Editor's Picks: The Best in Local Live Music Right Now

It's a great time to be a music fan in Dallas-Fort Worth

If live music is your thing, you've come to the right place: anyone who tells you Dallas-Fort Worth doesn't have a good live music scene just hasn't known where to look. Here, a few of our top picks for where to find some of our favorite local shows right now.


April 28-29: Fortress Festival

More than 9,000 people turned out for last year’s inaugural event in the Fort Worth Cultural District, and this year's lineup didn't fail to impress returning festival-goers and first-timers. With the late addition of Chromeo and an initial announcement featuring headliners Father John Misty, Courtney Barnett, Chicano Batman, De La Soul, RZA, Tune-Yards and more, this Fort Worth-based outdoor event is shaping up to be the perfect annual kickoff to summer festival season. Come for the world-class music, then wander through the galleries of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for a mid-festival culture fix (free with your Fortress Festival wristband). Don't sleep on local favorites Ronnie Heart, Texas Gentlemen, Henry the Archer and Cure For Paranoia, all of which put on a unique show in their own right. Each one is completely different than the next, which makes this year's local lineup even cooler.

April 28-29: Electrik Ants/Children of Indigo, Ansley/BJ Stricker at Longhorn Ballroom

The historic Longhorn Ballroom hosts a grand opening of its expansive outdoor space, nestled behind the iconic venue along the Trinity River. Hailing from Fort Worth, jam/progressive rock bands Electrik Ants and Children of Indigo—both of which have a loyal local following—are providing the entertainmentoyal local following are providing the entertainment on Saturday, and Ansley and BJ Stricker perform on Sunday. There will be local beer and Texas barbecue. If that's not enough to entice your attendance, Longhorn Park offers horseback riding for $25 starting at 9 a.m. There will also be local beer and barbecue to round out your quintessential Texan experience. Also, the park is dog-friendly.

Electrik Ants by Drewlio Photo

May 4: Thaddeus Ford

A sixth-generation jazz musician, Thaddeus Ford's roots can be traced to New Orleans, but his live show is anything but traditional. Expect a blend of dance beats, world music influences, synth sounds and more at this unique show at Full City Roosters in The Cedars. This neighborhood coffee shop will have adult beverages available for the event, which celebrates Ford's anniversary of moving to Texas just months before Hurricane Katrina.


A true Texas original, hip-hop/EDM/R&B festival JMBLYA has outdone itself once again. Having outgrown its first few Dallas venues, the 2018 installment of the sixth annual one-day fest returns Dallas’ Fair Park on May 4. This year’s JMBLYA lineup comprises some of hip-hop’s biggest names today: Grammy-nominated Cardi B, rapper J. Cole, Migos, Playboi Carti and many more. Legendary rappers—and Texans—Bun B and Trae the Truth are this year’s special guests, making appearances at all three JMBLYA cities this year (the festival arrives in Austin on May 5 and in Houston on May 6). Tens of thousands are expected to attend, meaning you’d be wise to get those tickets early—and consider the perks associated with VIP packages.