As Houston warms up, so do the nights. This spring brings in entertainers from across the pond, sin city, and other hot spots around the country. There is nothing like hearing your favorite musicians up close and personal. The music vibrates through audiences and crowds join together in experiencing the thrill of the concert. Get ready for two soul legends, one controversial behemoth of a rap star, versatile rock newcomers, and an eccentric bluesy voiced rock beauty with a boisterous band backing her.  Here are Houston’s hottest spring concerts.

127823612 Houston Spring Concert Preview

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Bethesda Softworks

The Black Keys
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77380
(281) 363-3300

Price: $32.50 – $56.50
Date: April 24, 2012
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Alternative rockers The Black Keys comes to the Woodlands with opening act Arctic Monkeys. Ticketmaster is also offering attendees to purchase a digital mp3 version of their latest album, “El Camino,” for $10.99. The group is known for giving a full show starting with full performances of their oldest hits before leading into new fan favorites. Their 2009 collaboration with rap producer Damon Dash, “Blackroc,” was released after the band members regrouped after doing their own individual projects. Fans will surely get a taste of everything they have been working on in their 10 years in the industry with this performance.

Gladys Knight
Arena Theatre

7326 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77074
(713) 772-5900

Price: $59.50
Date: April 15, 2012
Time: 8 p.m.

Fresh off of her new single “I Who Have Nothing” Gladys Knight is still going strong. With seven Grammy Awards under her belt, she offers up her number one hits that range from pop, R&B, and adult contemporary genres. Her last album “Before Me” was all about paying homage to the legends that came before her including Lena Horne. Recently awarded the Legend Award at the Soul Train Awards, she has been working with record producer Randy Jackson on her upcoming album that will feature her single “Settle” from the soundtrack for Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls.”

Al Green
Arena Theater

7326 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77074
(713) 772-5900

Price: $69.50
Date: April 27, 2012
Time: 8 p.m.

President Obama paid homage to him in early 2012 by singing lyrics from Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in front of a packed house at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Green released “Love Ritual” last summer and the album features a collection of fan favorites. The 11-time Grammy winner will be in town to perform some of those favorites including “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart”. His latest CD “Lay it Down” was released in 2008 features collaborations with John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Related: Best Live Music Venues in Houston

Rick Ross
Verizon Wireless Theater

520 Texas St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 230-1600

Price: $62.50 – $122
Date: April 7, 2012
Time: 8 p.m.

Rick Ross sits at the helm of the Maybach Music Group after working for years in Miami to earn his stripes in the underground rap world. His latest album “Teflon Don,” was number four in a line of albums, one more successful than the last. His latest single “You the Boss,” features Nicki Minaj and follows a long line of successful collaborations with the likes of Ne-Yo, Jay-Z, Drake and Raphael Sadiq. He stands at 6’2” and holds about 300 pounds on this frame and his ego matches his size. He is sure to put on quite a show and the crowd never knows who will join him on stage. Just last year he played, along with Lil Wayne, to a packed crowd at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

117248786 Houston Spring Concert Preview

Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Florence and the Machine
Price: $39.50 – 54.00
Date: May 2, 2012
Time: 8 p.m.

Houston is catching Florence and The Machine on the last leg of the “Lungs” tour, also at the Verizon Wireless Theater. The album has seen much success in their native UK as well as here in the states. “Dog Days are Over” was one of the first single loved by American audiences and the group performed at the 83rd Academy Awards.  The group is currently working on their new album while completing their debut tour and expects the release date to be close to the end of 2012.

Related: Most Exclusive Nightclubs in Houston

Nicole Sonnier is a freelance writer living in Houston and covers Nightlife & Music. Her work can be found at


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