The Criticals at House of Blues in Dallas, TX

Nashville-based rock band The Criticals gave attendees of Dallas’ House of Blues an incredible night while visiting for their U.S. Spring tour.

Less than a year ago, The Criticals were last in Dallas performing at Deep Ellum’s Limbo Room. In need of more space due to the band’s growing popularity, the guys upgraded to the House of Blues where they performed in the Cambridge Room. The Criticals are made up of the duo, Parker Forbes (lead vocals) and Cole Shugart (lead guitar/vocals). In 2019, the pair released their first EP Mimosa Hygiene. Their latest release is the single “The Truth,” which came out in July of last year. Don’t worry though, the band has said they are working on new music that is expected to be released this summer. 

One of the openers accompanying The Criticals is the band Shooks. The rock band didn’t have to travel far from home because they are from Austin, TX. Despite being heckled by one audience member, the guys performed with the confidence of well-practiced musicians. The band is composed of five members, Marlon Sexton (lead vocals), Dewey Ivy, Hunter Pierce, Matt Erlandson, and Colton Kincaid. Last year, Shooks got to check off a huge accomplishment from their bucket list by performing at 2022’s Austin City Limits. They released their first 6-track EP, Pet, in 2021. Since then, they have released two singles, “O2” and “Drama.” 

The next opener to take the stage was another Nashville-based duo, Bird and Byron. The two are Blake (Bird) and Nick (Byron). The rock/soul team has become pretty popular on TikTok and has attained over 70 thousand followers. In 2021, their cover of Dr. Dog’s “Where’d All the Time Go” went viral. Since then, they have released two EPs,” Year After Year and their latest EP How Love Grows. Bird and Byron did an extraordinary job at keeping the energy up before the main act. 

Around 10 PM, The Criticals made their way to the stage. They started strong with tracks like “Good Lookin” and “Crocodile Tears.” Early on in the set, they covered CAKE’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.” During this, Forbes performed the iconic cowbell solo. They then played “High Life Clinic,” a track from their 2020 album release Sour Grapes. At one point, a fan gave Forbes a pair of heart-shaped glasses which were passed around to each member for the entirety of the set. Touring with the duo are David Meadows (bass/vocals), Tyelen Gibbs (drums/vocals), and J. Rudolfo Rosas (guitar/vocals). 

Due to all of the fun being had, time flew by almost too quickly. Before closing the set, they performed a couple of new songs that are expected to be released later this year. They closed with the song “Under Your Nose.” After they left, the house lights came back on but the fans continued to chant for an encore. They obliged and requested that the lights be cut off again. They played “Gold Teeth” and then closed with a cover of “Last Nite” by The Strokes. Forbes jumped the barricade and joined the crowd before concluding the set. The band graciously stayed after the show to meet with fans before security began asking everyone to leave.

They have a couple of more stops before the end of this leg. If they’re playing near, it would be crazy not to attend.

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About Lauryn Singletary 33 Articles
Lauryn is a student studying Mass Media and minoring in Digital Film and Photography at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas. She finds her comfort in photography and creating stories out of still images. As being born and raised in the south, country music will always hold a dear place in her heart. If Lauryn is not attending a concert, she is probably trying to catch up on all the school work she put off in order to go to the show.