The 10 Best Houston Concerts of the Summer

How awesome was that cool front that blew through this past Saturday? Finally, your average Houston afternoon has gone from being a blast furnace to mildly toasty, while the mornings and evenings have become sublime. Hey, we'll take it. This must be what they call "fall," so it seemed like the perfect time to run down Rocks Off's ten favorite shows of this past summer -- now that it is finally past... we hope.

BBoys JB Sep11.jpg
Photo by Jim Bricker
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys
Beach Boys
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, June 8

"The second set was near-biblical, in rock terms at least, with previously-dormant godhead Brian Wilson attacking the band's monolithic Pet Sounds material with gusto. It was as if he sat around during that first set bored, waiting to show off his legend for that second half. From my vantage I could detect boredom and some understimulation in him when the show started, but that changed after intermission and he got to dig into his calling cards." CRAIG HLAVATY

Read the full review

McGraw BS Sep11.jpg
Photo by Barry Sigman
Tim McGraw
Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw
Reliant Stadium, August 4

"Saturday night's show, long on alpha-male flexing and not entirely lacking either introspection or actual country music, traded spectacle for scale. With hooks and choruses this size, no explosions or fancy video-screen wizardry was necessary. Instead, Chesney rode one of those NFL-style overhead cameras from the satellite stage in the middle of the stadium to the main platform, and McGraw signed a few autographs (a hat, a cardboard fan) between verses. Ka-ching." CHRIS GRAY Read the full review

Toyota Center, June 25

"At heart, we suspect Martin and company know it would be hard to hold a modern crowd's attention through portions of their catalog, so they charge out of the gate and grab you by the throat from the outset. Oh, does your favorite band drench the crowd in confetti during the closing number? Coldplay does it the second song, bitches (and then again two songs later). Does your favorite band sell glow sticks to wave at random intervals? Coldplay gives away free bracelets that light up by remote control! PETE VONDER HAAR

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Location Info


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX

Category: Music

NRG Stadium

1 NRG Park, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Toyota Center

1510 Polk, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Bayou Music Center

520 Texas Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Music


2706 White Oak, Houston, TX

Category: Music

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Walters Downtown

1120 Naylor, Houston, TX

Category: Music

NRG Center

8400 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: General

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Even though I don't go hear as many shows as I would like to, happy to say I saw Coldplay and Kashmere Stage Band...

Travis Leatherwood
Travis Leatherwood

El-P, Killer Mike, Mr. Exquire, and Despot was pretty awesome even though there wasnt a big crowd

Herbert Martin Durlam
Herbert Martin Durlam

Let me help you out Chris Gray. Nothing at The House Of Blues was a best concert of the Summer, nothing involving an acoustic guitar was a best concert of the Summer, and any Female Demand show was one of the ten best Houston concerts of the Summer.

Houston Press Rocks Off
Houston Press Rocks Off

"You may be thinking, "Hey... Isn't something important missing here? Something big?" You are correct. Judging by the overwhelming response to Rocks Off's coverage of Free Press Summer Fest 2012, we decided to disqualify it from this particular blog. We're guessing that most if not all of our writers would have chosen it anyway. Summer Fest was so big this year that we gave it a category all its own, and we welcome you to revisit those scorching, sweltering days in early June at Eleanor Tinsley Park right over here. Enjoy the fall, Houston. You've absolutely earned it."

Cory Garcia
Cory Garcia

Someone didn't read the entire article. Sigh...

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