The last weekend in July is a music lover's paradise, with acts ranging from up-and-comers to superstars, heavy metal to hip hop, and those in their prime to blasts from the past. But if music isn't your thing, there's also a great movie event and the opening of a new version of a popular musical.
Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Sunday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, July 25
The Sword in concert with Castle and American Sharks
It's been an Austin-heavy month at the Granada, with bands from the Texas capital repeatedly making the trip up I-35 to entertain Dallasites. And speaking of heavy, heavy metal band The Sword takes the stage Thursday in support of their fourth full-length album, Apocryphon. The band is joined by fellow metalers Castle and American Sharks.
Alamo Drafthouse presents outdoor screening of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz
Of all the pre-opening events Alamo Drafthouse Richardson has offered so far, this is the one that deserves the most hype. Following a special invite-only screening of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's new film The World's End inside the theater, there is a free outdoor twin bill of their first two films. Pegg, Wright and co-star Nick Frost will be on hand. Best to get there early if you want a spot.
Friday, July 26
Sublime with Rome in concert with Pennywise and HB Surround Sound
Sublime with Rome is not the Sublime that the band's fans know and love. Former lead singer Bradley Nowell died in 1996, and only one surviving band member remains to accompany new lead singer Rome Ramirez, a superfan who helped bring the band back in 2009. The duo plays at the newly renamed South Side Ballroom.
WaterTower Theatre presents Xanadu
Xanadu was considered over-the-top when it came out as a movie in 1980, so one can only imagine what kind of spectacles have been dreamed up for the stage version. WaterTower Theatre is the latest to take on that challenge, presenting the Olivia Newton-John musical in all its gaudy glory. It plays at Addison Conference Centre through August 18.
Saturday, July 27
Brad Paisley in concert with Chris Young, Lee Brice and The Henningsens
For established country stars like Brad Paisley, even a little controversy can be good for business. Paisley found that out after he released the tone-deaf single "Accidental Racist," which had collaborator LL Cool J rapping about slavery in what was imagined as a "lighthearted" song. But his 2013 summer tour, which stops at Gexa Energy Pavilion, is as popular as ever, and you can bet fans will sing along to every word.
Smokey Robinson in concert
Motown is hot again, thanks to founder Berry Gordy bringing the iconic music of the '60s and '70s back in the form of Motown the Musical. One of Motown's biggest stars, Smokey Robinson, comes to the Music Hall at Fair Park to revisit those days, singing songs from his 1972 album A Quiet Storm, along with many other favorites.
American Idol Live! Tour 2013
Viewers fled from the once-venerable American Idol in droves this year, thanks to a mostly new and uninteresting judging panel and contestants that failed to inspire overall. But that doesn't mean the show was completely devoid of talent, especially in its two finalists, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison. Judge for yourself as they show off their skills at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Living Colour in concert with Dove Hunter
The band Living Colour has released five albums in its history, but they're still best known for the debut one, Vivid, which featured the hit single "Cult of Personality." The band celebrates the album's 25th anniversary by playing it in its entirety, along with various other songs, at The Kessler. Local band Dove Hunter warms up the crowd.
Sunday, July 28
Wiz Khalifa in concert with A$AP Rocky, B.o.B, Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$ & Pro Era, Berner and Chevy Woods
If the hip hop world can agree on anything, it's that dollar signs are a really cool way to jazz up your name. Three different rappers in the Under the Influence of Music Tour, which makes a stop at Gexa Energy Pavilion, utilize a $ in their name. The festival-like event is headlined by Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky and B.o.B.
Adam Ant in concert with Prima Donna
You'd think an Adam Ant sighting in Dallas would be a rarity, but the singer enjoyed his 2012 visit to the Granada Theater so much that he's making a return visit. Whereas last year's show was a preview for Ant's then-unreleased new album, fans have been able to enjoy Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter for months now.