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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Friday, May 25, 2018

WATCH THIS: Legendary C+C Music Factory Rapper Freedom Williams Surprises Charlotte Rapper Phaze Gawd on Special 'Local Vibes/Yo! CLT Raps' Podcast

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 5:56 PM

Charlotte native Tony Potts, also known as rapper Tony P. and Phaze Gawd, was just 8 the first time he performed for an audience. He was tapped by his elementary school to rap the Freedom Williams part in multiplatinum-selling C+C Music Factory’s iconic 1990 hip-house hit “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance).”

Freedom Williams was just 8 the first time he performed for an audience, too. He was tapped by his elementary school to portray Frederick Douglass.

When Williams read the online version of Creative Loafing's recent feature story on Tony P., he felt a connection to his younger Charlotte protégé whom he’d never even met. Williams, 52, was so inspired by the story that he contacted Creative Loafing and asked if we could get him together with the 26-year-old rapper who calls himself Phaze Gawd.

On Wednesday, May 23, the veteran New York rapper flew to Charlotte from his home in Brooklyn to surprise Tony P. on Creative Loafing’s Local Vibes podcast. It was part of a joint audio and video presentation with Th3 Higher rapper Tizzy Farragami’s Yo! CLT Raps and videographer Barry Espy's Espy Productions.
Generational rap summit: Tony P. (aka Phaze Gawd) meets legendary C+C Music Factory rapper Freedom Williams.
  • Generational rap summit: Tony P. (aka Phaze Gawd) meets legendary C+C Music Factory rapper Freedom Williams.

You can watch the documentary of this special meeting in the Espy-produced video at top and listen to us surprise Tony P. on the Local Vibes/Yo! CLT Raps podcast below.

“When I read [Tony P.'s] story, I was like, that’s real — from Frederick Douglass to Freedom Williams to Phaze Gawd. I saw it as transitionary… a musical connection," Williams tells us in the podcast. "Where do you get inspiration from? How do you get inspired? How do we define inspiration?

“And in that small space, it inspired me,” Williams says. “He re-inspired me, because it made me think about a very important part of my life. He inspired me through my own work.”
Listen to the podcast to hear the lead-up to the surprise:

Williams, who’s been touring the oldies rap circuit with fellow veteran acts including Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature and Tone Loc, came to Charlotte to meet Tony P. in between performances in Iceland and Denmark. Williams’ hits with C+C Music Factory include “Gonna Make You Sweat,” which shot to No. 1 in 1991, followed by “Here We Go (Let's Rock & Roll),” which peaked at No. 3, and "Things That Make You Go Hmmm," which reached No. 4. This June he’ll release an updated version of his first hit as “Sweat25” and is currently working on an EP, #SweatCollectives.

Creative Loafing had told Tony P. that we were doing a routine joint Local Vibes/Yo! CLT Raps podcast and wanted him to come talk about his new Phaze Gawd album, Dark Dreams. At the beginning of the podcast, we discuss the album with him, but at the 5:45 mark, we ask if he remembers the lyrics to “Gonna Make You Sweat.” (We knew he did.) As he begins rapping, Freedom Williams walks into the studio and begins rapping along with Tony P., who turns around to see his childhood influence standing right behind him.

“Oh, whoa, WHOA! That’s insane!” Tony P. exclaims. “Yo, my heart’s like jumping right now… that’s love.”

In the episode, Tony P. and Freedom Williams go on to talk about the individual early performances that charted the course for each of their lives, in different places at different times in hip-hop history. And the two bond over the connecting power of music.

Tony P. explains that when he rapped Williams’ part in “Gonna Make You Sweat” back in elementary school, he was part of a larger theatrical production about early-‘90s popular music. “It was a piece basically dedicated to that whole time era,” the Charlotte rapper says. “So they had stuff like Janet Jackson — you know, different hip-hop and R&B artists playing … I was the only hip-hop act — the hip-hop representative in this play. So understanding that performing was what I wanted to do, and wanting to be on that stage … I was going to take this as seriously as I can.”

Williams remembers going onstage as a child dressed up like Frederick Douglass: “I had the tux on and the baby powder in my hair, like Frederick Douglass, and I was like, ‘Yo, I’m gonna smash this!’”

As the two generations of rap talk about their earliest performances, my podcast partner Ryan Pitkin, Yo! CLT Raps' Tizzy Farragami and videographer Barry Espy are just honored to be present for such a moving meeting of two great musical minds — one of them a rising rapper from the Queen City who calls himself Phaze Gawd.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

St. Vincent drops jaws at The Fillmore

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 11:25 PM

St. Vincent
The Fillmore
May 21, 2018

It's been almost exactly three years since St. Vincent performed in Charlotte. Last time around, in June of 2015 (also at the Fillmore), she combined a stunning combination of choreographed visuals and sonic explorations. On Monday night, the singer/guitarist also known as Annie Clark made a triumphant return to the Queen City. No opening act was needed as Clark hit the stage around 8:45 and thundered through another delightful 90-minute set. Appearing relaxed on stage in a nude bodysuit with orange boots and arm coverings, Clark's persona was more Starman this time around. Her tunes always stay true to album form until she unleashes brief musical torrents from her guitar. Where here last show was sparse in lighting, she had three massive light panels on stage that bathed the band in different colorful moods, such as red for "Masseduction." Haven't seen her live yet? What are you waiting for? She's one of music's finest artistic forces these days.

Los Ageless
New York
Hang on Me
Huey Newton
Digital Witness
Young Lover
Slow Disco
Fear the Future

Happy Birthday, Johnny
Smoking Section

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