There isn't anything much more American than enduring the sweltering heat outside, taking in live performances during the warmest, most humid months. The dog days of summer are here with hot festivals, touring shows, and even release parties by some of Houston's finest. Remember, always wear sunscreen.
Here are the best and biggest shows of the week as we celebrate this nation's birthday.
Family friendly fun on the Fourth
Music, the American flag, and of course, fireworks. The family friendly Citgo Freedom Over Texas event will be the patriotic party to attedn with several entertainers bringing out those strong patriotic vibes in downtown Houston. Country star Chris Young will headline the Fourth of July shindig, set to take place in Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks. Other performers include Americana act The Mavericks, R&B singer Cupid of “Cupid Shuffle” fame, and more. Visit the link for more information.
Citgo Freedom Over Texas takes place at Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks on Wednesday, July 4. Tickets are $5 until July 3, $10 the day of the event.
Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars
When Jared Leto isn’t busy being an award-winning method actor, or the dream crush of women everywhere, he fronts the successful, alt-rock, radio mainstay 30 Seconds to Mars. Before he gears up to don the Joker make-up again, Leto will join his band, which is headlining one of the strongest line-ups of the summer, touring behind the aptly named new album, “America.” They’ll be joined by fantastic, Grammy Award-nominated K. Flay of “Blood in the Cut” fame, and No. 1 alt-rock radio hit-making Cincinnati band, Walk the Moon. That’s some pretty good bang for your buck.
Thirty Seconds to Mars performs at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Friday, July 6. K. Flay, Walk the Moon, and Welshly Arms open. Tickets are $30 for two lawn tickets, $25 for reserved seats, plus service fees. Gates open at 6 pm.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at HOB
One of the most beloved ska bands of all time, Boston’s The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are a big reason ’90s kids fell in love with ska during that decade, largely as a response to the watering down of grunge music at the time. “The Impression That I Get” was a big hit on MTV back when it played videos, and the subsequent album Let’s Face It, sold over a million copies, making lead singer Dicky Barrett a star. While the success reached during those years diminished, the band kept plugging away, maintaining their high energy shows with aplomb. Expect the same from their House of Blues show this week.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones play House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Friday, July 6. Los Kung Fu Monkeys and Buster Shuffle open. Tickets start at $25 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap Recommends: H-town band Wild Moccasins
Houston’s very own Wild Moccasins return after what feels like an eternity — it was four years — with the spectacular new new wave, shoegaze, and Top 40 pop influenced album, Look Together, that sees lead singer Zahira Gutierrez and guitarist Cody Swann moving to the forefront of songwriting duties after the departure of some band members. While their last album, 88 92, gained them national exposure, expect Look Together to catapult this stylish band even further as one of the best in the city will become an even bigger concern past the 713 and 281 area codes. Catch them as they celebrate the official release party this weekend at White Oak.
Wild Moccasins play their album release party at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 North Main St., on Saturday, July 7. Cult Camera and El Lago open. Tickets are $10 plus a $2.57 service fee. Doors open at 8 pm.
Erykah Badu makes a rare Houston appearance
One of the most progressive R&B performers in recent memory, Erykah Badu might be the coolest ever, with an uncompromising vision and artistic flair not seen in modern pop music. Ever since she released the game changing album Baduizm in 1997, the Dallas native has never played it safe, whether with her music, fashion, or her advocacy for a variety of issues.
While she hasn’t put out a new album in years, 2015’s mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone, featured one of the best tunes of that year in “Cel U Lar Device,” featuring ex-partner Andre 3000 of OutKast fame.
Erykah Badu plays the Arena Theatre, located at 7326 Southwest Freeway, on Saturday, July 7. Tickets start at $79.50 plus service fees. Show starts at 8:30 pm.
CultureMap Show of the Week: Van Warped Tour
Making its last swing into stadium and arena parking lots nationwide, the Vans Warped Tour is a cultural touchstone, launching the careers of countless bands over the last two-plus decades, and introducing millions of fans to cutting edge punk, indie, metal, and even pop music (Katy Perry once played Warped), while commendably refusing to price gouge fans.
Unfortunately, all good things have to end and this year’s tour will be its last. Fortunately, many of the acts that got a boost from the DIY festival will be back, including during its last stop in Houston, in the blazing hot parking lot of NRG Stadium, which is kind of punk rock you think of it.
The Vans Warped Tour makes one last appearance in Houston at NRG Park, located at 1 NRG Parkway, on Sunday, July 8. General admission tickets are $55 plus service fees. Gates open at 11 am.