In case you somehow haven’t heard, this weekend brings the Final Four to Houston. Perhaps the most exciting playoff atmosphere in all the sporting world (it all starts with 68 teams in single-game elimination match-ups, progresses through weeks of “March Madness” and concludes with the Final Four) finishes at NRG Stadium. This year Villanova, Syracuse, North Carolina, and Oklahoma (which includes insane shooter Buddy Hield, who was just named the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year) will square off.
Aside from bringing basketball fans, college sports enthusiasts, and journalists from all over America to Houston, it also brings star-studded concerts that rival anything happening on the court.
Instead of our usual weekend roundup of our favorite concerts around town, we’re going to bring you the coolest music-related Final Four events going on this weekend, starting with the incredible free festival taking place at Discovery Green.
FRIDAY, APRIL 1
The AT&T March Madness Block Party kicked off Friday night at Discovery Green. The best thing going for it? It’s totally free. Traffic and parking can be a nightmare, but on Saturday — the best day of the block party — it may be worth it.
SATURDAY, APRIL 2
The highlight of the three-day Block Party (on Saturday it’s titled the Coca-Cola Music Festival for some reason) boasts a headlining performance from Kendrick Lamar, fresh off his life-changing performance this past December at Day For Night Festival. Also scheduled to perform Saturday are Conrad Sewell, Jason Derulo (author of the indelible earworm “Want to Want Me,” and back in Houston less than a month after a performance at the Rodeo), and rock group Twenty One Pilots. 12 – 9 pm. Free.
If something more low-key and local is your bag, head over to the Free Press Houston offices (1505 Westheimer) and enjoy day-drinking and a solid lineup of local artists, including one of my personal faves, The Lories. (Also scheduled to perform: Biz, the Younger Lovers, and the Brontez Purneel Dance Company.)
For non-sports fans, this weekend is an excuse to go out and people watch, and being posted up at Westheimer is one of the best places to do this. Tickets are $10, but include drinks, and a portion of the proceeds goes to a very worthy cause, the local Girls Rock Camp. 3 – 8 pm.
SUNDAY, APRIL 3
The Capital One JamFest (also part of the Final Four fun) Sunday features headliner Maroon 5, supported by Mr. Worldwide himself, Pitbull (not a month removed from the Rodeo as well), pop-rapper Flo Rida, and breakthrough soul artist Aloe Blacc (whose “The Man” was inescapable just a few years ago). 3 to10 pm at Discovery Green. Free.
Equally exciting (though unfortunately not as free) is what’s billed as the “Let’s Dance: The Tour” show coming to House of Blues Houston. Headlined by Silento (whose “Watch Me” was undoubtedly the song of summer), the show also features ILoveMemphis (“Hit the Quan“), DLOW (“DLOW Shuffle“), We Are Toonz (inventors of the nae nae), 99 Percent, Team NeuEra, DJ Double J, and Dance 411.
The show of course skews heavily toward teenagers and adolescents, and fittingly, it kicks off at 4 pm. Viral dances are the lifeblood of fun DJ sets and memes, and I’m sure this show will be particularly memorable.