10 Best Concerts of the Week: Puscifer, GZA, Mothership and More

Dallas is the place to be for music this week with all but two of the concerts on this list taking place in Big D. If you find yourself in Arlington Friday night, however, be sure to check out the free show going on at Levitt Pavilion. And if the north is calling you, Dan’s Silverleaf will host a rare punk show. Dallas will see concerts from one of a wide array of bands, starting with Maynard James Keenan’s genre-defying Puscifer. Deep Ellum will see shows Thursday and Friday night from local stoner metal bands, an indie-pop duo out of Austin and a rapper from one of the most important hip-hop collectives ever. Over the weekend, Dallas will play host to touring act Ty Segall and local legends Mothership and Joshua Ray Walker. Next week, everything stays pretty quiet save for the symphony playing at the Winspear Opera House. There’s something for everybody this week, so get out there and enjoy it.
7 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane, $65+ at stubhub.com

Experimental rock band Puscifer began as an outlet for Tool and A Perfect Circle singer Maynard James Keenan’s creative subconscious, starting as a purely solo project and evolving into a trio made up of multi-instrumentalists Mat Mitchell and Carina Round. Although critics have viewed the band as a quaint addition to the list of bands fronted by Keenan, Puscifer has come into its own as a wholly separate entity. Sonically, the band’s latest effort, 2020’s Existential Reckoning, has more in common with The Postal Service than it does with Tool or A Perfect Circle. Buzzy, pensive and, dare we say, mellow, Existential Reckoning is Puscifer’s worst-selling and most well-realized album — a paradox we think Keenan himself would appreciate. Noise-rap artist Moodie Black will provide the opening support Thursday night.
Wooden Earth
9 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St., $12 at prekindle.com

Stoner metal act Wooden Earth came roaring back to life last spring playing a series of live shows through the summer to build interest for their September release, Sun City EP. In the past, the band had a reputation for not making it to shows they had booked. Wooden Earth had to shed some members, dwindling down to a two-piece in 2019 and staying that way throughout 2020 before announcing their return last year. Now with some new members who are more reliable, Wooden Earth has become a solid band with an amazing live show. Part of what makes Wooden Earth’s live show so intriguing is that its lead singer Griffin Thomas is also the band’s drummer. Drummer/lead singers, while rare, often have the advantage of knowing exactly how and when the vocals should pair with the beat. In the context of a heavy metal band, Thomas’ dual role brings a surprising amount of melodicism to the pounding and screaming. Wooden Earth will be supported by local bands Wizzerd and Maestro Maya.
7 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $15 at prekindle.com

Austin indie-pop duo Hovvdy began its music career releasing its ep EP in 2014. Since then, the duo has released something just about every year. In 2015, Hovvdy released a split with fellow Austin rock band, Loafer. Hovvdy finally released its debut album, Taster, in 2016 followed two years later by the band’s second full-length album, Cranberry. Hovvdy would go on to release another split album, with Lomelda, in which the two acts covered each other’s songs. The band’s most recent album, Ture Love, was released in October last year. Critics praised the album for its warm and crisp production and honest lyrics. Hovvdy will have opening support from LA singer-songwriter Mini Trees.
7 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Trees, 2707 Elm St., $40 at axs.com

One-tenth of the illest hip-hop collective to ever control the mic will make an appearance Friday night at Deep Ellum club Trees. The oldest member of the Wu-Tang Clan and the collective’s spiritual head, GZA was the first member to receive a record deal, releasing his debut album, Words from the Genius, in 1991— a full two years before Wu-Tang Clan would release its iconic Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). In 2010, the rapper who studied hip-hop in every borough of New York City began a new line of inquiry, visiting MIT, Oxford, USC, NYU and Cornell universities to meet with top scientists to seek inspiration and find a connection between hip-hop and the universe. All of these meetings inspired the rapper to launch the educational charity Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. (Bringing Attention to Transforming, Teaching and Learning Science) and laid the intellectual framework for GZA’s yet-to-be-released album Dark Matter.
Ty Segall & Freedom Band
8 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $28 at prekindle.com

It was a little over two months ago that North Texas caught a glimpse of Ty Segall as he played drums for one of his many side projects, Fuzz, at Trees. This Friday, the prolific songwriter returns to North Texas, fronting the Freedom Band. Formed in the process of creating Segall’s ninth studio album, the Freedom Band consists of Thee Oh Sees bassist Mikal Cronin, The Moonhearts drummer Charles Moothart, The Cairo Gang guitarist Emmett Kelly and Bonnie “Prince” Billy pianist Ben Boye. The band also worked together on Segall’s 10th album Freedom’s Goblin. Since then, Segall has done what he always has — he released a whole bunch of music with a whole bunch of bands including two solo records (and one on the way) without the Freedom Band behind him. Sub Pop Records folk-punk artist Shannon Lay opens the show supporting her 2021 release, Geist.
Shaker Hymns
8:30 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Free

Founded in San Marcos in 2016, Shaker Hymns began sharing the stage with national acts after winning three Battle of the Bands competitions. Drawing comparisons to classic Southern rock acts, the five-piece with three guitarists is a welcome band at any honky tonk, dance hall or juke joint. They’ve also been known to slow things down for ballads influenced by Jason Isbell and Ryan Bingham. The band released its first album The Ties That Bind in 2020, which drew heavy inspiration from the sounds coming out of Muscle Shoals in the 1970s. Their single “Yours Truly” is a heartfelt, radio-ready song that is sure to get the crowd slow-dancing. Shaker Hymns are touring Texas with William Clark Green this year and they are making a stop at the Levitt Pavilion in Fort Worth to play a free show Friday night.
7 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Trees, 2707 Elm St., $18 at axs.com

It seems like forever since Dallas actually got to see a show from the Dallas intergalactic metal band Mothership. All that changes Saturday night when Mothership headlines a night of all-star, local talent after sets by heavy metal band Lowside, swamp rockers Bull by the Horn and groove metal band Mile Zero. In the year that has passed since the band took a North Texas stage (which was the first time the band returned to the stage following the lockdowns), Mothership has been keeping busy playing around the country with festival spots at Psycho Las Vegas and Desertfest NYC. Led by brothers Kyle and Kelley Juett, Mothership builds on the legacy of 1970s stadium rock with an increased emphasis on all things big and loud — a thundering bass, wailing guitar, heavy drums and madman vocals. Nothing can quite prepare you for a Mothership concert, but you might want to bring some earplugs if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing.
Joshua Ray Walker
7 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $24 at prekindle.com

For the last several years, folks in the North Texas music community have been saying that the next big thing in country music is Dallas singer-songwriter, Joshua Ray Walker. On Feb. 1, the 1.5 million viewers of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon found out why. Walker has a voice like caramel — buttery rich and smoky-sweet — as familiar to fans of country music as it is refreshing to those who aren’t. Walker’s performance at Three Links’ nine-year anniversary party marks the end of the tour that kicked off at Double Wide the night Walker’s performance was aired on The Tonight Show, which took the singer all around the Midwest and Northeast. Walker will have opening support from Sarah Shook & The Disarmers with special guest Aaron Vance.
Hen & the Cocks
7 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., $10 at prekindle.com

Known for her electrifying and engaging live performances, JoAnn Henkel and the rest of Hen & the Cocks celebrated the release of their album Cult Babies last summer, and the band is ready to get things going harder and louder than ever this Saturday in Fort Worth. Hen & the Cocks defy sub-genre definitions in favor of their own brand of straight-up rock ‘n’ roll built on guitarist Blake Coutee’s buzzsaw licks, Ryan Kerns’ slam dance bass and the driving rhythms of Trent Jones on drums. The Cocks will be sharing the stage Sunday night in Sunday night in Denton with their friends in Madeline as well as touring act, Dial Drive, from Florida.
Ludovico Einaudi
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., $39.50+ at attpac.org

A rare classical music addition to this week’s concert calendar, Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi performs Wednesday night at the Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District. Einaudi has composed the scores for a number of films and television productions, such as the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here, the British miniseries Doctor Zhivago, and the award-winning 1996 Italian film Acquario that won him the prestigious Grolla d’oro Italian film award. His music was also used as the score for the Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning films Nomadland and The Father. In between composing for the big and small screens, Einaudi has released a number of solo albums for piano and other instruments. The composer released an ambitious project consisting of seven records, released every month from March to October in 2019, on which the artist played piano, violin, viola and cello.

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