RodeoHouston still holds this fair city in its firm grasp in the week ahead, with nary a big show competing against the behemoth event. However, there are a few notable rock, indie and hip-hop shows on the calendar for those not inclined towards boot-scootin’ tunes best served with a side of funnel cake.
RodeoHouston’s line-up is surprisingly diverse the week ahead, but make no mistake, this is a country-western event as the 2006 winner of Nashville Star, Chris Young takes the Friday, March 9 slot at NRG Stadium. Young has built a solid career after winning the reality show, scoring several No. 1 hits, such as “Voices,” “The Man I Want To Be,” and “Tomorrow.”
Huntsville native Cody Johnson scores the coveted Saturday slot on March 10. Johnson is a Texas music success story, as each one of his albums have been more successful than the last, the latest, 2016’s Gotta Be Me, nearly reaching the Top 10 on the Billboard charts. There’s really no one better suited to playing a rodeo than the grit and dirt roots music performed by Johnson.
Calibre 50 headlines RodeoHouston’s Go Tejano Day on Sunday, March 11, usually a huge draw to NRG. This quartet, hailing Matzatlan, Mexico, is a hitmaker on the Hot Latin Songs chart and have found themselves featured on the Conan O’Brien show.
Columbian reggaeton artist J Balvin brings his Latin and Caribbean influenced sounds to the Stars Over Texas stage on Tuesday, March 13. Balvin made a name for himself in 2015 by being named New Artist, Latin Rhythm Song of the Year, and Latin Rhythm Song Artist of the Year at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Australian country superstar Keith Urban heats up RodeoHouston in what is bound to be one of the best attended shows of 2018. See CultureMap’s 10 hottest RodeoHouston shows for more.
RodeoHouston weekday show times are 6:45 pm, and 3:45 pm for Saturday and Sunday shows. Tickets are available through the RodeoHouston website or the resale market. RodeoHouston takes place at NRG Stadium, located on NRG Parkway.
Best hip-hop show of the week
Harlem rapper A$AP Ferg brings his Mad Man Tour to H-town. A founder of the A$AP Mob (along with A$AP Rocky and others), Ferg made it big on the back of the collective that negotiated a Wu-Tang Clan like deal in that the entire group benefited from being featured on solo records. His two albums, 2013’s Trap Lord and Always Strive and Prosper were highly acclaimed rap records, influenced by the trap genre that has made Travis Scott and Bun B huge names in Houston. Expect the crowds to show up to this one.
A$AP Ferg performs with IDK and Denzel Curry at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., Sunday, March 11. Tickets start at $30. Doors open at 7 pm.
Best band you haven’t heard yet
True music fans always like to claim they were there first when a great band started out. Take one look at the firepower behind Toronto quintet Common Deer and this could be the making of something special. The group is releasing two EPs as one album in the U.S. called I + II, produced by veteran Canadian indie producers Laurence Currie (Sloan, Wintersleep, any Atlantic Canadian band worth a lick) and Gus Van Go (underrated mid-aughts post-punk band The Stills). Atmospheric and melodic, heavily leaning on male-female duets in the vein of Montreal’s Stars, Common Deer is going places.
Common Deer brings their melodic indie to White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., Sunday, March 11. The Western Civilization opens. Tickets are $11 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Best of the buzz acts
Two up-and-coming bands will make appearances in the week ahead and both are worth checking out. London’s Shopping has produced one of the best albums of 2018 so far with The Official Body, a dose of wry, angular, and political Wire-influenced post-punk that has music die-hards turning their heads.
A few nights later, NME favorite NYC band du jour Public Access T.V. visits on the heels of another fantastic 2018 record, Street Safari, that recalls a veritable jukebox of influences, Elvis Costello, The Ramones, and even R&B, filled with infectious choruses and ringing guitar riffs. These two acts are worth taking a chance on.
Shopping plays at The Secret Group, located at 2101 Polk St., Sunday, March 11. French Vanilla opens. Tickets are $10 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Public Access T.V. crashes Houston with the Wallows and Honduras at the Bronze Peacock at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Tuesday, March 13. Tickets are $18 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.