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Summer Guide 2011: Concert Preview 

Rock, metal, country, blues, folk — Charlotte gets to see it all. Sometimes picking the best concert to go to is a bit like choosing your day's outfit — it really just depends on your mood. While new shows are being announced on a weekly, if not daily, basis, we've gathered together a group of concerts, from those we're aware of, that we suggest you check out.

MAY 26: The season for the smaller of the two outdoor amphitheaters will kick off with a heavy helping of metal as Deftones and Dillinger Escape Plan cruise into town. Dillinger is one of those bands that demands attention as no band member stands still. I've seen them jump off every amp stack on stage, and even saw one of them slide off stage into the photo pit at Bonnaroo. They should wear helmets. $29.50-$48.50. Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre.

MAY 27-29: It's race weekend, but instead of watching a bunch of cars "go fast and turn left," you can head out to Plaza Midwood and catch three great nights of music during the Snug 600. From the Springsteen-esque garage rock of Temperance League to the rockabilly of The Belmont Playboys, from the surf rock of Aqualads to the newly formed Chalkies, there's a bit of something for everyone here. Also featuring The Beggars, Colossus, Jeremiah & the Howling Owls, Lamb Handler, Glowing Bordis, Bout It Boyz, The Poontanglers, AM/FM's. $6-$7. Snug Harbor.

JUNE 2: Jazz-tinged R&B vocalist Will Downing brings his hearty catalog of smooth hits — like "I Go Crazy" and "She" — to the Knight Theater for a rare Q.C. performance. $45-$65. Knight Theater.

JUNE 4: It's not often that Wu-Tang gets on stage together, so these days, fans take what they can get. Enter Raekwon. He's out on tour with his Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang tour featuring plenty of his lyrical skills and verbal daggers. $22-$25. Amos' Southend.

JUNE 7: People began to notice Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses a lot more after Bingham's Oscar win for his song in the movie Crazy Heart. His Americana-infused rock has landed him on plenty of country tours, but there's no need for particular labels here when the songwriting is so solid. $20-$23. Amos' Southend.

JUNE 9: The trio of Those Darlins continues to win fans over with their brand of rock. While the band's first album teetered more on the country line, the band's latest effort has gone more retro rock in style. Either way, the ladies know how to get a crowd going. $8-$10. Tremont Music Hall.

"Here at Tremont, we're embracing the hot summer months with awesome tours, such as Kylesa (May 25), Those Darlins (June 9), Swingin' Utters (June 19), Otep (June 22) and Tech N9ne (July 26). We also have some very exciting shows celebrating our fantastic local music community. The One Another CD Release show on June 16 w/ Yardwork is one to check out. July 1 will bring the Judacula Fest highlighting the talent of many local artists and musicians. Then, July 23 — The 1st Annual Radok Fest will celebrate the life of photographer Chris Radok with music by, to name a few, ANTiSEEN and Snagglepuss."

— Lisa Barr, Tremont Music Hall

JUNE 9-12: Roughly six hours from Charlotte are the fields of Manchester, Tenn., where the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is held each year. With some of the biggest names in music performing, it's a fantastic reason to get out of town and do some camping. See our guide to Bonnaroo, including tips if you're going, on page ??. Manchester, Tenn.

JUNE 13: A former member of The Everybodyfields, Jill Andrews has quickly solidified herself on the folk scene with her easy vocals and ear-grabbing songwriting. Her full-length debut, The Mirror, is due out on June 7, so you'll hear plenty of new material at this show. $25.50-$27.50. McGlohon Theatre.

JUNE 20: Former Charlotte resident Nicole Atkins makes her way back to town when she can. This time around, she's supporting her sophomore effort, Mondo Amore. She may have a new band backing her, but Atkins' vocals remain strong and at the center of her music. $10. The Milestone.

JUNE 24: Though stuck with a country label, Keith Urban has defied the tradition and fused elements of rock, folk and even bluegrass into his music. With banjo-playing one minute and Urban tearing into guitar licks the next, his Australian background gives him an edge that makes him defy the genre so often placed on him. $35.20-$70.50. Time Warner Cable Arena.

"Here at the Neighborhood Theatre, we are looking forward to the fall schedule because if it looks anything like my holds book right now, then we are in for a treat! Hats off to all the independently owned music venues in Charlotte, it's not easy to thrive these days; however, it seems that we all are and that's something worth celebrating."

— Zach McNabb, Neighborhood Theatre

JUNE 26: PJ Morton is no stranger to Charlotte, but the musician/crooner — who belts out tunes with a Lennon-meets-gospel vocal style — hasn't performed songs from his latest album, Walk Alone, for local fans. So, don't miss him. $15-$20. Double Door Inn.

JULY 4: An outstanding guitar player from New Orleans, Anders Osborne brings a down-and-dirty edge to his blues-infused rock. His hair flies, sweat drips down his face and you can hear the emotion in every note he plays. Free. U.S. National Whitewater Center.

JULY 16: For the first time in 25 years, Elvis Costello has decided to bring back "The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" for his Revolver Tour. The idea is that audience members are invited up on stage to spin the wheel and whatever song it lands on, Costello plays — including covers, rarities and more. Come on down! $34.50-$79.50. Belk Theater.

JULY 19: Back together in 2010 for the first time in six years, A Perfect Circle has been road-testing new material while also performing music from its three released albums. The band features Tool's Maynard James Keenan along with former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and guitarist Billy Howerdel. $47.35-$73.90. Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre.

JULY 21: If you asked me to name the most underrated guitar player I've seen perform, I'd probably put John Butler at the top of the list. John Butler Trio performs an Australian brand of roots rock that's heavy on Butler's talents on the guitar and banjo. His finger-picking style is superb, he can make an acoustic sound like Hendrix and if he starts playing the instrumental, "Ocean," just sit back and stare in jaw-dropping wonder. $35.25. The Fillmore Charlotte.

JULY 28: For more than 15 years, the Vans Warped Tour has brought an eclectic mix of bands on the road for long, hot, sweat-filled music events. Among the acts this year are Against Me!, Gym Class Heroes, Less Than Jake, Middle Class Rut, Peelander-Z, Pepper and many more. $42. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

AUG. 21: Charlotte's been waiting for this one for a long time — a concert by My Morning Jacket. The band will be wrapping up its summer tour in the Queen City, after hitting the road in support of its latest album, Circuital. I doubt the band will have a hard time selling out the 5,000-capacity outdoor venue. $34-$55.35. Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre.

AUG. 26: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals were in town this spring opening for The Avett Brothers, but now they're back to headline a show full of their soulful rock. Potter is the ultimate front woman with stunning looks that only serve as a compliment to her amazing vocal range and power. She's definitely not just a pretty face. $29.40. The Fillmore Charlotte.

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