The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Carrie Underwood, Filter, Paramore, etc.
Seemingly shoved off the queen-of-country throne by Taylor Swift's ascendancy, Carrie Underwood may have taken the title right back now that Swift has crossed over completely into the pop realm. No one will ever mistake Underwood for Loretta Lynn, of course, but her Oklahoma twang (and background) is still front and center in her songs, and her vocal chords are the sturdiest of her generation.
Underwood's fourth album, Blown Away, challenged for the top-selling country album of 2012 with a wide variety of material, from min-imovie "Two Black Cadillacs" to double-barreled single-gal's anthem "Cupid's Got a Shotgun." With Hunter Hayes. CHRIS GRAY
Filter hit modern-rock radio hard and heavy with 1995's industrial-tinged single "Hey Man, Nice Shot" from the Cleveland-formed group's debut Short Bus. For lead singer Richard Patrick, the band's 2010 album The Trouble with Angels was a step forward, but had its aural pulse on what got Filter to the big time all those years ago.
"I've felt it was important to really get back to my roots," he told Rocks Off at the time. "When I went on tour a couple years ago, all the fans wanted more of what put me on the map originally. So I made this album for the fans." Filter has now followed Angels with the upcoming The Sun Comes Out Tonight, due in June. CRAIG HLAVATY
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, April 24
Boy, that was quick. Denver Americana-pop trio the Lumineers were in Houston not that long ago, at Fitzgerald's in May 2012, right about the time a maddeningly infectious acoustic song called "Ho Hey" was starting to get noticed. Not even a year later, "Ho Hey" has completely saturated pop culture, and the Lumineers have been everywhere from Saturday Night Live to the Grammys, where they lost the New Artist statuette to fellow Top 40 ingenues fun.
The band's sudden success, short songs and meager output thus far -- one album, last year's Lumineers (Dualtone) -- does beg the question of how they'll fill up a headlining set 60 to 90 minutes deep, but Lumineers' roots actually twist back nearly a decade. They'll think of something. CHRIS GRAY