Dolly Parton coming to Verizon; tickets on sale Friday

DOLLYEarlier this year, we announced that Dolly Parton was starting a national tour to promote her new double-D (that’s disc, guys!), but at the time, we didn’t know if she would make it to North Texas. And on the first leg, she wasn’t. Well, AEG Live has announced more dates for the Pure and Simple Tour, including at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Dec. 3.

Tickets to see the queen of country — and a great gay icon —go on sale Friday morning (10 sharp!). Use this link to get in line first thing!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Bernie to make appearance at Verizon Theatre


U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will appear at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Saturday, Feb. 27, three days before the Texas primary.

Doors open at 12:15 p.m. Admission is first come, first served.

Warning from the campaign: 
For security reasons, please do not bring big bags and limit what you bring to small, personal items like keys and cell phones. Weapons, sharp objects, chairs, and signs or banners on sticks will not be allowed through security.

Paid on-site parking is available at $15 per vehicle.

—  David Taffet

Diana Ross shines at Verizon Theatre

Dallas Voice reader and Diana Ross fan Stephen Braden was the lucky winner of a pair of tickets to see Diana Ross last Thursday (Feb. 26) at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. And Stephen was kind enough to share some of his photos of the legendary performer with the Voice, so we can share them with you.

—  Tammye Nash

Sam Smith tickets on sale tomorrow

SamSmithSam Smith, the openly gay pop phenom who won an armful of Grammys earlier this month (including best song, record, pop vocal album and new artist), will be returning to North Texas this summer for a concert at the Verizon Theatre on Aug. 17. Tickets go on sale Friday, starting at noon. You can click this link at that time and get your seats!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: Kelly Clarkson at Verizon Theatre on Friday

The seats were filled up to the nosebleeds last night at Kelly Clarkson’s show at Verizon Theatre. Clearly, North Texas loves the Burleson native and very likely, the show was sold out. Or that’s what the frustrated guy outside screamed to the scalper.  The crowd was sick with adoration — and I learned why. Clarkson is not so much a star as much as she is a genuine and personable talent. It’s hard not to appreciate her.

From behind a scrim flashing headlines of KC, she warms the audience with “Dark Side” from her latest album Stronger. It was a moody piece and offered a tepid opening, but she soon came center stage to rock out with “Behind These Hazel Eyes” that amplified the already high energy into the stratosphere. She finished her troika of an opening with a surprisingly early “Since U Been Gone.”

Clarkson was in great vocal shape and her band could rock the shit out her songs taking them from mere pop radio hits to arena-sounding levels. But it was after her first three songs that I saw the magic of Clarkson. She really is the girl next door with her aw shucks sassy and fun demeanor. Every little comment she made about being home resulted in deafening roars and she punctuated her homegrown flavor with a thick “kuntry” accent. Giving a shout to her friends and family in the audience was just a uproarious for the rest of venue. Clarkson was without any doubt, the homecoming queen for the night.

—  Rich Lopez

Kelly Clarkson tonight at Verizon Theatre

Your life will suck without her

Kelly Clarkson kinda got a raw deal at last week’s Super Bowl. The Burleson native  killed the crowd singing the national anthem, but everyone keeps talking about halftime. We can make it up to her as she headlines her night in town. Matt Nathanson opens.

DEETS: Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. 7:30 p.m. $25–$50.

—  Rich Lopez

GIVEAWAY: Pseudo-tweet us to win a pair of tix to Katy Perry & Robyn Thursday night at Verizon

We don’t want to know what you did “Last Friday Night,” but we are wondering if you have plans for Thursday. Thanks to the guys at Universal (Robyn’s peeps actually), we have one pair of tickets to give away to her show. Katy Perry’s California Dreams tour lands at Verizon Theatre on Thursday night, and you could be in on the action.

What do you gotta do? Tell us about your “Teenage Dream” in Twitter fashion. That means 140 characters or less. Who struck your fancy in high school? Was it a classmate? A teacher? Why?

And no worries if you don’t have Twitter. Just email it here and a winner will be picked tomorrow.

The rules:

• Twitter fashion means no more than 140 characters including spaces. Abbeviations r good. In fact, this sentence you’re reading is 140 chars.
• It can’t be NSFW. No x-rated fantasies or pics or stuff like that. Automatic DQ.
• You’ll have to pick up the tickets from the office no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday.
• Deadline is 11 a.m. on Thursday.
• Include your full name in the email, but it won’t count toward your 140.

    Good luck and happy pseudo-tweeting. Of course, you can always tweet us for real anytime here or here.

    —  Rich Lopez

    REVIEW: Kylie Minogue at Verizon on Wed.

    With a Pantheonic background and severe allusions to the theme of her Aphrodite Tour, Kylie Minogue and crew were clearly high on showmanship. Fantastic imagery in both the set and costumes were well done and recalled a combination of a Las Vegas stage show and an uber-gay Caligula. Despite all its spectacle, something was missing from the entire show. That seemed to be Kylie.

    The boys came out in droves for Kylie at the Verizon Theatre last night. The girls, well, they were there, too. Upon walking into the venue, the stage was magnificent with its descending stairs and digital Greek columns, not to mention a large squadron of dancers. And there she was in all her glory with her Grecian-draped costume and winged ears. Opening with “Aphrodite,” she appeared to the hordes of screaming men in the audience. It was an impressive beginning. I dug the dancing gladiators.

    But the visual onslaught began to be too much. And while she was clearly live on the microphone, she seemed hazy in her delivery. She screamed out to the audience several times and gave nods to Dallas, but they felt more squeezed in because the show is so tightly wound. She ascended on a golden Pegasus, which got hollers, but it didn’t amount to anything and it was after the show began. A big bust (of Aphrodite? Kylie? Kylie as Aphrodite?) appeared later and just sat there. Flying birds? Cool. What should I be doing? I began to question what it meant other than to show an embarrassment of riches. None of which helped her performance.

    —  Rich Lopez

    REVIEW: Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae at Verizon Theatre on Tuesday night

    Janelle Monae surfs the crowd. (

    My hope is that there were a few “come to Jesus” moments last night at the Haus of Mars & Monae. With way different approaches to pop music, both still melded into each other like fried batter and beer. And Texans love that, ya know. Plus, they delivered strong showings and raw talents.

    I’m sad to have only caught the last half of Monae’s set, but upon my arrival, she was filling the room with her avant-garde music backed by a huge band complete with horns and strings. Monae, in her signature black suit (which I hate) is hard to pin down. She’s erratic and all over the stage like James Brown on crack, but it’s also exciting to watch. Whether she’s laying down on the ground singing or diving into the crowd for major body surfing, it’s hard not to just want to let loose with her. And she has the talents to back it up. Her vocal runs were extraordinary in a piercing, raw manner. She gets scary, gritty and then goes into sonic high notes with ease. Then she turned around to deliver sheer innocence in her cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” She nevertheless delivered strongly on her own hits “Cold War” and “Tightrope” as did her backing band, which generated the richest of sounds seemingly without any electronic help.

    Mars was my big surprise. His music hasn’t resonated with me so much, but live, he worked it with beautiful overkill. Mars was a big flirt and he worked his lady fans over with smiles, hip thrusts and high notes. As with Monae, Mars’ band recalled many a soul concert from decades ago and his background visuals were effective. His songs translated much better as the live show with an overflow of energy and even joy. Where Monae recalled James Brown, Mars exuded Marvin Gaye with touches of Michael Jackson. Clearly, he had the retro thing down right. Although he pushed his big hits, when the tempo chilled around “The Lazy Song,” despite the cheers, the show plateaued and the vibe dissipated into the ordinary, but that didn’t change the fact that Mars ruled over his show and his fans.

    Of the two, Monae edged out Mars in sheer dynamic. Her rawness in delivery was astonishing where Mars’ polish is showing. The crowd was definitely more into Mars, but gave Monae proper props which gave me hope that she’ll gain a bigger crowd of fans through this tour. Mars and Monae delivered big on Tuesday night, but Monae left a lasting impression.

    —  Rich Lopez

    WATCH: CSS at the Granada and Ricky Martin at Verizon Theatre on Friday

    Friday night was big for LGBT music as CSS, pictured, and Ricky Martin hit the town. CSS is primarily made up of LGBT-ers, but that’s not a thing with them. In this 2008 interview, the Brazilian band just wants to rock it and the video below shows they probably did just that.

    Ricky Martin was all kinds of sexy at Verizon delivering an energetic show from the start. Even the ballads were pumped up as the audience sang along with every word. He knocked this show out of the park and his fan base hasn’t seemed to wane a bit ever since he came out last year. He encore’d with “The Best Thing About Me is You,” which is the video below (with singalong). Also, view our slideshow from the concert here.

    —  Rich Lopez