Hip-hop is the sound of the week, with several high profile concerts rolling through the 713. Meanwhile, the '90s nostalgia trip continues as some of the biggest alt-rock bands of that era grace the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion stage. Here are the best and biggest shows live music shows of the week:
No. 1 hitmaker J. Cole
Multi-platinum selling, North Carolina-based hip-hop star J. Cole returns to Houston, this time promoting his fifth consecutive No. 1 album, KOD and a just-released a new mixtape, Album of the Year. To put it in perspective as to how big Cole is, he’s produced singles for Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar and Janet Jackson. Also be on the lookout for the son of one of the first major hip-hop stars, Will Smith, when Jaden Smith takes to the stage for an opening set.
J. Cole performs at the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Wednesday, August 15. Young Thug, Jaden Smith, Earthgang & Kill Edward open. Tickets start at $49.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Black Moth Super Rainbow
Add elements of French electronica duo Air, a little Daft Punk vocoder, and Flaming Lips visual weirdness, and you'll get Black Moth Super Rainbow. Case in point, bandmates go by the monikers Tobacco (lead vocals), The Seven Fields of Aphelion (synths, of course), Iffernaut (drums), and STV SLV (bass). Their latest is this year's Panic Bloom. If you're into the more experimental corners of alternative music, this is the show for you this week.
Black Moth Super Rainbow headlines White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 North Main St., on Wednesday, August 15. Stargazer Lilies and Air Credits open. Tickets start at $15 in advance plus a $6.57 service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.
Show of the week: Bush, The Cult, and Stone Temple Pilots
If you said that Bush would be touring with The Cult and Stone Temple Pilots 20 years ago, it would be the hottest ticket of the summer. Alas, it's 2018 and the glory days are far behind these three bands as they embark on their Revolution 3 tour. That said, it should be a fun trip down memory lane, as they all are responsible for numerous hits that make busting out those baggy jeans and wallet chains worth it.
Bush, led by the ageless Gavin Rossdale (now more famous for having been married to Gwen Stefani) and founding member Robin Goodridge on drums, produced one of the biggest albums of the post-grunge era in Sixteen Stone, that still gets regular airplay on mainstream radio. Their latest album, Black and White Rainbows, is decidedly not quite as huge as their debut, which sold six million copies.
The Cult is by all definitions still bad ass, heavily influenced by The Doors and Guns 'N Roses hair metal riffs. It will be great just to see lead singer Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy rip through "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Fire Woman."
Stone Temple Pilots, unfortunately, are on their third lead singer, the little known Jeff Gutt, after original frontman Scott Weiland tragically overdosed in 2015 and his replacement, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington committed suicide last year. They still have the tunes though, as their first two albums, Core and Purple, are alt-rock classics.
Bush, The Cult, and Stone Temple Pilots bring back the '90s to Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Thursday August 16. Lawn tickets start at $25, reserved seats start at $39.50 plus service fees. Gates open at 6:30 pm.
Lil Baby is big
Atlanta rapper Lil Baby is on the rise with singles, "Freestyle", "My Dawg," and "Yes Indeed" and making a big impact on the charts, with the latter reaching as high as No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts with the guest starring help of some little-known Toronto rapper named Drake. He's riding high on No. 3 album, Harder Than Ever, making this a situation where fans can claim to have seen him at the start of what looks to be a promising career.
Lil Baby performs at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Thursday, August 16. YK Orisis opens. Tickets are $32.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie haunt The Woodlands
Once again, if this bill came out 20 years ago, it would be an immediate sell-out as shock rockers Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie ruled the charts back in their '90s heyday, combining Hallowe'en-themed theatrics and hard riffing, synth-inflected, alt-rock that made fans of grunge kids, goths, and metalheads. Manson has consistently produced good-to-great albums, the latest being Heaven Upside Down. He recently played Houston earlier this year following the postponement of a tour due to an injury he sustained when a stage prop toppled on him.
Zombie stepped away from his music career to focus on directing classical dramas, er, we mean horror films. However, there has been inklings that a new album is on the way. His output with his original band, White Zombie, and 1998's solo album Hellbilly Deluxe remain highlights. Get there early as new act Deadly Apples has been making some noise, incorporating the best influences of the headliners.
Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie co-headline the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Saturday, August 18. Deadly Apples open. Lawn tickets start at $25, reserved seats start at $39.50 plus service fees. Gates open at 6 pm.
Thinking man's rap: Lupe Fiasco
The former protégé of Kanye West and Jay-z, Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco rose to fame in the mid-2000s with his debut Lupe Fiasco's Liquor and Food. While his career didn't reach the heights of those who helped produce that album, Fiasco has carved out a respectable career as a thinking man's rapper, critically adored, but unable to find as much commercial success, perhaps due to his rejection of the misogyny and vulgarity that is sometimes associated with his chosen genre and overt political stances. Still, fans of conscious hip-hop a la The Roots or Talib Kweli will find a lot to like here. His latest is last year's DROGAS Light.
Lupe Fiasco performs at the House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Sunday, August 19. Kota the Friend and Billy Blue open. Tickets start at $32.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.