Before the usual lineup of big-name acts visiting Bayou City venues, let's talk about a one-off event that will get the temperatures rising.
Finally, a festival that's worthy of the hot summer Houston heat. The Colombian Fest will take place downtown on Sunday, July 21, from 11 am to 10 pm, featuring a wide range of genres from a very musical country, including salsa, bachata, ballenato, and more. That's in addition to the many Colombian food (mmm ... arepas) and craft vendors, making it worth the trip to the city center on a weekend. Hector Acosta "El Torito," Jean Carlos Senteno, and Willie Rosario are among confirmed music acts.
Other shows throughout the week make it another strong showing on the weekly concert calendar. CultureMap's biggest, best, and most noteworthy shows of the week are as follows:
Yes and Asia
Classic prog-rock fans rejoice! British prog forebearers Yes and Asia will team up to deliver plenty harmonies, melodies, layers of sound, and, of course, indulgences into the farthest fantastical corners of the universe when they co-headline in Sugar Land this week. Both bands are known for their elaborate stage production, so expect this one to get trippy, man.
Yes is one of the most successful bands of the genre, selling more than 13 million albums worldwide, most coming during their '70s heyday, producing hits such as "Roundabout," "I've Seen All Good People," and "Starship Trooper." Asia carried Yes' legacy into the '80s, a supergroup of sorts, with members comprised from other well-known prog acts. However, they often crossed over to the pop charts with hits like "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell," which found an audience on a fledgling new music network, MTV.
Yes and Asia co-headline the Smart Financial Centre, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Tuesday, July 16. John Lodge of The Moody Blues and Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer open. Tickets start at $49.50, plus fees. Show starts at 7 pm.
Howard Jones at HOB
Another act that gained fame in the age of MTV, Howard Jones, scored a string of hits off two acclaimed, best-selling albums, his 1984 debut, Human's Lib, and the 1985 follow-up, Dream Into Action, including "New Song," "What is Love," and "Things Can Only Get Better." Like other synth-pop bands of the era, he faded from the spotlight as musical tastes changed, becoming a cult act in the U.S. He'll be joined by another new wave cult act and criminally underrated Men Without Hats, which scored the massive hits, "Safety Dance" and "Pop Goes the World," before hair metal and grunge stopped the band's career trajectory. This will be a fun show for those who like dancing at '80s dance nights.
Howard Jones and Men Without Hats play House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Wednesday, July 17. Tickets start at $30, plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Khalid at Toyota Center
Not to be confused with DJ Khaled, the young, upstart R&B singer Khalid is back with the album Free Spirit and cashing in on his new found popularity with his first arena tour. Khalid came on the scene with the huge debut American Teen in 2017, achieving several Grammy nominations in the process, including one for Best New Artist on the strength of chart-topping hit "Location." But it's his appearances on songs by other artists that really catapulted him into the national spotlight, including on the massive Logic song "1-800-237-8255" and tracks by Calvin Harris, Marshmello, and Shawn Mendes.
Khalid is at Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Thursday, July 18. Clairo opens. Tickets start at $49.95, plus service fees. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Built to Spill at WOMH
Formed in Idaho, Built to Spill became one of the more influential indie-rock acts of the '90s, laying the foundation of emo-rock and today's more adventurous alt-rock acts. Working in the same sphere as the gasp-inducing alt hipsters Pavement, Built to Spill were largely overshadowed by that act until 1999's Keep It Like a Secret, which is hailed as one of the decade's best.
But it's the band's live shows that keep crowds coming out with sprawling, melodic rock tunes, the guitar interplay perfectly pairing with lead singer Doug Martsch's vocals. They haven't put out an album since 2015's Untethered Moon, but with such a deep catalog, this will be a show to see for fans of the genre.
Built to Spill plays White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Thursday, July 18. Oruã and Xetas open. Tickets start at $25, plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Alejandro Escovedo at McGonigel's
One of the more revered working guitarists, Alejandro Escovedo is often placed under the Americana label, but he's influenced by a wide range of sounds, including punk, roots-rock, and alt-country. A critical darling, Escovedo hasn't put out a bad album as far back as the groundbreaking 1992 album Gravity. But it's his skills on the fretboard that has made him a much sought after session musician for such luminaries as Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen. He's on the road behind his latest, The Crossing. Seeing Escovedo in the intimate confines of McGonigel's Mucky Duck will be a treat for fans.
Alejandro Escovedo performs two shows at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, located on 2425 Norfolk St., on Friday, July 19. Tickets start at $40, plus fees. First show starts at 7 pm, second at 9:30 pm.
Korn and Alice In Chains at Cynthia Woods
One of the first bands to breakthrough to the mainstream in the confusing times that were the late-'90s, the California based Korn inexplicably became huge as one of the torchbearers of the head-scratching rap-rock genre, hitting No. 1 with Follow the Leader, which would go on to sell 10 million copies.
Led by Jonathan Davis, a former mortuary science student (you really can't make this stuff up), Korn went multi-platinum in a post-grunge world, turning teen angst into something of a parody by combining heavy metal sounds with white-boy rap alongside other imitators like Limp Bizkit, P.O.D., and Papa Roach. But the band still has its legions of diehard fans who still recall better times when backwards hats, baggy khakis, and tribal tattoos were all the rage. They'll be joined by the excellent Seattle grunge act Alice In Chains, who recently gave an electric performance at Revention Music Center and really deserves to be headlining Cynthia Woods on its own merits.
Korn and Alice In Chains co-headline Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Saturday, July 20. Underoath opens. Tickets start at $29.50, plus fees. Gates open at 5 pm.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
Call it a showcase for the best in Texas music. One of the best groups to come out of the Austin scene, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, recall the best of '70s blues, soul, and R&B, channeling the spirit of James Brown and Sam Cooke with a solid rock foundation and a killer stage presence.
But the group, obviously led by Black Joe Lewis, has indie cred, having worked in studio with producer Jim Eno, who also serves as drummer for the much-loved Spoon. The band is back on the road behind The Difference Between Me & You. They'll be joined by the multi-genre wizard, Walker Lukens, who gives off a strong Beck-meets-Prince vibe and is back with a new album, Adult, also produced by Eno.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears and special guest Walker Lukens perform at Heights Theater, located at 339 W 19th St., on Saturday, July 20. Tickets are $20, plus an $5 service fee. Doors open at 7 pm.