Final Four: The Killers Were Hot, But the Weather Was Cold

Mike Brooks

Maybe I hang out with extreme cynics or maybe my friends don't appreciate free, outdoor concerts like I do, or heck, I probably just don't have enough friends, but convincing someone to tag along with me to the Final Four series of concerts at Reunion Plaza proved tricky.

Everyone told me it would be a hot, sweaty mess, the weather would be too miserable, or you know, children.

All of that was so untrue.

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The Bradford 4: A Rare Gift for Dallas

Jonathan Patrick

Something special happened in Dallas last night.

For a brief flash, our city was the center of free jazz--jazz's most uninhibited form. A quartet named The Bradford 4 performed at an intimate project space (Beefhaus) put on by local artist collective Art Beef. The Bradford 4 is fronted by legendary trumpeter/cornetist/composer Bobby Bradford, a man that can name Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Eric Dolphy and Charlie Haden as former co-workers. The other three members aren't exactly lightweights either - Frode Gjerstad (saxophone/clarinet), Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (bass), and Frank Rosaly (drums) - having individually and collectively had a hand in some of the most exciting music in contemporary jazz.

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The Rules of Scott Stapp

Categories: Show Reviews

Alice Laussade
Scott Stapp sweats. All the white ladies swoon.

"Why on earth would you want a ticket to see the guy from Creed?" Gavin Cleaver asked me, after I asked if there were still tickets available for the Scott Stapp show at House of Blues. As it turns out, he wouldn't be the last one to ask that question. Even my plus one only agreed to come because she thought Scott Stapp was a comedian. I wasn't sure why everyone was hating on Scott Stapp so much. Dude's hair is amazing. And he makes all kinds of one-syllable words into two-syllable words.

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Angel Olsen's Missed Connection Victory Lap Comes to Dallas

Categories: Show Reviews

Mike Brooks

On Monday night at Three Links, Angel Olsen began her set with two rolicking numbers, "Forgiven/Forgotten" and "Hi-Five," the second and third tracks on her outstanding new record, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Olsen's opening choices were auspicious because the songs let her show off her solid four-piece band, her dexterous voice and her serrated songwriting.

Singing and playing rhythm guitar, Olsen was supported by Stewart Bronaugh on lead guitar, Josh Jaeger on drums, and Emily Elhaj on bass. Together the mates created music that harkened to Spector's wall of sound and Sun Records' shuffling, strutting rhythm patterns. On "Hi-Five" Olsen rumbled from a Roy Orbison warble to an Emmylou Harris near-yodel in a single line, while Elhaj and Jaeger kept the rhythm solidly on Memphis time.

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Vanilla Ice, TMNT and Other '90s Phenomena in Dallas: A Pretty Epic Party, Actually

Categories: Show Reviews

Ed Steele
The last time Vanilla Ice played a show in DFW at Grover's Bar and Grill in Frisco, an interesting, pop culture conversation popped up among my fellow concertgoers in the men's room. We tried to recall one of the songs in Ice's repertoire that wasn't "Ice, Ice Baby."

The pause that followed was interrupted by the chant of "Go ninja, go ninja, go," the familiar refrain the Famers Branch native performed in his cameo for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. We immediately laughed.

It was a little funny to Ice at the time, too. After getting Grover's crowd to chant a few bars of "Ninja Rap," he egged the crowd of suburbanites by shouting "I can't believe y'all remember that shit."

Well, not even a cold reading psychic could have predicted that a massive, expensive party would be thrown in honor of that strange pop culture chant. What's even more amazing is that such a cheesy, cornball performance would be able to create such a rolling wave of joyous energy, even if you're not a fan of the music or that weird moment from your childhood.

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The Best Show of My Life Was at Lights All Night, Right When I'd Lost Hope

Categories: Show Reviews

Ed Steele
Lights All Night: Capable of curveballs.
Two days, 12 hours in, and I feel like a stuck balloon. No energy drink can pull me from the oppressive blankness that clouds my mind. I lie in a broken, noodle-like mass on the floor outside of the main stage, searching for restful escape in an iPhones' application folder. This is the consequence of Lights All Night, or perhaps more accurately, an EDM overdose. I'm toxic: My blood pumps with all the sexless, whitewashed bacteria of a music that forgot imagination. Techno and IDM never happened, and the furthest historical reference point is Daft Punk's Discovery -- in here that might as well be 2,000 years ago. Put this event down as another dot on the timeline for how dance music became toothless, another point for Radio Disney to be filled with Rebecca Black's "Friday" and all your favorite One Direction bangers.

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Jay Z Proves to Be One of Pop Music's Most Gracious Performers at Minimal Dallas Show

Categories: Show Reviews

Timothy Norris for LA Weekly: Slideshow

Even before the stage lights came on at American Airlines Center on Saturday night, the stage set-up was noticeably sparse, with minimalist scaffolding that looked downright reserved compared to other arena acts such as Kanye West's elaborate, Las Vegas-style Yeezus mountain.

The audience immediately stood as Shawn Corey Carter walked out onto the stage for the Dallas stop on the Magna Carter World Tour. There wasn't an opening act for Carter, who for 20 years has performed under the stage name Jay Z. Instead, before the show, the crowd bounced along as a DJ played tracks ranging from N.W.A.'s Boyz-n-the-Hood" to Migos' "Versace."

When Carter finally took the stage for his nearly two-hour set, he was dressed in all black from his sneakers to a black leather Brooklyn Nets ball cap. Well, all black except for a few thick gold chains around his neck and the white cross on the back of his T-shirt.

Earlier this month, the 44-year-old rapper's latest full-length effort was nominated for nine Grammy Awards - more than anyone else this year. And starting with "F.U.T.W." (Fuck Up the world) and all the way through his set to "Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit," it was clear in Dallas that Jay Z still has "it."

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James Murphy at It'll Do, 11/30: Review

Categories: Show Reviews

Ruvan Wijesooriya

After a few days too full with family, hot stuffing, dry meat, sugary cranberries, and sticky pecan pie, folks rolled out to It'll Do dance club thirsty for a calorie-burning, head-clearing workout. James Murphy, late of LCD Soundsystem, was on the scene to lead us through the cleanse.

DJ Redeye, It'll Do's resident DJ, spun an excellent opening set of speaker-mincing house music. Around midnight, just before giving up the turntable and mixers, Redeye played Roland Clark's "I Get Deep," a legendary joint about dance floor rituals and savior-like DJs. Clark chants: "Raising both hands in the air as if Jesus was the DJ himself spinning those funky, funky, house beats . . . Sanctified like an old lady in church: we get happy, we stomp our feet, we clap our hands, we shout, we crowd, we dance and say, 'Sweet Lord, speak to me, speak to me, speak to me'. . ."

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Juicy J at Trees on Friday, November 29

Categories: Show Reviews


On Friday night, Juicy J got the sold-out crowd at Trees as 'turnt up' as you'd expect fans of the invigorated former Three 6 Mafia MC to be. The venue was packed at 8 p.m., despite Juicy J not even performing until 12:30. Security was tight, but that didn't prevent a few scuffles from breaking out. Still, the crowd still showed love for most of the night.

With his dreads bouncing, Boome put on an especially impressive performance. His set consisted mostly of songs from his newest album, Space Jamz 2, and lasted about forty minutes. Wearing jeans and a "Mess with Texas" tank top (which he soon threw into the crowd), Boome played his own hits, like "Jimy Hendrix" and "Ride My Bike to the Moon," as well as "Juicy." During his set, he popped open a few bottles of champagne and splashed it on the crowd and threw dollar bills into the crowd.

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Julieta Venegas, Mexico's Queen of Pop, Stunned the House of Blues Last Night

Categories: Show Reviews

Winston Rivas

During Julieta Venegas' 20-year artistic career, the Tijuana-via-Long Beach songstress has been described as both "mainstream" and "alternative," but both are been misguided ways to describe Venegas.

After finding cult-like support with her first two releases, Buenviento and Aqui, both of which forever shook the Mexican pop/rock landscape, Venegas started recording Top 40-smashing pop albums that were considered her selling-out moment. (Because succeeding is such an awful thing, right?) Regardless of her past classifications, there is one title she now holds, undisputed: Julieta Venegas is Mexico's Queen of Pop.

Presenting her new critically acclaimed album Los Momentos, Julieta returned to Dallas' House Of Blues Wednesday night to a diverse crowd of art-punk latinos, post-cholos and enthusiastic Mexican mothers who were ready to see the Tijuanaese open a new chapter in her already stellar career.

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