10 Best Concerts of the Week: Megadeth, Deathray Davies, Chris Stapleton and More

Deathray Davies plays Saturday night at The Kessler Theater with Pleasant Grove.
Deathray Davies plays Saturday night at The Kessler Theater with Pleasant Grove. Weslie Delgado
What a weekend we have planned out for you, dears. With a mix of concerts that range from pure pop to thrash metal to our beloved Willie Nelson, this week's concert calendar has something for absolutely everyone. The local concert weekend kicks off with some major pep as Ronnie Heart and Dezi 5 turn it up at Three Links. Then Helium Queens takes us out of this world with a space opera. Acid Carousel comes home, and Bifocals play their first show ever. This is the perfect weekend to catch a groove and bust a move.
Ronnie Heart
8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $15 at

A painter, photographer, DJ and musician, Ronnie Heart is an artist through and through. Having released a series of singles over the course of the pandemic year, the Fort Worth artist has shown us the future of electro-pop and synth-funk. Known for his proficiency in guitar and vocals, Heart is even better known for his live performances, which are said to get a crowd moving from the drop of the first beat. Dallas native Dezi 5 will be supporting Heart Thursday night at Three Links along with pop-jazz artist HONIN.
Chris J Norwood
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at The Kessler, 1230 W Davis St., $18-$288 at

This Friday, The Kessler Theater will host a dual album release show from Billy Law (of Dallas band Ottoman Turks) and singer-songwriter Chris J Norwood, with opening support from "outlaw folk" artist Garrett Owen. In 2017, Norwood wrote an album about his father's suicide, an event that occurred when he was 4 years old. In the record, set to be released this Friday, Norwood builds upon the topics he visited in his first album, this time with a keen insight into the larger issues at play in society. And while the State Fair Records artist's new album may be called I Am Not Cool, we think audiences will have a different perspective come Friday night.
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 Botham Jean Blvd., $34+ at

A year and a half after the original tour to promote her 2020 release High Road was canceled, pop star Kesha makes a stop at South Side Ballroom in the Cedars with Australian-American singer and songwriter Betty Who. High Road marked a return to the singer’s electro-pop roots and party girl image after the singer’s 2017 release Rainbow, which leaned on a more introspective, country-soul sound. While the move backward divided critics, Kesha’s fans responded with high praise, making it the artist’s fourth album to make it into Billboard’s Top 10.
Helium Queens
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20 and 21, at Artstillery, 723 Fort Worth Ave., $22-$55 at

Winner of the 2019 Dallas Observer Music Award for Best Live Act, Helium Queens is back with an all-new live experience: Helium Queens: A Space Opera. Performing Friday and Saturday night this weekend and next at Artstillery in Oak Cliff, Helium Queens bring an immersive, illuminated spectacle around the story of a matriarchy beset by spirits that only the Helium Queens can stop. Made possible with the Arts Activate grant from the Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, A Space Opera promises to be a truly engaging intergalactic experience for all.
Acid Carousel
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $15 at

Psych-rock throwback Acid Carousel kicked off 2021 with a couple of covers — a true-to-form cover of The Who’s “1921” from Tommy with a scuzzed-out cover of Eddie Cochran's rockabilly classic “Somethin' Else" as a B-side — then followed it up with a full-album collaboration with Fort Worth psych legend Johndavid Bartlett. Now based out of Austin, Acid Carousel returns to its old stomping ground Three Links this weekend as part of a short Texas tour with Austin bedroom prog act Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band and Same Brain.
Chris Stapleton’s All-American Roadshow
6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at Globe Life Field, 734 Stadium Drive, $29+ at

Ever since the release of his breakthrough 2015 album Traveller, Chris Stapleton has been the new leader of doing country music the old way. Stapleton’s fourth album, Starting Over, was met with nearly universal acclaim for its heartfelt songwriting when it was released in November 2020. With a rotating cast of opening acts, The All-American Roadshow’s Dallas date at Globe Life Field will have support from English singer-songwriter Yola, Alabama country artist Jamey Johnson and Texas country music legend Willie Nelson.
6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., $30+ at

One of the “big four” of American thrash metal along with Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer, Megadeth comes to The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory this weekend with an all-star metal lineup including Lamb of God, Trivium and Hatebreed. Never a band to slow down, Megadeth is busy reworking their 16th album The Sick, the Dying... and the Dead! without longtime member David Ellefson after booting the bass player in May. Former bass player Joe LoMenzo, who played on 2007’s United Abominations and 2009’s Endgame will be joining the band on bass for this tour.
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at Andy’s Bar, 122 N. Locust St., $7 at

Bifocals is a relatively new post-pop band composed of members from North Texas indie-rock bands Fun Button and Mr. Breakfast. In February, the band released their first single “Secure the Bag,” a brooding and synth-heavy song that made misery as danceable as an ‘80s film soundtrack. Later that month, the band released a six-song, self-titled EP. The band’s first live show ever will be held this Saturday night at Andy’s Bar on the Denton square with opening support from FIT, Midnight Social Club and MAPLE メープル.
Deathray Davies
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $22 at

At the turn of the century, Deathray Davies was one of the hottest bands in Dallas, releasing five albums in as many years and being profiled in national magazines such as Esquire and People. After releasing a fifth album, The Kick and the Snare, Deathray Davies took a long hiatus as its members went off to pursue life and personal projects. The band came roaring back earlier this year with Time Well Wasted, which earned four out of five stars from American Songwriter magazine. Deathray Davies will receive opening support at The Kessler Saturday night from labelmates Pleasant Grove, who release the new single “Change the Station” Aug. 20 on We Better Know Records.
Surfer Blood
7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $15 at

Last year, Surfer Blood celebrated the 10-year anniversary of debut album Astro Coast, an unexpected indie-rock classic met with high praise from the likes of Pitchfork and The AV Club, which peaked at No.124 on the Billboard 200. Surfer Blood also released a fifth album last year, Carefree Theater, which was inspired by the historic theater in the band’s hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida. Known for their big and catchy guitar sounds, Surfer Blood will see opening support at Club Dada from Los Angeles-based musician Worn-Tin and Philadelphia post-punk act Lovelorn.
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David Fletcher writes about music, arts and culture for the Dallas Observer. You can usually find him at a show in Deep Ellum whether he's writing about it or not. A punk scholar and local music enthusiast, David focuses his attention on the artists screaming in the margins of Dallas' music scene.
Contact: David Fletcher