By Chuck Cox
If you are a regular here on “The Front Row,” you might have noticed that it’s been a little bit of a slow time for concert-going for me of late. It’s no coincidence. My full-time job is sports editor of People Newspapers, so I’ve been gearing up for the upcoming high school football season by working on our annual special section.
I spend most of my time concentrating on that during the last half of August. However, there are a slew of shows heading our way I’m super excited about. I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to tell you guys about five of them.
1. Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sept. 5-6, The Kessler — Adamson alum Ray Wylie Hubbard returns to his Oak Cliff roots with two very special shows. Hubbard will be recording a live album over the course of the two nights. If you’ve never seen Ray live, you’re missing out. You’d be hard pressed to find a more engaging performer or a better story-teller. His lyrics always amaze me because they can be so clever. Any show at the Kessler is worth attending, but to be a part of a live album is truly something special.
2. Mumford and Sons, Sept. 18, Gexa Energy Pavilion — This one has been a long time coming. The show was originally slated for June, but the band had to postpone after bassist Ted Dwane had to undergo emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Scary stuff. Thankfully, Dwane is OK. A couple of my friends saw the band play in Austin right before the Dallas show was postponed, and they told me it was nothing short of amazing. Based on what I saw on Mumford’s live DVD recorded at Red Rocks, I’m expecting a phenomenal night of music. And this is a band I’ve been dying to see.
3. Depeche Mode, Sept. 20, Gexa Energy Pavilion — As a child of the 80s, I can’t emphasize enough how big this one is for me. Even though Depeche Mode has toured extensively throughout the years, I somehow never caught the band. That will finally change in less than a month. I can’t wait. There are so many songs I’m looking forward to finally getting to hear played live. Heck, I’m even dragging my wife out of the house for this one. She’s usually good for about a show a year, so this one should be really fun. And, hopefully, we’ll be out of the triple-digit heat by then. Either way, I know this show is going to be awesome.
4. John Fogerty, Oct. 18, Verizon Theatre — It’s not every day I get to cross a legend off the list of people I’ve seen play live, but I will get to on Oct. 18. Hearing Fogerty perform Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes live will be absolutely amazing. In my opinion, CCR has produced some of the best music ever. Songs like “Bad Moon Rising,” “Lodi,” “Down on the Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” are timeless treasures. In addition, Fogerty has some very solid solo stuff, too. You can’t really love baseball without loving his song “Centerfield.”
5. Index Festival 2, Oct. 18-19, Deep Ellum — Two days. Sixty bands. Seven stages. Yes, please. The second installment of the Index Festival will have live music fans drooling. And the lineup is pretty salty. With acts like Andrew Bird, Girl Talk, Sarah Jaffe, and Jason Isbell, I plan to spend a huge part of my weekend in Deep Ellum, although I will have to work around the Fogerty show. I’m hoping to catch the four aforementioned acts most. I’m really hoping to see Isbell. For my money, his Southeastern album is the best effort of 2013, so far.