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Preston’s picks: John Mayer in Dallas, plus Fitz and the Tantrums

Posted 10:25am on Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013

Fitz and the Tantrums at the House of Blues

Having won over fans and critics with a smart updating of soul and R&B on its 2010 debut, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, the Los Angeles sextet tried something radical for its second full-length album: It went New Wave. More Than Just a Dream, released in May, still packs plenty of zing, but the vibe is far more modern, thanks to Fitz and the Tantrums’ collaboration with producer Tony Hoffer. Whether sonically rooted in the past or present, Fitz and the Tantrums is one of pop music’s most invigorating live acts, inspiring all but the most reluctant to cut loose and dance with abandon. With Saints of Valory and Ivy Levan.

8:30 p.m. Friday. House of Blues, Dallas. $22.50-$30.

John Mayer at Gexa Energy Pavilion

After last year’s Born & Raised, and emerging triumphant from a battle with a granuloma that threatened to rob him of his singing voice, Mayer has hit the road for his first tour in three years. Mayer being Mayer, he’s being accompanied by tabloid tongue-wagging (Has he reunited with ex-girlfriend Katy Perry?) and online blowback from his most recent single, Paper Doll, from the forthcoming LP Paradise Valley. Doll’s sweet (gorgeous guitar riffs) and sour (lyrics allegedly aimed at another former, high-profile paramour, Taylor Swift) tendencies may make headlines, but the real takeaway is that music fans are fortunate to have the underrated Mayer back in action. With Phillip Phillips.

7:30 p.m. Saturday. Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas. $36-$75.

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