The 30 Best Concerts In Houston Before Halloween

Photo by Marc Brubaker
Katy Perry
Toyota Center, October 10-11

People can hate on pop concerts all they want, but they're probably viewing them all wrong. If they attend expecting a musical experience that rattles their very core, they will likely be disappointed. But approach it as a spectacle, and the experience is and it's almost always enjoyable. (You wouldn't watch Superbad the same way as Citizen Kane, now would you?) Perry is a walking spectacle that churns out pop hit after pop hit, and her stage show is bound to be highly entertaining. SELENA DIERINGER

Also picked By: Brando

Fitzgerald's, October 10

Still relatively fresh off his exit from New Orleans supergroup Down, guitarist/growler Kirk Windstein has once again resurrected his pioneering sludge outfit (and Beavis and Butt-Head favorites) Crowbar to pulverize North America's heaviest metal haunts behind Symmetry in Black. But if Crowbar's agonizingly slow and brutal riffs weren't enough to flatten Fitzgerald's, they're bringing evil death-metal wizards Revocation, Denver thrash-meisters Havok, and more longhaired bruisers besides, providing a little something for metal-heads of all stripes. NATHAN SMITH

Living Colour
Warehouse Live, October 12

Living Colour's October Warehouse Live date will be just weeks from the 25th anniversary of their opening set for The Rolling Stones at the Astrodome. A lot may have changed over that quarter-century, but where Dome is truly a relic that's seen better times. Living Colour is a different story. (Cf. Bob Ruggiero's 2013 review.)

When I saw them in '89, Living Colour was the whale in the room, huge and angry and thrashing violently, but ultimately no match for the vastness of the sea that was the Astrodome. This year, I'll be up close and personal in a room with great acoustics, a beautiful thing when combined with songs that have held up well over time. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

Photo by Bella Howard/Atlantic Records
Charli XCX
Fitzgerald's, October 16

Charli XCX is gaining traction as a solo artist, as seen with her recent performance on the red carpet at the MTV VMAs. Her initial propulsion in popularity came from collaborating with other artists (Icona Pop's "I Love It"; and Iggy Azalea's "Fancy"), but the Brit's debut single, "Boom Clap," is shooting up the charts, and has her on the verge of becoming a big-time pop star. This may be your only chance to see her at a small venue before Britain's next musical import moves on to bigger and better things. JACK GORMAN

Brand New
Bayou Music Center, October 18

Brand New are the Beatles for a generation that grew up in a certain time period, universally beloved and still heard on the car stereos around America every night out, the whole car full of twentysomethings thrilling to their iconic emo hits. This show will be their first time in Houston since 2009, and should be an epic singalong with scores of diehard fans. COREY DIETERMAN

Also Picked By: Alyssa Dupree

Photo by Marco Torres
Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull
Toyota Center, October 19

Security guards hate Enrique Iglesias. In an arena full of hyper-sexual fans, all it takes is the slightest of suggestions to push them over the top... and out of their seats, over the barriers, and onto the stage. Iglesias revels in the chaos he incites at each show, while fans not only enjoy an exciting musical experience, but also a feeling that the Spanish heartthrob is channeling his love and lust directly to them. When combined with the superpowers of Miami's own Pitbull, this show turns into a spectacle usually reserved for New Year's Eve or Mardi Gras. MARCO TORRES

House of Blues, October 21

Last year, the most badass statistical analyst you've ever heard of, Matt Daniels, released something called the Hip-Hop Flow Chart, which ranked several popular rap acts by vocabulary size. I pored over the results like a rap geek and wondered how could Daniels have missed this prolific word-monster. This year, Daniels' version 2.0 of the chart rightfully included Watsky, and counted 5,651 unique words among the first 35,000 he rapped.

That slotted him alongside some of the very best, names like Aesop Rock (still reigning champ), Sage Francis, Immortal Technique and The Roots. Watsky's new album, All You Can Do, which features more smart and empowering raps from the San Franciscan, who always seems genuinely grateful to be able to do what he does. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

Fitzgerald's, October 24

Yeah, their name kind of sucks, but don't let that stop you. This will be the show of the fall. Seriously. I know those are strong words, but they will be understood after Rubblebucket takes the stage at Fitz. They are funky, soulful and groovy, way better than anything you normally listen to. Don't sleep on this show, because you'll regret it. JIM BRICKER

Something Wicked
Sam Houston Race Park, October 25 & 26

Houston's annual Halloween EDM festival is getting bigger and better with every year, and this year expands to an additional day of electronic mayhem. In addition to giving fans their fill of bone-rattling dubstep, dance, remixes, trap, electronica, grimy, bass music, it also provides an extra day of fans in devilishly sexy costumes.

Recently DJ/producer 12th Planet was added to the already-deep lineup headlined by Bassnectar, Dillon Francis, Kaskade and Martin Garrix. Something Wicked is quickly moving up the ranks of EDM festivals, and is definitely one of Houston's most exciting fall events. JACK GORMAN

Shovels & Rope
Fitzgerald's, October 31

You may already know Shovels & Rope as a sort of inverted-Americana White Stripes with a better singing drummer. Maybe you caught the husband/wife folk-rock act on Letterman recently and saw how they made the grizzled host gush over a rousing version of their hit, "Birmingham."

She's Cary Ann Hearst and he's Michael Trent; primarily, she strums and sings and he does lots of other stuff, including drums, keys and vocals. Sometimes, like on last year's NPR Tiny Desk Concert, they switch roles. They're versatile musicians, strong songwriters and best of all, have injected swagger to a genre that can sometimes seem too docile for the masses. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.


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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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