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  • Lovel Palmer ups the ante by showing off his abs at the Dynamo Cruzin' for aCure auction.
    Photo by © John M. Boni/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Dynamo fans bid during the bachelor auction.
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Auctioneer Sara Pepper with Cruzin' for a Cure founder Danny Cruz
    Photo by © John M. Boni/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley created a frenzy, selling for a whopping $800.
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Dynamo Kofi Sarkodie with fans
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Will Bruin and Lovel Palmer
    Photo by © John M. Boni/CatchLightGroup.com
  • Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Photo by © John M. Boni/CatchlightGroup.com

The sun was still out as Houston Dynamo players and fans filed into Drink Houston on Saturday night for Cruzin' for a Cure. The spacious club felt open without hordes of people, and even with hip-hop playing and the bar doing steady business, the place seemed not quite ready for prime time.

"I think we might have done ourselves a disservice by having this a little earlier," confused Dynamo defender/event organizer Danny Cruz. But though the dance floor might not have been fully rocking, the moment 95.7's Sarah Pepper climbed up to the stage over the bar to begin the Dynamo bachelor auction, the energy in the room totally changed.

Suddenly girls in party dresses seemed to fill the floor, waving their orange bid placards energetically to get the attention of Pepper and the Dynamo Girls who were hanging out in the crowd as spotters.

Pepper started out by flirting with keeper Tyler Deric about how good he smelled and hyping Will Bruin's Friday night hat trick to pump their date prices to more than $200 each. The bidding atmosphere was competitive from the start, and Pepper had a knack for convincing people to keep the prices for dates going up.

It was an atmosphere that was so contagious, that even a mild-mannered reporter like this one could get inspired to put money down for her own Dynamo (Kofi Sarkodie, in case you were wondering). It was just that kind of scene.

Plenty of players pulled out all the stops to coax women out of their money — Lovel Palmer took his shirt nearly off to flash his washboard abs, and Mike Chabala got on the microphone looking for "Tyler Deric's mom." Cruz and Geoff Cameron both brought in big bids, but in the end it was 51-year-old goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley who created a bidding frenzy.

With a half dozen women bidding enthusiastically, Hanley's selling price was more than double most of the players at a whopping $800.

Between the cover charge, the bachelor auction and the silent auction featuring outings with other Dynamo players, Cruzin' for a Cure brought in more than $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, supporting Cruz's very personal cause and also his bid to win LLS Man of the Year.

But for the lucky ladies who made a date with the Dynamo, the fun is just beginning.

  • Alex Dixon
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Alex Dixon
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Alex Dixon
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

Humble hometown hero: Dynamo Alex Dixon loves the circus, otters & mom

CultureMap Video

Everyone wants to go out with a professional athlete. But how much sweeter would it be to spend time with one who grew up in the same area you did and shared many of the same experiences?

With the Houston Dynamo, Alex Dixon is that athlete. And dinner with him is up for bid in a bachelor auction for a good cause.

It takes place at Drink Houston on Saturday night. The event is Cruz'in for A Cure, a fundraiser and party organized by Dynamo defender Danny Cruz to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Cruz and the Dynamo set a goal of raising $30,000 for LLS and this night is a major part of that push. The centerpiece of the campaign? That bachelor auction of 11 Dynamo hotties. Including Dixon.

Who should you bid on? Let CultureMap's dating personality quiz be your guide.

Dixon — a Humble native, former North Carolina Tar Heel and Dynamo rookie this season — just made his professional debut this month. He might be new to the Dynamo, but Dixon grew up in the Bayou City's midst and has a head start on his teammates when it comes to knowing all the best Houston haunts.

Dixon took time to answer all the crucial questions for CultureMap in anticipation of being auctioned off.

Stats:
21-year-old from Humble, Texas.

Zodiac sign:
Aquarius

Give us your idea of the perfect first date:
"Maybe like a long walk or something, get some food. If the circus is in town we'd do that, or the fair or something like that — keep it fun."

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to impress a girl?
"I'm not really allowed to say some of the stuff I've done to impress girls. I'll leave it at that."

Do you believe in love at first sight?
"I could be interested in a girl, but I don't know about love."

What's your favorite date movie?
"I don't know. I watch a lot of comedies so maybe Superbad or something like that."

If you were an animal what animal would you be and why?
"Can I be two? I'd be a lion — like King of the jungle I guess — and I'd be an otter. I've always liked otters."

On what occasion(s) do you dance, and are you good at it?
"I'm an alright dancer. I like to dance when we go out and stuff, I dance in my room all the time by myself."

Who's your biggest celebrity crush?
"Mila Kunis."

Give us your best pick-up line:
"Whatever pops into mind at the time."

Do you have a nickname? What's the story behind it?
"I go by 'Dix.' Some of the guys call me Puff. I was joking around about a rap name one day and it kind of stuck, unfortunately."

What's your biggest pet peeve?
"Not washing the dishes. I live with Jordan and Josue Soto."

Sarah's appraisal: $2,200
Unlike Caroline, I am a big fan of otters. Especially otters that hold hands. Plus I love the idea of a fun date at a fair — there's something innocent and romantic about it.

Caroline's appraisal: $2,000
I like his sense of mystery — what hasn't he done to impress a girl, I wonder — but Dixon gets docked for his second choice in animal. Cougars and lions might go together (I'm 24) but an otter? Not so much.

Longtime sportswriter Chris Baldwin's appraisal: $1700
Alex Dixon is one of the best stories on the Dynamo and that increases the value of any dinner with him. He's the local kid playing for the local pro team — and he got here on the strength of his single parent turned soccer mom. Marisa Parks raised Alex right — so much so that she was comfortable that he'd be OK when she let him go to a prestigious soccer academy in Florida at age 15.

Dixon credits his mom every chance he gets and how can you not respect that? Parks drove her son all over Texas so he'd have a chance at his soccer dream and never stopped believing he'd make it. Do you really want to underbid on her baby?

Dixon is a rookie, so he hasn't had the chance to do all that much on the field for the Dynamo yet. But make no mistake, he could be a big part of the franchise's future. After his time in Florida, he spent 10 months at the Dynamo Academy before playing his college soccer for traditional power North Carolina. Don't dismiss this 21-year-old. He's on a mission.

A mission from mom.

  • Tim Hanley
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Tim Hanley
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Tim Hanley
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Tim Hanley
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

The gray hair of Dynamo dating: Hands Hanley promises first-class romance &maybe even a save

CultureMap Video

Let's say you love the Houston Dynamo, want to spend a quiet, cozy evening talking soccer — and perhaps getting close to a soccer figure — but you're not into the 25-and-under crowd. Well, have the Dynamo got a date for you.

Meet Tim Hanley. He's in his fifth decade. He's a soccer lifer. And he's up for auction.

Welcome to Cruz'in for A Cure, a fundraiser and party organized by Dynamo defender Danny Cruz to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) that will be held at Drink Houston Saturday night.

Cruz and the Dynamo set a goal of raising $30,000 for LLS and this night will be a major part of that push. The centerpiece of the campaign? A bachelor auction of 11 Dynamo hotties. Including one older ... er, experienced ... hottie who is definitely different from the pack.

Who should you bid on? Let CultureMap's dating personality quiz be your guide.

Goalie coach Tim Hanley is in his 13th year coaching Major League Soccer, and has been coaching American soccer for more than 20 years. The 51-year-old California native was once a player himself, clocking six seasons here in the United States and in the United Kingdom. A father of two boys, Tim tells us he's nervous about the auction, but we think this charmer's got nothing to fear except the certain onslaught of women he's about to be facing.

He took time to answer all the crucial questions for CultureMap in anticipation of being auctioned off.

Stats:
51-year-old from Palo Alto, Calif.

Zodiac sign:
Aries

Give us your idea of a perfect first date:
"I like to do an awful lot of things, so I'm not sure if there's a perfect one. Maybe try something new."

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to impress a woman?
"There are so many. I've flown some girls out for a date from far, far away — flown them out as a surprise, first class tickets back and forth."

Do you believe in love at first sight?
"I used to know that. I don't know that anymore."

What's your favorite date movie?
"I like Out of Africa. I like Legends of the Fall. Those are just my two favorite movies, so tough!"

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
"I'd be a hawk, because they don't have a lot of predators if you think about it."

If you were playing a game on a date, would you let your date win?
"No way, absolutely not. You don't do that; there's no room. It's just like with your kids — they're gonna beat you eventually."

On what occasion(s) do you dance, and are you any good at it?
"I dance, and I'm OK. I actually just signed up for lessons because I want to learn how they do the dancing here in Texas. They turn around a lot, and we don't do that in California, so I want to learn how to do that."

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
"I like that Monica Bellucci gal."

Give us your best pick-up line:
"You know what, I don't have one. I don't have game; that's my game."

Do you have a nickname? If so, what's the story behind it?
"Some people call me The Dude. Or Hands. It was Hands Hanley when I was playing back in the day; Hanlito for the Latin group."

What's your most annoying habit?
"I pick my ear when I'm anxious. I've been doing it since I was a little kid.

What's your biggest pet peeve?
"I'd like to think that I'm pretty easygoing. I'd like to think there isn't anything that bothers me that much."

What are you looking for in a woman?
"I'm looking for somebody who's looking for somebody like me!"

Sarah's appraisal: $3,950
Humble, funny, open, romantic, wants to try new things — what's not to love?

Caroline's appraisal: $5,000
It must be true what they say about older men. Tim was the most affable and self-assured of any of the Dynamo we met, and while embarrassing yourself for a girl is sweet, flying her cross-country first class is sweeter.

Longtime sportswriter Chris Baldwin's appraisal: 25 cents
I get the idea behind putting Hands in the auction. Throw in the old guy for a change of pace, bring in a touch of humor, a ton of experience ... yadda yadda yadda.

Sorry, but that doesn't change anything. Reality is that Tim Hanley should be paying to date you, not the other way around. Sure, someone will likely fork over a crazy amount for the date with Hanley, but that doesn't mean it will make sense.

Maybe, if you're going to grill him for goaltending tips, up that bid to $2.25. Maybe. For Hanley is a great coach. He's helped the Dynamo transform their goaltending situation from the Pat Onstad era without missing a step. In fact, the Dynamo's starter in goal, Tally Hall, has been the MVP of the team in the early season. And backup Tyler Deric is one of the real feel-good stories on the team, one who is emerging more and more as a more than competent pro.

Hanley deserves tons of credit for helping these two reach their potential. Maybe, even a raise from the Dynamo. But that's it. He needs to fly out women to date him. Think about that for a moment.

Don't delude the old guy. Keep it real. Save yourself.

  • Jordan Graye
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Jordan Graye
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Jordan Graye
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Jordan Graye
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

Cougar bait: Dynamo defender Jordan Graye digs older babes

The Dynamo Dating Game

Are looking for a Houston Dynamo that loves and respects older women? Jordan Graye just may be your soccer hunk.

The 23-year-old Graye is not afraid of dating outside of his age bracket. Want to find out more? Head to Drink Houston on Saturday night for Cruz'in for A Cure, a fundraiser and party organized by Dynamo defender Danny Cruz to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Cruz and the Dynamo set a goal of raising $30,000 for LLS and this night is the major fundraiser in that push. The centerpiece of the campaign? A bachelor auction of 11 Dynamo hotties. Including Graye.

Who should you bid on among the 11? Let CultureMap's dating personality quiz be your guide.

Is it us, or does defender Jordan Graye look a little like a young Barack Obama? The two have a city in common, since Graye is a D.C. native. Graye's athletic ability (on display in his seasons at the University of North Carolina) and his quiet intensity make him a hot prospect to watch.

He took time to answer all the crucial questions for CultureMap in anticipation of being auctioned off for a date.

Stats:
23 years old from Washington, D.C.

Zodiac sign:
Gemini

Give us your idea of a perfect first date:
"I'm pretty basic. Probably do dinner, drop her off, go out with my friends and invite her out."

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to impress a woman?
"Probably write her poetry."

Do you believe in love at first sight?
"No."

What's your favorite date movie?
"I can't really think of anything specific, but definitely a comedy. I like to laugh on a first date."

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
"A dolphin, because they're really fast and I like to go pretty fast."

If you were playing a game (like bowling) on a date, would you let your date win?
"No. I'm really bad at bowling, though, so she'd probably beat me."

On what occasions do you dance, and are you any good at it?
"I won't say I'm good at dancing, but I definitely like to dance when I go out. Get a few drinks in me and I'm good to go."

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
"Probably Halle Berry."

Do you open doors for women?
"I wouldn't go out of my way, but if girls are coming, I definitely would hold the door open."

Give us your best pick-up line:
"I don't think I've ever used a pick-up line. I think that's pretty good."

What's your most annoying habit?
"Probably video games. I wouldn't say I'm a gamer, but I definitely like to do it, even when the girls are around."

What's your biggest pet peeve?
"Oh, I have a lot of those. Definitely when people say 'what' when they heard what I said. That's one of my pet peeves."

Sarah Rufca's appraisal: $2,600
I too would be a dolphin if I was an animal. And that just says it all, doesn't it?

Caroline Gallay's appraisal: $1,000
This young man clearly has some catching up to do from his UNC days. Meeting up after you're already out went out of style back in college, and opening doors is a prerequisite to romance.

Longtime sportswriter Chris Baldwin's appraisal: $600
Graye's been tagged as a soccer up-and-comer from a young age. As a teenager, he attended MLS power D.C. United's academy and played for the US-16 National Team. D.C. United still thought enough of Graye to draft their homegrown talent coming out of North Carolina and Graye played a ton as a rookie.

Since then ... well, it's been more of a struggle. He's already been on three MLS teams in his young career and he has yet to find a clear role with the Dynamo. The question is whether Graye peaked early or still has better days ahead of him. It's something to talk about during dinner. But maybe, you want to debate video games instead.

On a side note, you have to love how many of these young Dynamo still drool over the 44-year-old Halle Berry. Graye deserves some credit for respecting his hot elders. And with this auction sure to draw some "cougars", maybe that's what matters most.

  • Lovel Palmer
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Lovel Palmer
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Lovel Palmer
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

The Dynamo's Jamaican beat: Long Lovel Palmer excels at goals from a distance &sister confidence

The Dynamo Dating Game

Getting up close and personal with your favorite Houston Dynamo player is no impossible task.

Especially if you go to Drink Houston on Saturday for Cruz'in for A Cure, a fundraiser and party organized by Dynamo defender Danny Cruz to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Cruz and the Dynamo set a goal of raising $30,000 for LLS and this night will be a major part of that push. The centerpiece of the campaign? A bachelor auction of 11 Dynamo hotties.

Who should you bid on? Let CultureMap's dating personality quiz be your guide.

Jamaican midfielder Lovel Palmer must have some athletic genes — not only is his sister Olympic sprinter Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Palmer didn't even play soccer until he was a teenager, preferring cricket in his youth. Since transferring from Jamaica, he's shaken up the Dynamo lineup with his strength and speed. He took time to answer all the crucial questions for CultureMap in anticipation of being auctioned off for a date.

Stats:
26 years old from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica

Zodiac sign:
Virgo

Give us your idea of a perfect first date:
"Honestly, I don't know. I never really date a lot, but I'll come up with something."

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to impress a woman?
"My sister is a professional athlete, she runs track for Jamaica, she's an Olympian. So I would go a to a girl and say, 'Hey, my sister Brigitte Foster, she's an Olympian medalist ... basically just try to use my sis."

Do you believe in love at first sight?
"Yes, I do."

What's your favorite date movie?
"I like chick flicks. I'm definitely into them. I like to know what the girls are thinking."

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
"A poodle. Girls love dogs.

If you were playing a game on a date, would you let your date win?
"I would definitely try to win, but it depends."

On what occasions do you dance, and are you any good at it?
"No, I'm not a good dancer, but I would try regardless."

Who is your celebrity crush:
"Angelina Jolie."

Do you open doors for women?
"Yes, I do."

Give us your best pick-up line:
"Seeing you is like Visine for dry eyes."

Do you have a nickname? If so, what's the story behind it?
"Well, my name is Lovel Palmer and my pop's name is Lovel Palmer, so they would call me Junior."

What's your most annoying habit?
"I like my alone time."

What's your biggest pet peeve?
"Keeping the place messy, like if my roommates put the dishes in the sink without washing them."

Sarah's appraisal: $3,700
He may be a shy guy, but his love of chick flicks and Jamaican accent make Palmer a winner.

Caroline's appraisal: $3,500
Love the accent. Love chick flicks. Love poodles. He may come off soft-spoken, but this guy had the guts to walk up to an Olympian (his sister's competitors) and try to score her digits. That's the total package, if you ask me.

Longtime sportswriter Chris Baldwin's appraisal:$4,600
Palmer scores spectacular goals — the type that get shown in endless replays. He often does it from distance and few players in the MLS match his skill on the long ball. Plus, he's part of a Jamaican influx that's changing the way players from his country are thought of in soccer.

How could you not be entertained at dinner with Lovel? You'll get stories that you'll be telling for months.

First instinct makes one lean toward deducting some cash for Palmer using his much-more-famous sister to try and score dates. But if you really think about it, it shows that he's comfortable with who he is and not obsessed with being overshadowed by big sis. Retired NBA star Reggie Miller should be taking notes from this twentysomething.

  • Corey Ashe
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Corey Ashe
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
  • Corey Ashe
    Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

Dynamo Speed Dating: Corey Ashe is fast on the field, not fast to move from thefriend zone

CultureMap Video

Want to speed date? Date a fast Houston Dynamo. That idea's not such a stretch with Corey Ashe on the bachelor block.

It's all part of Cruz'in for A Cure, a fundraiser and party at Drink Houston on Saturday night. The event is driven by Dynamo defender Danny Cruz's personal crusade to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) .

Cruz and the Dynamo set a goal of raising $30,000 for LLS and this night will be a major part of that push. The centerpiece of the campaign? A bachelor auction of 11 Dynamo hotties. Including Ashe.

Who should you bid on? Let CultureMap's dating personality quiz be your guide.

Ashe is one of the Dynamo's young vets, having played four seasons with the team. The 25-year-old wingman is a reliable sub and started the most games of his career in 2010. This season, he's changed things up and become a starter on defense. The compact, 5-foot-5 Virginia Beach native keeps competitors on their toes, to be sure, but what about his dates?

Ashe took time to answer all the crucial questions for CultureMap, knowing that his date time is coming.

Stats:
25-year-old from Virginia Beach, Va.

Zodiac sign:
Pisces

Give us your idea of the perfect first date:
"Going to a nice restaurant, having nice food and getting to know the person."

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to impress a girl?
"I'm kind of the reserved, shy type. I'm not outgoing. I start as the friend and go from there."

What's your favorite date movie?
"The Ugly Truth."

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be and why?"
"A tiger. I've got one on my chest."

If you were playing a game on a date, would you let your date win?
"No chance. I'm too competitive."

On what occasion(s) do you dance, and are you good at it?
"There has to be alcohol involved, to be honest. I'd like to think I'm a good dancer."

Who is your celebrity crush?
"Halle Berry."

What's your biggest pet peeve?
"When I hold the door and people don't say thank you."

Sarah's appraisal: $3,000
There's something sexy about a guy with a tiger tattoo. That and honesty are two very appealing qualities.

Caroline's appraisal: $3,250
Corey and I share a favorite number — 26 — and I have to wonder what else could be written in the stars for us. He might not start every game, but everybody loves a reliable guy who's there when you need him.

Longtime sportswriter Chris Baldwin's appraisal: $3,500
Ashe is all speed with plenty of upside. How can you not love a 5-foot-5 guy who is shutting down some of the MLS' giants? Ashe was a pure scorer at North Carolina, but he's remade himself to get onto the field with the Dynamo and he's one of the most intriguing stories of this season so far.

The Dynamo are turning to the young and coach Dominic Kinnear clearly is gaining more and more confidence in this young veteran. If anyone can tell you stories about the transformation of this Dynamo franchise at dinner, it's Ashe. Plus, he's a left-footed player whose thrived playing on the right side (left-footers often only play on the left side in soccer). Clearly, this a guy who does whatever it takes.

Ashe would make sure you had a good time at dinner. That's what this underdog does ... surprise.

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Iconic Austin blues club brings the show to fans with new indie livestreaming platform

Live on Live

If legendary Austin blues club Antone’s is your vibe, but the drive to Capital City isn't, you’re in luck. Antone’s Nightclub launched a new service for livestreaming its shows in November.

Kicking off with New Orleans-based funk and jam band Dumpstaphunk, for their special “Phunksgiving” show last month with Michael Hale Trio, the full lineup is delineated on the Antone’s website. Specifics were still loose before the launch, allowing the famous blues club to call the shots. The partner agency that created the streaming service, 3rd + Lamar, created the system to give Antone’s as much freedom as possible.

"Partnering with Antone's to build their livestreaming platform and produce each of their shows is an incredible opportunity for 3rd + Lamar," said the agency’s co-founder Nick Schenck in a press release. "The amazing talent that performs at Antone's – and their fans worldwide – deserve best-in-class live production quality, and we're thrilled to play a part in this operation."

Not that Antone’s needed to stand out more in the music industry (the nearly 50-year-old venue has always been one of the best places to see both local and national talent), but this achievement places it among relatively few venues across the country, especially those that operate their system independently.

The intimate Antone's shows are filmed by four Blackmagic 4K cinema cameras on tracks overhead, which ensure that the whole space is easily visible without having camera operators amid the audience.

“We did over 430 individually ticketed shows in 2019 and we felt like we were bursting at the seams,” said Antone’s owner Will Bridges. “Then when livestreams became more prominent during the pandemic we realized, this is our opportunity to take Antone’s outside of our four walls. … [W]e see people in the comment threads all the time saying ‘If I could only be teleported to Antone’s!’ Well now they can.”

The release emphasizes that the system means Antone’s “fully retain[s] ownership of their content, which can then be utilized at their discretion.” It also calls the service “an add-on option for all artists performing at Antone’s,” positioning the service as not just an audience luxury but a performer’s low-cost marketing tool. Suddenly, artists playing at Antone’s are afforded a choice without needing to be invited to record or pay an independent video team, while reaching even more viewers with no extra time spent advertising.

“Our ultimate goal is to make these amazing musical experiences accessible to everyone. Life is busy, but we want to give everyone the opportunity to participate no matter where they are or what they have going on,” said Bridges. “We want to make livestreams from Antone’s totally commonplace. When we announce our upcoming shows, fans have two options: watch it at the club our watch it at home.”

Livestreams are at antonesnightclub.com, and links also appear with each applicable event across the site. Prices are listed on the website, and livestreams start 10-20 minutes before each show.

Alt-rock legends Red Hot Chili Peppers heading to Houston for 2023 North American tour

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most pioneering and enduring acts is headed to Houston to close out a highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25, 2023 as part of a North American trek that kicks off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29.

Houston lands the honor of the closeout city for the North American tour (the band will also play a slew of dates in Europe). Effortlessly hip, celeb-fave modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers, along with the talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale this week at 10 am Friday, December 9 online.

Houston fans who can't get enough can also catch the Chili Peppers when they hit The Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday, May 17 — the only other Texas date.

Aside from The Strokes and Thundercat, supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have been played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with major names such as Notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

Fan-favorite, wood-fired Houston pizzeria quietly opens in the Heights

enough (pizza) to love

A popular Houston pizzeria has opened its second location in the Heights. The Gypsy Poet has begun a quiet soft opening in the former Fegen’s space at 1050 Studewood St.

Since its 2019 debut in Midtown, the Gypsy Poet has earned a devoted following for its wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s personal-sized, 13-inch pizzas exist somewhere on the spectrum between traditional Neapolitan and classic New York — too crispy for the Italians but not quite foldable like an East Coast slice. Options include a classic Margherita and the signature Fancy Backpacker, which is topped with prosciutto, truffle oil, and arugula.

Part of the restaurant’s appeal stems from its friendly service and easy going atmosphere. It regularly hosts informal musical performances and other artistic happenings.

Taken together, Gypsy Poet has earned legions on fans. Yelp users ranked it as Texas’s second best restaurant in 2021. More recently, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy awarded it a high 7.8 rating during a pizza review.

The restaurant opens at a time of transition for pizzerias in the Heights. Dallas-based Neapolitan restaurant Cane Rosso closed last year, and suburban favorite Crust Pizza Co. opened this summer in the former Mellow Mushroom space at N. Shepherd and 20th.

The Heights location of Gypsy Poet will be open Tuesday-Thursday from 5-9 pm; Friday from 12-2 pm and 5-10 pm; Saturday 2-10 pm; and Sunday 2-9 pm.