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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Live review: Twenty One Pilots, CMCU Amphitheatre (6/28/2016)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 3:50 PM

Twenty One Pilots, Mutemath, Chef'Special
Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
June 28, 2016

The Twenty One Pilots show was the hottest ticket in town on Tuesday night. For those hopefuls trying to snag an extra ticket outside of the amphitheater at Music Factory to no avail: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this show was definitely worth the hype.

Twenty One Pilots showed proved themselves as an epic force to be reckoned with. They are a band that has earned its newly minted big-timer status. What’s funny? The group couldn’t be smaller, numerically: there are only two dudes in the band. Yet those two dudes, singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, manage to put on a two hour show that could rock even bigger arenas.
Twenty One Pilots - PHOTO BY JEFF HAHNE
  • Photo by Jeff Hahne
  • Twenty One Pilots
Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre was packed.

The crowd was an odd mixture of little kids in makeup to parents that looked just as excited to see the duo. Seats completely sold out, right down to the last blade of grass on the lawn. You really can’t blame hopefuls who were pursuing scalpers months in advance and hoping to get in on the action. Twenty One Pilots tore through a 22 song set that was full of surprises, including a giant hamster ball. Yes, I said, a giant hamster ball. But we’ll get to that later.

For some background, Joseph and Dun hail from Columbus, Ohio. They started the musical duo in 2009 (with a few former members). They self-released two albums before being signed by Fueled By Ramen in 2012, and their most recent release Blurryface hit number one on the Billboard 200, spawning two massive radio hits "Stressed Out" and "Ride." Now, they’re going from city to city selling out shows on their aptly named "Emotional Roadshow" world tour. This whole production is a dream come to life for them and they’re very open about it. That, along with some musical genius and multi-talented musicians, is why they inspire such a passionate following of fans.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Live photos: Lake Street Dive, The Fillmore (6/17/2016)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Lake Street Dive, The Lone Bellow
The Fillmore
June 17, 2016
Lake Street Dive
  • Lake Street Dive
Just over three years ago, I caught Lake Street Dive during a sold-out show at the Evening Muse. Since that time, the band has been back in town several times, performing for sold-out crowds at bigger venues along the way. 

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Live review: Dead & Company, PNC Music Pavilion (6/10/2016)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Dead & Company
PNC Music Pavilion
June 10, 2016

Halfway through "Eyes of the World," to kick off the band's second set, Dead & Company hit its stride. Every member of the group — Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Chimenti — was finding his groove in the pocket and allowing the song to take flight in every dimension for more than 20 minutes.

Consider the first set a warmup for the group consisting of three members of the Grateful Dead — Weir, Hart and Kreutzmann — alongside pop-rocker John Mayer, bassist Burbridge of the Allman Brothers and keyboardist Chimenti, who has played with various related lineups in the post-Grateful Dead world.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Live review: Selena Gomez, Time Warner Cable Arena (6/7/2016)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:32 AM

Selena Gomez w/ DNCE
Time Warner Cable Arena
June 7, 2016

  • Photo by Jeff Hahne
  • Selena Gomez
The new generation’s pop princess treated Charlotte to a 90-minute set on Tuesday night when Selena Gomez’s Revival Tour rolled into town. Many fans had anxiously awaited this night partially out of anticipation, partially because of anxiety, as they weren’t sure the show would go on.

With so many musical acts and shows pulling out of their Queen City stops thanks to the HB2 bill, Gomez’s fans waited with bated breath until she confirmed she would still be here. “I would never disappoint you,” she told the crowd at Time Warner Cable Arena with her trademark grin.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Live review: Silversun Pickups, The Fillmore (5/12/2016)

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2016 at 10:02 AM

Silversun Pickups, Foals, Joywave
The Fillmore
May 12, 2016
Silversun Pickups
  • Silversun Pickups

From the hour-long fury of Foals' set to the driving rock of Silversun Pickups and the solid warmup rock of Joywave, there was rarely a dull moment during Thursday night's concert, which also served as the 21st birthday party for local radio station 106.5 The End. 

Foals offered 60 minutes of intense rock thunder that was relentless for the duration. Halfway through, I kept thinking, "I pity the band that has to follow these guys." While Silversun Pickups sometimes skews more mellow in radio play, the band had no problem holding its own as the headliner, finshing the one-two punch without a problem. 

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Live photos: Carolina Rebellion, Charlotte Motor Speedway (5/6-5/8/2016)

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2016 at 12:01 PM

Carolina Rebellion 
Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord
May 6-8, 2016
One of the most interesting things about Carolina Rebellion is just how much the festival has changed since it started. What began as a single-day event at Metrolina Expo Fairgrounds in 2011 has now become three days filled with metal mayhem at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

A good number of the acts return to perform on a regular basis, but festival organizers have worked to diversify it a bit, as well. I doubt anyone would have expected acts including Lynyrd Skynyrd and Collective Soul to be included on the bill when Carolina Rebellion first started.

For the festivals sixth year, fans were treated to a wide range of performers as well as fantastic weather and a handful of standout moments. Among the more memorable:

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Live review: Father John Misty, The Fillmore (4/27/2016)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 10:16 AM

Father John Misty
The Fillmore
April 27, 2016

For the majority of his 90-minute set, J. Tillman, aka Father John Misty, played the part of the charismatic Americana troubadour. His vocal-focused folk-rock hinted at elements of soul and country, until he hit the encore. He lulled the audience with a solo acoustic rendition of "I Went to the Store One Day," and then unleashed the fury. 

Perhaps it was all a buildup to this, but in the blink of an eye, Tillman turned into a rock 'n' roll rebel that was free of any Father John Misty persona. "This is one of my favorite love songs," he told the crowd before playing a full-band, charged-up rendition of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer." From there, he closed the night with a blaring "The Ideal Husband." 

It's as if Tillman was slowly sexing up the audience for the majority of his set, giving them plenty of balladry and vocal foreplay. And just when you thought it was going to last all night, the set powered toward a fast and furious rock 'n' roll orgasm that left the audience packing the Fillmore satisfied and exhausted. 

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Live review: Tori Kelly, The Fillmore (4/21/2016)

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 8:12 AM

Tori Kelly w/ ThirdStory
The Fillmore
April 21, 2016

  • Photo by Jeff Hahne
  • Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly packed the house Thursday at the Fillmore, all on the promise of sheer, raw talent. The show was highly anticipated, as the last time she was supposed to be appear for Kissmas in December, she had to reschedule due to her appearance on a little show called The Voice. This night, there were no theatrics, no spectacle — just the girl and the guitar that went on to become a pop sensation.

Kelly took the stage for an hour and a half set around nine, coming onstage with a spotlight, a guitar and that voice. It’s where she started, a throwback to her YouTube days where Kelly really got her start, singing covers alone in her room to what ended up being an audience of millions.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Live photos: Mumford & Sons, Time Warner Cable Arena (4/14/2016)

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Mumford & Sons
Time Warner Cable Arena
April 14, 2016
Just 30 hours after announcing they would be donating all of the profits from their sold-out Charlotte concert to a local LGBT organization, Mumford & Sons hit the Time Warner Cable Arena stage and rocked it out. 

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Live review: Elle King, Amos' Southend (4/11/2016)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 11:14 AM

Elle King
Amos' Southend
April 11, 2016

Only three songs into her set, Elle King dropped to her knees and laughed, seeking mercy from the sold-out crowd at Amos' Southend. Though most people hadn't noticed, King had made a mistake and asked for forgiveness. The crowd roared its support right back to her. 

At that point, the 26-year-old singer, who never hesitates to bring forth her sass and soul, knew she had the crowd in the palm of her hand and neither side ever relented. King quickly dished out snark and stories between songs and wasn't afraid to ramble, rant and comment on North Carolina's now well-known HB2 law. 

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