Photo courtesy of Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Hearty Austin-based chain Hopdoddy Burger Bar has unveiled a new lineup of regenerative burgers that are supposed to be better for the planet and the consumer.

The term ‘regenerative burger’ could cause a few head-scratches: Some may think of lab-grown or 3D-printed meat, while others think of plant-based alternatives but it’s neither. It is grass-fed meat, sourced a bit differently. "Regenerative farming" is a term used to describe farming and grazing practices that claim to restore and rebuild degraded soil, resulting in better-quality air and water.

Hopdoddy’s vice president of culinary Matt Schweitzer explained that it all began with with a sense of obligation to do better as a brand for the consumers and the ecosystem.

“We felt like we could really take a stand and look to move our entire supply chain in a regenerative fashion, so we could really be proud of the work we’ve done and we could hopefully leave the animals, the farmers, the ranchers, the native grasslands, and our planet a better place than before we started,” says Schweitzer.

The new menu items include the "Roosevelt Burger" with grass-fed regenerative bison; the "Nashville Hot Sandwich" with regenerative raised chicken; the "Regenerative Royale," which is a play on a classic double quarter-pounder with cheese; the "Mother Nature" with grass-fed regenerative beef; and the "Buffalo Bill" also uses regenerative bison, but appears not to be grass-fed.

The five burgers are available at all Hopdoddy locations nationwide. The beef and bison are sourced from Texas-based regenerative company Force of Nature, while the chicken is from Cooks Venture.

With this launch, Hopdoddy removes all plant-based meat substitutes from its menu, significantly reducing the options for vegans and vegetarians. The company felt the ingredients and ethos of the alternative meats — describing some such as Beyond Meats as "falsely advertised" regarding nutrition in a press release — no longer aligned with its values and mission. However, the house-made veggie patty remains on the signature "El Bandito" burger.

Schweitzer says the regenerative burgers have received positive feedback, as people are excited to know where their food comes from, how it gets to their table, and what type of impact it causes. Regarding the future of regenerative meat, he says there is no doubt it could become mainstream soon.

“I think the flavor profile, the eating experience, the story, the mission, the purpose, really speaks for itself," says Schweitzer. "So, I really think it’s a matter of time until 'regenerative' is talked about in the same way that 'organic,' or 'sustainable,' or those type of buzzwords are talked about."

To further show its commitment to regenerative agriculture, Hopdoddy is also one of the sponsors of Common Ground, a documentary about the pioneers of the regenerative movement, premiering October 4 in Austin. The "uplifting" film, according to a release, features well-known actors Laura Dern, Rosario Dawson, Jason Momoa, Woody Harrelson, Ian Somerhalder, and Donald Glover, emphasizing that this motley crew does share one thing in common: a strong belief in regenerative agriculture.

For more information about the new regenerative burgers, visit hopdoddy.com.

Photo by Dylan McEwan

Countdown to Beyoncé: Trill Burgers shortens hours to serve massive NRG Stadium crowd

respect the beyhive

Since it opened in June, Trill Burgers has been unstoppable. Bun B’s burger joint has seen lines out the door, fed celebrities ranging from Drake to Mike Tyson, and caused literal traffic jams with its drive-thru.

But even a juggernaut like Trill Burgers knows better than to mess with the Beyhive. For this weekend only (September 23 and 24), the Montrose-area restaurant will only be open from 11 am to 2 pm. Operating with such limited hours will allow Trill Burgers to feed the sold out crowds flocking to NRG Stadium for Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour.

“We want to make sure that we have our stations fully stocked so that people don't miss this amazing show that she's bringing,” Bun said in a video posted to social media. “We know the Beyhive don't play and Trill Burgers don't play either.”

In order to ensure people get their burgers as quickly as possible, Trill Burgers is slimming down its menu to only serve beef burgers — sorry, vegans. In addition, it will impose a limit of two burgers per person.

Due to the stage setup, Trill Burgers will only operate two of its usual four stands. They are Sections 135 and 548.

Of course, CultureMap has you covered for everything related to this weekend’s concerts. Don’t miss our guides for what to wear, events celebrating Beyoncé, and the latest traffic and parking info.

Photo by Michael Ma

The Ultimate Houston Burger Draft: We select city's must-try burgers, fries, and shakes

What's Eric Eating Episodes 310 and 311

On this week’s episode of “What’s Eric Eating,” CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler invites a panel of chefs and local food experts to participate in the Ultimate Houston Burger Draft.

Conducted as a fantasy football-style snake draft, the six participants select burgers, fries, and milkshakes in six categories:

  • Houston-based Burger Restaurant: A restaurant such as Burger-Chan or Lankford Grocery that primarily serves burgers
  • Smash Burger: The trendy style made with smashed patties and simple toppings such as pickles, onions, and a tangy sauce.
  • Fancy Burger: The only burger on the menu at a full service restaurant.
  • Fries or Tots: No burger meal would be complete without fries.
  • Milkshakes
  • Wildcard: Any other burger from a Houston restaurant or any non-burger dish served at a Houston-based Burger Restaurant such a hot dog or onion rings.

The rules are simple. First, each drafter may only select one item per restaurant. Therefore, all six teams will have items from six different restaurants. Second, once a menu item has been drafted, no other team may select it. That means there are 36 unique choices.

The first round picks proceed as follows:

  • Restaurateur Mary Clarkson selects the happy hour burger at Doris Metropolitan as her Fancy Burger.
  • Houston BBQ Festival co-founder Michael Fulmer selects the smash burger at Burger Bodega as his Smash Burger.
  • Former commercial real estate developer Monica Danna selects the Blue Cheese Waffle Fries at Barnaby’s.
  • Riel chef-owner Ryan Lachaineselects the Bacon Cheeseburger at Champs as his Houston-based Burger Restaurant burger.
  • Sandler chooses the Chopped Cheese at Burger Bodega as his Wildcard.
  • Chef Bobby Matos, culinary director for Rocket Farm Restaurants (State of Grace, La Lucha, and Superica) drafts the Fire Burger from The Burger Joint as his Houston-based Burger Restaurant burger.

Listen to the whole episode to hear all of the results.

On this week’s second episode, Burger Bodega owner Abbas Dhanani joins Sandler to break down the draft and offer an opinion on who “won.” They also discuss some other burgers that could have been drafted, adding 12 more suggestions for listeners to try.

Dhanani also provides an update on the latest happenings at Burger Bodega, including revealing that his next collaboration will feature guest chef (and CultureMap wine columnist) Chris Shepherd, who will appear at the restaurant on Wednesday, September 13. Here's a sneak peek of the Southern Smoke Juicy Lucy.

Burger Bodega Southern Smoke Juicy LucyThis burger will sell out fast.Photo by Michael Ma


Subscribe to "What's Eric Eating" on Apple podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Sunday at noon on ESPN 97.5.

Burger Bodega cheeseburger and chopped cheese
Photo by Michael Ma

Both Burger Bodega's smash burger and chopped cheese are chosen.

Food Network via Trill Burgers/Facebook

Talented Trill Burgers chef and co-owner wins 'Impossible' Chopped episode

Add another Houston chef to the roster of local Chopped champions. Trill Burgers chef and co-owner Mike Pham won the “Burger Impossible” episode that aired earlier this week on the Food Network.

The son of Vietnamese immigrants, Pham said on the show that burgers helped him feel more American during his childhood. His professional roots with burgers go back to Savori Burgers, a restaurant in Orange County he opened when he was just 22 years old. Prior to teaming up with Trill Burgers partners Bun B and California restaurateur Andy Nguyen, Pham worked at a number of restaurants in Southern California, including Providence, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles that currently holds two Michelin stars. Of course, he was on stage with Bun B when Good Morning America named Trill Burgers America’s Ultimate Burger spot in 2022.

“Burgers are my passion. I’ve spent every waking moment thinking about burgers,” Pham said during the episode. “The key to a perfect burger is balancing sweet, sour, bitter, savory, and saltiness in them.”

In the appetizer round, Pham and his competitors received a basket that contained cheesesteak-stuffed pickles, salsa verde, thick cut bacon, and wagyu beef cheek. He turned that into a Southwest slider with salsa verde apple chutney that used a patty made with beef cheek, bacon, and cheesesteak. Cooking the bacon before adding it to the burger grind earned praise from judges Tiffany Derry, Justin Sutherland, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

“The burger was really nice,” Derry said. “The flavor is delicious. It feels very Americana.”

Moving to the entree round, Pham’s basket contained leg of lamb, three kinds of cheese, crunchy garlic with chili oil, and pearl onions. He made a lamb burger that he topped with cheese fondue and pearl onions that he caramelized in the garlic chili oil.

The judges criticized the burger for having too much cheese and not enough chili oil, but they chopped Philadelphia chef Pat McHenry for overcooking his lamb burger.

In the final round, Pham squared off with Atlanta chef LaMara Davidson to make a dessert “burger” using french fry cookies, cherries, honey butter, and chocolate rice cereal. While Davidson merely created a chocolate coating for the cookies and sliced the cherries, Pham stood out by turning the cookies into a pate a choux dough and dipping the cherries in chocolate. The dish wasn’t entirely successful — the judges thought the dough was undercooked — but Pham’s creative approach to the basket ingredients pushed him over the top.

“I believe this win proves I’m of the best burgers chefs in the country — maybe even the world,” he said at the end of the episode.

As for the $10,000 prize, Pham plans to use it to start a program at Trill Burgers that will teach young people about working in restaurants. Trill Burgers partner Nick Scurfield tells CultureMap that the program is still in the “idea stage” but that Pham is committed to making it happen.

Pham is the second Houston-area chef to win an episode of Chopped this month. Amrina chef Jassi Bindra won an episode titled “Oh My Squash.” Other Houston chefs to win on the show include Erin Smith (Feges BBQ), Justin Turner (Bocca Italian Kitchen), Shannen Tune (Craft Burger), and Evelyn Garcia (Jun).

Photo by Marco Torres.

Houston Texans draft Bun B's smash hit Trill Burgers for 2023 NRG Stadium home games

texans go trill

The summer of Trill Burgers will be extended into the fall. Fresh off opening his smash hit smash burger restaurant in June, Bun B announced this his burgers will be available at NRG Stadium for Texans home games.

Working in partnership with NRG Stadium food vendor Aramark, Trill Burgers will have four concessions stands in the stadium at sections 115, 135, 520, and 548. The stand at section 135 will use a self checkout system designed to expedite ordering and get fans back to their seats more quickly.

The Trill Burgers menu will feature its two most popular items: the OG Trill Burger with two smashed patties, caramelized onions, pickles, and Trill sauce on a potato bun and the Vegan OG Burger with smashed Impossible meat patties and vegan cheese. High rollers in the suites will be able to order Trill Burgers packages as well.

“We’re very excited to be at NRG Stadium for every home game to serve Trill Burgers and watch our Texans play to victory,” Bun B said in a statement. “Go Texans.”

Trill Burgers is no stranger to NRG Stadium. The restaurant operated stands on the Rodeo grounds each of the last two years. It also served burgers inside the stadium for the both the NCAA Final Four and this summer’s Taylor Swift concerts.

Considering Trill Burgers has routinely featured lengthy lines since opening — the restaurant stated it sold more than 53,000 burgers in its first month alone — going to a Texans game might be the easiest way to get one. After all, Texans fans are notoriously tardy about taking their seats before kickoff.

Speaking of making Trill Burgers slightly easier to obtain, the restaurant also announced it will utilize its drive-thru for late night service. Once the dining room closes at 9 pm, the drive-thru will be open until midnight every day.

Courtesy of Wayback Burgers

Retro burger chain gets 'Cheeeesy' and inside-out with first Houston-area restaurant

turn it inside out

Another national chain seeks to satisfy Houstonians seemingly infinite craving for burgers — but this time, with an inside-out twist.

Wayback Burgers, a Connecticut based burger chain, plans to beef up the Richmond restaurant scene this fall with its first Houston-area location.

True to its name, Wayback Burgers serves made-to-order burgers and milkshakes in an environment that “hearkens back to a simpler place and time,” according to press materials.

One way the restaurant sets itself apart is with the way it serves its burgers. The puffy part of the bun faces inward, while the flat toasty edge faces out.

They apply this inverted approach to both their Chicken BLT and their signature “Cheeeesy” burger — spelled with one “e” for every slice of American cheese. Writing for the Dallas Observer, food writer Brian Reinhart described the unusual choice as “insanely messy” but delicious, as the buttered crispy side of the bun hits a person’s tastebuds — and coats their fingers — first.

“I had to walk back to the counter halfway through my sandwich to ask for more napkins,” he wrote.

Aside from inside-out sandwiches, the menu also includes right-side-up burgers, veggie burgers, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, fries, salads, milkshakes, and more.

The inside out bun isn’t the only thing Wayback Burgers does differently. A percentage of every burger sold benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the chain has donated over $850,000 since starting the partnership in 2018.

Franchisees Mohammed Sorathia and Sadia Kasim said they considered a number of potential businesses before deciding to bring Wayback to the Houston area.

“When deciding on a franchise family to join, Wayback Burgers stood out to Sadia and I after speaking with other franchisees and learning about the company’s ongoing commitment and support for each of its franchisees,” Sorathia said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing delicious menu items, especially our personal favorites, the grilled chicken sandwich and the classic burger, along with the full Wayback Burgers dining experience with the Richmond community soon.”

Located at 18321 West Airport Blvd., the chain’s 16th Texas location will occupy approximately 1,700-square-feet. It joins outposts in both the Austin and Dallas areas.

Design details include windows that look into the kitchen and a variety of seating options such as upholstered banquettes, booths, and community tables.

“We are pleased to continue the expansion of Wayback Burgers in Texas with the lease signing of our Richmond restaurant,” Wayback Burgers president Patrick Conlin added. “With operations in 35 states and new restaurants extending our footprint nationwide, it is an exciting time to be a part of the Wayback Burgers family. We look forward to working with husband and wife duo, Mohammed Sorathia and Sadia Kasim, to introduce Wayback Burgers to the Richmond community.”


Eric Sandler contributed to this article.

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Houston unpacks No. 7 rank in U.S. for recent moves, says new report

hi neighbor!

Houston is shifting as people move into the city and around it. A new population analysis by online loan marketplace LendingTree has named Houston the No. 7 metro for recent movers.

The study used population data from a 2021 U.S. Census Bureau survey to determine householders and renters who moved to their current home in 2019 or later. It reflects people moving around Houston as well as moving into it, so it's not just new residents being counted.

About 34 percent of combined homeowners and renters living in their current Houston homes moved here within the three-year scope of the study. For homeowners, that's about 19 percent, compared to about 58 percent of renters.

The three-year median home value appreciation rate in Houston was 15.15 percent, the study says, echoing similar reports that the city remains one of the top housing markets for growth.

But other reports that are not looking at such longterm averages are showing that the market seems to be stabilizing recently. In August of 2023, Zillow reported home prices in Houston dropped 0.4 percent from the previous year to $264,789.

Rent appreciation was not as dramatic, but renters are surely feeling it regardless. The data shows the three-year median gross rent appreciation rate was 4.48 percent.

Renters are much more likely than homeowners to move due to multiple factors: personal circumstances, rising rent prices, landlords who want to change their lease terms, and many others.

"While some regulations protect renters and make it harder for landlords to force them out of their homes, these protections aren’t always robust," the study says. "Because of this, renters can more frequently find themselves in situations where they’re forced to move, even if they like their current home or are strapped for cash."

Both Dallas and Austin also ranked within the top 10, placing No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. Austin saw nearly 39 percent of homeowners and renters moving between 2019 and 2021, while Dallas had 35 percent of homeowners and renters moving within the same time frame.

The U.S. metros with the largest shares of homeowners and renters who moved in 2019 or later are:

  • No. 1 – Austin, Texas (38.82 percent)
  • No. 2 – Dallas (34.91 percent)
  • No. 3 – Las Vegas (34.81 percent)
  • No. 4 – Denver (34.71 percent)
  • No. 5 – Orlando, Florida (34.55 percent)
  • No. 6 – Phoenix (34.03 percent)
  • No. 7 – Houston (33.50 percent)
  • No. 8 – Jacksonville, Florida (33.27 percent)
  • No. 9 – Nashville, Tennessee (33.14 percent)
  • No. 10 – Salt Lake City, Utah (32.94 percent)
The full report can be found on lendingtree.com.

6 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, closings, and a sizzling Pappasito's deal

6 Things to Know

Editor’s note: Houston’s restaurant scene moves pretty fast. In order to prevent CultureMap readers from missing anything, let’s stop to look around at all the latest news to know.

Openings and closings

Dumpling Haus, a Chinese restaurant in Sawyer Yards, closed at the end of September. Headed by the mother-daughter team of Elaine Won, Ashley Lai, and Amiley Lai, the concept became a favorite of Houston’s restaurant community, earning a CultureMap Tastemaker Awards nomination for Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year. Although the restaurant has closed, Ashley Lai told the Houston Chronicle the concept will continue to pop-up at events and the Urban Harvest farmers market.

Rakkan Ramen will celebrate the grand opening of its fourth Houston-area location in the Westchase District this Saturday, October 7 with buy-one-get-one free ramen bowls all day. Located at 2550 Citywest Blvd., the restaurant is known for its vegan broth made from a combination of kombu (edible algae), mushrooms, carrots, onion, ginger, and garlic. Available with five bases and three kinds of noodles, diners may add pork chasu or chicken to satisfy any carnivorous cravings.

7 Brew Drive Thru Coffee is entering the Houston market with a location in Spring (21420 Kuykendahl Rd.) To celebrate, it will host charity fundraisers on October 6 for Klein Oak High School, on October 7 for Children’s Miracle Network benefitting Texas Children's Hospitals, and on October 8 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. During these days, 7 Brew will take 50-percent off regular menu prices and donate 100-percent of proceeds to the organizations.

With a motto of “If you think it, we can make it,” the Arkansas-based coffee shop offers over 20,000 possible combinations, including sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free options.

The Highlight at Houston Center will soon welcome two new restaurants. Orange Taco, an Asian-Mexican fusion concept that started as a food truck, and Aloha Poke Co. will join the existing dining options at the recently-renovated downtown shopping destination.

Deal Alert

Tex-Mex favorite Pappasito’s Cantina is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month with a number of specials. Get a beef and chicken fajitas platter for $40 every Wednesday in October. In addition, order two cocktails in a special 40th anniversary mug and finish with a Fiesta Fudge Brownie. Diners can register online to win one of 10, $400 gift cards.

“It’s really incredible to be celebrating four decades of Pappasito’s,” Pappas vice president of marketing Christina Pappas said in a statement. “The first Pappasito's Cantina opened on Richmond and Hillcroft, bringing our famous fajitas and margaritas to Houstonians, and now we have grown to over 20 restaurants throughout Texas and Georgia.”

A Memorable Meal

Four of Houston’s most prominent female chefs are teaming up for a very special meal. Top Chef alums Evelyn Garcia and Sasha Grumman, Masterchef finalist Suu Khin, and James Beard Taste Twenty chef Michelle Wallace will contribute dishes to the Blackwood Educational Land Institute’s annual Skyfarm Harvest Feast. Held on October 19 at Post Houston, the meal will utilize produce grown at Blackwood's Skyfarm on the Post’s roof. The evening includes a farm tour, passed appetizers, a multi-course seated dinner, and a performance by Pecos Hank Schyma along with Jo Bird.

Blackwood fundraiser chefs

Photo by Conor Moran

Blackwood has recruited four top chefs for its fundraiser.

"I love working with Blackwood," Grumman said in a statement. "What they produce is truly incredible and they have even introduced me to new plants and herbs that I love to incorporate into my cooking. Both of the Blackwood farms inspire me to cook in a true farm-to-table manner that represents Houston in such a positive way. We’re lucky to have them in our city and feeding our community.”

Tickets, priced at $325 and $425, are on sale now. Sponsorship packages and tables are available as well. Proceeds benefit Blackwood’s education programming and other initiatives.

Foo Fighters, Depeche Mode, Jonas Brothers, and John Mayer headline October's coolest concerts in Houston

october's best concerts

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.

Depeche Mode, October 4, Toyota Center

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.

Foo Fighters, October 10, 713 Music Hall

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.

Foo Fighters concert

Photo courtesy of Foo Fighters

Rock gods Foo Fighters descend on Houston on October 10.

Janelle Monae, October 10, Bayou Music Center

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.

Chris Stapleton, Charley Crockett and Nikki Lane, October 13, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

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, October 14, Toyota Center

SZASZA 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.

Sting, October 15, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

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”.

Peter Gabriel, October 21, Toyota Center

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.

Jonas Brothers, October 23, Toyota Center

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.

Parker McCollum, October 28, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

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.

John Mayer, October 30, Toyota Center

John Mayer concertDreamy 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.