Live Music Now
These are the 5 best concerts in Houston this week
Also, congratulations to the little music venue that could. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, the intimate and friendly club near the intersections of Kirby Drive and Richmond Avenue (2425 Norfolk St.) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Founded by Teresa and Rusty Andrews in the summer of 1990, the Duck is known for its loyal customers and shows with two sets a night instead of the traditional one. The venue has been an incubator for local talent, as well as a home away from home for touring musicians, often drawing names that could play — and sell — much bigger venues.
That's the kind of love the Duck has built over three decades. Do yourself a favor and head over for a beer, a bite, and some of the best music in town, including one of the following shows of the week.
CultureMap show of the week: Sarah McLachlan at Hobby Center
Founder of Lilith Fair. 40 million albums sold worldwide. Multiple Grammy award wins. There's not much that Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan hasn't done during her career. Starting off with ethereal, folk inflected pop of her early work, 1988's Touch and 1991's Solace, McLachlan started gaining a wider audience with the edgier, pop-oriented Fumbling Towards Ecstacy in 1993, right as the coffeehouse craze kicked into full gear, the perfect setting for her sound.
McLachlan became a superstar when she founded Lilith Fair, bringing together female-led acts for a multi-city tour, blowing down the doors of a male dominated industry and showcasing the power women had in selling records. Her subsequent album, Surfacing, with hit songs "Adia," "Sweet Surrender," and the infamous SPCA song, "Angel," sold millions and drove the point home and now today's pop climate is now dominated by the ladies. McLachlan hasn't played Houston in ages, so this is a special treat to catch up with the expressive performer.
Sarah McLachlan takes to the Hobby Center stage, located at 800 Bagby St., on Thursday, February 6. Tickets start at $50.50 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Bob Schneider at McGonigel's Mucky Duck
One of the favorites on the Texas music circuit, Bob Schneider, has been writing and releasing music for over 25 years. His former band The Ugly Americans once opened for Dave Matthews Band on tour and included members from Cracker and Mojo Nixon before he set off on his own. His solo career has been varied, embracing folk, rock, funk, and country, including his latest album, Blood and Bones, a mash-up of those styles with introspective slow-burners and upbeat rockers, such as the Beck-sounding "Texaco."
Bob Schneider performs at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, located at 2425 Norfolk St., on Thursday, February 6. Tickets start at $32 plus fees. Shows starts at 7 and 9:30 pm.
Yola at Heights Theater
Fresh off four Grammy nominations and a taping of Austin City Limits, British singer-songwriter Yola kicks off her American Walk Through Fire tour based on the 2019 album of the same name. She’s toured with Massive Attack, shared the stage with Dolly Parton of the Newport Music Festival, and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys produced her critically acclaimed debut. (Not too shabby.)
Combining country, soul, pop, and R&B, this might be the last chance audiences can see uber-talented performer in such an intimate setting. If you need proof of her power, check out her recent turn on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series.
Yola headlines Heights Theater, located at 339 W 19th St., on Friday, February 7. Thomas Csorba opens. Tickets start at $20 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Highly Suspect at Revention Music Center
Consisting of a trio of friends, Johnny Stevens on guitar and vocals, and twins Rich and Ryan Meyer on bass and vocals and drums, respectively, the Brooklyn-based group Highly Suspect capitalized on the success of their hit 2016 album, The Boy Who Died Wolf, to earn key slots at major music festivals across the country. It was just a few years ago we saw them play a well-received set at the now defunct In Bloom Festival. Based on their hits, “Lydia,” “My Name is Human,” and “Little One,” we suspect these guys really like Queens of the Stone Age and Kings of Leon.
Highly Suspect performs at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Saturday, February 8. NAV opens. Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends: The New Pornographers at White Oak Music Hall
The second Vancouver act to grace local stages this week (Sarah McLachlan being the other), the Canadian indie supergroup the New Pornographers are on the road with their smart, energetic, and catchy-as-hell sound, touting their latest critically acclaimed album, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights.
Bringing together some of the best musicians from the West Coast, including the incredible vocal pipes of Neko Case and sharp lyricism of leader A.C. Newman, the Pornographers haven't released a bad album, starting out with a magnificent run of three almost perfect offerings in 2000's Mass Romantic, 2003's Electric Version, and 2005's high watermark, Twin Cinema. In other words, there are few, if any, bands around that do indie-rock better.
The New Pornographers brings supergroup vibes to White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Sunday, February 9. Diane Coffee opens. Tickets are $30 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.