The week before New Year’s Eve is usually a great time for Texas bands to hit the road for short tours, since very few nationally touring acts are playing shows. Houston will be visited by a handful of popular Texas acts this weekend worth checking out, plus one last holiday-themed show for those who hadn't had enough yuletide cheer.
Flashback to the golden age of ’90s rock
The year was 1995. It was my first alternative rock concert. Sunken Gardens Theater in San Antonio. So much baggy denim. So many wallet chains. We thought we were so cool.
Gavin Rossdale’s Nirvana worshipping quartet Bush headlined with buzz-bin psych-grunge act Hum. The openers, The Toadies, had just released their pretty great album Rubberneck with the radio hit, “Possum Kingdom,” and hey, they were from Denton, Texas!
Even though it’s been decades since The Toadies sold over 500,000 copies of their first record, they still boast a loyal following in Texas. Whether it’s a way to remember a more innocent time of growing up in the suburbs or maybe its new fans who discovered them on Playstation’s Rock Band, The Toadies still put on a damn good rock show. They are currently touring behind the 2017 album, The Lowerside of Uptown.
The Toadies play the House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77002 this Friday, December 29. Tickets start at $27 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
The return of Girl in a Coma
San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma has been relatively quiet in recent years as front-woman Nina Diaz pursued a solo career. Joined by sister Phanie Diaz (drums) and Jenn Alva (bass – shout out to my fellow MacArthur HS classmate), the trio puts on an awesome display of charisma and killer hooks. Once signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records label, it’s easy to see the connection with a stage presence that screams the attitude of riot girl groups, the melodic punk sensibility of The Ramones and a dose of melancholy via The Smiths, from which they take their namesake. This will be a welcome return to H-town from a much underrated band.
The fantastic local indie-rock act Wild Moccasins will open along with Fight Me!
Girl In A Coma perform at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main Street this Friday, December 29. Tickets start at $15 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Holiday on steroids in Sugar Land
Those who haven’t quite gotten over Christmas or for those who like prog-rock with their carols, the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas show has you covered. Often overshadowed by the overtly bombastic Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim still has the goods when it comes to holiday tunes on steroids, having sold millions of albums of their takes on wintertime classics.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas plays at the SMART Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land, on Friday, December 29. Tickets start at $44 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.
Indie in the “City”
Playing a one-off show after a lengthy hiatus, Austin duo Ghostland Observatory will bless Houston audiophiles with a rare appearance. Arriving at the height of the indie-dance movement that saw bands like The Rapture and Electric Six enticing hipsters to the dance floor, Ghostland Observatory made national waves with their 2006 album Paparazzi Lightning, largely buoyed by still great single “Sad Sad City.” This will be a treat for fans of the band and those who just like to boogie at their rock shows. Houston synth-act Night Drive will open.
Ghostland Observatory plays White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main Street, on Saturday, December 30. Tickets are $30 in advance. Doors open at 8 pm.
A good reason to visit to Tomball
Suburbanites rejoice as Jim Heath aka revered psychobilly troubadour Reverend Horton Heat will play a solo show at Main Street Crossing in Tomball this Saturday. The Dallas-based Reverend rarely puts on a bad performance and will call on a storied catalog that relies on the sounds of swing, traditional country, surf and rock music in a thrilling hodgepodge perfectly complimented by a cold beer, a shot of whiskey and a dollop of Pomade in slicked back hair. It will be well worth the drive up 249 to see a legend in an intimate setting. Jesse Dayton will open.
Reverend Horton Heat will play Main Street Crossing, located at 111 W. Main Street in Tomball, on Saturday, December 30. Tickets are $25 with fees. Show is at 8 pm.