It's not something we really asked for, but here we are. The Masked Singer is coming to Houston.
Well, it's coming to Sugar Land to be specific. The hit Fox show features B- and C-list celebrities dressing up in costume to perform karaoke, leaving judges and the audience to guess their real identity based on a set of clues. It's one of those truly American phenomenons that we'll all look back at in a decade or so and ask ourselves why we were so fascinated by the concept in the first place. But hey, who are we to judge — the concept will be a 46-date national tour, so there's obviously an audience for this kind of thing.
Will the same celebrities be in every city? Will local celebrities get in on the game? The questions around the tour are as confusing as the show's popularity.
Meanwhile, the weeks immediately before RodeoHouston are often the best time to take in a show outside the country genre. This week is proof with a variety of alt-rock, indie, hip-hop, soul and Latin music highlighting the shows of the week.
CultureMap's biggest, best, and most notable shows of the weeks are as follows:
CultureMap show of the week: Silversun Pickups at House of Blues
The Los Angeles band Silversun Pickups has had an interesting trajectory in the music world. Starting off in the Silverlake region of Los Angeles, the band's current lineup solidified in the early 2000s along with their sound — driving alt-rock with Smashing Pumpkins and shoegazing influences. Their first album, Carnavas, was a minor success but the placement of standout track "Lazy Eye" in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games helped their following album, Swoon, reach the Top 10 of the charts with the strength of single "Panic Switch." Each subsequent album brought in new elements of sound and high profile slots on tours by acts like Foo Fighters meant a bigger fan base.
While they haven't always been able to reach the mainstream, that's been a part of the Pickups' appeal. They are a tad too arty to blow, but they rock hard enough to attract and retain a wide variety of fans. Their latest album is the synth-inflected Widow's Weeds, produced by none other than Butch Vig, who produced both Nirvana's Nevermind, and the Pumpkins' classic, Siamese Dream.
Silversun Pickups are at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Tuesday, February 18. Eliza and the Delusionals open. Tickets start at $29.50 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Tomar and the FCs at Continental Club
Few bands encapsulate the aura of Houston's Continental Club better than Tomar and the FCs. The Austin-based soul act is signed to the Houston record label, Splice Records, and is set to celebrate the release of their new album, Rise Above, a two year undertaking that delves into blues, rock, and funk.
The quintet, fronted by lead singer Tomar Williams, first started gaining notice in their hometown in 2015 and started earning critical notices with their 2016 album, Heart Attack, which led them to being tapped by NPR's Tiny Desk Concert competition that year as the Austin entry. If their many festival appearances around Texas are any indication, this show will be a hot, sweaty, and earth-quaking good time.
Tomar and the FCs play the Continental Club, located at 3700 Main St., on Friday, February 21. Tickets are $15 plus fees. Doors open at 9 pm.
Rex Orange County at Revention Music Center
One of the buzziest acts in the music world right now, Rex Orange County, will play a sold out Revention Music Center with tickets going for well over $100 on the resale market. Born Alex O'Connor, the British songwriter grew said buzz organically as a music student, quietly releasing his first album, bcos u will never be free, in 2015 for free via streaming apps.
The strategy worked and he gained a number of followers, including Tyler, The Creator, who included him on two tracks on his Flower Boy album. That set the stage for his latest album, 2019's Pony, a mix of pop, jazz, soul, and hip-hop, reaching No. 1 on both the Billboard rock and alternative charts thanks to the catchy single "10/10."
Rex Orange County performs at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Saturday, February 22. This show is sold out but tickets start are available on the resale market. Doors open at 7 pm.
Aventura at Toyota Center
If you need any evidence that Latin music is a top-seller in Houston, look no further than the Aventura show at Toyota Center this Saturday. The award-winning kings of bachata are back with their first U.S. tour in 10 years. At their height, the Dominican Republic-via-The Bronx bachata boy band was one of the most popular of their time, selling out arenas across the country behind singles such as "Obsesión" and guest appearances by popular artists like Wyclef Jean, Ludacris, and Akon.
When group member Romeo Santos struck out on his own, he sold out Yankee Stadium. The group reunited for the track, "Immortal," off the latter's 2019 album, Utopia, and are on the road reminding just how much heat they bring to the live stage.
Aventura is at Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St,. on Saturday, February 22. Tickets start at $59.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Young Dolph and Key Glock at House of Blues
Sirius XFM channel Hip Hop Nation is sponsoring this showcase of up and coming talents Young Dolph and Key Glock. House of Blues has become a beacon for local hip-hop shows and this one will feature the fast-rising Memphis rapper alongside his frequent collaborator, who teamed up for the 2019 mixtape, Dum and Dummer. It was in the Memphis mixtape scene that Young Dolph got his start, eventually working with major label producers on three Top 40 albums, 2017's Bulletproof and Thinking Out Loud as well as 2018's Role Model.
Young Dolph performs at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Saturday, February 22. Key Glock opens. Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.