Thursday, August 2, 2018

Rain doesn't dampen the party with Kesha and Macklemore

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 9:51 PM

Kesha, Macklemore
PNC Music Pavilion
Aug. 1, 2018

Someone said there were massive downpours at PNC Music Pavilion last night. I also heard that the sets by Kesha and Macklemore were cut short by two songs each. Those in attendance didn't care because they were too busy having a great time. The pop stars brought a party to Charlotte last night and rain didn't hold anyone back. Usually when it rains, concert-goers run for cover. In Charlotte, they acted like it was an extension of Macklemore spraying water on the crowd or Kesha's confetti bombs.

Macklemore opened up the night with an eight-song run through his biggest hits. He brought crowd members on stage, threw things into the crowd and never stopped dancing from one side of the stage to the other. Kesha's anthem "Praying" brought many to tears, but her entire set showed she's a pop start without the "diva" label. Her set started off with plenty of f-bombs and middle fingers in the air, but she clearly had a blast from the first notes of "Woman." She even joked that her ass wasn't hanging out of her leotard enough. Sure, those in attendance would have preferred less rain and more music, but they loved every minute of the party that rolled through town.

Kesha setlist
Blah Blah Blah
We R Who We R
Good Old Days
Your Love Is My Drug
Take It Off
Tik Tok

Macklemore setlist
Ain't Gonna Die Tonight
Thrift Shop
White Walls
Same Love
Willy Wonka
Dance Off
Can't Hold Us

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Weezer and Pixies thrill amphitheatre crowd

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 10:46 PM

Weezer, Pixies, Sleigh Bells
July 25, 2018
PNC Music Pavilion

If Weezer represented upbeat pop-rock and Sleigh Bells provided the punch of heavy, modern rock, the Pixies were the glue holding it all together on a night that featured all three bands. Wednesday night's co-headliner event showcased the high energy of Sleigh Bells kicking things off. Pixies spent more than an hour proving why they've had staying power - except for a decade-long hiatus in the mid-90s to mid-00s. Frontman Black Francis sounded better than ever, merging spoken word with on-point screams and everything between. Weezer hit the stage with "Buddy Holly" and never let up with hit after hit to keep the entire crowd singing along. Both headliners played setlists of more than 20 songs each. Overall, it's one of the best rock shows Charlotte's seen this summer.

Weezer setlist
Buddy Holly
Beverly Hills
Pork and Beans
Undone - The Sweater Song
Hash Pipe
Perfect Situation
My Name Is Jonas
El Scorcho
In the Garage
Surf Wax America
Happy Together
Keep Fishin'
Island in the Sun
Take On Me
Burndt Jamb
(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
Feels Like Summer

Pink Triangle
Say It Ain't So

Pixies setlist
Ed Is Dead
Nimrod's Son
Mr. Grieves
River Euphrates
Planet of Sound
Where Is My Mind?
All the Saints
Here Comes Your Man
Gouge Away
I've Been Tired
Head On
All I Think About Now
Wave of Mutilation
Crackity Jones
Isla de Encanta
Monkey Gon

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling bring new energy to PNC Music Pavilion

Posted By on Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 10:49 PM

Lindsey Stirling, Evanescence, Cellogram
July 20, 2018
PNC Music Pavilion

If you went to PNC Music Pavilion on Friday night expecting to see a blistering rock show, you left either completely disappointed or pleasantly surprised. While Evanescence was on the bill with co-headliner Lindsey Stirling, the band left the heavy rock behind. Singer Amy Lee took center stage to showcase her vocals through rearranged, more mellow versions of the band's songs accompanied by more than two dozen orchestra members. She showed depth and range for more than an hour and brought numerous fans to tears with the emotion and power in her vocals. Stirling capped off the night with an energetic performance filled with non-stop dancing. It wasn't the typical show for PNC Music Pavilion as both artists performed their music with renewed style and grace. If only more artists brought something completely new to the table on their own tours.

Evanescence setlist
Never Go Back
End of the Dream
My Heart Is Broken
Bring Me to Life
Secret Door
Across the Universe
Lost in Paradise
Your Star
My Immortal
The In-Between

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Appalachian Summer Festival Goes Into Home Stretch Looking Strong

Rhiannon Giddens plays last week of Boone arts fest

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 12:12 PM

[Paid Content]

If you're looking to stay away from the beach traffic in the next couple weeks, go the other way and head to Boone to catch the end of the Appalachian Summer Festival. There's still a few acts left, including the best of the bunch: Rhiannon Giddens.

Rhiannon Giddens (Photo by David McClister)
  • Rhiannon Giddens (Photo by David McClister)

The Greensboro native is best known for her role in the band she helped found, Carolina Chocolate Drops, but she's been killing at as a solo act for five years now. Lately, you might have even caught her in her new acting gig as Hallie Jordan in Nashville. Giddens' twangy, angelic Americana style fits the mold of an Appalachian music festival like nobody else could.

Her performance will come on the home stretch of the 34th annual Appalachian Summer Festival, which began on July 1 and has already hosted acts ranging from Kool and the Gang to Michael Feinstein. There are two more weeks left, including Giddens' performance at the Schaefer Center for Performing Arts on July 27 at 8 p.m., followed up by "An Intimate Evening with Kristin Chenowith" on August 4th at the same place, same time. Dont get too excited, that doesn't mean what you think it means, she'll likely just be waxing nostalgic about her amazingly succesful career both on stage and TV, still in its prime.

We also recommend the Hot Sardines this Saturday at 8 at Schaefer, or The Legend of Buster Neal at Volborg Theatre on Friday, but there's a lot of other stuff still going down, so check out the site.

So if you're not down with sunburn, head west. You won't regret it.

(Teaster photo by John Peets)

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Willie Nelson's return is worth the wait

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 10:53 PM

Outlaw Music Festival f. Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers, Jamey Johnson and Sarah Shook and the Disarmers
PNC Music Pavilion
June 20, 2018

When Willie Nelson abruptly canceled his performance nearly a month ago, fans left Charlotte's PNC Music Pavilion filled with disappointment. Sure, they said they'd make up the show, but would it really happen? When a June 20 makeup date was announced, fans remained optimistic. On Wednesday night, Nelson held up his end of the bargain in fine fashion. Though the night started a bit slow for the 85-year-old legendary singer/guitarist, he quickly warmed up his vocals and fretwork. He rolled through hit after hit and cover after cover. At this point, Nelson doesn't owe anyone an explanation or a makeup date, but he showed his love of performing for more than an hour. His only acknowledgement of last month's debacle was a simple, "I feel like I've been here before."

Before Nelson, Concord's own Avett Brothers performed a stripped-down set a la 2008. With only Seth and Scott Avett flanked by bassist Bob Crawford and cellist Joe Kwon, the quartet rifled through songs like they used to when they were performing in Charlotte on a regular basis. Family harmonies, energetic foot stomping and spot-on instrumentation highlighted the set. It might have stole the show if they were opening for anyone other than Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson setlist
Whiskey River
Still Is Still Moving to Me
Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
Good Hearted Woman
Down Yonder
If You Got the Money
Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground
On the Road Again
Always on My Mind
It's All Going to Pot
Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
Hey Good Lookin'
Move It On Over
Shoeshine Man
Georgia on My Mind
I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train
Funny How Time Slips Away
Night Life
Still Not Dead
Something You Get Through
Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die
Will the Circle Be Unbroken / I'll Fly Away

The Avett Brothers setlist
Laundry Room
Distraction #74
Down With the Shine
Talk on Indolence
Murder in the City
I Wish I Was
Satan Pulls the Strings
At the Beach
Standing With You
Mama Tried
Through My Prayers

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Amos' Southend to Reopen

Charlotte's Beloved Home of Rock Nostalgia Returns Early Next Year

Posted By on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 2:22 PM

A line forms at the old Amos' location.
  • A line forms at the old Amos' location.

Charlotte music fans who have been missing all those great metal bands and tribute acts that Amos' Southend once brought over to South Tryon Street are in for a treat.

Amos' Southend will return to a smaller section of its old haunt, most likely by early January, according to owner John Ellison.

Last May, Ellison closed Amos', and earlier this year moved his Gin Mill bar and restaurant from next door into the old Amos' building, expanding it with a rooftop patio and other bells and whistles.

Ellison closed the popular music venue due to limited parking after the Railyard offices, shops and apartment building took over Amos' old parking area across the street. But when members of Beacon Partners, the developers of the Railyard project, held a get-together at the Gin Mill recently, they told Ellison of their plans to make a paid parking deck available to the public.

"I was talking to one of the guys and he said, 'We're putting a parking deck in there and it's going to be paid parking for the public after 5 p.m.," Ellison said. "I was like, 'Damn, I wish I'd known that before.' But actually, I couldn't have kept Amos' empty for a year and half without parking anyway."

The new Amos' will be smaller — a capacity of 750 as opposed to the 1,300 capacity in the old room — and it will occupy a back area of the current Gin Mill.

"The landlord was having a hard time finding a suitable tenant to go back in the back, and people kept saying to me, 'Why don't you put a smaller version of Amos' back there," Ellison said. "So I thought, hell, why not? [laughs] I don't have enough headaches in my life right now anyway."

Ellison said he's already talked with AEG Presents, a booking agency Amos' worked with over the years, and will be reaching out again to tribute bands, up-and-coming national acts, local artists and oddball shows like midget wrestling.

"Obviously I won't be able to get in some of the bigger acts that I got, but we'll still be doing a lot of the stuff we did before, just on a smaller scale."

One promoter who is thrilled to see the return of Amos’ Southend is Nickel & Dime Entertainment's Brad Brady, who called the closing of the venue last year "a huge blow to the community."

"Amos’ Southend was the center of the music scene in Charlotte for 27 years," Brady said. "Now that it’s been announced that it’s coming back, we are already starting to feel that sense of community coming back. I’m so glad to be a part of the past and future of Amos’. I can’t wait to start booking shows for when it reopens."

Ellison opened Amos' in 1990 in the Park Road Shopping Center. It closed for two years early on, then reopened at its Sound End location.

Demolition begins on the new mini-Amos' this week and construction should be underway by August, Ellison said. "We haven't submitted plans to the city yet. The engineer and architects are drawing them up now,' he said.

Until then, break out your old Michael Jackson and Sublime records and prepare for the return of acts like Who's Bad and Badfish, as well as package shows by local metal bands, and lots of other old favorites.

As Nickel & Dime's Brady said, "Opening day won’t be here soon enough."

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Hayley Kiyoko brings a party to The Underground

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 11:05 PM

Hayley Kiyoko, Gavin Turek
The Underground
June 11, 2018

From the moment she walked out on stage until the final notes ringing out, Hayley Kiyoko brought a party to The Underground on Monday night. Recent hit "Girls Like Girls" played like an anthem in the early part of the set before Kiyoko recognized that it's Pride Month and time to celebrate. The sold-out Avidxchange Music Factory venue danced and sang the night away while the rain fell outside. Dancing whirlwind and pop-diva-in-training Gavin Turek got the party started with a 40-minute set full of pop music and dance grooves. You never would have guessed it was a Monday night.

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Japanese Breakfast thrills sold-out Neighborhood Theatre

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 10:58 PM

Japanese Breakfast w/ Dollhands, Faye
Neighborhood Theatre
June 9, 2018

With light-up shoes and non-stop energy, Japanese Breakfast's Michelle Zauner hit the stage on Saturday night and rarely stopped moving. Performing in front of a sold-out crowd on the Neighborhood Theatre's bar side stage, the quartet quickly got the crowd moving and didn't hold anything back. Zauner was all smiles for the duration of the set which drew from the group's two albums, 2016's Psychopomp and 2017's Soft Sounds from Another Planet, as well as a closing cover of The Cranberries' "Dreams." The night got started with short sets from two Charlotte indie rock outfits, Faye and Dollhands. Each quickly won over the crowd and set an upbeat tone for the night.

Japanese Breakfast setlist
In Heaven
Road Head
The Body Is a Blade
Diving Woman
Rugged Country
This House
Till Death
Everybody Wants to Love You

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Bishop Briggs stuns sold-out Underground

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2018 at 10:15 PM

Bishop Briggs w/ Foreign Air
May 25, 2018
The Underground

The first time Bishop Briggs played in Charlotte, she was warming up for Kaleo at The Underground. "This show is so much better than the last time," Briggs joked with the sold-out crowd.

Aside from being the headliner this time around, Briggs also had a studio album under her belt. The effortless power of her vocals and unending energy on stage had the crowd singing along for the duration of her 70-minute set.

Sandwiched between hit singles, "White Flag" and "River" were an array of songs to showcase her style and vocals. She won't be playing venues of this size for long.

Charlotte's own Foreign Air, featuring Jesse Clasen (HRVRD, The Bear Romantic), opened the night and got the entire crowd moving with their indie brand of electro rock.

The band is often on tour, but I can't imagine them holding opening slots much longer. Don't miss either act the next time they're in town.

Bishop Briggs setlist
White Flag
Wild Horses
Tempt My Trouble
The Way I Do
Be Your Love
The Fire
Hallowed Ground
Hi Lo (Hollow)


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Fans leave Outlaw Music Festival disappointed

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2018 at 10:02 PM

2018 Outlaw Music Festival
May 26, 2018
PNC Music Pavilion

Brandi Carlile dropped off the lineup. Then Elvis Costello dropped off. The Outlaw Music Festival at PNC Music Pavilion was holding on by the strength of its headliners — Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson.

So, when the set times were announced, it's no surprise the crowd was sparse for the day's opening acts, including Lee Mitchell, Horse Feathers and Old Crow Medicine Show.

As the night went on, the crowd got bigger as anticipation grew. Sturgill Simpson rocked through his set, winning over countless fans. More jam than country, his quartet pushed the boundaries of every song.

Continue reading »

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