It’s hard to believe that it’s February already.  As I get older, time seems to move at a much faster pace than it did before.  Months fly by and the need to budget where to spend my days gets more and more apparent.  This month though, I know 3 places I will definitely make the extra effort to be.  The month of February brings a plethora of shows that are must-sees.  The new school of hardcore music, one of the best pop bands in the land, and the undisputed kings of metalcore music.

February 8 – H20, Terror, Code Orange Kids, Backtrack @ Fitzgerald’s

H20 and Terror have been hardcore music staples for years now, and if you’re a fan of the style, those two should be names you instantly recognize as veterans of the genre.  While those bands always put on memorable shows, the real story here is Deathwish Inc.’s new rising stars, Code Orange Kids.  Female fronted hardcore bands don’t come along very often, and when they do, it’s always interesting to see.  With Converge’s Kurt Ballou behind the boards and producing their debut album, Code Orange Kids have taken the typical and sometimes redundant sound of hardcore and created something entirely different.  Love is Love//Return To Dust is a record that transcends genres and is more accessible than the majority of bands playing that style of music, and while most music videos for heavy artists are predictable and boring, “Flowermouth (The Leech)” is a perfect introduction of what to expect when seeing the band live.  This band WILL steal the show.

February 13 – fun. @ Bayou Music Center

I’m a pop music fan.  There, I said it.  Last year, fun. put out their follow up album to Aim and Ignite with the incredibly produced Some Nights.  Working with the guy who produced such artists as Kanye West and Beyonce, the album is full of ear candy.  Vocalist Nate Ruess is a phenomenal song writer and the range of his voice is absolutely stunning.  Each song is like a well crafted story in its own right.  Put them all together and they create a full experience for the listener.  In the past, I’ve compared the group to Queen and Nate to Freddie Mercury – while I don’t think the band comes close at all to touching the brilliance of Queen, there are definitely similarities  between the two.  The time and extreme detail put into each song, the ability to take the listener on a journey from start to finish while going through a myriad of of emotions, and again, the vocals.  Those vocals.  He’s no Freddie, but at this time, no one comes close to that comparison except for Ruess.  This is as good as pop music gets.

February 22 – Every Time I Die @ Warehouse Live (Studio)

One of the few metal core bands that has consistently progressed and put out terrific albums returns to Houston after putting out their best one yet, Ex Lives.  Being a band in this genre and staying relevant hasn’t been an easy task for anyone, but after 15 years of grinding, they remain one of the last standing.  From singer Keith Buckley’s insightful and intelligent lyrics (having a degree in English helps) to riff masters in Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams, this group was always destined to be the crown achievers in heavy music.  Not only are their albums full of heavy hitting, head banging, and mosh worthy songs, but their live shows take on a completely different approach than the recorded music.  The band is totally crowd oriented – sing a longs, slowing down the breakdowns to make them even heavier than they already are, and jumping in the crowd with guitars in tow.  I’ve watched this band go from playing at Mary Jane’s to headlining sold out shows at House of Blues and Warehouse Live.  One of the last standing phenomenal heavy bands and they’re still going strong.