The 30 Best Concerts In Houston Before Halloween

Photo by Christian Faustus/High Voltage PR
Walters, September 6

Given the recent excitement of the Unicorns' first shows in a decade, opening some recent Arcade Fire dates, the good news that their Canadian indie successors Islands are headed back to town for the first time in a while should make a few townies happy. The show should be a burner, too. JIM BRICKER

Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ Show
Fitzgerald's, September 11

If you find yourself wishing that the rock and roll show you're attending would erupt into a bit more orgiastic mayhem, then circle this Black Lips date right now. The Atlanta garage-punks have a true talent for whipping crowds into a frenzy without resorting to hyperspeed tempos or unintelligible screaming, and their unpredictable antics will be helpfully fortified by their tour mates in the King Khan & BBQ Show. King Khan, with his scanty Pacific Islander getup, turned quite a few uninitiated heads and ears at this past FPSF, and his garage-rock intensity figures only to ramp up inside Fitz's air-conditioning. NATHAN SMITH

Delta Spirit
Fitzgerald's, September 12

Above any show on this music-crowded weekend, you'd be a fool to miss the Delta Spirit. They've become something of legend around these parts, dating back to their famed Walter's performance with Dr. Dog on the eve of Hurricane Ike. With a bunch of Cactus in-stores under their belt, and shows at pretty much every venue in Houston, they've always been kind to us. JIM BRICKER

¡Pachanga! Tour feat. Los Rakas and Bomba Estereo
Warehouse Live, September 12

Equally competent remixing Wiz Khaifa's "We Dem Boyz" as with a reggaeton love jam, Panamanian cousins Raka Dun and Raka Rich are as cool and colorful as their adopted city of Oakland, Calif. This year's major-label debut, El Negrito Dun Dun y Ricardo, is a triumph of Latino Pride and adventurous movimiento.

Their live show is full of positivity, dance circles, and seemingly unlimited energy. This concert is the third stop of the ¡Pachanga! Tour featuring co-headliners Bomba Estereo, the Colombian alternative electro-tropical quartet, and Houston's own Bombón DJ Collective joining the Houston and San Antonio dates. MARCO TORRES

Panda Bear
Fitzgerald's, September 13

I've been wanting to see a Panda Bear set for many years. In my humble opinion, his solo releases are as strong or stronger than any and all Animal Collective efforts to date. Hipsters be trippin', so I might get some flack for that, but I stick to it. JIM BRICKER

Warner Bros.
Lily Allen
September 13, House of Blues

Lily Allen took her blunt, tongue-in-cheek music-industry criticisms to a whole new level with her latest Kanye West-inspired album, Sheezus. No stranger to self-induced controversy, the UK pop veteran stirred up lots of angry blog posts in the past few months after releasing the "racist and hypocritical" music videos for album tracks "Hard Out Here" and "Sheezus."

This time it seems like Allen is really immersing herself in her parody art with new brightly colored hair, skimpy performance outfits, and more. This being her first U.S. tour in five years, surely the clever singer will continue to not give a rat's behind when she brings Sheezus to H-Town. IVAN GUZMAN

Also Picked By: Jesse Sendejas Jr., Matthew Keever

DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist
House of Blues, September 20

Hardcore hip-hop history buffs practically creamed their Pumas when it was announced earlier this year that select pieces from the 40,000-record vinyl collection of genre pioneer Afrika Bambaataa would be making their way across the country this fall. Rather than display these records behind glass, however, mixmasters DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are putting them to work, curating a traveling performance illustrating the spark of a musical revolution. The HOB show promises to include six turntables, two mixers, a drum machine and plenty of vintage gear from the late '70s and early '80s. Get ready to dust off that Kangol and step inside a body-rocking time machine. NATHAN SMITH

Coheed and Cambria
House of Blues, September 17

In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is a mouthful, and the name of C&C's second album, which they're playing all the way through on their fall tour. Call it what you want - smart business, nostalgic cashgrab, giving the fans what the want - but as long as they can pull it off, it's going to send the fans home happy.

IKSSE3 is peak Coheed, a mix of solid pop hooks and anthemic epics, all while telling the story of... well... I think there are robots and superpowers and space truckers. It's a weird story, so maybe dust off the comic books and read them so you can follow along. CORY GARCIA

Nails, Twitching Tongues, Code Orange
Walters, September 19

Holy hell, what a lineup this is for hardcore fans. Twitching Tongues and Code Orange are two of the most exciting bands in the hardcore scene today; in particular, the band formerly known as Code Orange Kids shocked the hell out of me a few SXSWs ago with a stunning live show reminiscent of bands like Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan. But as a massive bonus, Nails will be headlining for the Texas dates of this tour only, bringing the heaviness like only they can. COREY DIETERMAN

Porter Robinson
Stereo Live, September 21

Porter Robinson was primed to be the great wunderkind of EDM, so the fact that his new album Worlds has been labeled post-EDM is at least a little funny. Post-EDM is a terrible descriptor for a great album that at times sounds like M83, Chvrches, Daft Punk and/or Skrillex, depending on the track. Basically, everyone else making electronic music is trying to make bangers and Robinson is on a different level trying to build art. It'll be interesting to see if the audience follows him on his journey. CORY GARCIA

More shows on the next page.

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Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

Coheed and Cambria! And Nothing More tonight! Anberlin is also playing their final tour. They're playing HoB on October 25.

Sami Marie
Sami Marie

30 Seconds to Mars & Linkin Park next Friday!! :D

Nue Wayv
Nue Wayv

Insane Clown Posse, We Came As Romans, GWAR. Theory of a Deadman, The Gaslight Anthem/Against Me!, Buckcherry, The Pretty Reckless, Fitz and the Tantrums, Children of Bodom, Authority Zero and lots more.

Jeannie LeBlanc Moss
Jeannie LeBlanc Moss

So far on my calendar... Beck, Macy Gray, Iggy Azelea (with the teenager), Mike Watt and we have to choose between J. Roddy Walston & the Business and The Melvin's (both playing 10/30)!!


That new Crowbar has some pretty crushin' riffs.  Sad to see Kirk out of Down, but my lord...

Nina Marie
Nina Marie

So bummed about Sam Smith being sold out :-/

Scott Fuchs
Scott Fuchs

American Aquarium tomorrow night Firehouse Saloon.

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts

Rodrigo y Gabriela (October 15 at Bayou Music Center) is missing from this list. They're in the running for the the best concert I've ever attended (along with Sigur Rós and Zoë Keating). They're virtuoso guitar players who, unlike others of their ilk, actually create music that is great to listen to in addition to being impressive.

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