best february concerts
Olivia Rodrigo, RodeoHouston's return, and The Eagles headline Houston's best February concerts
The coldest days of winter seemingly behind us, the Houston live music scene is heating up in February with one sold-old world tour, the kickoff of RodeoHouston, and a number of acclaimed national acts hitting stages across the city.
Although ticket prices are as burning hot as the shows that are coming to Houston this month, they haven’t seemed to put a damper on the appetites of concertgoers, with a huge slate of 2024 show being announced seemingly every week – see Dave Matthews Band, Alice Cooper & Rob Zombie, Bush, and Third Eye Blind this month alone.
Consider these shows appetizers to the entrees on the concert schedule in the months ahead.
Formed in Alaska, alt-rock act Portugal. The Man found a dedicated fan base in Houston early into its career, so much so that Jagi Katial, co-founder of the local venue White Oak Music Hall, appeared in the video for the 2017 Grammy Award winning hit, “Feel It Still.” Woodstock, the album that featured that song, catapulted the band to festival mainstays. The quintet is back in H-town touring last year’s Chris Black Changed My Life – you might have heard lead single, “Dummy,” in a recent Taco Bell commercial. Snacktime opens.
Long after hell froze over and seemingly endless final tours, the Eagles – minus deceased original members Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner – are still going strong, almost as if their career is stuck in a “Hotel California” they can never leave. But really, this is it, folks, as this Toyota Center appearance is part of “Long Goodbye” Final Tour with jazzy dad rock legends Steely Dan opening.
No longer the “New Kid in Town,” it feels like the ‘70s hitmakers that sold 200 million albums worldwide are back in Houston almost annually on a tour touted as the end of the line. Maybe this is the tour they “Take It to the Limit.” Plan accordingly.
Indie-rock vets Cold War Kids are on the road following a 2023 opening slot for ’80s New Wave stars Tear for Fears, now headlining shows behind their latest, self-titled release. The Long Beach, California group rose to prominence on alt-rock radio with their hits “First,” “Love is Mystical,” and “Hang Me Up to Dry,” that draws comparisons to later-day Modest Mouse or a poppier version of The Black Keys. To celebrate the start of the tour, they’re releasing their new single, “Heaven In Your Hands.”
Classical and hip-hop meets with Fort Lauderdale duo Black Violin, comprised of Kev Marcus on violin and Wil B. on viola. First gaining acclaim on the Fox talent competition show, Showtime at the Apollo, which they won, they captured the imagination of string afficionados and rap diehards with their unique take on hip-hop covers. Since the early 2000s, they’ve appeared on stage with Alicia Keys and Wu-Tang Clan and guested on records by Tom Petty and Aerosmith.
For fans of melancholy, melodic indie music heavily indebted to the Velvet Underground, the Kinks, twee and shoegaze, the appearance of Yo La Tengo at the intimate confines of The Heights Theater is a must-attend event. One would be hard-pressed to find an act that has been as consistently great and as influential as the Hoboken, New Jersey trio since they released their debut album in 1986, laying the groundwork for so many independent acts to come. Add 2023’s This Stupid World to the list of listenable gems.
The hard-touring Gov’t Mule is practically an institution in jam band circles and continues its run with 2023’s Peace…Like a River. Gov’t Mule specializes in easy-going blues riffs as evidenced in their biggest songs, “Thorazine Shuffle” and “Soulshine,” a bit of a throwback to the ‘70s classic rock heyday, not surprising for an act co-founded by Allman Brother Band guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody. Expect a lot of guitar solos and hazy sightlines.
One of the biggest pop stars going right now, Olivia Rodrigo’s first tour in 2022 saw her selling out 713 Music Hall in mere minutes due to her massive, Grammy Award-winning breakthrough debut, Sour. Three No. 1 songs later, the “Drivers License” songwriter will perform a sell-out show at the much larger Toyota Center as part of her insane, 77-show, globetrotting Guts tour. The ‘90s alt-pop-punk influenced trendsetter will bring songs from that similarly huge second No. 1 album, which features her hella-good, fourth chart-topping song, “Vampire.” The fantastic Chappell Roan opens.
The annual Bayou City tradition is back! RodeoHouston kicks off its 2024 slate of diverse musical acts doing what it does best: showcasing country stars and a final installment of Bun B’s historic Takeovers. Chart-topping country singer and former judge on The Voice, Blake Shelton, will serve as the season opener on February 27, making his sixth appearance and the first since his wife, Gwen Stefani, put on a RodeoHouston show for the ages in 2022. No pressure, Blake.
Fast-rising female artist, the Kentucky-born Carly Pearce, brings her classic Faith Hill sound to her first appearance on the star-shaped stage on February 29, hot off releasing her single, “We Don’t Fight Anymore” with another repeat RodeoHouston performer, Chris Stapleton. The month is capped off by the Australian duo King & Country, which made history as the first Christian pop band to play on the NRG Stadium dirt and dust in 2022, drawing a praise-worthy 50,000+ ticket holders.
The decidedly non-Christian but Christian-monikered ††† (Crosses) is the cult-act side project of Deftones lead singer Chino Moreno and multi-instrumentalist Shaun Lopez. Whereas Deftones offers a more straight-ahead approach to hard rock and melodic metal, Crosses dives hard into the synths with a delicious mix of dark wave and goth soundscapes. They are currently promoting the 2023 release, Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete which featured contributions from the Cure's Robert Smith.