface for years, their label battles and subsequent victory around the release of now-classic Yankee Foxtrot Hotel — documented in the fantastic film, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart — made them heroes of music lovers across multiple genres. The ever dependable band is on the road promoting another great album, Ode to Joy.
Wilco plays Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Friday, October 25. Tickets start at $39.50 plus fees. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Explosions in the Sky at White Oak
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose! One of the best bands from Texas, Explosions in the Sky, is in Houston to celebrate 20 years as a group. It's hard to state the influence of the grandiose, all-instrumental act. After the opening credits of the best TV drama about Texas, Friday Night Lights, launched them into the mainstream, the Austin band's compositions seemingly found their way onto soundtracks and commercials everywhere to evoke anything remotely epic.
Their last album, The Wilderness, came out in 2016, but it's worth the trip to honor a truly talented homegrown act. Texas forever!
Explosions in the Sky celebrate their 20th Anniversary at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Friday, October 25. Tickets start at $23 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Buzzfest at Cynthia Woods
Nineties alt-rock kids, gather 'round: If you close your eyes tight enough, this could be a concert bill circa 1996. The radio sponsored Buzzfest is a throwback to the days when alt-rock radio was edgy and slightly dangerous. Unfortunately, it hasn't changed much in the last 25 years. UK act Bush of "Everything Zen" fame will be joined by pseudo-spiritual, "Lighting Crashes" act Live, and the underrated Canadian group Our Lady Peace who found success with "Superman's Dead."
Throw in Godsmack and you have a bunch groups that sold millions of albums back when people bought albums. For those who really enjoyed the decade of grunge, this should be a fun show to take in with your middle-aged friends and teenage kids, extolling the virtues of the good old days.
Buzzfest goes down at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Saturday, October 26. Tickets start at $29.50 plus fees. Gates open at 2:30 pm.
Tyler, The Creator at NRG Arena
Tyler, The Creator, the oft-controversial and very talented rapper is out supporting his latest solo effort, Igor. The album has Grammy buzz and if it wins, it will be the first LGBTQ themed hip-hop album to pick up the prize. But if it wins, it will be for the smart production and focused vision of the kaleidoscope mind of it's maker, who has seemingly left his more childish persona from his days in Odd Future behind.
While he's always had the goods to, ahem, create forward thinking songs but never has he been this good on Igor, throwing in '70s soul record samples over his brash lyrics to create something with more feeling than anything he's previously done.
Tyler, The Creator performs at NRG Arena, located at 1 NRG Pkwy., on Saturday, October 26. Blood Orange and GoldLink open. Tickets start at $49.50 plus fees. Doors open at 6 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Tool at Toyota Center
Ohmahgerd, Tool is back! On the heels of their first album in 13 years, the Los Angeles quartet returns with Fear Inoculum, which is famed for its various production delays as much as it is for its music. The art-rockers blew up in the mid-'90s, sharing a similar artistic vision with Nine Inch Nails, but playing a more progressive version of dark art rock than the Trent Reznor project.
The 1993 smash Undertow and 1996's Aenima, grew a huge cult following and were seemingly everywhere. But then the band went away after 2006's 10.000 Days, not being able to figure out how to top their increasingly intricate songwriting. It only served to grow their popularity even further. Expect this one to be close to sold out.
Tool returns to Houston at Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Sunday, October 27. Killing Joke opens. Tickets start at $59.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 6 pm.
Zac Brown Band at Cynthia Woods
RodeoHouston veterans, the Zac Brown Band, makes a stop through Houston, a city that's always turned out for the Georgia country act. The eight-piece Atlanta-based outfit is a witches brew of Southern, including roots, rock, jam band psychedelia, and of course, country.
They just released their new album, The Owl, and are drawing some snickers over the entirely staged cover photo — group shots are hard, y'all — but there are so many hits from this act that it'll be worth the drive to The Woodlands for ZBB diehards.
Zac Brown Band is at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr in The Woodlands, on Sunday, October 27. Lucas Nelson and Promise of the Real opens. Tickets start at $40 plus fees. Gates open at 5:30 pm.
Morrissey and Interpol (again) at White Oak
"The more you ignore me/The closer I get/You're wasting your time." Perhaps we should take British mopester and habitual no-show Morrissey at his word and just start ignoring the guy. He's only cancelled or postponed shows in Houston a handful of times. Several more if you include Beaumont, according to the website that has tracked every single one of the 302 shows Moz has cancelled, postponed, or cut short.
This show is set to make up for a September 21 date that band management claimed was due to flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda, despite it being days after said storm with fair skies. It would be great to see Interpol play again, who always does right by their post-punk roots. But don't hold your breath on this one.
Morrissey and Interpol tries to play White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Monday, October 28. Tickets start at $59.50 plus fees. Gates open at 6 pm.