For an assessment on the Houston music scene, look no further than the concert that took place this past weekend.
One of the better shows of the year took place at White Oak Music Hall with the double Bayou City band showcase featuring the completely on fire international sound mixologists Khruangbin sizzling in front of a packed crowd.
They invited several Texas artists to join them on stage, including the amazing-voiced Leon Bridges and slide guitar player Will Van Horn. Throw in some of the best outfits we've seen on stage since Ziggy Stardust played his last show and this performance was everything it was supposed to be.
But wait! A last minute surprise came in the form of openers The Suffers, which brought their usual charismatic stage presence — we see you, Kam Franklin — to the proceedings and venue worthy of their talent.
It'll be hard to top, but yet another Houston-area native will make his case for show of the year later this week.
CultureMap's best, biggest, and most noteworthy shows of the week are as follows:
Post Malone at Toyota Center
Other than perhaps Travis Scott, few hip-hop artists have achieved as much commercial success as Post Malone. The Syracuse, New York-born, Grapevine, Texas-raised Malone has sold over 60 million albums in the U.S. To put that into perspective, Nirvana, a band that influenced a generation, sold only 25 million albums in their homeland (75 million worldwide) in a time when people bought albums. Not surprisingly, the "White Iverson" star cites Kurt Cobain as an influence.
A big reason for that success is Malone's latest, Beerbongs & Bentleys, being so damn catchy. Not that his songs deviate too much — there are several videos and articles there break down how similar Malone's songs are and how that formula has launched him to success. Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Post Malone is at Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Tuesday, November 4. Tyla Yaweh and Swae Lee open. Tickets start at $83.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Sleater-Kinney at Heights Theater
What a difference a few months makes. Less than a year ago, Sleater-Kinney fans salivated after news broke that the legendary indie-rock act were in the studio working with none other than Annie Clark — aka St. Vincent — behind the boards for their first album in years, The Center Won't Hold.
But then the first single, "Hurry On Home," was released and it pointed towards a brand new vision and sound, far from the riot grrl, punk-rock beginnings of the band with synths and samples, and much less ferocious guitars and drums that Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss were known for. Then Weiss announced her departure, citing the timeless excuse of "creative differences" and the two original members were left looking for a new drummer.
Throw in the fact that this show was originally scheduled for the House of Blues and now is in the much smaller Heights Theater and diehard fans are left scratching their heads as to what's happening. The thing is, The Center Won't Hold might not be S-K's best, but it is a good record, but when it's put up against era-defining classics such as Dig Me Out and The Woods, it's a tough spot for a band that always rocks the hell out of a live show. Guaranteed this show will be more of the same from a band that too many are way too quick to dismiss.
The new and improved Sleater-Kinney plays Heights Theater, located at 339 W 19th St., on Thursday, November 7. Tickets start at $32.55 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Astroworld Festival
One of the unique — and frankly, annoying — traits of hometown hip-hop hero Travis Scott's very successful and two-times sold-out Astroworld Festival is the organizers' refusal to release the line-up for the event until the day before the show. It's marketing genius, arrogance, and insecurity all rolled into one. But the move means there are plenty of rumors swirling around town about who will be at the show.
One guess is Megan Thee Stallion, the Houston native that has had one the best years by any new artist on the planet. It may seem crazy, but don't rule out honorary Houstonian Dave Chappelle making an appearance since he's been performing sporadically at House of Blues' Bronze Peacock Room over the past month or so.
Lastly, expect a major surprise, too, as industry insiders are talking diversification of the festival to draw fans of different genres that fits Scott's many stylistic influences and off-kilter, me-against-the-world mentality.
Astroworld Festival goes down at NRG Park, at 1 NRG Pkwy, on Saturday, November 9. Tickets start at $200 on the resale market. Gates open at 12 pm.
Kurt Vile and the Violators at White Oak Music Hall
One of the more revered acts on the indie circuit, Kurt Vile and the Violators have earned accolades from critics and fans alike for his unique take on rootsy alt-rock. An original member of War on Drugs, Vile broke out with 2011's Smoke Ring for My Halo. He was last seen gracing the stage with famed Aussie talent Courtney Barnett but is back out on his own with 2018's Bottle It In. He'll be joined by indie heroes Dinosaur Jr. for an alt-rock match made in heaven.
Kurt Vile and the Violators and Dinosaur Jr. play White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main Street, on Saturday, November 9. Tickets start at $29.50 plus fees. Gates open at 7 pm.
Vetsaid at Toyota Center
Fans of classic rock won't want to miss out on this show as Eagles member Joe Walsh brings a veritable who's-who of musicians taking the Toyota Center stage for Vetsaid, all to raise funds for the National Association of Veterans Serving Organizations to go to vetted non-profits that serve the nation's heroes.
Acts that will appear include ZZ Top, the Doobie Brothers, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, and Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. Over two years, Walsh has dispersed $1.2 million to help vets in need. That's a killer lineup for a great cause that offers something for everyone. Thanks for sharing the lineup ahead of time, Joe!
Vetsaid, the Concert for Our Veterans, is at Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St, on Sunday, November 10. Tickets start at $25 plus service fees. Doors open at 4:30 pm.
Foamhenge at Karbach
Foamhenge, an event that sounds straight out of an outtake from This is Spinal Tap, is back for another year of turn the volume to 11. Co-founding member of Kiss, Ace Frehley, will headline the suds-and-leather clad event, surely busting out some of the songs that made him famous. Accept, High on Fire, Power Trip, Pat Travers Band, and Narcotic Wasteland will share the bill as well.
Shout out to Karbach, which knows how to do these events right. And while it's a bit more, splurge for the VIP tickets which offer an amazing view of the stage and access to a buffet of food from one of the best brewery kitchens in Houston.
Foamhenge goes down at Karbach Brewing Company, 2032 Karbach St., on Sunday, November 10. Tickets start at $28 plus fees. Gates open at 12:30 p.m.
Sara Bareilles at Smart Financial
Broadway fans will be out in full force for famed theater composer Sara Bareilles on Sunday night. A successful pop singer, the California native made a name for herself with the 2007 hit "Love Song" and subsequent album, Little Voice.
But she rocketed to a new level stardom after composing the music for Broadway hit, Waitress, later appearing on the live NBC rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar. Her talents have earned her Grammy and Tony nominations but she's back to performing pop music, taking to the road behind her latest Top Ten album, Admist the Chaos.
Sara Bareilles performs at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Sunday, November 10. Tickets start at $29.50 plus fees. The show starts at 8 pm.