SURE, TAYLOR SWIFT is scheduled to land in Space City this Friday, but we got something else exciting going down musically the night before. Sponsored by the University of Houston, Downtown, the UHD Thursday Night Concerts series gets rolling on April 20 on the Anheuser-Busch Stage at Discovery Green. Positioned to face the green’s Fondren Performance Space, and with the Downtown skyline as its backdrop, the state-of-the-art concert venue features a top-notch audio and lighting system designed with the city’s diverse performing arts community in mind. This year’s series includes some incredible Houston-based talent, as well as acts from San Antonino, Austin and New Orleans.
Kicking things off this Thursday is Grammy-nominated New Orleans-based ensemble Tank and the Bangas with special guests, Houston’s own roots reggae, lovers rock, and Jamaican dancehall ambassadors Sunami Force. Founded by bassist Susie Hernandez, Sunami Force describes their mission as “to bring positive energy and promotion of higher consciousness through sweet reggae music.” Sounds like the perfect opening act for Tank and the Bangas, who blew up after winning the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk contest. Their feel-good music is a joyful amalgamation of New Orleans funk, hip-hop, nu-jazz and neo-soul.
Other upcoming, must-see Thursday night acts include Texas soul singer Micah Edwards, who will open for the always-resplendent Kam Edwards on May 11. We’ve kept our eye on Edwards ever since he dropped his now heavily streamed single “Girl from the Valley” back in 2021. We anticipate he’ll perform plenty of songs from his latest album Jean Leon, which is all that and a bag of chips. Meanwhile, Franklin, best known as the lead singer for The Suffers, one of Houston’s most popular musical exports, continues to stretch out into unexpected sonic directions, while never forgetting her gospel, folk, and classic soul roots.
Micah Edwards (photo by Philip Emerson)
UHD Concert Series (photo by Morris Malakoff)