A sense of normalcy returned to the Houston music scene in July as vaccination rates rose, infection rates fell, and promoters announced tours.
But, the collective desire to get back to shows might be tempered by the delta variant of the coronavirus. Like some twisted version of Loki in the latest Disney Plus series, the new strain of the coronavirus has a chance to disrupt fall concert schedules dependent on choices made by venues and touring act.
That said, it will be difficult to put the genie back into the bottle after governments lifted restrictions on venues. Shows are likely here to stay, so it will be up to the ticket buyer to exercise safety in the weeks and months ahead.
Here are some of the most notable shows coming to the Bayou City in August.
Pure Golden Hour Sessions Virtual Concert Series
Now virtual through September 8
In late-July, a VIP crowd invited to the idyllic Houston Arboretum found themselves in what appeared to be a really good beer commercial. Following a guided hike sponsored by the Merrell hiking apparel line, attendees came upon a clearing with blankets and lawn chairs laid out for them with complimentary beverages and snacks.
The evening included a performance by fast-rising British folk-rocker, Jade Bird, in a gorgeous atmosphere to catch a show despite most of the crowd not knowing the dynamo they were watching (a shame, really).
Following that, the show will go virtual. The Pure Golden Hour Concert Series presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold will highlight one of H-town’s best parks with a series of virtual concerts over the next six weeks, starting with the extremely talented Jade Bird on August 4, just in time for her new album Different Kinds of Light, dropping August 13.
That will be followed up by R&B singer-songwriter Gallant on August 26 and wrapping up with electro rock act Arizona on September 8. Here’s hoping the Arboretum might consider hosting more shows in its gorgeous green space.
RSVP at www.puregoldenhour.com to tune in and for a chance to win a hiking pack valued at $2,000.
Thursday, August 5
Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Fwy
In July of 1988, Cheap Trick hit No. 1 with schmaltzy ballad “The Flame,” a move that that many classic rock bands of the era would employ to launch them to even greater success.
But the Illinois group didn’t really need the song most fans now loathe — their legacy was secure with songs such as “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” and “Dream Police,” influencing countless other acts, especially in the alternative rock and pop-punk worlds.
The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 and are still going strong.
Tickets start at $39.50. Show starts at 9 p.m.
Cypress Hill with Atmosphere and Z-Trip
Saturday, August 7
White Oak Music Hall Lawn, 2915 N Main St.
For those of a certain age, their first taste of hip-hop came in the form of a tripped out single with an, ahem, insanely catchy chorus. “Insane in the Membrane” by California group Cypress Hill was part of the classic hip-hop era of the early ’90s.
The act made a huge mark on youth culture with its No. 1 Black Sunday album, led by high-pitch-voiced MC B-Real combined with the deep baritone of Sen Dog. Need evidence of their impact? In 2019, the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
They’ll be joined by two fantastic modern hip-hop acts at White Oak this month – the Minneapolis-based Atmosphere and Phoenix-based DJ Z-Trip.
Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Show starts at 6 p.m.
8.8 Day at 8th Wonder Brewery
Sunday, August 8
8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas St.
Drink ’em if you got 'em. Popular EaDo microbrewery 8th Wonder is celebrating the best day of the year with live music with the launch party of its Wonder Water Herbal Seltzer.
The CBD Wonder Water and the recently released Delta-8 Wonder Water are non-alcoholic sparkling waters featuring hemp-derived, natural herbal ingredients. They are the first Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) seltzers in Texas, and among the first of their kind in the entire country.
Another brew, Hard 8 Pale Ale, will also make its debut. If that wasn’t reason enough to get your sip on, the event will feature sets from local acts including rising hip-hop star Fat Tony, psych-rockers Howard & the Nosebleeds, hip-hop artist Sea Sic, and DJ Trillanoise.
Admission is free. The event goes from noon to 8 p.m.
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
Thursday, August 12
Heights Theater, 339 W. 19th St.
Dallas natives Edie Brickell and New Bohemians rocketed up the charts in 1988 with the double-platinum Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars and hit song, “What I Am,” which still generates radio play to this day.
One can draw a direct line from Brickell’s self-aware lyrics and expressive performances to the female rock-folk-pop acts that would dominate the ’90s, including Alanis Morrissette and Jewel. The band didn’t maintain the same heights from their debut, but they are still a going concern. They’ll be touring behind this year’s Hunter and the Dog Star.
Tickets start at $28 plus fees. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Friday, August 13
Clé, 2301 Main St.
Time to pop some bottles, y’all! For better or worse, Diplo aka Thomas Wesley Pentz, might be the most well-known DJ in the world. For better or worse, Clé might be the most well-known nightclub in Houston.
A match made in bro heaven, the two will join forces for a spectacle that will please the most fervent EDM fans and nightclub scenesters.
Tickets start at $60 plus fees. Show starts at 10 p.m.
Tune-Yards with Salami Rose Joe Louis
Friday, August 13
White Oak Music Hall (Downstairs), 2915 North Main St.
Eccentric, off-kilter, polyrhythmic and utterly unique, Oakland duo Tune-Yards carved out a niche in indie-rock over the last dozen years, mixing pop with left-fields sounds, layered with the unforgettable vocals of Merrill Garbus.
The 2009 album Bird-Brains broke new ground in the genre, taking Vampire Weekend’s preppy dalliances with Afro-pop and world music and blowing it out of the water, endearing the duo to critics around the world. 2021’s Sketchy is a return to the early sound with high energy and sly political commentary.
Tickets start at $30 plus fees. Show starts at 7 p.m.
The Black Crowes with Dirty Honey
Saturday, August 14
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands
Aside from the Gallaghers, no other brotherly duo in music boasts a more tumultuous past than The Black Crowes’ lead singer Chris Robinson and guitarist Rich Robinson.
The two achieved fame on the strength of bluesy rock albums such the 1990 banger, Shake Your Money Maker, and tis follow-up, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, before one of the nastiest wedges between two family members and bandmates led to diminishing returns, lawsuits, and side projects.
Bygones will be bygones it appears, with the Robinsons back together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their best known album, showcasing why their mix of Southern-fried hooks made them one of the biggest acts in the world for a spell.
Tickets start at $29 plus fees. Show starts at 8 p.m.
Brad Paisley with Jimmie Allen and Kameron Marlowe
Sunday, August 15
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands
What is there more to say about Brad Paisley? He’s one of the most-liked and best-selling country stars in the world, he’s scored countless No. 1 songs and albums, he’s parlayed his affable personality into insurance commercials, and he seemingly plays RodeoHouston every year.
Since he missed his rodeo slot in 2020 due to COVID – and let’s be honest, he would have been invited back in 2021 as well – he’ll be making it up to his legions of fans with this Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion show.
Tickets start at $29 plus fees. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Kesha with Betty Who
Saturday, August 21
Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas Ave.
After a very public lawsuit against her former producer, Dr. Luke, Kesha earned something she hadn’t achieved as a chart-topping pop star – critical acclaim.
Following those legal and personal battles, the one-time party starter who scored No. 1 hits with the songs “TiK ToK” and “We R Who We R,” wisely dropped the dollar sign from her name and came back with the lauded, more personal 2017 album, Rainbow, appearing at awards shows and winning newfound respect.
She continues her revitalized career with a tour around her 2020 record, High Road.
Tickets start at $49.50. Show starts at 8 p.m.
Swimwear Department with Henry Invisible
Friday, August 27
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St.
One of the most fun groups to come out of Houston in ages, Swimwear Department deserves greater attention past it’s regular club show in their hometown. Like the Dead Milkmen or Devo, the quartet makes catchy-as-hell, arty pop-punk, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
They are also not above shameless, eye-catching stunts, such as the one they pulled when they shot a video for this year’s NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest with “Mattress Mack” Jim McIngvale, turning his Gallery Furniture headquarters into a playground many of us have dreamed of (and yes, there were plenty of desks featured).
They’ll be playing the Discovery Green Friday Night Live Concert Series – free of charge to any of those looking for a cheap Friday night.
Admission is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.