Nashville’s Emily Nenni brings her Wynette-ian classic country sound to Tulips in July. Courtesy

While it may be difficult to rank the heat factors of a sweltering Texas summer, the steam sauna at some hoity-toity day spa, and the humid thickness of a crowd of sweaty concertgoers pressing all around you, we would argue only the last of these offers any measurable ROI. Texas is unbearable in July. A sauna is a giant waste of money because if we want to sweat our unmentionables off, all we need do is walk outside anytime between mid-May and mid-October. Yet for music fans, live shows can release a dump of dopamine larger than a lifetime of likes on the socials.

Though the number of venues in town is certainly slimming, those spots still in the game are running full steam, and their calendars are full of reasons to get off your couch and sweat with your peers all up in your personal space, receiving that electrifying dopamine burst like Thanos gaining the last Infinity Stone. Some say live music is dying. Well, it ain’t dead yet. Here are just some examples to prove it’s not.


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If you ever find yourself pining for the days when The Shins and the Postal Service vied for the top spots in the soundtrack of your life, then the Pedro the Lion show on Sat, Jul 13, at Tulips FTW (112 St. Louis Av, Fort Worth, 817-367-9798) is for you. The seminal indie rock band likely occupied a slot among the burned compilations in the CD wallet sliding across the dashboard of your ’99 Accord in 2005. Tickets are $27.50-75.

Another huge Tulips FTW show is Sat, Jul 20. That’s when the Near Southside venue will fill up with Dallas legends the Polyphonic Spree and their robed-hippie choral pop. Tickets are $30.

Few more summer Tulips FTW shows to sell you on. On Wed, Jun 12, The Grae will do their stone-y shred thing along with garage-punks LABELS, The Gravehounds, and Intake Drywall, and on Fri, Jul 19, it’s the classic-country twang of Emily Nenni. On Sat, Aug 3, Henry the Archer headlines a bill that also includes DFW soul-rockers Royal Sons and the fempowered Gluestick, and all are invited to come worship at the altar of L.A.’s La Santa Cecilia as they deliver their heartrending baladas románticas and other Latin-tinged musics on Mon, Aug 12.

Straight outta L.A., La Santa Cecilia’s Latin-flared tuneage will heat up Tulips FTW in August.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons


A few blocks away in the neighborhood on the same night as the Henry/Royal Sons/Gluestick throwdown (Sat, Aug 3), The Cicada (1002 S Main St, does not intend to be outdone. One of the best bands North Texas bar none, the pop-rocking Son of Stan will be joined by the groovy One-Eyed Monster and Psychic Love Child. A few days earlier, on Mon, Jul 29, the powerful Sarah Shook & The Disarmers will take the Cicada stage at 8pm.


Singer-songwriter Keegan McInroe celebrates the release of his seventh studio album, Dusty Passports and Empty Beds, with a show at the beautiful Rose Chapel at Southside Preservation Hall (1519 Lipscomb St, Fort Worth, 817-926-2800). The rootsy troubadour intends to perform all nine songs in order 8pm Fri, May 31. Tickets are $15.

Rootsy singer-songwriter Keegan McInroe will celebrate the release of his seventh studio album later this month at Southside Preservation Hall.
Brooks Burris


Riot grrrls and allies, Denton will be the place to be on Sat, Jun 22, when Andy’s Bar (122 N Locust St, Denton, 940-301-3535) puts on Riot Girls Fest. MZ Bossy, Ex-Regrets, Rosae, Side Chicks, and DJ Lady Ja-Roq will perform. Tickets are $10, and proceeds benefit the nonprofits Finn’s Place and DoGoodDenton.


Dickies Arena (1911 Montgomery St, Fort Worth, 817-402-9000) looks to keep running up the score in mid-level occupancy concert revenue with a summer schedule of absolute juggernaut national artists. The next few months feature dates with Justin Timberlake, Blink-182, Cage the Elephant, Chris Brown, Missy Elliott, and (!) Janet Jackson. Phew! Cowtown is officially in the big leagues as a national tour destination. However, it’s an international artist who’s grabbed our attention. Peso Pluma makes his Dickies debut on Sun, Jul 28. Why should you care? In only about a year’s time, the charismatic singer has rocketed to the top of the charts with his novel blend of pop and traditional Mexican music. Tickets for his canceled Jun 30 show are valid for this one.


Known for craft beer, scrumptious pizza, and, of course, live music, Fort Brewery & Pizza (2737 Tillar St, Fort Worth, 817-923-8000) will host full-band performances by old-school country stylists Summer Dean and Jeremy Pinnell on Sun, Jun 2. The brewery will offer its full menu to go with its dog-friendly, all-ages atmosphere.

Speaking of brewskies, Rahr & Sons Brewing (701 Galveston Av, Fort Worth, 817-810-9266) will host the hip-hop hijinks of J/O/E on Fri, May 31, with DJ Lazy Tapez providing the dance tracks. Entry is free.


If you like it even heavier, then you gotta drop by the Haltom Theater (5601 E Belknap St, Haltom City, 682-250-5678), where hot rockin’ is de rigueur. One major summer throwdown is part of the Retrace My Steps Tour with Saints Can Lie, Third & Delaware, Donella Drive, and Terminated on Sat, Jun 15. The following week, on Wed, Jun 24, Big Story, Set//Adrift, and Mother of the Bride will hit the Haltom stage.


In a seemingly unusual genre flip, the legendary Stockyards dance hall Billy Bob’s Texas (2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117) welcomes “The People’s Champ,” H-town/Get-down rapper Paul Wall, who will no doubt send question marks floating above countless cowboy hats in the crowd on Thu, Jun 20.


In other summertime news, summer is hot but new records are cool. Read about a few new releases in our Putting It on Wax article here.