Live Music Now
Before we get to the week's biggest live shows, it would be simply unprofessional if we didn't talk about the recent album release announcements of two of Houston's very best bands. First up, the fantastic indie-alternative-dream pop group Wild Moccasins will make their long awaited follow-up to 2015's 88 92. Look Together will be available on June 29 with an album release party at White Oak Music Hall on July 7. First single, No Muse, is available via streaming services and sounds like a poppier version of Beach House, which is a high compliment indeed.
Next up, beloved, world conquering neo-soul collective The Suffers follow up their 2016 self-titled debut with Everything Here, set for release on July 13 with a party set for the Heights Theater that night. Not surprisingly, the show sold out in hours (with band management claiming it sold out in 7 hours, 13 minutes). For those who weren't fortunate enough to score tickets, the band will likely be dropping new tunes on the crowd at the Great Texas BBQ Festival at Post HTX on May 19. You can hear new tracks, "Mammas," and "Do Whatever" on your favorite streaming service.
As for the shows hitting Houston in the week ahead, you can't go wrong with any of these:
Free party on the plaza
He's performed for President Obama, guested with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Zac Brown, and now he'll be playing a free show in downtown Houston. New Orleans trombone and trumpet player Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue will perform at the ultra sweet Party on the Plaza concert series that takes place at Avenida Houston next to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Expect countless jams, delicious food, craft beer specials, games, and outdoor fun. What's not to love about this? Sounds like a perfect happy hour to us.
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will perform at Party on the Plaza, located next to the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, on Thursday, March 10. Khris Royal will open. Free admission. Music starts at 6:45 pm.
Swingin’ in the Heights
Ah, the ’90s. Audiences, sick of the watered-down grunge that dominated airwaves in the latter half of the decade, turned to seemingly dead genres to liven things up. Following a short resurgence of ska bands, swing-influenced bands exploded in full force — see 1996’s Jon Favreau flick Swingers as its definitive watermark — and no other band benefited more than Squirrel Nut Zippers. Not to be confused with the gross-named Cherry Poppin’ Daddies or Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Zippers hit it big with the 1930s throwback, “Hell,” from the aptly named Hot, an album that sold over a million copies — a record kids and grandparents alike could seemingly enjoy together. (It was a very strange time in pop culture.) Dust off the dance shoes, chum, and relive your youth for what’s sure to be a fun performance.
Squirrel Nut Zippers brings the swing to the Heights Theater, located at 339 W. 19th St., Thursday, May 10. Ginny Mac opens. Tickets start at $24 in advance plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Be there first for this buzz act
Los Angeles based Wilderado isn’t very well known in these parts, but that won’t be the case for long based on the four-piece’s limited output. Which is to say, it’s excellent, recalling the best moments of Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, and even Coldplay (when they were good). Their catchy indie-rock tunes with soaring choruses (see “Sorrow” and “Morning Light”) have landed them notice in some of the biggest music online publications, including NME and Consequence of Sound. They may only have a few EPs and a singles collection, but this band is going places, including a coveted slot at this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival. Go to this show to be able to say you were there before they blew up.
Wilderado takes the stage at Warehouse Live, located at 813 St Emanuel St., on Friday, May 11. Foxtrax and Whitacre open. Tickets start at $10 in advance plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
“Play Free...” — ah, you know the rest
“Play Freebird!” The way-overplayed joke in the world live music is a testament to the impact of the “Sweet Home Alabama” icons of Southern rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd. After 40 years on the road, dozens of albums, and enough stories to fill a whole season of Behind the Music, Skynyrd has announced it’s final, Last of the Street Survivors Farewell tour. It remains to be seen whether that will stick, but this show is a must-attend for fans of the classic rock giants that enjoy the “Stars and Bars” flag being flashed at shows.
Lynyrd Skynyrd performs at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, on Saturday, May 12. Bad Company and The Outlaws opens. Tickets start at $49.50 for seated, $29.50 for lawn. Gates open at 6 pm.
J-pop + metal = hell yeah
Easily one of the strangest concepts in music, young, all-female trio Babymetal takes elements of Japanese pop music (J-pop) like cutesy vocals and schoolgirl outfits, adds the high wattage riffage of heavy metal, and the results are pretty kick ass. To put it into perspective, the group has opened for Christina Aguilera and Red Hot Chili Peppers, while duetting with Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Expect a thrilling display for pop and metal fans, as well as the merely curious. If you loved watching Akira or Dragonball Z while listening to Slayer, this is your type of show.
Babymetal performs at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas St., on Sunday, May 13. Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.