For every concert tour that is announced, there is either a "Yes! They're coming to Charlotte!" or, more often, a "When are you coming to Charlotte?!?" response. Plenty of musicians route tours through the Queen City, but it more often feels like artists forget this city exists.
Aerosmith canceled a 2009 concert and never rescheduled it. Plenty of artists like Alabama Shakes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs have never been to Charlotte. Then there are the David Bowies and Rage Against the Machines who simply never tour these days.
So, since we're in the heart of the holiday season, we asked a bunch of CL writers, local musicians and music fans to give us a wish list for the 2014 concert season. We simply asked for "the Top 5 bands/artists you wish would come to Charlotte next year." Here's what they said:
Tamikrest — Tuareg rockers from Mali touring behind a new album.
Neil Young — Needs no explanation.
Los Lobos — Last time they played in Charlotte was 1996.
Superchunk — Can't even remember the last time they were here.
The Replacements — Together again, hopefully for more than a few shows.
— Armando Bellmas, Director of Communications at Latin American Coalition
A Mountain of One — I've been watching too many YouTubes of this band and need to see them for real.
London Grammar — I've heard the show is very subdued, but I love the songs and would like to see how they pull it off.
Haim — Need to see Este slap that bass. She's bad-ass.
Lone Bellow — I saw them at Austin City Limits and they're just plain great — soul, energy, fun and heartbreaking.
Kendrick Lamar — "Bitch, don't kill my vibe"!!!
— James Brown, musician (Matrimony)
Rage Against the Machine — I'm on the road a lot, but I'd definitely make sure I was in town if Rage came.
— Sarah Burns, DJ
Neutral Milk Hotel — Never played here the first time around. We're due.
Sonics — Legendary garage rockers can provide the shake-up this state needs.
Brian Wilson — Because the Southern girls, with the way they talk, would knock him out if he ever played here.
Neil Young — Neil, you haven't played Charlotte in 16 years, but your wife played the Double Door Inn this past spring? Explain, please.
Alabama Shakes — Stop telling us that we need to "hold on."
— Daniel Coston, photographer
Pallbearer — I've been listening to a lot of doom metal lately. They are from Little Rock, Ark., and I don't think they have ever been here. I've never seen them live and I am dying too. I've listened to their record sooooo many times.
Mogwai — Wish granted — coming to Amos' Southend on May 6, 2014.
Little Dragon — From Sweden. They played the Milestone a few years back and packed the house. Haven't been back since though. Killer band. Especially what they are able to pull off live considering their instrumentation.
Alcest — From France. They played Tremont a year or so ago. Don't remember exactly when but my friend had introduced them to me a while ago and I nearly shat myself when I heard they were playing Tremont. I thought they would never tour over here. I wanna see that again.
Drink Up Buttercup — I saw them a few years back at the Milestone. Thought it was really cool how they used trash cans as percussive instruments. I don't know if they are still a band, but their record is amazing. If they aren't a band anymore, I want a reunion show.
— Ricky Culp, musician (Hectagons, Pig Mountain, Andy the Doorbum...)
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings — She's touring early 2014 and skipping us again!
Ryan Adams — N.C. native may never tour again and has always skipped Charlotte in the past.
Paul Simon — It's been at least 10-15 years since he's been here.
Paul McCartney — I'd go see this again in a heartbeat. One of my favorite shows ever.
Any of the Broken Social Scene offshoots, Brendan Canning, Jason Collett, Kevin Drew, Feist?
— Josh Daniel, musician (The New Familiars)
Gary Clark Jr. — Charlotte needs the blues.
Zola Jesus — Absolutely stunning/haunting at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit. I want more.
Peter Gabriel — Hit the road and play the old Genesis tunes already, would ya?
Half Moon Run — Been hoping for a return visit since I saw them open for Metric in 2012.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Sleigh Bells/Bomba Estereo/Deap Vally — Among the many bands I saw at Bonnaroo, and still waiting for their Queen City visit.
— Jeff Hahne, music editor
Shakey Graves — Crossing fingers.
The Eastern Sea — They came. They impressed. Need to do it again.
Junip/Jose Gonzalez — Maybe one day?
Wayne Robbins & The Hellsayers — Come back!
Wye Oak — We're begging!
— Don & Laurie Koster, independent music promotions
Foxygen — They were supposed to play at Snug Harbor last spring, but apparently got a better offer in Chapel Hill. Since then, they have found all manner of drama to keep themselves off of the road. That said, I love those guys.
FLAG — I know they are essentially an "oldies" tribute show, but when I saw them at Riot Fest in Chicago in September, it felt real. As X sang in "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts," "Will the last American band to get played on the radio please bring the Flag?"
Nick Lowe — I saw him last year at McGlohon Theatre. It was perfect. More please.
Billy Joe Shaver — Because I was a dumbass and didn't buy a ticket in time to see his sold-out show earlier this year at The Double Door Inn.
Roky Erickson, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and Against Me! are all playing within the next few months less than a few hours drive from here. Why is Charlotte being skipped?
— Mark Lynch, musician (Chalkies)
Polvo — I want a legendary N.C. band from the Triangle to have a great experience here. I love their music and their last show here was poorly attended, which means they've probably written us off.
— Jason Michel, Plaza Midwood Community Radio, Snug Harbor, Electric Mountain
Kanye West — I was prepared to bow in the presence of greatness, then I saw ATL and D.C. were my closest alternatives. Kendrick Lamar just icing on that dream concert cake.
Jodeci — Charlotte natives doing a show of just their hits would be special. Just make sure you stretch for those pelvic thrusts.
The Roots — I know I wasn't the only one that couldn't afford to see their DNC set.
Toro Y Moi — Saw him at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro and realized Charlotte would love this and he's ready for much bigger rooms
Daft Punk — For the mix of long-time fans and disappointed dubstep douche alone ...
— Mike McCray, writer
Nick Cave — The Great Broody One bypasses CLT for Asheville in 2013 and D.C. in 2014. Aren't we Southern Goth enough for you, Nick?
Cocorosie — The perfect fit for both the Evening Muse and Shiprocked. Instead, they skipped the Queen City for greener pastures in Carrboro.
Zap Mama — The Afropea Diva's played LEAF in Black Mountain in 2009 and 2013, but CLT is not yet a blip on her radar.
Rodrigo y Gabriela — Dear R y G, Charlotte has become one of the main stops for rock and pop en Español, so quit canceling your U.S. tours and come here already!
Os Mutantes — Surely the Tropicalia legends know they have an eager audience here. We're used to being dumped for Asheville and Chapel Hill, but Columbia, S.C.?!
— Pat Moran, writer
2ne1 — Why K-Pop? Because it's my f*kin' list!
Mark Ronson — With his band and guests, not the DJ.
N*E*R*D — Loved their first three albums, one-of-a-kind act.
Shakira — I learned Spanish because of this dama bonita!
Daft Punk — Musical, classic, timeless, EDM I won't get tired of ever.
— Pradigy GT, musician
Nick Cave — Last year's Push the Sky Away tour still has lucky attendees shaking their heads in disbelief.
The Sadies — Canada's cosmic cowboys offer top-shelf guitar-slinging sans noodling.
Shannon Wright — Her shows are primal, cathartic rites of passage; no one emerges unchanged.
Richard Hawley — The coolest and most suave British export going.
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks — The next best thing to a Pavement reunion.
— John Schacht, writer
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds — They played in Asheville, so there's hope for Charlotte.
Tom Waits — Will the wait never end?
Soundgarden — Come back. We promise mother nature will behave this time.
Sonic Youth — OK, so it looks like they may not play together again, but Thurston, Lee, come on dudes, yeah, Chapel Hill is cool but what about our little 'burb?
Kronos Quartet — It's been many years. Bring the noise.
— Samir Shukla, writer
Yeah Yeah Yeahs — We'd love to play with them here in Charlotte, but we'd settle for seeing them.
David Bowie — He's been doing some fantastic stuff lately and may not have hit Charlotte since the Glass Spider tour.
Foo Fighters — They seem to play here every tour and they played the DNC, but only for like five hours. Just not enough.
Dead Sara — Another band we'd really love to play with. Imagine them at the Milestone ...
Manchester Orchestra — They got cheated at Weenie Roast, and they were amazing.
— John Thomsen, musician
(Grown Up Avenger Stuff)
Death Grips at the Milestone — It's the concert that got away. Before it was even announced back in 2012, Death Grips cancelled their tour, leaving me to pine for this show like I'm its rejected lover.
M.I.A. — Her album Matangi was one of the best of 2013 and she's rumored to be planning a tour for late 2014. Fingers crossed.
Outkast — just announced a reunion tour, but the only date they've confirmed is Coachella. We all know they're going to play Atlanta. Hopefully they'll hit 85 North afterward.
Rage Against the Machine — Please? Will also accept Street Sweeper Social Club.
Broken Bells — Their 2014 tour dates have been announced and they go from Boston to Atlanta with six days off in between. Somebody make this happen!
— Erin Tracy-Blackwood, writer
No Joy, Ringo Deathstarr — I have always been a shoegaze fan, and it's nice that there has been a revival in recent years. No Joy and Ringo Deathstarr are two of my favorite current bands of that genre, and both put out records that I really liked this year.
Leif — I have been more interested in rap again lately, and have found that some of the most interesting artists happen to be gay, and are breaking a lot of the rules of perception in stereotypically homophobic hip-hop. Zebra Katz, Mykki Blanco and Leif are all current favorites, but I have to pick one, so Leif, because he often incorporates choreography in his live shows.
Galcher Lustwerk — A recent discovery that I am really into at the moment. He produces amazing tracks, mostly hypnotic house and hip hop beats, and his lives sets that I have heard online are killer. Great track selections, including his own, and he does live vocals while DJing.
!!! (or Chk, Chk, Chk) — Because they put on a totally groovin' live set that rocks and that you can dance to!
— Scott Weaver, musician (Miami Dice, DJ)
The Roots — DNC private parties don't count.
Invincible — Charlotte needs to hear a white girl in hip-hop who actually gives a shit about the culture and isn't just in it to make a fast buck off hipster irony. She's got flows, she's highly political and with rumors that the deals she's turned down number in the double digits, she's got mad respect.
Saul Williams — The Afropunk alum and poetry superstar hasn't been by since ever, and we need his particular brand of weird in Charlotte.
A. Leon Craft — The closest this hyper-clever wordsmith with the rapid Southern flow has come to Charlotte is Atlanta. We might not be ATLiens, but we still know how to party.
Murs — Back in 2010 he was still pumping his Murs for President major label debut when he graced Tremont. Now he's fronting punk-hop group White Mandingos with Sacha Jenkins and Bad Brains bassist Daryl Jenifer. Could be a winning ticket.
— Emiene Wright, writer
Now that we've shared ours, share yours online at clclt.com/music.