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Monday, August 18, 2014

Live review: LeAnn Rimes, Uptown Charlotte (8/17/2014)

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Pride Festival f. LeAnn Rimes
Uptown Charlotte
Aug. 17, 2014

When LeAnn Rimes was first announced as the headliner for the 2014 Charlotte Pride Festival, I was a little confused. Her name conjured up the whining tone of her country music song "Blue" — a stark contrast to last year's dynamic duo of pop singer Mya, who danced the night away, and Big Freedia who held a twerking contest.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Live review: Panic! at the Disco, Uptown Amphitheatre (8/13/2014)

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Panic! at the Disco
Uptown Amphitheatre
Aug. 13, 2014

Panic! at the Disco

Panic! At the Disco’s The Gospel Tour hit the Uptown Amphitheatre on Wednesday night and successfully showed the Queen City just how much the band has evolved in its 10-year run — as people, as a band and musically. Parlaying mostly between songs from their first album and the most recent release, Panic! reminded fans why they’ve stuck with the band for the last decade despite the group only retaining one original member (and four albums that differ so stylistically that it sometimes reflects those departing members).

Three songs in, lead singer Brendon Urie was drenched in sweat and looked ready to pass out, but assured the waiting crowd he was "just getting started. I know I look like I'm done." He then stripped off his shirt, making everyone (girls and guys alike) swoon.

When you've got a backlog of songs as stylistically different as Panic!, a live show in which they must be merged seems like it would be a challenge. But it doesn't come off that way. For 22 songs, the four piece tore through high-energy punk, electro pop and synthesized beats that definitely showcased their Las Vegas roots. Opening with "Vegas Lights" and "Time to Dance," Urie's voice ran the gamut, and he continued on for the entirety of the 90-minute show hitting every low note, every high note and everything in between without seeming like he was even trying. The guy hit Freddie Mercury's high note while covering "Bohemian Rhapsody" without trying, for goodness sake - he's not just the face of the band, he's what helps to define it.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Live review: Carnivores Tour f. Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, AFI, PNC Music Pavilion (8/12/2014)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Carnivores Tour f. Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, AFI
PNC Music Pavilion
Aug. 12, 2014

30 Seconds to Mars

On the Carnivores Tour’s Aug. 12, 2014, stop in Charlotte, arena rock definitely ruled the night. Since the show features co-headliners 30 Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park, with rock icons A.F.I. opening the show, could it be anything but? It appeared that two of the biggest modern rock bands in the last couple of decades brought out one of the biggest crowds of the summer to the PNC Music Pavilion. And on a week night at that; from pit to lawn was overflowing with people packed in like sardines.

Thirty Seconds to Mars primarily showcased songs from their newest, self-released record Love. Lust. Faith. Dreams. "We put this record out ourselves, with no label behind us," singer Jared Leto told his fans. "So go buy it on iTunes, download it illegally if you don't have the money, I don't care, just go get it." And while Leto’s actor side does come out with a bit of dramatics at times (he was donning a crown and priestly robes and giving off a Jesus-like air), he manages to sell the hell out of those new songs with near-flawless vocals. And the dramatics definitely work in his favor on such sweeping rock anthems like staple "Do or Die." He makes the drama work in his favor and it works hard.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Live review: NIN, Soundgarden, PNC Music Pavilion (8/7/2014)

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden
PNC Music Pavilion
Aug. 7, 2014

Nine Inch Nails

In 2009, I watched the most incredible Nine Inch Nails show at Bonnaroo. At the time, it was scheduled to be the band's last U.S. performance - ever. An emotional Trent Reznor thanked the crowd for all their support after the band tore through a 27-song set, smashed their instruments and left a lasting impression on everyone who witnessed it.

That didn't end up being the band's final performance. After a brief club "farewell tour, Reznor reconvened NIN into something a bit more electronic and revived the band for a new era. Last year, the group performed at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in Asheville and I walked away with mixed emotions.

Last night, at PNC Music Pavilion, I soaked in the band's nearly 90-minute set with a newfound appreciation for Reznor's artistry and music. I knew that the band wouldn't put on a performance like 'Roo, but I didn't expect them to. Reznor ended that era of Nine Inch Nails and has modernized it. Instead of pounding bass drums, there's pounding bass. Electronic backdrops form the song textures instead of churning distortion-filled guitar riffs as Reznor's emotion-fueled lyrics drive forth.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Heard: Miley Cyrus, Time Warner Cable Arena (8/6/2014)

Posted By on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Miley Cyrus
Time Warner Cable Arena
Aug. 6, 2014

Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz concert tour finally made its way back to Charlotte last night. After abruptly canceling her April 7 show 30 minutes before it was scheduled to start, Cyrus looped back around and brought her insane two-hour spectacle to Time Warner Cable Arena’s stage on Aug. 6, 2014.

Considering Cyrus was supposed to be here oh, four months ago, an apology was definitely expected by the mostly filled arena (though most of the upper level was curtained off) before she got too far into the show. “For any of you guys who were on the way to this show last time, I apologize,” she said. “Better late than never!”

For the last year, it seems like all anyone talks about when they mention Miley Cyrus is how sexualized she's become since shedding her alter ego Hannah Montana. And by shedding Hannah Montana, we mean growing up. The hyper-sexualized Bangerz Tour seems like the only way to officially sever the cord that held her Disney days in tow — at least to Miley. In fact, the Bangerz tour is so hyper sexualized in its very nature that even upon airing a butchered and highly edited version of the show, NBC STILL got hit with a list of viewer complaints and is now being investigated by the FCC.

The performance is exactly what you'd expect from the “new” Miley: it's loud, it's over the top, at times it makes you feel like you must be tripping (thanks to some insanely imaginative and sometimes creepy video sequences). And yes, it's so hyper-sexualized it actually doesn't even feel remotely sexual. It's as though it's so planned out and hyped that by the time you actually get to the concert, you’re desensitized. Miley stroking the tits of a little person while simulating oral sex in a bed with three dudes? No big deal. Occasionally slapping her vagina? It's like a high-five. Air humping in a thong on top a car? Yawn.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Live photos: Warped Tour, PNC Music Pavilion (7/28/2014)

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Vans Warped Tour
PNC Music Pavilion
July 28, 2014

The annual rite-of-passage music festival known as the Vans Warped Tour brought dozens of bands to Charlotte's PNC Music Pavilion on Monday for a long, hot day full of music. Here are the biggest takeaways from this year's event:

* One of the best bands I saw all day was California punk rockers Plague Vendor. Singer Brandon Blaine commands attention as he danced, gyrated and bounced his thin shirtless frame around the stage like the best combination of Iggy Pop and Nick Cave. Of the nearly 30 bands I saw, Plague Vendor is at the top of my list to see again.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Live photos: Rosco Bandana, Evening Muse (7/24/2014)

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Rosco Bandana
Evening Muse
July 24, 2014

Indie folk-rock septet Rosco Bandana did its best to shatter those labels last night at the Evening Muse as the band played an extended set of genre-bending music. Hints of blues, jazz, Southern rock and funk seeped through as the band kicked off a two-week tour.

Some of those in attendance danced their asses off while the Mississippi band was all smiles and having a good time. How good a time? After finishing its set, selling some merch and talking to the crowd, the band jumped back on stage to perform three more songs in a spontaneous encore.

While it's the hot dogs that keep bringing the band back to Charlotte — they made sure to give a shout-out to Carlos midway through their performance — it's the band's music and energetic live performances that keep audiences growing each time they return to the Queen City. Be sure to catch them the next time they're in town.

Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014
Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014 Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014 Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014 Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014 Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014 Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014 Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014 Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014

Rosco Bandana at Evening Muse, 7/24/2014

Photos by Jeff Hahne

Click to View 17 slides

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A Sunny Day in Glasgow helps kick off 2014 Recess Fest

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Recess Fest kicked off its latest installment on July 24 at Snug Harbor. A two-band early show before Shiprocked launched the weekend-long event that will bring dozens of indie bands to Charlotte.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Live review: Monumentour, PNC Music Pavilion (7/23/2014)

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Monumentour Fall Out Boy, Paramore, New Politics
PNC Music Pavilion
July 23, 2014

Paramore and Fall Out Boy are, in some ways, cut from the same cloth. Both came up as pop-punk bands on the smaller record label Fueld By Ramen more than a decade ago. Both have scored top singles on pop and alternative-rock radio alike in their 10 years on the scene (going “mainstream” as it were). Both bands cut their teeth on festival circuits like the Vans Warped Tour as newbies. Yet despite all of this, the labelmates have never toured together. Until now.

The “Monumentour” rolled into Charlotte Wednesday night at the PNC Music Pavilion to an almost sold out show and put on what can only be described as a spectacle.

Despite the crippling heat and humidity, hardcore Fall Out Boy and Paramore fans pressed into the outdoor arena and rode through an almost three hour show by feeding almost exclusively off of the two bands' energy. Denmark-based newcomers New Politics offered an appetizer to tide fans over until the main event, but the question remained: which of the two top charting bands would be the real “headliner” on this co-headliner tour?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Live photos, setlist: Dave Matthews Band, PNC Music Pavilion (7/22/2014)

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Dave Matthews Band
PNC Music Pavilion
July 22, 2014

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band's annual summer trek hit the PNC Music Pavilion last night for an acoustic/electric mix. The night started around 7:20 p.m. with an hour-long acoustic set that leaned on the mellow side until set closer "Two Step."

The 90-minute electric set had plenty of fan-favorite rarities including "You Never Know," "The Song that Jane Likes" and "Minarets."

Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14
Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14 Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14 Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14 Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14 Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14 Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14 Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14 Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14

Dave Matthews Band at PNC Music Pavilion, 7/22/14

Photos by Jeff Hahne

Click to View 10 slides

Set 1
Ants Marching
Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd
So Damn Lucky
Loving Wings
What Would You Say
Snow Outside
Two Step

Set 2
Still Water (Partial)
One Sweet World
Save Me
You Never Know
The Song That Jane Likes
Jimi Thing
Why I Am
If Only
The Riff
Grey Street

The Space Between
Still Water (Partial)
Don't Drink the Water

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