live music is back

10 best June concerts to catch as live music returns to Houston

10 best June concerts to catch as live music returns to Houston

Fitz and the Tantrums
The high energy of Fitz and the Tantrums visits House of Blues on Monday, June 28. Photo by Joseph Cultice
Blackberry Smoke
Atlanta-based rock act Blackberry Smoke performs at House of Blues on Friday, June 11. Photo by Joe Lopez
Ruckus
Talented Houston Americana act Ruckus plays the Continental Club on Friday, June 11. Courtesy of Ruckus
John_Evans
John Evans is with Two Tons of Steel at Market Square Park on Saturday, June 12. Courtesy John Evans
Shakey_Graves
Americana artist Shakey Graves performs a lawn show at White Oak Music Hall on Saturday, June 19. Courtesy White Oak Music Hall
Southern Smoke 2019 Charley Crockett band
Fast rising Texas country troubadour Charley Crockett plays the White Oak Music Hall Lawn on Saturday, June 26. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Buckcherry
Hard rockers Buckcherry headlines a big line-up at Warehouse Live on Saturday, June 26 Buckcherry/Facebook
Bob Schneider
Popular Texas artist Bob Schneider is at the Heights Theater on Saturday, June 26. Bob Schneider/Facebook
Chicago band
Classic rock group Chicago will be at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Sunday, June 27. Photo by David M. Earnisse
Fitz and the Tantrums
Blackberry Smoke
Ruckus
John_Evans
Shakey_Graves
Southern Smoke 2019 Charley Crockett band
Buckcherry
Bob Schneider
Chicago band

Hallelujah! Rejoice, Bayou City music fans, as live shows return with much renewed vigor this June.

Nearly half of Harris County residents are vaccinated, which is a big reason concert venues are starting to book performances close to pre-pandemic capacity as ticket buyers feel more comfortable venturing out to see artists do their thing on stage, outside of a Twitch channel or livestream.

Some venues still have some health protocols in place, but they are now starting to schedule larger shows with acts from outside of Texas, which is fantastic sign for the local industry, which was hit hard over the last 14 months.

One of the biggest local shows of the year so far took place at the outdoor Houston Art Car Experience with beloved H-town bands The Suffers, Los Skarnales, Tomar and the FCs, and Bayou City Funk. The event at the Orange Show World Headquarters off Gulf Terminal Drive in South Houston drew hundreds of jubilant fans — masked and unmasked alike. And being the first show in what felt like an eternity, it felt more like a high school reunion than a concert as many people reconnected after not seeing each other in over a year. It was a wonderful event.

Now that some sense of normalcy is cautiously returning to our city, here are some of the concerts coming up for you to dip your toes into the musical waters. This list include venues and artists that could really use – and deserve – your patronage.

Schoolpoolparty
Wednesday, June 9
House of Blues
1204 Caroline St.

Schoolpoolparty aka Alejandro Aranda has had a very Millennial path towards notoriety, placing as the runner-up in Season 17 of American Idol, drawing praises from the judges as well as icon Stevie Nicks. His audition video — with original compositions "Out Loud" and "Cholo Love" — has been viewed over 14 million times.

Before that, he was a touring member of acclaimed indie act, Twin Shadow. The mix of alternative credibility and YouTube fame led to a cult following and the release of the late-2019 album, Exit Form, and 2020 EP, Doom Hologram.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25 plus fees.

Blackberry Smoke
Friday, June 11
House of Blues
1204 Caroline St.

Few bands have scored multiple No. 1 country albums while making a serious dent on the indie and rock charts. But that's exactly what Atlanta rock band Blackberry Smoke has accomplished. Their country-fried rock sound has endeared them across the U.S. and even the U.K., an impressive feat. While their last album, You Hear Georgia, didn't make as big of an impact, the nearly 20 years as a band has made them a quality live draw.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25 plus fees.

Ruckus
Friday, June 11
The Continental Club
3700 Main St.

Talented local band Ruckus has been around for a few years, but they are just wrapping up their first full-length, self-titled album, set to be released later this year.

They have shared the stage with a variety of who's-who in the Texas music circuit and beyond, including Bob Schneider (see below), Ian Moore, A. Sinclair, and more, combining psych-rock, Americana, and rock and roll that drawing on their Southern influences. Hear the new material in advance at their first show in some time at the storied Continental Club.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $10 plus fees.

John Evans with Two Tons of Steel
Saturday, June 12
Market Square
301 Milam St.

The Downtown District hosts the monthly the Road to River Revival Series and the June edition will feature award-winning Houston-based producer and singer/songwriter John Evans as well as the San Antonio honky tonkers, Two Tons of Steel.

Presented in collaboration with Houston record label Splice Records and Saint Arnold Brewing Company, the monthly concerts will feature regional performers that showcase the wide variety of genres represented at Splice Records’ popular River Revival Music Festival, taking place from September 23 to 26 in New Braunfels. The best part: the lineup is good, the beer will be cold, and it's free to attend.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Shakey Graves with Sir Woman
Saturday, June 19
White Oak Music Hall Lawn
2915 N Main St.

One of the few acts to perform a large scale Houston show during the pandemic, Austin-raised, Americana artist Shakey Graves performed a socially distanced grid show at White Oak Music Hall last fall. This time, there will be no such restrictions, allowing his already huge Texas fanbase to freely gather on the White Oak lawn.

Graves' mix of blues, folk, rock, and country parlays well to the live stage and he'll be performing behind the release of his Look Alive EP and the 10th anniversary re-release of his debut album, Roll the Bones.

Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35 plus fees.

Buckcherry with Saliva, Hinder, Drowning Pool, and Saving Abel
Saturday, June 26
Warehouse Live
813 St Emanuel St.

You've rested those ears for over a year, now it's time to give them the thrashing you've been waiting for. Buckcherry, the band with a predilection towards hard drugs (see "Lit Up") mixes it up with other similarly testosterone fueled hard rock acts in an all-day, get-your-rocks-off extravaganza. Some of the more noteworthy radio friendly bands of the last few decades will hit the road together in what should be an epic day of guitars and heavy drums. Expect a lot of sweat, beer, and tattoos. 

Doors open at 1 p.m. Tickets start at $50 plus fees.

Charley Crockett with Gus Clark
Saturday, June 26
White Oak Music Hall Lawn GRID show
2915 N Main St.

The pandemic was tough on many artists who were set to break out before venues were shuttered, but some thrived. Charley Crockett was a pleasant exception, whose profile seemingly increased during social distancing, his moody, old school country crooning providing a great soundtrack for working from home and quiet, reflective nights in.

Sure, his 1950s classic country persona is a bit of a schtick, but the San Benito, Texas native does it so well. He'll be playing songs from his 2020 release, the aptly named, Welcome to Hard Times, and this year's 10 for Slim: Charley Crockett Sings James Hand

Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $150 per grid.

Bob Schneider
Saturday, June 26
The Heights Theater
339 W 19th St.

There's a good reason the multi-genre Texas troubadour Bob Schneider is a mainstay on the Texas live music circuit. His music appeals to a wide variety of tastes, pulling the many sounds from his long, multi-album, multi-band career, including as lead singer for Austin-based rock bands, Ugly Americans, and The Scabs.

He draws on alt-rock, folk, country, funk, and blues to build eclectic and entertaining sets. He'll play two shows at the intimate Heights Theater, touring behind this year's In A Roomful Of Blood With A Sleeping Tiger, which could easily be the title for the soundtrack of Houston in 2021.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the early show, 8:45 p.m. for the late show. Tickets start at $24 plus fees both for the early show and late show

Chicago
Sunday, June 27
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands

It's not exactly Saturday in the park on the Fourth of July, but Sunday at the Pavilion in late-June will do just fine for yacht rock superstars, Chicago, who will make up a previously schedule show in what might be the biggest music performance in Houston since RodeoHouston back in early 2020.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted act has been around for over 50 years and has a rolodex of hits to choose from, which is all any fan of the multi-million album selling, classic rock band can hope for in what will be a great return for live music at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. 

Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30.50 plus fees. 

Fitz and the Tantrums with Livingston
Monday, June 28
House of Blues
1204 Caroline St.

No other concert this month will signify the joy of the return of live music than the Fitz and the Tantrums show at House of Blues. In any other time, these guys would play a bigger venue, but due to the relative inactivity by the entire music industry, we'll get to see this electric, buoyant Los Angeles act that brought fun to the radio airwaves with hits such as  "HandClap" and "The Walker."

Score your tickets because this one will be close to selling out, saved only by it's Monday date.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $32.50 plus fees.