The Best Concerts in Dallas This Weekend, 8/15 - 8/17
Hey, you're really close to surviving Shark Week. This means you won't have to listen to that weird guy at the office talk about whatever last night's special was, and him swearing all of the footage was real. Your water cooler chat can move to other things, like the awesome shows Dallas has to offer this weekend. And it's just in time, too: with temperatures set to hover around the low 100s, it's the perfect time to, say, spend a couple afternoons hanging out at Gexa Energy Pavilion. Right?
Mike Brooks KXT's Summer Cut returns to Gexa Energy Pavilion tonight. It's a real one-of-a-kind thing.
KXT Summer Cut
With Death Cab for Cutie, Iron & Wine, Hold Steady and more, 4:30 p.m., Friday, August 15, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or gexaenergypavilion.net, $40
As is the case with any radio station-sponsored festival, the chosen bands reflect the station's identity. Even with long-running, annually anticipated fests such as 102.1's alt-ish Edgefest or 97.1 the Eagle's head-banging BFD, it is the still-young Summer Cut from the NPR-fueled KXT 91.7 that might handle the task of curating its own festival most capably. Unlike many other stations in town, KXT's playlist is a tremendously elastic one. Sometimes that's not so great (see: the occasional spin of "Closing Time" by Semisonic ), but the hits far outweigh the misses these days. It's also no small feat to land several headline-worthy acts that represent your station's musical philosophy when it's as varied as KXT's is. The hooky Death Cab for Cutie, the bearded folk of Iron & Wine and the barstool rock of the Hold Steady represent three very different kinds of indie-flavors, making the Summer Cut an audio smorgasbord. Kelly Dearmore
8 p.m., Friday, August 15, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, billybobstexas.com or 817-624-7117, $15-$45
It's kind of inaccurate to call Chris Isaak a crooner. Even though the combination of his voice (a breathy, melancholic baritone that manages to hit Roy Orbison-worthy high notes), and his classic good looks easily qualify him, his music is a good distance from Perry Cuomo, or even Harry Connick Jr. For one thing, Isaak doesn't really dabble in jazz. For another, his music blends blues, surf and rockabilly, which were kind of what killed the popularity of crooners in '50s. Regardless, the dude writes great hooks, delivered with the kind of charm you normally save for meeting your girlfriend's grandmother. And between his clever stage banter and wacky suits (pink sequins, for example) his shows are pretty funny. Steve Steward
8 p.m., Saturday, August 16, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, billybobstexas.com or 817-624-7117, $20-$40
If Ted Nugent wasn't such an ever-present, ultra-right-wing asshole, it might be easier to stomach his harmless, well-played classic rock. Back in his '70s heyday, the Nuge's big riffs and middle school sexism made songs such as "Cat Scratch Fever," "Stranglehold" and "Wango Tango" bearable radio fodder. But now Nugent is better known as a political hack than a music performer. His shows often turn into diatribes concerning immigration and how much he hates the current president. In between the rants, Nugent might still mix in some killer guitar solos. At this point, it's hard to tell which element fans will come to witness. Darryl Smyers