Before the best shows of the week, let's talk about one of the best performances of the week.
It's time to give thanks this Thanksgiving week to Houston performer and musician Sarah Grace, the 15-year-old who is making a serious impact on the hit NBC reality music competition series, The Voice. She is in the final 13 performers on the show out of 30,000 who originally auditioned. On November 19, she gave a great rendition of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
She is awaiting the word whether she'll move on to the next round, but we wish her all the best. Expect to see her perform soon her band, Sarah Grace and the Soul around town after all this done. They already have a December 22 gig booked at the Big Barn at the Dosey Doe in the Woodlands.
Meanwhile, there is plenty to do in the live music world to discuss, so here's CultureMap's best, biggest, and notable shows of the week.
Rezz at Revention
The last time Rezz hit Houston, it was at last year's Day for Night Festival (RIP), giving a memorable set. This 23-year-old wunderkind is almost single-handedly keeping the dream of mainstream EDM alive. Her talents were noticed early on by the mouse-mask-wearing Deadmau5, and she's been filling dance floors for the last few years with her dark melodies, heavy bass, and minimal beats, not to mention killer light show. If you thought her Day for Night set was too short, this is your chance to see the full Rezz experience. She's touring behind her new album, Certain Kind of Magic.
Rezz is at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Wednesday, November 21. Boogie T and Golf Clap open. Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Ashanti and Ja Rule bring the old school
The big question with this show is will Fifty Cent's beef with Ja Rule carry over to this show? The two made some noise recently when 50 Cent mocked the price of his November 9 show in Arlington, taking it one step further by buying 200 front row tickets just so they'd be empty. That's some petty stuff. That probably won't happen this Friday when Ja comes to town with hip-hop/R&B queen Ashanti. Fans of early 2000s hip-hop will find something to like here as both performers were at one point, two of the biggest in the game, no thanks to their many collaborations that include "Always On Time," "Down 4 U," and "Mesmerize."
Ashanti and Ja Rule are at Arena Theatre, located at 7326 Southwest Fwy., on Friday, November 23. Tickets start at $49.50 plus service fees. Doors open at 8:30 pm.
CultureMap recommends: H-Town Thanksgiving
From a strictly social anthropology standpoint, the H-Town Thanksgiving show at White Oak on Thursday will be a killer show to get a good lesson on the historically strong Houston hip-hop scene. A who's-who of local artists will be spitting rhymes, recalling the Houston hip-hop Renaissance of the early 2000s. Performers include Z-Ro, Slim Thug, Lil Keke, Lil Flip, Paul Wall, and Yung Martez. That's a great line-up to help work off that turkey and pumpkin pie.
H-Town Thanksgiving goes down at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Thursday, November 22. Tickets start at $50 plus service fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Band of Heathens
One of the more popular acts in the Americana genre, Austin's Band of Heathens has been making some serious waves over the last decade with their mix of Texas rock, blues, and soul. They will be celebrating the release of new album, A Message from the People Revisited, which is a cover of Ray Charles' seminal 1972 album that spoke to tumultuous times in the country. Proceeds of album sales will go to charities that work on social justice and be dedicated to their long time friend and producer, George Reiff, who passed away from cancer in May 2017.
Band of Heathens are at the Heights Theater, located at 339 W. 19th St., on Friday, November 23. Tickets are $24 plus service charges. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The Band of Heathens — A Message from The People Revisited (album release)
Blue October homecoming show
Alt-rock act Blue October has deep roots in Houston and will be performing a hometown show, likely after visiting family and friends for Thanksgiving. While Blue October's better days are behind them, they still have plenty of fans who will be looking forward to singing their hits like "Hate Me," "Into the Ocean," "Dirt Room," and "Say It." Blue October is touring behind their new album, I Hope You're Happy.
Blue October headlines at at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Saturday, November 24. Tickets start at$38 plus service fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Willie Nelson
Make jokes about his smoking habits all you want, but Willie Nelson is nothing but prolific as a musician, having produced over 200 albums(!) in his career. He has two albums out this year: the critically acclaimed, Last Man Standing, and the standards cover album, My Way. He's also on the road a lot, but always has a soft spot for Texas (he once had a radio gig in Pasadena), having played several times in the state throughout 2018. He'll play the Houston area one more time this year in Sugar Land with several of his musically inclined family members in tow.
Willie Nelson brings the family to the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Sunday, November 25. Tickets start at $64 plus service fees. Doors open at 7:30 pm.