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10 best concerts — outside of RodeoHouston — to catch in March

10 best concerts — outside of RodeoHouston — to catch in March

Dua Lipa
CultureMap Show of the Month: U.K. pop star Dua Lipa brings her disco magic to Toyota Center on Saturday, March 12. Courtesy Dua Lipa
Bob Dylan
American music icon Bob Dylan performs at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land on Friday, March 11. Photo courtesy of Live Nation
Alt-J
British rock act Alt-J co-headlines the White Oak Music Hall lawn with Portugal. The Man on Sunday, March 13. Henry Laurisch/Wikimedia Commons
Claud
Fast-rising indie songwriter Claud is at White Oak Music Hall on Tuesday, March 15. Angela Ricciardi
Jimmy Eat World
Emo rockers Jimmy Eat World play next to Dashboard Confessional at 713 Music Hall on Tuesday, March 22. Jimmy Eat World/Facebook
Beach House band
Indie dream-pop darlings Beach House bring their ethereal cool to the House of Blues on Saturday, March 26. Photo courtesy of Beach House
Josh Abbott Band
Josh Abbott Band takes over the White Oak Music Hall lawn on Saturday, March 26. Josh Abbott Band/Facebook
Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator brings his gonzo rap to the big stage at Toyota Center on Sunday, March 27. Courtesy We Care a Lot PR
Dua Lipa
Bob Dylan
Alt-J
Claud
Jimmy Eat World
Beach House band
Josh Abbott Band
Tyler, The Creator

Not a fan of country music? Not really into seeing Marshmello drop the bass in the middle of a dirt-filled stadium at RodeoHouston? No worries.

Thanks to a variety of reasons, Houston plays host to numerous top-rate concerts this month and beyond. Mid-month, Austin plays host to the return of the South By Southwest festival, which is always means the Bayou City is a draw as bands pick up shows in and around Texas to coincide with appearances at the major annual gathering of talent.

We are also seeing a major glut of tours as musicians get back on the road to make up for lost time during the two-year pandemic. In other words, the next few weeks are simply stacked with performances by several legends and legends in the making.

Here are CultureMap's best of the rest outside of RodeoHouston.

Bob Dylan
Friday, March 11
Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, 18111 Lexington Blvd.

The man, the myth, the icon. Folk-rock hero Bob Dylan doesn't need to be touring. He's done all that can be done by an artist, leaving an indelible mark on American culture. And he's also very, very rich, recently selling off his entire catalog of over 600 songs in a deal that has been reported for $300 million, including seminal, groundbreaking tunes such as "Tangled Up In Blue," "Like A Rolling Stone," "Lay Lady Lay," and many more.

So why is he on the road at age 80? The only reasonable explanation is because he loves to perform live. And we are all lucky to see the man on stage, not knowing when he might hang up his guitar and extensive songbook for good. 

Tickets start at $39.50 plus fees. Show starts at 8 p.m.

Carl Cox
Friday, March 11
Rise Rooftop, 2600 Travis St., Suite R

He might not have the far-reaching cultural impact as Bob Dylan, but make no mistake, Carl Cox is a tried and true legend in the electronic dance world. The British DJ's sets aren't so much a concert, but a religious experience.

He's performed at the biggest music festivals in the world, and has worked with some of the biggest artists in the game, making it remarkable that he'll be playing the relatively intimate Midtown venue, Rise Rooftop, quickly establishing itself as the go-to place for great DJ performances. If you're a dance music fan, this is must-see.

Tickets start at $60 plus fees. Doors open at 10 p.m.

CultureMap Show of the Month: Dua Lipa with Caroline Polachek and Lolo Zouai
Saturday, March 12
Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St.

Want to know how big U.K. songstress Dua Lipa is right now? First off, she single-handedly made Elton John cool again with the fantastic star turn on his best single in years, the No. 2 Billboard hit collab, "Cold Heart." Second, she also made pop radio fun again with crazy run of great singles, reaching No. 1 "Levitating," No. 4 for "Break My Heart," and No. 5 for "Don't Start Now." 

She's now headlining a top-selling U.S. arena tour, looking to capitalize on the radio success that came with her excellent, party-starting album, Future Nostalgia, which recalls some of the best pop music over the years, incorporating funk, disco, EDM, and straight-ahead sugary pop melodies. Her forward thinking vision is complimented by a killer support line-up with the indie-electro-pop chanteuse Caroline Polachek, formerly of Chairlift, and Lolo Zoai.

Tickets start at $45 plus fees. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Alt-J and Portugal. The Man
Sunday, March 13
White Oak Music Hall Lawn, 2915 N Main St.

It's yet another British act looking to capitalize with the return of live music, this time from the realm of alternative rock. Alt-J is back on the road with 2022's The Dream, their fourth, critically acclaimed album. That follows success on alternative rock radio with singles such as "Matilda," "Something Good," and "Left Hand Free," mixing the atmospherics of Coldplay with the cerebral playing of Radiohead.

They'll be joined by a Houston favorite, Portugal. The Man, the Alaskan band that hit pay dirt in 2017 with the Grammy-award winning single, "Feel It Still," which coincidentally features a cameo by local Pegstar Concerts promoter Jagi Katial in the corresponding video (look at 2:14 to be exact). 

Tickets start at $66.50 plus fees. Gates open at 5 p.m.

Gang of Four with Gal Pals
Tuesday, March 15
Warehouse Live, 813 St Emanuel St.

Hugely influential for post-punk bands over last four decades, (another) British act Gang of Four can still be heard in other acts today, including Franz Ferdinand, Bad Religion, and Wet Leg (playing a sold-out show at the Secret Group on Sunday, March 20).

Their first two albums, 1979's Entertainment and 1981's Solid Gold are stone-cold classics, full of nervy, twitchy guitar hooks and smart, incisive lyrics deriding politics and modern culture.

Unfortunately, this is the first U.S. tour following the death of band co-founder Andy Gill, who passed away from a respiratory illness that might have been caused by the coronavirus in the early days of 2020. What better way to pay respect than to put on those dancing shoes.

Tickets start at $23 plus fees. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Claud with KALI
Tuesday, March 15
White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St.

Fast-rising indie act Claud is a product of the pandemic, when music heads took to social media to discover new sounds. A vehicle for Chicagoan Claud Mintz, the band is set to release their album Super Monster, being the first to sign with indie star Phoebe Bridgers’ new label.

After garnering buzz online, their single “Soft Spot” was named one of the best songs of the year by Vogue. Quickly ascending promotional posters, Claud performed at Firefly Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, and Outside Lands as well as opening for Jack Antonoff band, Bleachers, a sign that bigger stages are ahead.

Tickets start at $16 plus fees. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Jimmy Eat World with Dashboard Confessional
Tuesday, March 22
713 Music Hall, 401 Franklin St., Ste. 1600

Emo-rock fans, this one is for you. Heartthrobs Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional play a double-bill at the newly opened 713 Music Hall, both acts some of the few from that subculture to transcended their earnest, heart-on-sleeve roots to achieve mainstream success.

Jimmy Eat World reached the top of the charts with the impossibly catchy anthem "The Middle" from 2001's platinum-selling Bleed American, parlaying that into a devoted fanbase that still turns out for shows over 20 years later. Meanwhile, Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba became MTV the poster-boy for self-serious, man-and-his-guitar showmanship, hitting No. 2 on the U.S. album charts for 2003's A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar and 2006's Dusk and Summer

Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Show starts at 7 p.m.

CultureMap Recommends: Beach House with Ami Dang
Saturday, March 26
House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St.

One of the most consistently great bands currently producing new music, the star of Baltimore's Beach House only seems to grow in stature as the years go on. Consider them experts in combining indie rock, dream pop, and shoegaze into something much more than the sum of their parts.

The duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally has put out game-changing albums since 2010's Teen Dream, subsequent records coalescing their otherworldly vision into something more majestic, mysterious, and cathartic. Even Kanye West has taken notice, recently spotted in the studio with them, an acknowledgment of their brilliance.

They are back with another beast of a collection in Once, Twice, Melody which continues their torrid run of nothing less than great full-lengths, this time incorporating cinematic strings to produce songs that sound like they are from another dimension.

While they could be selling out large-sized theaters, they've made the conscious decision to play more intimate venues to maintain the connection they have to an extremely devoted fan base. Make no mistake about it, Beach House is working at the peak of their awe-inducing powers.

Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Show starts at 7 p.m.

Josh Abbott Band with Grant Gilbert and Triston Marez
Saturday, March 26
White Oak Music Hall Lawn, 2915 N Main St.

Always a draw in the Bayou City, the Lubbock-formed Josh Abbott Band returns to the White Oak Music Hall lawn, showcasing their much-loved Americana sounds. The seven-piece finds a sweet-spot between country and indie rock, much like "Oh Tonight" duet partner, Kacey Musgraves.

The Texas group has done some damage on both charts, selling decent numbers for 2012's Small Town Family Dreams and 2015's Front Row Seat. They'll be here supporting the 2020 album, The Highway Kind.

Tickets start at $25 plus fees. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Tyler, The Creator with Kali Uchis, Vince Staples, and Teezo Touchdown
Sunday, March 27
Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St.

Coming a long way from his horrorcore rap beginnings, Tyler, The Creator comes to Houston in support of his second No. 1 album, Call Me If You Get Lost, taking on a venue reserved for the biggest music acts. And judging by the acts he's bringing, the show will be fire with the hot-as-all-get-out Kali Uchis and critically/commercially acclaimed Vince Staples on board. Expect this one to get wild.

Tickets start at $79 plus fees. Doors open at 6 p.m.