The top 10 most-read KXT stories in 2023

A full band on stage

Asleep at the Wheel in full swing at the Longhorn Ballroom. Photo: Jessica Waffles


So much happened across the North Texas arts and music scene in 2023 and our KXT staff was there to chronicle it.

From the loss of hometown heroes, to the unveiling of new neighborhood haunts, and even our month-long celebration of local music, our readers were locked in with us throughout it all.

As we look back on 2023, it seems only appropriate that revisit some of the biggest moments that made it worth remembering, according to our readers. In a year that never ceased to keep us enthralled, these 10 stories below are what caught the most eyes and ears.

10. PHOTOS: New Fort Worth venue The Cicada takes flight

A full band on stage

Things look a bit different inside the music venue that was once Main At South Side. Welcome to The Cicada. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Especially on the heels of devastating blows to Fort Worth’s music scene due to the recent closures of venues like Lola’s, Twilite and The Isis Theater, a reminder of spaces like The Cicada opening leaves us with hope going into 2024.

9. Dallas musical institution James “Bucks” Burnett dead at 64

The loss of 14 Records owner James “Bucks” Burnett left a painful void in the local music community. His storied history in Dallas was colored by encounters with the likes of Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr. But as KXT contributing writer Preston Jones noted in the article, “all of that only scratches the surface of Burnett’s contributions to the fabric of the North Texas creative community as a passionate advocate for the arts, mentor and friend.”

8. Behind the scenes with Jason Isbell at KXT studio, before tonight’s show In Deep Ellum

Two men performing playing guitar, singing

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s new album Weathervanes drops June 9. Photo: Jessica Waffles

When Americana iconoclast Jason Isbell stopped by our KXT Studios in May, he was exactly what you would expect him to be – funny and foul-mouthed. We loved it, and we knew our listeners would love it, too. Plus, it was such a treat to get to hear some of the songs from his excellent new Weathervanes album, which made several year-end lists, including our own!

7. Meow Wolf Grapevine to host Erykah Badu pop-up at American Airlines Center

The wise minds at our latest area immersive art experience knew to bow to the Queen of Dallas when making North Texas the home of their new location. Erykah Badu’s concerts are known for being a hypnotic display of art themselves, so this only made sense.

6. After a slow burn, Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” featuring St. Vincent catches fire

Taylor Swift, holding a guitar, sings to an audience

Taylor Swift performs onstage for the opening night of “The Eras Tour” at State Farm Stadium on March 17, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/GI for TAS Rights Management

Swifties have been demanding “justice for Cruel Summer!” since Taylor Swift’s Lover album dropped all the way back in 2019, and this year, sweet pop music justice was served. But what they might not have known is that Garland’s own St. Vincent helped co-write what is arguably Swift’s best song in her behemoth of a catalog.

5. Meet the North Texas woman who inspired an Elton John hit 

It’s true, the muse behind Rocket Man’s No. 1 hit, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” calls North Texas home. KXT contributing writer Preston Jones caught up with her last year to talk about her early life as the fiance of one of the most enduring pop-rock artists of all time.

4. Brad Houser, Dallas native and New Bohemians co-founder, dead at 62

New Bohemians bassist and co-founder, Brad Houser.

The Dallas music scene lost one of its greats in Brad Houser, New Bohemians co-founder and longtime bassist. In the wake of his death, New Bohemians leader Edie Brickell memorialized him with a note on social media, writing  “our band’s very last jam was a playful song about Brad. I loved him. He taught me a lot.” His fellow Bohemians also celebrated him with a remembrance concert at The Kessler Theater.

3. Longhorn Ballroom, opening March 30, announces first round of concerts 

For quite some time, the long-awaited resurrection of arguably the most iconic venue in Dallas felt like a pipe dream. So it comes as no surprise that the excitement for its reopening was palpable. And, in just nine short months, we’ve already gotten must-see shows featuring the likes of Emmylou Harris, Joshua Ray Walker, and Eric Andre.

2. Metallica prepares to take over North Texas with two nights at AT&T Stadium 

Metallica, dressed in all black, stands against a white wall

Metallica. Photo: Tim Saccenti

Fun fact: Metallica’s two-night “M72 Tour” stop in Arlington back in August actually had higher attendance at AT&T Stadium than Taylor Swift’s colossal “The Eras Tour.”

1. Willie Nelson pays loving tribute to his best friend in “Me and Paul”

Even though this article about the unspoken king of Texas’ touching “Me & Paul” memoir was published last year, it had heavy revisit value well into 2023. Which says a lot, considering the country outlaw legend literally became a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer in 2023! Suffice to say, he’s truly always on our minds.