The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Depeche Mode, ZZ Ward, Robert Ellis, etc.
Now that some of the well-deserved publicity surrounding DJ Sun's first-ever full-length release, One Hundred, has subsided a little, his true accomplishment on the disc seems even more impressive. In the span of 70 minutes, he pours his 20-plus-year career as one of Houston's most in-demand DJs into a seamless work that never lulls, never lags and maintains an unshakably mellow groove throughout. It effectively allowed him to recapture the Houston Press Music Award for Best DJ, an honor he's taken numerous times before.
But then, One Hundred's intricately laid-back latticework should come as no surprise to anyone lucky enough to have met the man. Among his multitude of weekly gigs, Sun's long-running Monday residency at the Flat is probably the most chill environment to glimpse this true turntable craftsman at work. CHRIS GRAY
Mumford & Sons
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 17
Sold out, y'all. Way sold out. Sorry. CHRIS GRAY
Martin Gore, David Gahan and Andrew Fletcher's elastic partnership has become one of the most durable bonds in all of post-punk pop music. Originally from Basildon, England (a working-class outer-ring London suburb), the group gradually perfected a blend of synth-pop smarts and rock swagger that made them one of the world's biggest alternative bands by 1990's mainstream breakthrough Violator.
After setbacks like Alan Wilder's 1995 departure and Gahan's near-death the next year, Depeche Mode stabilized and initiated its now-familiar cycle of album/massive world tour with 2001's Exciter. Released earlier this year, 13th studio album Delta Machine is a relatively low-key affair, whose highlights ("Angel," "Broken") will make excellent mortar for concert pillars like "Never Let Me Down Again" and "Personal Jesus." With Crystal Castles. CHRIS GRAY
An aspiring pop star a sight rootsier than she has to be, 27-year-old ZZ Ward is an obvious musical descendent of the late Amy Winehouse, with maybe a little Adele or KT Tunstall sprinkled in. As the story goes, growing up the Pennsylvania native freely indulged in both her dad's blues collection and her brother's hip-hop stash, besides joining her dad's band for a few years starting at age 12.
All that led her to a savvy, confident sound that has made Ward a recent VH1 darling hip enough to have Kendrick Lamar guest on her debut LP, last year's Til the Casket Drops. With the Wild Feathers and James Bay. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.