Festival

Fire on the Strings Bluegrass Festival 

As long as the fire is kept on the strings and off the bluegrass—this is drought season, after all—a good time should be had by all at this annual folk music festival. Featuring Blue Moon Rising, Bluegrass Solutions, the Brazos River Pickers, and, with the best name out of a highly competitive field, The Grascals. See our story here

Aug 16–17. Fri from 1–midnight. Sat from 9am–midnight. $20–40; kids 12 & under free. South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City. 281-488-2244. fireonthestrings.com

Reading

Short Story Live

Before there was Suzanne Collins, there was Shirley Jackson, whose famous 1948 short story “The Lottery”—in which a village conducts an annual drawing to choose a sacrificial victim—may have inspired theHunger Games books. As part of its ongoing short story series, Brazos Bookstore hosts a reading of two of Jackson’s chilling tales. And on the day of the event, the store is holding a lottery of its own—draw the black stone, and your purchase is free.  

Aug 16 at 7. Free. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet St. 713-523-0701. brazosbookstore.com

Pop

Bruno Mars

Could Bruno Mars be Barack Obama’s long-lost son? Like the president, Mars (né Peter Gene Hernandez) was born into a multi-ethnic Hawaiian family and is charismatic enough to sell out stadiums. Then again, unlike the president, Mars only seems to be getting more popular, with songs like “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man” enjoying long-term occupancy on the Top 40 charts.

Aug 15 at 7:30. Sold out at press time. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St. 713-758-7200. houstontoyotacenter.com

Lil Wayne w/ T.I. and 2 Chainz

It’s been almost three years since Lil Wayne and T.I. got out of jail (they were convicted separately on weapons charges), and both seem to be enjoying their freedom. For their summer tour they’ve invited along a fellow Southerner, Georgia rapper 2 Chainz, who comments on his own legal troubles on the recent Pharrell-produced single “Feds Watching.” 

Aug 18 at 7. $29.75–150.75. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands. 281-363-3300. woodlandscenter.org

Country

Keith Urban

As if being a country superstar, serving as a judge on American Idol, and being married to fellow Australian Nicole Kidman weren’t enough exposure, Urban is on the first outdoor summer tour of his career, rolling into The Woodlands this month accompanied by Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch. 

Aug 16 at 7. $25–54.75. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands. 281-363-3300. woodlandscenter.org

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