In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
A rotating roster of seasoned comedic pros and up-and-comers has graced the stages at Hyena's Comedy Nightclub's three locations. These featured jokesters typically perform weekend sets, leaving the space free for aspiring comics during weekly open-mic nights. The venue has also partnered with cyber-comedians for a defensive-driving course. Since not much in the rules-of-the-road canon is intentionally funny, Hyena's helps keep Texas drivers safely and legally behind the wheel with digital, state-approved, all-original tutorials written by comedians.
Bedford Blues & BBQ, a two-day festival held on the grounds adjacent to Bedford’s City Hall, enthralls attendees with performances from blues masters, barbecue-style edibles from local grill gurus, and purchasable crafts from artisans. Headlining act Buddy Guy, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee whose electric-blues playing style influenced guitar legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, entrances audiences with soulful guitar riffs and a spinning hypnosis wheel. Grammy-winning musician Jonny Lang also takes the stage, proving to skeptics that the child prodigy, with age, has matured in lyric-writing and beard-growing abilities. While vendor fare sates the appetites of concertgoers, a barbecue cookoff competition held on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (admission not included with Groupon) challenges local meat smokers to concoct culinary masterpieces, impressing ticketholders with small samples of brisket, burnt ends, and other grill-marked cuisine.
Ska-punk royalty Sublime with Rome, hip-hop icons Cypress Hill, and reggae-rock party animals Pepper pool their crowd-pleasing talents to devise a surefire prescription for the summertime blues. Carrying on the legacy of legendary singer Bradley Nowell, dead-ringer Rome Ramirez leads Sublime with Rome through energetic numbers from its newest record, Yours Truly, as well as rock-radio mainstays, such as “Santeria” and “What I Got,” which still dominate airwaves with a contagiously laid-back attitude. Multiplatinum hip-hop group Cypress Hill continues to meld worldly genres and salute organic gardening in hits such as “How I Could Just Kill a Man” and “Insane in the Brain.” Heading up the summer fun pack, the Hawaii and California hybrid of Pepper stomps and grinds with goodtime odes to love and pogo sticks, as heard in their song “Give It Up.” With general-admission tickets, fans can bring blankets or rent chairs to snag space in the festival seating area or graze and daze upon the lawn as upbeat tunes accentuate the sunshine.
A quarter-century after its 1987 rebirth, the Grapevine Opry brings the honky-tonk atmosphere to North Texas with weekly performances by touring performers. On Saturday nights, Rocky Gribble, the venue’s master of ceremonies, introduces country performers, big bands, bluegrass musicians, and ‘50’s-style rockers, and on the fourth Friday of the month, gospel singers descend upon the art deco theater to praise from the stage. Past performers have included the likes of Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes, and Miranda Lambert, but one of the biggest thrills at the Opry is seeing the country stars of tomorrow before they hit it big and start hiring robots to perform for them.