The CultureMap weekly live music column is usually a chronological affair, taking readers through the biggest, best, and most noteworthy shows day-by-day. But this week, we're going to skip to the most important first because it's that big of a deal and will likely be some of the biggest shows of the year.
The Rocket Man himself, Sir Elton John will make what he says to be his last appearance on a Houston stage as a performer this weekend, capping a legendary career with his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. While music retirements are usually as hard and fast as comic book character deaths, there is a legitimate chance this one will stick. The 71-year-old is a gazillionaire, has sold almost as many albums (over 300 million), influenced countless musicians, has little left to prove, and nothing more to accomplish. At this point, he's doing it because he was born to do it, music is simply the same to him as breathing (with big thanks to his mum in the recent poignant, tear-jerking Christmas ad).
It would be nearly impossible to list all of his hits here, especially since he achieved at least one Top 40 song every year from 1970 to 1999. But expect to hear his biggest, "Candle in the Wind," "Bennie and the Jets," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Your Song," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," among many others.
It's not shocking that both his Saturday and Sunday show are completely sold out. But if you are a fan and have access to a savings account, the money it will take to buy a ticket on the resale market it will be worth it to see one of most talented stars in the history of music tickle the ivories one more time. His talents as a live performer will be missed.
Elton John says farewell to all the tiny dancers at the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9. Tickets start at $195 on the resale market. Doors open at 7 pm.
Born Ruffians at White Oak
Toronto indie-rock act Born Ruffians made waves in their native land since their inception in the mid-aughts, but are making a play for relevancy in the U.S. The three-piece has toured with some of the indie-rock circuit's best including Franz Ferdinand, Peter Bjorn and John, and Caribou, their eclectic indie rhythms combined with folky melodies. Their latest is Uncle, Duke & the Chief.
Born Ruffians play White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Tuesday, December 4. Little Junior opens. Tickets are $15 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Nashville rising star Maggie Rose
Singer-songwriter Maggie Rose is making big waves in her homebase of Nashville and beyond, gaining notices in major music publications, including NPR, Vogue, and USA Today, for her multi-genre style outside of country. She's touring with a 13-piece band, resulting in a blast of soul, funk, rock 'n roll, blues, gospel, and pop. Instead of Dolly, it's way more Arethra, allowing Rose's powerhouse voice to shine, embracing her inner diva.
Maggie Rose performs at Warehouse Live, located at 813 St Emanuel St, on Friday, December 7. Oliver Penn opens. Tickets start at $10 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
'70s R&B and soul with The Commodores and The Temptations
It's an oldies double-bill at Arena Theatre this Friday as The Commodores and The Temptations are responsible for some of the biggest hits of the pop, R&B, and soul of the '60s, '70s, and '80s. The former act is mostly famous for when Lionel Ritchie was a co-lead singer and songwriter in the band before venturing off as a solo artist. Their song include the best of A.M. radio, "Three Times a Lady," "Easy," and "Nightshift." The Temptations are just as famous for their sweet, sweet melodies and dance moves to match. "My Girl," "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," and "The Way You Do the Things You Do," are stone-cold classics and worth the price of admission.
The Commodores and The Temptations are at Arena Theatre, located at 7326 Southwest Fwy, on Friday, December 7. Tickets start at $35.50 plus service fees. Show starts at 8:30 pm.
Joy Williams (formerly of The Civil Wars)
Unfortunately, the show at Heights Theater with the amazing blues act The Robert Cray Band on Friday is sold out, so let us point you in the direction of the upcoming performance by Joy Williams, formerly the singer of the acclaimed Americana act, The Civil Wars. She won four Grammy awards and hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts with her songwriting partner John Paul White before creative differences led to an acrimonious split in 2014. Williams has had a good solo career, which can be largely attributed to her gorgeous vocals, but the material veers more towards adult pop than her folksy back catalog. Regardless, she's a talent too good to pass up. She is touring in advance of her set-to-be released record, Front Porch.
Joy Williams headlines the Heights Theater, located at 339 W. 19th St., on Sunday, December 9. Anthony Da Costa opens Tickets start at $26 plus a $6 service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.
Stop and Stare at OneRepublic
Pop-rock act OneRepublic last played at RodeoHouston earlier this year and seemed to find it difficult to fill the space, despite a good performance by lead singer Ryan Tedder. Their headlining slot at House of Blues will be the perfect venue for the "Counting Stars" and "Stop and Stare" band, allowing them to get up close and intimate with their die-hard fans as part of the Mixmas 96.5 holiday show.
OneRepublic headlines the House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Monday, December 10. Ocean Park Standoff, Matt Nathanson, and Brynn Elliott open. Tickets start at $59.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 6:30 pm.