october's best concerts
Foo Fighters, Depeche Mode, Jonas Brothers, and John Mayer headline October's coolest concerts in Houston
This month’s crop of concerts brings a lot of alt-rock and pop-rock nostalgia on tour for all those ’80s and ’90s babies. It’s almost like all those bands from our childhoods know that we now have babysitters we can hire and disposable income to spend on $12 boozy seltzers and $25 parking spaces.
TheFoo Fighters invade the 713 Music Hall on October 10, one of the biggest marquee acts to grace one of the newest large-scale stages in Houston since it opened in late 2021. Since its grand debut its played host to Oliva Rodrigo, HAIM, Maña, New Order, and Billy Strings just to name a few.
Elsewhere,Peter Gabriel is celebrating nearly seven decades of crafting enigmatic soundscapes on October 21 at Toyota Center. He’s packing as much as he can into two sets for those who can't wait for “Sledgehammer” or “Solsbury Hill.”
But it's not all old-school jams. This month sees pop sensations like Janelle Monae, Jonas Brothers,SZA, and John Mayer hitting town for some can't-miss fun. Here are our can't-miss concerts for October.
Goth rockers and New Wavers, it seems, age a sight more graceful than most of their contemporaries in other genres. Maybe its aversion to sunlight? Better moisturizing routines? No band of its kind has aged better than Depeche Mode, with lead singer Dave Gahan now a black-clad velvet crooner of the goth-est and New-Waviest order. Pour out a glass of red wine in the Toyota Center concourse for late keyboardist Andy Fletcher who passed away in May 2022.
One of the last modern rock bands standing, Foo Fighters freaked out the neighborhood when they announced a show at 713 Music Hall (our announcement story pretty much broke the local interwebs). It’s not often that a bonafide stadium act like Dave Grohl’s Foos blesses a city with a show at a venue the size of this downtown gem but we’ll take it. The band’s coming to town touring behind ‘But Here We Are’, its first since the passing of titanic drummer Taylor Hawkins. Tickets are sold out officially via Live Nation, so head to those third-party vendors for coveted tix.
When Janelle Monae debuted in 2007 with Metropolis, she wasn’t predicting the future, she was actively dragging a sagging music industry into her vision of it. Since then, we’ve all been witnessing an artist recoding her image in real-time, like if David Bowie had 5G in 1975. She’s just comfortable collaborating with Brian Wilson as she is with Big Boi. Prince didn’t really die, his musical brain was just uploaded into Monae’s.
A Chris Stapleton show away from the friendly yet cavernous confines of NRG Stadium during RodeoHouston is a magnificent treat. Not only do you get to see one of the best modern guitarists of any genre do his thing, you get extended jams and a few jaw-dropping covers. Get here early for openers Nikki Lane and Charley Crockett, who represent the best of the current crop of country stalwarts. If we’re lucky, Charley and Nikki will sit in for some magic with Stapes.
SZA season is October 14 in Houston.Photo via SZA Official
Freshly anointed neo-soul queen SZA was seemingly born straight into arenas, instantly captivating ears from the jump. 2022’s blockbuster ‘SOS’ has been cemented at the top albums chart for nearly the last calendar year, no small feat in this streaming times. In concert, her raw confessionals come with the kind of mind-bending light shows you’d see at an arthouse installation.
Seeing Sting live sans law enforcement is always a pleasure, and this tour sees Ace Face on the road unleashing his biggest hits, solo and otherwise. Recent set lists lean heavy into his work away from vaunted The Police, long defunct after an epic reunion run in the late 2000s. It’s perfectly OK to admit that you still get “Brand New Day” stuck in your head every once in a while. Don’t worry, Sting knows you want to hear “Message In A Bottle”.
The former Genesis frontman and solo powerhouse is back on the road playing his hits proper. An artist as monumental as Peter Gabriel doesn’t tour without intention and this current jaunt feels like a victory lap of sorts. At a spry 73 years, here’s hoping he’s just cranking up for a late-career heater.
One of the biggest teen pop acts of the 2010s, the brothers Jonas are back on the road firmly ensconced in their 30s with a few divorces and children under their white belts, just like their fans. As if we didn’t need anymore reminders of the passage of time, some of those fans will probably have their own kids in tow this time.
Conroe-native Parker McCollum grew up going to concerts at the deluxe shed in The Woodlands, and like most area kids, he dreamed of playing that very stage himself. Now making his second annual homecoming stop up north, McCollum is a certified pop country star. This year’s Never Enough LP saw McCollum mixing up some sultry ‘80s country drama into ‘Gold Chain George Strait’ persona.
Dreamy John Mayer closes October with a big show on the 30th. Photo via John Mayer
Fresh off a near-decade stint acting as the stylish avatar for Jerry Garcia in Dead & Company, John Mayer hits Toyota Center by his lonesome with a truckful of guitars and a collection of radio hits. His recent solo tours have seen Mayer reclaiming his original singer-songwriter tag, years removed from his reign of polite terror in the tabloids.