Rihanna performs March 27, 2016 at the Barclays Center in New York.
Houston’s concert scene brings plenty of action, but we want to make sure you know about the under-the-radar shows as well as the monster acts. PaperCity’s Matthew Ramirez cuts through the noise to find the best things musical events around town. Without further ado, this week’s top picks.
With the official 2016-2017 season of the Houston Grand Opera not set to kick off until October, in the meantime a special world debut of After the Storm will run Friday at the Wortham and Sunday at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston. From the HGO website: “As a massive hurricane hurtles towards the Gulf Coast, a Galvestonian torn about whether to leave her home is haunted by storms past. A story of loss, resilience, and the power of community, After the Storm mines the legacy of the Great Storm of 1900 and Hurricane Ike in 2008 on the region.”
The opera came to life with the aid of historical research and interviews with Galveston and Houston residents impacted by the storms. A special talk-back with members of the cast and creative team will follow each performance.
Hometown boy Evans returns with his first album in six years with an astounding record-release party at the bachelor-pad-turned-venue The Raven Tower. Named Best Male Vocalist, Best Songwriter, two-time Musician of the Year, and Best Roots Rock Band, John Evans (and his band) has been lauded many times over the years at the Houston Press Awards. Back on the wagon after a half-decade hiatus, Evans will take the newly minted stage at 310 North Street.
Venerable, influential new wave band – “Friday I’m in Love,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Just Like Heaven” – take the large arena stage where the Beard plays. The Robert Smith-led group defined the alternative sound of the ’80s and most of the ’90s as well, just as much a musical influence as the goth look and surprisingly danceable tunes. Scottish indie rockers The Twilight Sad open.
Fresh off her excellent new album, Rihanna (in a rescheduled date) hits Toyota Center on her Anti- tour. The pop star took a slight detour with the new record, which is a little darker, more mature, slightly deranged, and even includes a Tame Impala cover. It’s one of the most exciting releases from an already strong year for music. “Work” is easily the best single of the year so far, and should she reach back into her deep catalog – think “We Found Love,” “Diamonds,” “What’s My Name” – it should be a long evening from one of the best singers doing it today. Hometown rapper Travis Scott opens.
Vince Staples released one of the best major-label debut hip-hop albums in years with 2015’s Summertime ’06, a two-disc double-record that explored, with novelistic attention to detail and emotional intimacy, a complicated childhood in Long Beach. Walking the line between a “conscious” rapper and someone with a little more edge, Vince has also made thoughtful, compelling appearances to speak on gang violence on ESPN‘s Highly Questionable and is frequently hilarious when he talks about fashion for GQ.
Absolutely one of the only “must-see” shows on my calendar.