Second only to celebrities and sexy parties, the Super Bowl is all about music. It's as though the entire recording industry is decamping for DFW, setting up shop with one astonishing concert after another. Here's a look at five can't-miss shows (all but a couple are easily attended) as well as a few other highlights, broken out by genre. For information on all the Super Bowl goings-on, visit dfw.com/superbowl.
The Flaming Lips and Neon Indian (Thursday at Palladium Ballroom)
A double dose of psychedelic merriment. As recently as last week, head Lip Wayne Coyne was happily tweeting images of Neon Indian's Alan Palomo hard at work in upstate New York as the two acts teamed up to create a song tentatively titled To Understand You and Then Destroy You. Perhaps they'll unveil the new material in Big D?
Prince and Erykah Badu (Friday at InterContinental Hotel)
The buzziest party in a week full of them, this benefit for the Goss-Michael Foundation (helpfully dubbed "theEvent") is a pricey ticket -- admission starts at $1,500 and tops out at $25,000 -- but it is the one everybody's talking about. Badu is slated to play a full set with her 10-member band, presumably the Cannabinoids. Then, the Purple One will take the stage for an intimate, sure-to-be-memorable set.
Wonderland Music Festival (Thursday-Sunday at Capital Bar)
A shindig for the person who can't stomach dropping a car payment or two on a Super Bowl party ticket, this multiday event, organized by Fort Worth's Capital Bar and featuring 10 national and local bands, will lean heavily on area talent, including Telegraph Canyon, the Orbans and Josh Weathers and the True+Endeavors.
XLV Party (Friday-Saturday at
Cotton BowlFair Park Coliseum)
One of the bigger happenings is this two-day, tented throwdown that
will take up nearly all of the Cotton Bowl's playing field (man, that's gonna be frosty). [UPDATE: As DFW.com Ink was going to press, XLV Party organizers announced that the festivities were moving indoors, to Fair Park Coliseum.] Musical acts are, shall we say, varied -- from Duran Duran's Roger Taylor to Passion Pit.
Bridgestone Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show (Sunday at Cowboys Stadium)
And, of course, there's the actual reason for all this chaos: the Super Bowl. The Black Eyed Peas will do the honors this year -- BEP mastermind will.i.am has said he'll be tweeting during the halftime performance -- and whether you like the Peas or loathe them, there's no question that millions will be watching. Plus, anything's gotta be better than the creaky, classic-rock relics that the NFL has trotted out the past few years.
Recently freed rap superstar Lil Wayne, along with homegrown heroes Play-N-Skillz, will headline the Young Money Takeover Part II at Dallas' Club 2009 on Saturday. ... Rising star Nicki Minaj, fresh off of her Jan. 29 turn on Saturday Night Live, will appear at Fort Worth's Avalon on Thursday (there's a possibility that Drake and/or Lil Wayne could show up here, too). ... Diddy's hosting a couple parties while he's in town -- no word on whether he will actually perform -- but he'll be in Fair Park on Saturday and at the Palladium on Sunday. ... Nelly, Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris will anchor "Last Call" at Dallas' Beamers on Sunday.
Pop/rock shows of note
Grammy winner Maroon 5 will play a free show Saturday after DirecTV's Celebrity Beach Bowl in Victory Park, and then will perform during pregame festivities Sunday at Cowboys Stadium. ... Thursday, Kid Rock, along with Duran Duran and Jason Derülo, will kick off the first night of the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam Concert Series at Verizon Theatre. ... The Fray and Lifehouse are the openers, Thursday night, of the Bud Light Hotel in downtown Dallas.
Getting your country on
Country star Blake Shelton is headlining Friday night's invite-only Coors Light Super Bowl party at Billy Bob's Texas (he'll be joined by Uncle Kracker and the Casey Donahew Band). ... Billy Bob's will also be open to the public Saturday, for a show from Clay Walker at the regular 10:30 p.m. time ... Faith Hill will make her debut on CMT's popular Crossroads, with the Pretenders, at Verizon Theatre on Saturday (the show will be broadcast live on CMT, beginning at 9 p.m.)