Before getting to the shows of the week, let's take a moment to remember a piece of Houston music history, as crews are nearing the end of the demolition process of the building that once housed Fitzgerald's nightclub.
The venue, owned by Sara Fitzgerald for over 40 years, hosted countless up-and-coming bands and touring acts on its upstairs and downstairs stages and served as a gathering spot for The Heights arts scene. Fitz's went through a brief renaissance when local promoter Pegstar Concerts took over the space, bringing in some top-tier national and international talent, even working on renovating parts of the building. But Fitzgerald's couldn't sustain that magic after the group broke ties and opened White Oak Music Hall on N. Main Street.
The property, purchased by a Chicago development group, will soon be home to retail space.
As always, the show must go on. CultureMap's biggest, best, and most noteworthy shows of the week are as follows:
CultureMap show of the week: Lionel Richie at Smart Financial
R&B legend Lionel Richie is akin to a musical Energizer bunny. The Alabama-raised songwriter first gained fame when he joined '70s Motown group The Commodores, writing their best known songs, "Easy" and "Three Times a Lady." He went on to selling millions more albums as a solo artist in the '80s, most notably with the Grammy award-winning Can't Slow Down, producing hit songs like "All Night Long (All Night)" and "Hello."
While his popularity waned in the '90s, Richie continued to release records and write songs for other artists (his friendship with country star Kenny Rogers is well documented). He is experiencing another wave of popularity in the wake of his turn as a judge for the newest rendition of the never-say-die music reality show American Idol. His latest turn on Idol has only sought to remind American audiences of his deep and storied catalog. His Hello Hits tour rolls into Sugar Land this Tuesday night.
Lionel Ritchie brings the hits to Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Tuesday, May 28. Tickets start at $35, plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Juggalos, unite: Insane Clown Posse at Warehouse Live
Fans of magnets and Faygo soda will be in their happy place when Michigan horrorcore (yes, it's a thing) rappers Insane Clown Posse hit Houston this week. Say what you will about ICP, but they've hit their own kind of celebrity status among outcasts that fully embrace the subculture built around Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J.
Their annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" now attracts tens of thousands of fans and made middle America so nervous that the FBI named juggalos as an official street gang. That's a tad ridiculous for an act that produces mediocre and oftentimes, hilarious, rap. But hey, for the curious, this could be an interesting night out. ICP's latest is Fearless Fred Fury.
Insane Clown Posse is at Warehouse Live, located at 813 Emanuel St, on Thursday, May 30. Rittz, Mac Lethal, Mushroomhead, DJ Paul, and Ouija Macc open. Tickets start at $30, plus fees. Doors open at 6 pm.
Jamey Johnson at HOB
Nashville-via-Alabama singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson harks back to classic country and his long line of songwriting credits point the way, contributing tunes to George Strait, Willie Nelson, and Trace Adkins. He parlayed his rising star into several Country Music Awards and Grammy Award nominations as well as a platinum selling album in 2008's That Lonesome Song.
Johnson also uses that star power to raise money for various causes, including Farm Aid and an annual golf tournament to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. While he hasn't put out new music in some time, his deep catalog means country fans will pack House of Blues on Thursday night.
Jamey Johnson appears at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Thursday, May 30. Natalie Stovall opens. Tickets start at $38 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Kiefer Sutherland in a barn
Yes, you read that right. Acclaimed Emmy and Golden Globe award winning actor Kiefer Sutherland will play the Big Barn at the Dosey Doe this week, taking a break from his various film and television projects to hit the road with his band. He plies his musical trade in country music, and based off his long history of legal troubles, has plenty of material to work with, producing two albums, 2016's Down in a Hole and this year's Reckless & Me. Tickets are expensive for this one, but attendees get dinner, and the chance to spend time with the world's best interrogator. Not too shabby.
Kiefer Sutherland takes the stage in the Big Barn at the Dosey Doe, located at 25911 I-45 N. in The Woodlands, on Thursday, May 30. Tickets start at $98, meal included. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
DIY folk legend Ani DiFranco
The definition of do-it-yourself, alt-folk singer-songwriter and activist Ani DiFranco paved the way for countless other musicians to build their own careers apart from the major label system, years before streaming largely removed that choice. Other than her eclectic and exciting brand of acoustic-driven music, DiFranco made waves when she started her own Righteous Babe Records in 1990 to put out her music and that of other similarly minded artists.
She has since released 20 studio albums, and a series of bootlegs and compilations, including her latest, No Walls Mixtape, all the while being a voice for various causes and serving as an overall hero for the LGBTQ community (DiFranco is bisexual). While her profile has diminished somewhat from its heights in the early 2000s, DiFranco remains a force and puts on one helluva live show.
Ani Difranco headlines White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St, on Friday, May 31. Diane Patterson opens. Tickets start at $30, plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Margaritaville in The Woodlands: Jimmy Buffet
Jimmy Buffet fans might not be classified as a street gang by the FBI, but make no mistake, Parrotheads are definitely a subgenre of their own, turning out in numbers to see him wherever the easy-listening "Margaritaville" multi-platinum star plays. That includes Cynthia Woods, where Buffett will play for the 23rd time in its 30 season history, which surely has to be a record for a touring act.
As you might of guessed, this one is sold out, but tickets are available on the resale market. One guy who probably has a ticket includes Texans star JJ Watt, who performed with Buffett on the bongos a few years back, because even when he's not on the field, he's got to find something to hit.
Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band play Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands on Saturday, June 1. Tickets start at $71, plus fees on the resale market. Gates open at 6:30 am.
CultureMap recommends: The Lemonheads at WOMH
A tale in rock star excess and what-could've-been, power-pop act The Lemonheads scored a sustained period of popularity in the early-'90s, thanks in part to some excellent albums and the good looks of lead singer Evan Dando. The Boston band released a string of near-classics in their heyday, including the It's a Shame About Ray and Come On Feel the Lemonheads, the former skyrocketing their profile with a cover version of the Simon and Garfunkel classic "Mrs. Robinson."
But the increased spotlight and a rumored drug habit did a number on Dando, and he largely retreated from music, waiting 10 years to release the follow-up to 2009's Varshons with the aptly named Varshons 2. The undeniable melodic greatness of Dando's songbook and sheer curiosity of what he's been up to over the last decade make this a show one to see.
The Lemonheads perform at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N Main St., on Saturday, June 1. Tommy Stinson opens. Tickets start at $20, plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.