Demi Lovato, via Facebook.

The Week’s Best Concerts: Demi Lovato, Hospitality, Snarky Puppy, Violent Squid

Monday, February 17th

Demi Lovato (Verizon Theater): This should be something of a homecoming for for Lovato, who has extensive roots in Dallas, but Colleyville specifically. As a singer and actor, she was involved very early on in the locally produced Barney & Friends, which yielded a number of future stars, including Lovato’s peer, Selena Gomez, as well as former One Life To Live actor (and Plano resident), Melissa Archer.

But the Dallas suburbs probably feels like a world away, career-wise, as Lovato has been afforded one opportunity after another, including a recent run as a judge on the American version of The X Factor. She may have also played a role in the spread of the locally-tied chillwave genre to the mainstream, but that’s another story altogether. Lately, her music has been much more aggressively dance pop when compared to some of her contemporaries.

Tuesday, February 18th

Hospitality/Air Waves/American Werewolf Academy (City Tavern): Brooklyn band Hospitality just released their second album late last month, which is simply titled, Trouble, and the critical reaction so far suggests that the group is expanding beyond the simplicity of its earlier material. But of course, critics always say that about sophomore records. The mournfulness in the tone of a track like “Rockets and Jets” suggests that Hospitality do possess some of the truth that Trouble is advertising. But no matter the sophistication of the music, Hospitality always has a starkness to its sound, and a lot of it still comes off like a demo. Which is perfectly fine; many an expansive career arc has had such meek beginnings.

Sleepy Sun/Smoke and Feathers (Three Links): Sleepy Sun manipulates the more listenable elements of psych music to their advantage, and they’re sometimes compared to the more popular bands working the genre, such as Austin’s Black Angels. That being said, they have a little way to go until they’re closing out the credits on hit cable series. But the group has credibility to burn, including releasing music on ATP Recordings, which is one of the more reputable independent labels still in the game.

Snarky Puppy/Branda Magda/The Groovebumps (The Prophet Ballroom): You may have heard that Denton’s Snarky Puppy won a Grammy last month, a rare feat for any local act. Though they have been a regular act on the scene in the past, their newly announced shows feel like something of an award tour. They’ll play twice in Denton this week as well, but this is their lone Dallas appearance.

Friday, February 21

Violent Squid/Nervous Curtains/Dome Dwellers (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): The always experimental hybrid of rock, jazz, and assorted bits of international sounds, Violent Squid is now more of a regional act, since its founding member, Ty Stamp, is now in Austin.  But they still have many collaborators and sympathizers in North Texas. The group just released a full-length, Day Wants Empty, and they should have copies available at the show.