September’s top five live music moments, according to Central Track
There’s nothing better than having friends in the know—and when it comes to the Dallas music scene, you can’t find anyone more plugged in than our friends at Central Track. Every month, its editor and founder Pete Freedman will be sharing his picks for the city’s can’t-miss live shows. This month: a rocker bad boy, and all-day bash at Longhorn Ballroom, and up-and-coming hip hop talent.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals at Trees
The problematic former Pantera frontman is a known malcontent who hasn’t done himself any favors in recent years after having been forced to apologize for onstage antics that many perceived as racist. Fact is, the dude—whose longstanding behavior is often blamed for the break-up of one of Dallas’ most influential acts ever, regardless of genre—is disliked at this point by pretty much all except for his most ardent supporters. So why are we including his return to town with his latest half-hearted attempt at recapturing his old glory in this rundown of upcoming shows? Because with ex-bandmates “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and Vinnie Paul Abbott now both rocking out in that big mosh pit in the sky, Anselmo is, for better or worse, now unquestionably the most famous living Pantera member (apologies to Rex Brown). And with Vinnie Paul’s June 22 death still fresh, the always outspoken Anselmo is bound to say something about his old bandmates between songs as he revisits the Trees stage. For everyone involved’s sake, let’s hope he decides to play nice. Either way, this seems destined to be the kind of show you’ll read about in some capacity after the weekend. Tickets: $26 and up.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
97.9-FM Dub Show at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
The trick at this hip-hop radio station’s massive annual convention center-hosted celebration of hip-hop (and the sick rides the genre can so beautifully sometimes blare from) is to ignore the acts at the top of the bill. Yes, they’re noteworthy—Jeezy is a legend and the inclusion of up-and-comers Blac Youngsta, Blocboy JB, and Lil Baby is bound to get the Soundcloud set excited—but the real story here in the mostly local undercard.
While the Dub Show always offers one of the best year-to-year showcases of Dallas’ latest and greatest rap talents, this year’s crop is especially impressive—and rather indicative of why so many industry types are eyeing the city these days and signing Dallas rappers to major label deals. Show up early to witness the self-proclaimed local legend Bobby Sessions spew the political heat that recently got him signed to the iconic Def Jam brand. Stick around to watch the L.A. Reid-approved Yella Beezy get the whole damn building singing along to his smash street-level hit “That’s On Me.” If you don’t get chills in that moment, check your pulse. Tickets: $25 and up.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
Dark Rooms, New Fumes at Dada
Dark Rooms was forced to relinquish its title as The Sexiest Band in Dallas when its members moved to Los Angeles a few years back, and it’s tough to say who has usurped that distinction in their stead. Ishi? Luna Luna? Someone else entirely? Perhaps we should just be thankful that Dark Rooms brings its violin- and synth-based, electronic-tinged R&B to town often enough to keep us from having to pick a successor. Plus, while swooning to frontman Daniel Hart’s alluring falsetto, all else—including asinine local music bar fodder—falls to the wayside. Let’s all just consider ourselves lucky that Hart and his old bandmates are still releasing music through this project, even as Hollywood continues tapping him to write the scores for big-budget films (Disney’s live-action Pete’s Dragonremake), indie cinema darlings (A Ghost Story), and acclaimed TV series (Showtime’s SMILF) alike. Tickets: $10.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
Gritznic at Longhorn Ballroom
Inspired by the annual Roots Picnic that their pals in The Roots throw each year in their own hometown of Philadelphia, Dallas’ The Gritz—led by Erykah Badu musical director R.C. Williams and a number of her other backing players—are calling on a number of their famous friends and collaborators to join them on the bill at the first go of their own, self-thrown hometown bash. Hosted at the recently re-opened (and legendary) Longhorn Ballroom, this day-long affair is packed with such renowned performers as R&B singer Eric Roberson, jazz singer Chantae Cann and neo-soul songwriter Geno Young. Also appearing? On-the-rise Dallas acts such as The Texas Gentlemen, Kirk Thurmond & The Millenials and Cure for Paranoia. Tickets: $50 and up.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
The Roomsounds at Three Links
At what point does a rock show evolve into a scene? If anyone can answer that question, it’s the Dallas rock band The Roomsounds, whose bar-rockin’ Deep Ellum showcases have long been among the city’s most consistent draws. And rightly so: There’s a reason why these guys come up on your playlists if you plug “Tom Petty” into Pandora, and it ain’t just because of their hatred for short haircuts. (It’s the hooky songwriting, stupid.) Tickets: $10 and up.