Based on the sheer number of events, this is a big weekend in Dallas-Fort Worth. But you'll have a quandary when it comes to your Friday night plans, as there are five — count 'em, five — separate events that are more than worth your time and hard-earned money.
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, August 21
Circle Theatre presents Stella & Lou
The second-to-last production of Circle Theatre's 2014 season is Stella & Lou, a romantic comedy that proves that love is still possible even for those getting on in years. The play, running through September 20 in Fort Worth, features John S. Davies, one of the most seasoned actors in the area and recent subject of our Actor Spotlight, as Lou.
Friday, August 22
Aerosmith in concert with Slash and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators
Depending on your age, the appearance of Aerosmith at American Airlines Center either inspires a reaction of "Awesome!" or "Who?" Although they're undeniably legends, as they celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2013, the band hasn't had a hit since 2001. But their back catalog is more than enough to keep fans entertained, along with the presence of guitarist Slash and his band, Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators.
Panic! at the Disco in concert with Walk the Moon and Youngblood Hawke
Speaking of anniversaries, the pop punk group Panic! at the Disco is celebrating their 10th year as a band. Best known for the 2006 hit "I Write Sins Not Tragedies," they come back to Dallas in support of their 2013 album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! They are joined at South Side Ballroom by Walk the Moon and Youngblood Hawke.
Nickel Creek in concert with Sarah Jarosz
One of the more popular bluegrass bands of the early 2000s, Nickel Creek has been on an extended break the past seven years so that individual band members could pursue other opportunities. But they're finally back together, playing at the Majestic Theatre in support of their new album, A Dotted Line, with Sarah Jarosz as opening act.
Garfunkel and Oates in concert
If you aren't already on the Garfunkel and Oates bandwagon, it's time to make the jump. The comedy duo of Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, who named their band after famous musical second bananas, have been making hilarious folk songs since 2009 and just started their own show on IFC at the beginning of August. They play at House of Blues Dallas.
Upstart Productions presents Year of the Rooster
The AT&T Performing Arts Center is helping a handful of small arts groups get more notice with the Elevator Project, letting the groups stage shows at Wyly Theatre over the next year. The first group is Upstart Productions, putting on Year of the Rooster, about a man who uses a rooster to get back at those who've wronged him. The play runs through September 6.
Saturday, August 23
Sarah Jaffe in concert
Denton native Sarah Jaffe has received more and more attention over the past few years, opening for Norah Jones, recording a song with Eminem and being the first performer ever at Dallas City Performance Hall. She celebrates the release of her third full album, Don't Disconnect, with this show at the Majestic Theatre featuring Josh T. Pearson as opening act.
Colt and the Old 45s in concert
The 1960s provided some of the best music ever made, and with the 2010s being the 50th anniversary of that monumental decade, nostalgia for it is at an all-time high. The 11-piece Colt and the Old 45s, playing at the Wyly Theatre, cover myriad rock songs from the '60s, with a few '50s and '70s tunes thrown in.
Sunday, August 24
One Direction in concert
Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis, aka British boy band One Direction, take over AT&T Stadium in Arlington, their second move up in venues after playing at Gexa Energy Pavilion in 2012 and American Airlines Center in 2013. Their original opening act, 5 Seconds of Summer, will be off playing at the MTV Video Music Awards, so 1D will be joined by Jamie Scott instead.