The Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Blake Shelton, Tegan & Sara, etc.
After more than a decade of climbing country music's ranks to become one of its most successful and charismatic male vocalists, Blake Shelton found himself taking a little heat not long ago when comments he made about certain "old farts" clinging to country's past bit him where the good Lord split him. It was a little surprising to hear him talk that way, considering that Shelton flies the honky-tonk traditionalist flag higher than just about any big Nashville star these days, and because the kind of self-effacing wit that plays so well to the coasts on his The Voice judging gig was notably absent.
But the whole thing has already blown over (mostly), in no small part because it's hard to stay mad at a guy whose new single, "Sure Be Cool If You Did," derives its title from a catchphrase in stoner-cult movie Dazed & Confused. The song's parent album, the forthcoming Based On a True Story, will be Shelton's ninth overall. CHRIS GRAY
Fitzgerald's, March 15
Local Natives followed up 2009's vastly popular Gorilla Manor with this past January's Hummingbird, furthering the L.A. act's rep as the West Coast version of Vampire Weekend. All jangle, drama and pie-eyed wonder, the Natives's songs are definitely made for swooning to in the quad.
Within two album cycles, the indie-pop touring juggernauts have gone from packing Mango's to the gills to selling out House of Blues in 2010 and now Fitzgerald's. CRAIG HLAVATY
Calgary-raised identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin have come a long way from folkish early albums such as 2000's This Business of Art. If it's been a while since you thought about the Canadian duo -- like maybe since the White Stripes covered "Walking With a Ghost" on 2005's Get Behind Me Satan -- you might want to give them another listen.
They've never lost their keen melodic instincts, true, but have now developed into full-on dance-pop dynamos after last year's Heartthrob, which shares both a glossy aerobic-workout aesthetic and an actual producer, Dave Kurstin, with Ke$ha. CHRIS GRAY