November 7, 2018

SOUND CHECK

Central Track shares this month’s must-hear events

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 shares his picks for the city’s can’t-miss live shows. Up this month: 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9
Larry gEE at Scout
A veteran of the Dallas music scene, Larry gEE is celebrating the release of his new Love Things EP at this event alongside his fellow hip North Texas poptimists Ronnie Heart, Seysei, JACQ and Devi. In gEE’s new material, the gifted singer takes things in a pleasurable, more modern-R&B-tinged and electro-pop direction than offered up in his previous work, which most recently found him reaching for Motown sounds and, before that, mining indie pop-rock territory.

It’s a sound well-suited to his vocal talents—and, one imagines, to his infectious live performances, which have always helped elevate the hard-working gEE above his just-as-talented peers. A good, uplifting time seems like an easy bet here. Better yet, it’s an affordable one, as this show won’t cost you a dime to see.  Tickets: Free.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10
Power Trip’s 10-Year Anniversary Gig at Canton Hall
There’s a case to be made that the best metal band Dallas has produced in the last 20 years is also the best such act in the whole damn world. The folks at the acclaimed metal-focused Loudwire magazine sure seem to think so, having named Power Trip’s 2017 track “Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Axe)” as its Metal Song Of The Year at its inaugural music awards ceremony in Los Angeles last year.

Power Trip itself would be inclined to agree with such praise: Upon winning that honor from Loudwire, Power Trip frontman Riley Gale used his acceptance speech to shoot a warning shot across the bow of the metal icons in the room who looked on curiously as his band bum-rushed the stage: “Watch out, old-timers,” Gale said. “We’re here.” Fact is, Power Trip’s been here—for a whole decade, even, after playing its first gig at the Deep Ellum venue RBC (then known as the Red Blood Club) in 2008. This Saturday offering is the culmination of a weekend-long celebration of that 10-year run, following a preamble of band-approved acts that will also perform at the nearby Club Dada on Friday. Joining Power Trip at the Canton Hall gig are Ceremony, Cold World, Iron Age, War Hungry, Back To Back and Holy Order. But the headliners are the ones to see, trust us. You’re not likely to see a more visceral display in a concert setting anywhere else, ever. Keep in mind, though: During the venue-sized mosh pit that will ensue as Power Trip performs, you also might catch a flying elbow to the face that’ll result in a black eye. So, y’know, consider yourself warned. Tickets: $36.50.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17
Decks in the Park at Klyde Warren Park
A rainy Halloween’s loss is your gain here, as some of the most talented DJs and producers in Dallas team up for a rescheduled event that’s no longer competing with a litany of costume parties all across the city. Hosted in an idyllic Klyde Warren Park setting—located on a floating green space above a highway that once bisected the city, it’s the closest thing Dallas has to Central Park at this point—these recurring Decks In The Park events have rightly developed a sterling reputation in recent years. Impressively family-friendly and approachable, while at the same time fairly high-minded given the quality of performers, there aren’t many better ways to enjoy music in an outdoor setting in Downtown Dallas than this one. This edition’s internationally acclaimed roster of performers includes Dallas talents Blake SuperVision, DJ Tums, JT Donaldson, Demarkus Grin, DJ ASAP, Milazzo, Love Athletics and more. Tickets: Free.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Vandoliers’ Holiday Hoedown at Three Links 
Legend has it, the very first time the term “alt-country” was uttered, it was used in reference to the revered Dallas band the Old 97’s, whose regional musical progeny appear on this bill. At the center of it all is punked-up country band The Vandoliers, a band that’s following in the footsteps of the 97’s about 20 years after the fact—and pretty directly at that. How so? Well, beyond recently signing to Bloodshot Records, the same Chicago-based label that took a chance on the 97’s once upon a time, this event finds the Vandoliers throwing a holiday-themed event much in the vein of the Old 97’s annual Christmastime bashes—just a few short months ahead of releasing its first album with Bloodshot in early 2019.

Expect this Thanksgiving Eve affair to be a slightly harder-drinking offering, though. And not just because the Vandos ain’t as long in the tooth as those who came before them. Nope, with likeminded close collaborators Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner, The 40 Acre Mule, and Joshua Ray Walker on the bill, it’s hard to imagine anyone up on stage being shy about tossing back a few. And, as anyone who has ever stepped into a honky tonk knows, audiences are usually all too eager to follow any lead that takes them toward the bar. Tickets: $12

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23
The Texas Gentlemen & Friends at the Kessler Theater
Too young to have ever seen The Band do their thing live? Well, here’s the next best thing. Much like the many other great rock ‘n’ roll backing bands before them, Dallas’ own band of mercenaries in The Texas Gentlemen are studio aces whose chops don’t dip even a bit when you throw them up on a stage . If anything, they revel in the challenge and the opportunity. In turn, they’ve become an in-demand outfit both within city limits and beyond, having backed rising Fort Worth-based R&B star Leon Bridges for a spell and performing repeatedly alongside legendary singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson. The Gents’ own displays are no less impressive, as the band combines country, roots rock, soul, folk and gospel influences into an intoxicating stew that’s just as likely to cause your eyes to swell with tears as it is to get you boot-scootin’ across the dancefloor. Still, the Gents know what butters their bread—hence the “and friends” tag on this and every show they headline. You can rest assured that some of their immensely talented friends (known or unknown) will show up on stage with them at some point. Tickets: $20 & up.