Live Music Now
Before we get to this week's shows of note, it would be bad form not to mention the news of another area festival pulling the plug. At least, temporarily.
After five seemingly successful years, Float Fest, set to take place in Gonzales, Texas on July 20-21 — with the Flaming Lips, Major Lazer, Portugal. The Man, Gucci Mane, and Kaskade named as headliners — got placed into dry dock by organizers due to the festival site not being prepared to host over 20,000 ticket holders.
It's been a rough year for those behind Float Fest, led by event founder Marcus Federman. First, in headlines ripped straight from the plot of Wayne's World 2, Float Fest was denied a permit by the Guadalupe County Commissioners Court. That's because the residents of Martindale aka the squarest town in Texas claimed that kids having a good time would produce too much profanity, among other concerns, despite a $12.3 million impact to the region.
Then, record amounts of torrential rain fell this spring, leaving Float Fest staff unable to prepare its new site, near the obviously way cooler town of Gonzales, until it was too late. A contact at Gonzales Chamber of Commerce officials confirmed the reasoning behind shuttering this year's edition to CultureMap, saying that permitting or costs weren't an issue in making the decision.
Float Fest organizers vowed to return in 2020 in a statement sent out to media late last week.
Meanwhile, in Houston, music fans will choose from an extremely diverse lineup of internationally known talent gracing our stages with plenty of opportunities to sweat yourself into a puddle at several outdoor shows.
CultureMap's biggest, best, and most notable shows of the week are as follows:
CultureMap show of the week: Jennifer Lopez at Toyota Center
Movie star, singer, and dancer Jennifer Lopez continues to be one of the greatest fantasy stories in all entertainment, rising from In Living Color backup dancer and "Jenny From the Block" to become one of the most famous people on the planet. Surprisingly, this is her first American headlining jaunt, and the It's My Party tour will feature loads of what made her famous — choreography and outrageous outfits, the music pretty much secondary to the spectacle.
Her last album, A.K.A., came out five years ago, and let's be honest, she's known more in popular culture for who's she's dating (Ben Affleck, Mark Anthony, Alex Rodriguez) than her songs. But if you want to see a supremely talented, rich A-lister strut her stuff, J-Lo's got what you need.
Jennifer Lopez is at Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Tuesday, June 25. World of Dance opens. Tickets start at $49.95, plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
We're not going to pretend we know a whole lot about Mexico-based, Puerto Rico-born singer Luis Miguel. What we do know is he's huge in the Latin music community, winning six Latin Grammy awards and is coming off the Latin American Music Award for Best Tour of 2018. He's also the first Latin music star to go platinum in the U.S. twice. Not too shabby. One thing we do know is Houston shows up for Latin music stars, so expect this show to be rocking when Miguel passes through town.
Luis Miguel plays Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Thursday, June 27. Tickets start at $49.95, plus fees. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and Father John Misty
The first of two lawn shows at White Oak Music Hall this week — the other being country crooner Aaron Watson on Sunday — features two acts that at first glance don't have much to do with each other. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit play a popular brand of Amerciana, and SoCal-based Father John Misty performs a louche version of folky alt-rock.
On closer inspection, the two have more in common than one might think, as both are considered off-kilter rebels in their respective genres, and both are helluva storytellers at the peak of their powers. Neither have released a bad album, Isbell still touring behind the 2017 album The Nashville Sound and Misty working behind one of 2018's best, God's Favorite Customer.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and Father John Misty share the lawn at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Friday, June 28. Erin Rae opens. Tickets start at $49.50, plus fees. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Train and Goo Goo Dolls at Cynthia Woods
It'll be a battle of late-'90s/early 2000s balladeers on Friday night in Houston, with the first of two shows (see below for the other) featuring acts that rocketed to fame on the adult alternative charts. It was impossible to go anywhere in 2001 — shopping mall, grocery store, car radio, our nightmares — without hearing Train's “Drops of Jupiter” in the a-a-a-air. The San Francisco-based act are experts in melodic songs you can do your laundry to, following up that deadly contagious hit with "Hey, Soul Sister" in 2009, which similarly caught on like a horror baddie who just wouldn't go away.
They'll be joined by the somewhat more enjoyable Buffalo act Goo Goo Dolls, who started off as a straight-ahead power-pop trio before lead singer Johnny Rzeznik fell in love with an acoustic guitar and gave birth to one of the most enduring prom songs of the '90s, "Name," off the actually good album A Boy Named Goo. They followed up that success with the single "Iris," from the actually good Nic Cage movie City of Angels. Simply put, a lot of dudes will be dragged by their ladies to see this show. Fellas, all we have to say is: major brownie points.
Train and the Goo Goo Dolls perform at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Friday, June 28. Tickets start at $26, plus fees. Gates open at 6 pm.
Rob Thomas at Smart Financial
While the sold-out, Anita Baker make-up show will be the show to see in Sugar Land this week, tickets are still available to see "Smooth" crooner Rob Thomas perform. Stepping out from his regular gig with late-'90s act Matchbox 20, Thomas has seen a bit of a comeback as of late as his Santana-indebted 1999 hit just turned 20 years old, drawing the requisite notices from major music publications. Thomas' solo career hasn't really been much to write home about from a critical standpoint, but he's back with Chip Tooth Smile, and there are plenty of MB20 diehards out there to keep his career chugging along.
Rob Thomas is at the Smart Financial Centre, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Friday, June 28. Abby Anderson opens. Tickets start at $43, plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.
American Football at WOMH
No, there's not a game of pigskin in a music club. Instead, it's one of the more acclaimed, albeit badly named, emo acts playing the White Oak stage. Illinois band American Football were largely a one-off at the height of emo-rock in the late-'90s, releasing what is considered one the watershed albums of the movement with their 1999 debut aka LP1 — kinda like Zeppelin, but you know, with feelings. Like many bands of the era, they broke up soon after, seemingly to disappear into the annals of music history.
But then a funny thing happened. Nostalgia or the need to pick up their guitars and drumsticks brought the group back together, and now they are bigger than ever, having released three good-to-great albums (LP2, LP3, and LP4) and finding themselves booked on the biggest festival lineups in North America. They just released their latest, and for those who grew up never letting go of their teenage angst, that's a good thing.
American Football headline at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Saturday, June 29. Tomberlin opens. Tickets start at $25, plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Thomas Rhett heats up The Woodlands
Born into a country music family, Thomas Rhett has made good on his name as one of the fastest-rising stars on the C&W circuit, producing four top-10 albums and more than a dozen songs reaching No. 1 on the country airplay charts, including award-winning hit "Die a Happy Man," "Craving You," and "Life Changes." Anyone who saw him at RodeoHouston 2018 knows the guy can hold an audience. His aptly named Very Hot Summer Tour will bring a big lineup, including Dustin Lynch, Russell Dickerson, and his poppa, Rhett Akins.
Thomas Rhett heads a long lineup at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Saturday, June 29. Dustin Lynch, Russell Dickerson and Rhett Akins open. Tickets start at $30, plus fees. Gates open at 5:30 pm.