Before we get to the week’s noteworthy shows, long-due respect is owed to local band The Suffers, who helped raise over $65,000 for the Harvey Relief Fund to be distributed to those affected by the storm. The beloved band teamed up with their friends at Newport Folk Fest for a killer show at House of Blues on December 22. From all accounts, it was the hottest music event of the holiday season, and the proceeds will help people who are still trying to recover after Hurricane Harvey. Way to go. And now, on the top shows of the week in Houston.
Best place to see a radio-friendly festival favorite
German folk-rock group Milky Chance is currently on a world tour, and has been picking up steam here with a multitude of festival appearances, including the ACL Festival in October. Their No. 1 hit alternative single, “Stolen Dance,” still gets good airtime on alternative rock radio, and has been embraced by fans of many genres by mixing folk, reggae, and electronica into a rollicking, funky, and rhythmic mix. The corresponding 2013 album Sadnecessary hit the Top 20 on the Billboard album charts. They are currently touring behind 2017 album, Blossom, drawing good crowds at large-sized theaters.
Milky Chance plays the House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St., with Lewis Capaldi on Friday, January 12. Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm; show at 8 pm.
Best chance to see a legendary DJ
Arguably, no one was more instrumental in turning club kids onto MDMA than the British DJ Paul Oakenfold. When trance took over, just as the electronic dance movement in the late-'90s exploded, it captured the imagination of suburban college kids as an escape from their mundane and buttoned-up lives — and Oakenfold was at the forefront. The godfather of trance makes a rare appearance in Houston, bringing his trademark version of blissed out, build-and-drop version of house music that brought him — as well as the American rave movement — massive popularity a few decades ago. The guy still plays the hottest clubs in the world, and for that reason alone it's worth seeing him behind the ones and twos. (Whether trance still holds up after 20 years is a different argument altogether.)
Paul Oakenfold spins at Stereo Live, located at 6400 Richmond Ave., on Friday, January 12. Tickets are an extremely reasonable $15 plus fees. Doors open at 10 pm.
Best Americana showcase of the week
Americana singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has built a respectable career behind a prolific output of music and hard touring; he has put out nine studio albums since his career started in the early-2000s. He’ll cull some of his best tunes, which incorporate rootsy guitar licks and Dylan-esque lyrics alongside his Royal City Band this weekend. He’s currently touring last year’s acclaimed album, Gathering.
Josh Ritter performs with the Royal City Band at The Heights Theater, located at 339 W. 19th St., on Friday, January 12. Nikki Bluhm opens. Tickets are $24 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Best chance to see the biggest pop and rock hits, orchestral-style
For those AC/DC diehards who must hear two dudes jamming out to “Thunderstruck” on cello, or if you’re a Michael Jackson fanatic — and ever wondered what “Smooth Criminal” sounds like on strings — 2Cellos has you covered. Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser are part of a modern movement of bringing orchestral music to the masses via covers of popular mainstream tunes. 2Cellos is one of the more successful acts of this recent trend, bringing down houses with their take on revered pop acts. In other words, this is a show the whole family should get down to see.
2Cellos performs at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, located at 615 Louisiana St., on Tuesday, January 16. Tickets are $63 plus fees. Show starts at 7:30 pm.
Best show to check out 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees
A celebratory lap of sorts, The Moody Blues hit Houston fresh off being named as a 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. The British band sadly lost founding member and rock flautist — how often do you read the term “rock flautist”? — Ray Thomas, earlier this month. So, for fans, this will be somewhat of a bittersweet affair as the band's 50th anniversary tour rolls into town. Those who grew up on A.M. radio in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s will remember hits “Nights In White Satin” (still a killer track), “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” and the Dire Straits-lite “Your Wildest Dreams.” These guys have sold over 70 million albums worldwide, so they are legit to a certain set of music fans.
The Moody Blues play the Smart Financial Center at Sugar Land on Wednesday, January 17. Tickets start at $59 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.