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10 coolest concerts to catch in Houston this December

10 coolest concerts to catch in Houston this December

The Suffers
The Suffers will play next to Tank and the Bangas at Bayou Music Center on Thursday, December 2. Photo by Marco Torres
Karol G
Buzzy Karol G performs at at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land on Wednesday, December 8. Karol G/Facebook
Milky Chance
German rock band Milky Chance will bring their cool vibes to Houston of Blues on Friday, December 10. Anthony Molina
Lindsey Buckingham
Lindsey Buckingham will perform solo at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land on Saturday, December 11. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Buckingham
Tobe Nwigwe
Hometown rapper Tobe Nwigwe makes an appearance at 713 Music Hall on Sunday, December 12. Tobe Nwigwe/Facebook
Beach Bunny
Indie rock act Beach Bunny are at White Oak Music Hall on Monday, December 13. Alexa Viscius
Midland RodeoHouston 2020
Country music heartthrobs Midland play 713 Music Hall on Friday, December 17. Photo courtesy of RodeoHouston
The Aces
The Aces barnstorm Warehouse Live on Friday, December 17. Red Bull Records
Los Skarnales
Local ska/cumbia/reggae heroes Los Skarnales are at Heights Theater on Thursday, December 30. Violeta Alvarez
Khruangbin
Houston's own world-beaters, Khruangbin, will rock in the new year at 713 Music Hall on December 31. Photo by Andrew Cotterill
The Suffers
Karol G
Milky Chance
Lindsey Buckingham
Tobe Nwigwe
Beach Bunny
Midland RodeoHouston 2020
The Aces
Los Skarnales
Khruangbin

Despite a rash of recent big show cancellations in November, the show goes on in December.

First, the Houston Open Concert Series at Minute Maid Park meant to coincide with the annual golf tournament on November 12 and 13 was cancelled due to the fallout from the Astroworld Festival tragedy when 10 concert-goers lost their lives due to a mass casualty crowd surge. Performers set to play included country stars Jake Owen and Walker Hayes, and EDM headliner, Kygo. 

Then, the Willie Nelson show meant to launch the 5,000 capacity 713 Music Hall at mixed-use complex, POST Houston, was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. That show moved to March 14, 2022.

The venue was hit again by another cancellation when Houston rap superstar, Megan Thee Stallion, decided to pull her show "out of respect for the lives lost in Houston..." at Astroworld Festival.

Thankfully, the following ten shows are still on track to welcome ticket buyers, but keep your head on a swivel and check the venue's website to make sure your chosen concert is still on tap. Here are CultureMap's best, biggest, and most noteworthy concerts to see in December, with several shows featuring hometown heroes as they come home for the holidays.

CultureMap Recommends: Red Bull SoundClash: The Suffers vs. Tank and the Bangas
Thursday, December 2
Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas Ave.

Two much-talked about Gulf Coast soul bands led by charismatic frontwomen will face-off when The Suffers from Houston share a stage with Tank and the Bangas out of New Orleans. This isn't the first time they've played a bill together, but it will be the first time the show is hosted by iconic Bayou City rapper Paul Wall and the queen of bounce music, Big Freedia. DJ Shante will be on the decks and the show promotion promises a number of surprise guests throughout the evening.

Both acts have made their mark over the last half a decade or so, mixing up sounds from their respective cities to create something wholly unique, but very much in line with the histories of their hometowns.

Tank and the Bangs, led by Tarriona "Tank" Ball, were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy in 2020 following the release of their debut album, Friend Goals. Meanwhile, The Suffers, fronted by the outspoken Kam Franklin, toured much of the world behind the strength of their two albums, their self-titled debut, and the follow-up, Everything Here. Here's hoping we'll get to hear some new tracks from The Suffers' third new album, which is expected to drop soon. 

Tickets start at $20.26 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.

Karol G with Feid
Wednesday, December 8
Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, 18111 Lexington Blvd.

Fast-rising Colombian pop-reggaeton star Karol G brings her high energy to Sugar Land despite recently taking a hard tumble down a set of stairs during a show in Miami. Establishing herself more with English speaking audiences, the singer appeared on the 2020 Top 40 hit "X" with the Jonas Brothers.

But it's the Latin charts where she rules, scoring ten No. 1 songs including the last two with her ex-boyfriend, Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA, "Secreto" and "Location." She's touring behind this year's KG0516.

Tickets start at $198 plus fees on the resale market. Show starts at 7:30 pm.

Milky Chance with Giant Rooks
Friday, December 10
House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St.

Milky Chance, the Foster the People of German rock, are back on the road behind new single, “Colorado," currently a top five alternative hit.

They haven’t put out an full-length album since 2019 (Mind the Moon) and it feels like ages since they went to No. 1 with the single, “Stolen Dance,” from their 2013 debut, Sadnecessary. It doesn’t seem to matter to fans, however, as the duo is currently playing to sold out crowds across the U.S.

Tickets start at $37.50 plus fees. Show starts at 7 pm.

Lindsey Buckingham with Sammy Brue
Saturday, December 11
Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, 18111 Lexington Blvd.

Hand it to Lindsey Buckingham — he’s a survivor. Following a bad divorce from ’70s folk-rock behemoth Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham set off on his own, an attempt stalled by open-heart surgery in 2019. B

y all appearances, the singer-songwriter bounced back admirably, producing one of his best solo albums of his career in the self-titled, Lindsey Buckingham. He also re-established his credibility as as a major influence on other guitar-driven acts when he appeared alongside Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age in a live Grammy Awards performance.

Expect to hear a long line of hits at this show.

Tickets start at $49.95 plus fees. Show starts at 7:30 pm.

Tobe Nwigwe
Sunday, December 12
713 Music Hall, 401 Franklin St., Ste. 1600

Part of the recent wave of Houston hip-hop reaching international audiences, Tobe Nwigwe comes home for the holidays to play a hometown show.

The Alief-raised Nwigwe joined a list of an A-list coming out of the city, including Lizzo, Solange, and Megan Thee Stallion, establishing a brand of positive thinking, an easy-going flow, and prolific music releases with three albums coming out in 2020. His latest full-length is the 2020 release Cincoriginals.

Tickets start at $40 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.

Beach Bunny with Miloe
Monday, December 13
White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St.

Fans of '90s indie-rock will find a lot to love with Chicago's Beach Bunny. Originally started as a bedroom project by singer-songwriter Lili Trifilio, the band started to fill out and gained a heftier sound, scoring a streaming hit with 2018's, "Prom Queen," which sits at almost 175 million streams on Spotify.

That gathered the notice of established contemporaries such as Tegan and Sara (who appear on the track, "Cloud 9"), leading to a record deal and national touring behind 2020's full-length, Honeymoon, and the Blame Game EP. Speaking to a female audience, Trifilio's fast-paced, melodic, and upbeat songs temper darker, personal lyrics.

Tickets start at $18 plus fees. Show starts at 7 pm.

Midland with Jonathan Terrell and Hailey Whitters
Friday, December 17
713 Music Hall, 401 Franklin St., Ste. 1600

Those who like their country stars to be former underwear models-turned-heartthrob crooners will be lining up to see Dripping Springs, Texas act, Midland. The last time we saw the way-too-good looking trio, they were opening the 2020 season of RodeoHouston.

Simply put, Midland is one of the biggest country acts in the last ten years with Grammy nominations, hit songs ("Drinkin' Problem" among them), and major tours based on the strength of their nostalgic look at classic country alongside with a modern hipster sensibility. This year, they released a mix of older songs recorded back in 2014, Sonic Ranch

Tickets start at $40 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.

The Aces
Friday, December 17
Warehouse Live, 813 St Emanuel St.

The all-female Utah band The Aces live on the edge of several genres including indie-rock, pop, with a splash of synth and R&B thrown in for good measure in a recipe that earned a deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation artist management company.

Sounding like the little sister act to Haim, their first single with Red Bull Records, "Stuck," racked up two million listens. Following the success of 2018's When My Heart Felt Volcanic, the quartet released the 2020 full-length, Under My Influence, featuring the hit song, "Daydream," which scored a remix by Portugal. The Man.

Tickets start at $20 plus fees. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Los Skarnales with Money Chica
Thursday, December 30
Heights Theater, 339 W 19th St.

One of the most entertaining and endearing bands from the Bayou City, the ska-cumbia-reggae-punk act Los Skarnales will play an intimate and sure to be sweaty show at the Heights Theater this month.

Featuring a murderer's row of top-tier local musicians, the long-running band brings over 20 years of experience on the Texas scene, mastering their stage show highlighted by the energetic Felipe Galvan.

The best part of Los Skarnales is their mix of the sounds representing rich Houston Hispanic culture in a way that gets hips shaking. Word to the wise: put on those dancing shoes and get ready to move.

Tickets start at $20 plus fees. Show starts at 8 pm.

CultureMap Show of the Month: Khruangbin with Aidan Kennedy and Kornbread
Friday, December 31
713 Music Hall, 401 Franklin St., Ste. 1600

Who saw Khruangbin's success coming? The Houston trio comprised of guitarist Mark Speer, bassist/fashionista Laura Leezy, and drummer Donald Johnson Jr., hardly known to audiences only a few years ago, might be one of the hottest bands on the planet right now thanks to their expert mélange of world music and cooler than ice cold stage presence.

While the pandemic slowed the momentum of many acts, it only seemed to elevate Khruangbin's status as a top-tier draw as music fans had more time to discover their music from the comfort of their home.

It didn't hurt that they teamed up with equally buzzy retro R&B singer Leon Bridges on the 2020 Texas Sun EP while releasing their most accessible and visionary album of their career in Mordechai.

Let's put it this way, any band that sells out the famed mountain-side venue Red Rocks two nights in a row is tapping into something special. They'll be grooving into 2022 as hometown heroes, a showcase for a band at the peak of their powers showered with love from a home crowd.

Tickets start at $59.50 plus fees. Show starts at 9 pm.