Simmering September Shows

11 coolest concerts to catch in Houston this September

11 coolest concerts to catch in Houston this September

Harry Styles
British pop crooner Harry Styles brings his "Love On Tour" show to Toyota Center on Monday, September 13. Photo by Lillie Eiger
City and Colour
Canadian folk-rocker City and Colour plays House of Blues on Thursday, September 9. Photo by Alysse Gafkjen
Society - Pitbull - Children's Charity Gala
Latin superstar Pitbull brings the party to Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Friday, September 10 Photo by Michelle Watson
Austin City Limits festival sylvan esso
Electro-pop-folk duo Sylvan Esso brings their heartfelt beats to the Bayou Music Center on Sunday, September 19. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Houston's own Space Kiddettes open for Transviolet at The Secret Group on Wednesday, September 15. Courtesy Space Kiddettes
Austin City Limits festival tinashe
Pop singer-songwriter Tinashe performs at House of Blues on Thursday, September 16. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon make a return to Houston, playing the Cythia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday, September 18. Photo by Jimmy Marble
Indie folk singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus hits White Oak Music Hall on Saturday, September 18. Ebru Yildiz
Daryl Hall, John Oates
Daryl Hall & John Oates finally play their rescheduled Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion show on Sunday, September 26. Photo by JBeck Photography
Maroon 5 March Madness Music Festival
Maroon 5 bring their moves like Jagger to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Tuesday, September 28. Photo by Killy
Harry Styles
City and Colour
Society - Pitbull - Children's Charity Gala
Austin City Limits festival sylvan esso
Austin City Limits festival tinashe
Kings of Leon
Daryl Hall, John Oates
Maroon 5 March Madness Music Festival

When concerts returned in force it felt like we all had turned a corner. Unfortunately, like the the many memes circulating online, the Delta Variant had other plans for us this summer, leaving venues and artists scrambling to deal with the new, infectious reality. 

Some major concert promoters, such as AEG, announced they would require proof of vaccinations or a negative test within 72 hours starting October 1. At first, Live Nation said they’d leave it up to the artists or venues, but thought better of it and followed AEG’s lead, requiring the same protocols starting October 4.

Some artists decided to pull out of scheduled tours all together, including indie-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. who were set to play White Oak Music Hall this month.

In other words, be sure to check your venue listings for the latest show information before you head out. For those ready to rock, September tees up the strongest line-up yet for national and internationally touring acts in 2021. Here are the biggest, best, and most notable, including a few faves.

City and Colour with Nuevo
Thursday, September 9
House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St.

The award-winning, Canadian chart-topping, folk-punk troubadour, City and Colour (aka Dallas Green), first made his name in hardcore emo act Alexisonfire but began a new phase of his career by replacing his electric guitar for an acoustic one.

The second act made an even larger impact than with his original band, mostly due to his poignant lyrics and heartfelt intensity. He’s back on the road to finally tour his 2019 album, A Pill for Loneliness.

Tickets start at $36 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.

Pitbull with Iggy Azalea
Friday, September 10
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands

The man responsible for the sale of millions of bottles of Bud Light and a favorite of wedding DJs everywhere, Latin superstar Pitbull has carved out a major career serving as the toastmaster to a audiences of a certain age that are looking for non-descript, middle-of-the-road fun.

He’s touring behind his latest collection of Latin-inspired party jams, Libertad 548. He’ll be joined by much-maligned pop star Iggy Azalea, looking to win back some fans after a couple of hard years of controversies and music beefs.

Tickets start at $29.95 plus fees. Gates open at 7 p.m.

CultureMap Show of the Month: Harry Styles with Jenny Lewis
Monday, September 13
Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St

One of the biggest pop stars in the world rolls through Houston when Harry Styles visits with his "Love On Tour" worldwide jaunt. Taking a page straight out of the Justin Timberlake playbook, Styles left his mega-selling hit boy band, One Direction, and set off on a career that deftly balanced music and movies.

Smartly, his solo work draws on the best from the history of British music, such as Elton John, Queen, and the Beatles with a healthy dose of pop melody that didn't lose any fans.

By the the time the Fine Line single "Watermelon Sugar" hit No. 1 during the height of the pandemic, Styles was seemingly everywhere - movie premieres, awards ceremonies, and on Saturday Night Live. Fantastic opener Jenny Lewis is an inspired choice and represents Styles' interest in indie and rock sounds.

Tickets start at $39.50 plus fees. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

CultureMap Local Band of the Month: Transviolet with Space Kiddettes and Lorelei Marcell
Wednesday, September 15
The Secret Group, 2101 Polk St.

Speaking of Harry Styles, alternative rock-pop act Transviolet is in town from San Diego, a group that earned an endorsement from pop singer. But the most exciting thing about this show is the return of Space City favorites, Space Kiddettes, to a Houston stage.

The fantastically colorful duo comprised of Trent Lira and Devon Will recently made an appearance on the massively popular reality show, America’s Got Talent, and they’ve been hard at work with a variety of projects, including new music which has been hinted for a release on the near horizon.

Tickets start at $15 plus fees. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 16
House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St.

Starting her career in the pop world, rising star Tinashe eventually went in a different direction, one that has been paying off on the hip-hop/R&B charts since the 2014 platinum, NSFW smash “2 On.”

Since then, she’s released a series of eclectic and critically acclaimed albums and singles, appearing alongside RZA, Iggy Azalea Offset, Ty Dolla $ign, Future, and more before signing a management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. She’s touring behind the recent independent release, 333, which is drawing rave reviews.

Tickets start at $30 plus fees. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Kings of Leon with Cold War Kids
Saturday, September 18
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands

When Kings of Leon first burst onto the scene in the early-2000s, music press labeled the Followill brothers (and cousin) the Southern Strokes. Nearly 20 years later, that designation looked hasty at best, a huge miss at worst.

The band far surpassed the reach of the hip, rich-kid NYC band, selling six million copies of 2008’s Only by the Night on the strength of major radio singles, “Sex on Fire,” and “Use Somebody." The Nashville-based act returns to the Bayou City for the first time since playing to over 60,000 at RodeoHouston, touting their new album, When You See Yourself.

Tickets start at $36 plus fees. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Lucy Dacus
Saturday, September 18
White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St.

One of the huge crop of extremely talented female singer-songwriters of the late-2010s, Lucy Dacus saw her star rise alongside other luminaries, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, Waxahatchee, and Soccer Mommy, the former two of which she joined to form the one-off band, boygenius.

Her witty and insightful lyrics drew quick critical notice in indie circles, leading to tours with The Decemberists, Car Seat Headrest, and Sylvan Esso. Her new album, Home Video, is one of the year's best.

Tickets start at $18 plus fees. Show starts at 8 p.m.

CultureMap Recommends: Sylvan Esso
Sunday, September 19
Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas Ave.

Speaking of Sylvan Esso, few other bands could boast a pre-pandemic trajectory like the the North Carolina act with headline tours and major festival slots before the world shut down. The duo, comprised of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, first burst onto the scene with the excellent 2014 self-titled debut that featured bouncy electro-indie tunes with heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics, including "H.S.K.T" and "Coffee."

They followed it up with a Grammy nomination for 2017's What Now, a collection that leaned into their electronic influences. They are back with two albums recorded during lockdown in 2020: the live set With, and Free Love, the latter which would make year-end best lists.

They'll be back to doing what they do best in front of their largest solo Houston show at Bayou Music Center this month.

Tickets start at $29.50 plus fees. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Darryl Hall & John Oates with Squeeze and KT Tunstall
Sunday, September 26
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands

Oh-oh-here they come... Two of the biggest hitmakers of the late-'70s and early-'80s, Darryl Hall & John Oates produced some of the most recognizable hits for their time, including the aforementioned "Maneater," "Rich Girl," the low-key underrated "I Can't Go for That," "Private Eyes" and more.

They'll make up for a rescheduled show from way back in June 2020, so the anticipation should be amped for this one. They'll round out a killer line-up with British act, Squeeze ("Tempted," "Cool For Cats"), as well as Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall.

Tickets start at $29.50 plus fees. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Maroon 5 with Blackbear
Tuesday, September 28
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands

Quick: name another member of Maroon 5 outside of lead singer-guitarist Adam Levine. It's hard, right?

The ubiquitous Levine may be better known among the masses for his time on the popular NBC show, The Voice, but he got there with a penchant for writing songs made for the radio: 15 top ten Billboard hits and four No. 1s, including "Girls Like You," "Moves Like Jagger," "One More Night," and "Makes Me Wonder."

Nothing screams Girls Night Out more than this show, but dudes who love sugary, schmaltzy adult pop songs are more than welcome too.

Tickets start at $40 plus fees. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Thursday, September 30
White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St.

Willow, the daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith has what one might consider an outside-the-box career. She became the youngest artist to score a double-platinum song with 2010's "Whip My Hair," whose accompanying viral dance video spread across schoolyards around the globe.

Much like the fashion she's drawn praises for, she's rarely stuck to one taste or genre, mixing up R&B, pop, hip-hop, and more.

Her latest trick is transforming herself into a pop-punk hero, with her latest single, "Transparent Soul" featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, getting play on alternative and rock radio. She'll bring her colorful vision to White Oak Music Hall at the end of the month.

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