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This week, North Texas sees the return of the first major act to cancel in response to the pandemic. The Hella Mega tour with Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Green Day will arrive in Arlington on Saturday after a Friday packed with live and local shows around Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton. We’ve got plenty of rap, rock, country and punk to go around this weekend as well as a Latin fusion act making Plano the place to be for National Tequila Day on Saturday. There are also a couple of free shows in here for those looking to get into local music on a budget and a benefit festival for those looking to make the most of their night out. Whatever you want, we got it.
Eli Young Band
6 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Arlington Backyard, 1650 E. Randol Mill Road, $22.50-$50 at axs.com
What started as two friends from the University of North Texas — Mike Eli and James Young — getting together to play songs in Denton around the turn of the new century has become one of the top country music acts in the nation. Known for their roots-rock guitar playing and deeply meaningful lyrics, the Eli Young Band has released four albums that all ranked highly on Billboard’s Top Country Album charts. The band returns to North Texas for a Friday night show at the Arlington Backyard on the band’s seemingly never-ending tour schedule.
KXT Presents Joseph M, Matthew McNeal and Yeah Huh
7 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., $10-$45 at prekindle.com
Featuring members of Oil Boom, The Orbans and Leon Bridges, Fort Worth duo Yeah Huh will play alongside local favorites Matthew McNeal and Joseph M of Midlake for this KXT presentation at Tulips Friday night. Bringing the same crisp, clean guitars and wry lyrics that made Oil Boom a standout band for so many years, Ryan Taylor and Kenny Wayne Hollingsworth bring a sound and performance larger than one would think a two-man band is capable of.
Hen and the Cocks
8 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10 at seetickets.us
Known for her electrifying and engaging live performances, JoAnn Henkel and the rest of Hen and the Cocks celebrate their release of new album Cult Babies Friday night at Three Links with support from indie-rock band Phantomelo and punk bands Bullet Machine and Sloth Fist. This exciting mix of bands is the perfect support for Hen and the Cocks as they defy sub-genre definitions in favor of their own brand of straight-up rock ‘n’ roll.
KUZU Revolution IV
8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, at Andy’s Bar, Rubber Gloves and Dan’s Silverleaf, Denton, $25 at kuzu.fm
This three-night event put on by Denton’s 92.9 KUZU FM is a great way to get caught up on the latest and greatest in local talent and support three local nonprofit organizations that help the Denton music community thrive. Each night takes place at a different venue around Denton Square. The Friday show at Andy’s with Dezi 5 and Helium Queens supports Denton’s Friends with Benefits, Saturday’s benefit for KUZU features Psychic Killers and Felt & Fur and Sunday’s show at Dan’s Silverleaf with Nicole Marxen supports the Denton Music and Art Collaborative.
The Prof.Fuzz 63
9 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Growl Records, 509 E. Abram St., $10 at the door
The Prof.Fuzz 63 is a punk rock family band with some serious ‘60s garage-psych vibes. Led by an associate professor of Chinese history from the University of Texas at Dallas, the band has been known to call on audience members during live shows to participate in their song “Owls” — the title track from the band’s 2020 album. The Friday night show at Growl Records in Arlington will be supported by free jazz band Most Efficient Women and Gothabilly band The Koffyns.
9 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St., $10 at prekindle.com
Back when the Dallas rock band Deathray Davies was on a break, frontman John Dufilho began indie-garage rock project CLIFFFS. The band’s second album Panic Attack came out last year right on the cusp of the lockdowns, barely giving the band much of a chance to promote the release. A solid album that finds order in the midst of sonic chaos, Panic Attack is about finding one’s place in a world that feels disordered. CLIFFFS’ Friday night show at Double Wide will also feature cowpunk band Ottoman Turks.
The Hella Mega Tour
5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at Globe Life Field, 734 Stadium Drive, $29.50+ at ticketmaster.com
At long last, The Hella Mega Tour is actually happening. With a lineup boasting the biggest names in alt-rock radio from the ’90s and ’00s, this is the kind of concert that summers were made for. After an opening set by ska-punk band The Interrupters, the night will offer performances by Fallout Boy, who turned emo into radio-friendly pop rock in the ‘00s; Weezer, who essentially did the same thing back in the mid-’90s; and Green Day, who did the same for punk. There are still plenty of tickets left for the Saturday night concert at Globe Life Field, so there’s no excuse to miss this lineup.
R.A. the Rugged Man
8 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at RBC Deep Ellum, 2617 Commerce St., $20-$50 at tixr.com
Kicking off his music career at age 12, R.A. the Rugged Man has been an underground cult figure in the hip-hop scene for decades. The New York rapper earned respect for his lyrical skills from The Notorious B.I.G. himself in the early ’90s and was at one point ready to release an album on Jive Records before Capitol Records absorbed his contract. At that time, the rapper decided that he would rather record independently. Fans interested in hearing more from the man himself can upgrade their tickets for the Rugged Man’s Saturday night show at RBC Deep Ellum for a meet-and-greet.
8 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., $10-$300 at eventbrite.com
For the last 15 years, Havana NRG! has lit up stages from Dallas to Los Angeles and from New York City to Miami with high-energy Latin music that can go all night long. The group is proud to be elevating music derived from its cultural roots, taking it to new levels of performance; Havana NRG! constantly strives for new and innovative ways to make Latin music more accessible to wider audiences. Its music is known to go well with a margarita or several, so what better time to catch the band’s show than National Tequila Day on Saturday at Legacy Hall in Plano?
9 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., free
Electro-pop band Paper Saints will play a free show in Fort Worth Wednesday night for the monthly Obituary event at Tulips. This gathering of Goths, punks and other folks who choose black as their color, will include DJ sets by Leah Lane of Rosegarden Funeral Party and DJ Culturegang (Cameron Brand of Dallas darkwave band SEVIT). The event is free, and honestly, what better reason could there be to go out on a Wednesday night?
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