Music of all styles is at the forefront of events in and around Dallas this weekend. Seven of the 12 events are concerts, including performances by reality TV up-and-comers, an actor-turned-singer, several huge stars, and a variety of retro acts. You can also see a film festival, new local theater, a space celebration, an NPR favorite, and a great family movie.
Below are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, July 19
Asian Film Festival of Dallas
The 17th annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas, sponsored by Well Go USA Entertainment, will take place through July 26 at Angelika Film Center in Dallas. The festival boasts its first Kashmiri drama film and returns with a showcase of films directed and produced by women. There will be 66 films screened throughout the week, including six short blocks and 31 feature films.
American Idol Live!
The new ABC version of American Idol wasn't quite the success that the Fox version was, but it had its fair share of fans. This season’s top seven finalists — Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Catie Turner, Gabby Barrett, Jurnee, Maddie Poppe, and Michael J. Woodard — will appear at this concert at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie. They'll be joined by season 8 American Idol winner, Kris Allen.
Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters in concert with Bri Bagwell
If you only know Billy Bob Thornton from his acting career, you're missing half the picture. Sure, the Oscar winner continues to churn out quality work on both the big and small screens, but he's equally passionate about his music career with his band, The Boxmasters. They'll play at Arlington Music Hall in support of their 2017 album, Speck, alongside opening act Bri Bagwell.
Friday, July 20
Niall Horan in concert with Maren Morris
You can't say former One Direction member Niall Horan is suffering after the boy band broke up in 2016. His first solo album, Flicker, went to No. 1 upon its release in 2017, thanks to top 10 songs like "This Town," "Slow Hands," and "Too Much to Ask." Horan will play at Dos Equis Pavilion with support from opening act, Maren Morris, who'll soon be headlining her own concerts.
Sugarland in concert with Frankie Ballard and Lindsay Ell
In the first decade of the 2000s, you couldn't get any bigger on the country music scene than the duo Sugarland. Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles had two albums — Love on the Inside and The Incredible Machine — go to to No. 1 on both the Country and Billboard 200 charts, and they also had five No. 1 hits. They'll play at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie in support of their first new album in eight years, Bigger.
Sam Smith in concert with Cam
It's been four years, and somehow Sam Smith's massive hit "Stay With Me" is still an earworm. Smith has gone on to have several more big songs, including "Too Good at Goodbyes" from his new album, The Thrill of It All, but nothing that has matched that first one. He'll perform at American Airlines Center with support from opening act, Cam.
Imprint Theatreworks presents The Revolutionists
Imprint Theatreworks will continue their inaugural season with The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson. The show is a comedic quartet about four real women who lived boldly during the French Revolution. Playwright Olympe De Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle, and former queen Marie Antoinette collide in this true story ... or is it total fiction? The play will run at Margo Jones Theatre at Magnolia Lounge through August 4.
Saturday, July 21
Frontiers of Flight Museum presents Moon Day
The celebrations are officially on for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. Moon Day at the Frontiers of Flight Museum honors previous space flight accomplishments and focuses on current and future activities in space exploration. This year the STEM-focused event also celebrates the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the Apollo VII mission and includes programs and classes for all ages.
Foreigner in concert with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening
This concert featuring Foreigner, Whitesnake, and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening is appropriately titled the Juke Box Heroes Tour, as the three bands are part of the fabric of British rock. The concert at the Pavilion at the Music Factory in Irving will be an evening of nonstop hits, from Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is" to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" to pretty much anything in the Led Zeppelin catalog.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents #hearhere: Ira Glass
Ira Glass is the creator, producer, and host of This American Life, the iconic weekly public radio program with millions of listeners around the world. Using audio clips, music, and video, he delivers a unique talk, sharing lessons from his life and career in storytelling. During this presentation at Winspear Opera House, Glass will mix stories live onstage and help his audience better follow his creative process.
Sunday, July 22
Alamo Drafthouse presents Pix on the Plaza
Alamo Drafthouse Las Colinas and Toyota Music Factory are opening the Texas Lottery Plaza for Pix on the Plaza, a free summer outdoor screening series taking place every Sunday through August 12. Featuring outdoor screenings of Disney-Pixar favorites on Alamo Drafthouse's giant inflatable screen, starting with Coco on Sunday, there will be pre-show activities themed to each week's movie like bounce houses, music, face painters, games, tasty treats, themed non-alcoholic beverages, and other fun surprises.
Michael McDonald in concert
Michael McDonald finds himself on a relatively short list of singers who've been part of multiple big music projects. He got his start as a backup singer for Steely Dan, then moved on to be integral to the success of the Doobie Brothers. But it wasn't until he went solo that he truly hit the big time. McDonald will perform at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie in support of his first new album in nine years, Wide Open.