James Blake performs Saturday at House of Blues.
Houston’s concert scene brings plenty of action, but we want you to 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 to see around town.
POST MALONE, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 @ HOUSE OF BLUES
The Texas native returns home for an intimate performance for his Bayou City fans on the Hollywood Dreams Tour. Post Malone, who took off in 2015, garnered a large following after the success behind his viral hit “White Iverson.” Since then, the rapper has released singles like “Go Flex” and “Too Young,” keeping the interest of fans and also creating anticipation for more work. He recently collaborated with Justin Bieber and Kanye West to add to his cred.
Malone will be touring behind his recently released mixtape, August 26. – Marisa Richard
RAY LAMONTAGNE, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 @ CYNTHIA WOODS MITCHELL PAVILION
The durable Americana artist is nearly 20 years into his career and shows no signs of slowing down. If you don’t know his name, chances are you’ve heard a Ray LaMontagne song in movies, TV shows, commercials — he’s one of “those guys” who receives virtually no radio play, but every few years sells about 100,000 records, tours big arenas (like Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion), and most likely rakes in a lot of dough.
Who wouldn’t want the respect and money, especially if it meant there were no paparazzi? At press time, this show was still scheduled , but the singer canceled his Thursday night show at the University of Texas in Austin as a protest against the state’s campus carry law. – Matthew Ramirez
JAMES BLAKE, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 @ HOUSE OF BLUES
It all started with a Kelis sample. In 2010, James Blake was at the forefront of what was then known as “post-dubstep,” a movement that took the genre beyond its Burial-indebted roots, but in a decidedly different direction than Skrillex. By chopping Kelis and Aaliyah samples, Blake made overt the acknowledgment that all dance music is fundamentally black music, and created a new lane for electronic artists who spent their careers trying (and most of the time, failing) to recreate what Timbaland was already doing a decade before.
Instead of mimicry, it was to take hip-hop’s sampling and rhythm and interlace it with the hypnotic sounds of slinky electronica. With this spring’s The Colour in Anything, Blake, fresh off collaborating with Beyonce, Kanye, Kendrick Lamar, and Frank Ocean (you may have heard of them) has seemingly abandoned most of his dubstep roots to become something we never would have guessed six years ago behind chopped Kelis vocals: a singer-songwriter. — Matthew Ramirez
ALABAMA SHAKES, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 @ CYNTHIA WOODS MITCHELL PAVILION
Since 2012, the three-time Grammy award-winning Alabama Shakes has built a reputation for delivering the best of rock and blues while lead singer Brittney Howard belts out her notes with an incredibly gorgeous range. The group may be adding another award to its collection after being nominated for best duo/group from the Americana Music Association. Their sound bounces from blues to rock, and even gospel, and shares an energy all its own.
Touring behind their 2015 record Sound & Color, Howard has also recently cut a single with Jack White at his Third Man Records studio. An outside venue with a sultry vibe sets the scene. Corrine Baily Rae opens. — Marisa Richard