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The 2017 'CL' Fall Guide 

Your go-to source for all that's fun as the temperatures drop

Mark your calendars, because this is a jam-packed fall season. From Jay-Z at the Spectrum Arena — and a ton more music — to the Panthers and Hornets, there are plenty of events to attend. Not to mention food to eat. Beer to drink. And art to experience. Check out what Charlotte has to offer as the temperatures drop, and keep watching our events pages in the months to come.

The Panthers gear up
  • The Panthers gear up


Carolina Panthers

The time has finally arrived. Sure, the ever-growing consciousness around what football is doing to players' brains mixed with the blindingly clear reason that Colin Kaepernick doesn't currently have a job makes it a little harder than most years to really get behind a corporation like the NFL, but don't lie to yourself, you'll be tuning in to see how these Panthers are going to do with Kelvin Benjamin back running routes and new draft pick Christian McCaffrey throwing moves on folks.

September 17: Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.

September 24: New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m.

October 12: Philadelphia Eagles, 8:25 p.m.

November 5: Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.

November 13: Miami Dolphins, 8:30 p.m.

December 10: Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.

December 17: Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m.

December 24: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.

Where: Bank of America Stadium, 800 S. Mint St.

Cost: $60 and up.


Charlotte Hornets

Between J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, the Spectrum Center has been home to a lot of greatness since the Hornets played there last, so they'll have a lot to live up to. In the offseason, they added Dwight Howard, who is certainly expected to play second fiddle to Cam Newton in terms of local sports figures with a Superman alter-ego, but we're hoping he can find his old dominant self on the court.


October 11: Boston Celtics, 7 p.m.

October 13: Dallas Mavericks, 6 p.m.

Regular Season

October 20: Atlanta Hawks, 7 p.m.

October 25: Denver Nuggets, 7 p.m.

October 27: Houston Rockets, 7 p.m.

October 29: Orlando Magic, 6 p.m.

November 1: Milwaukee Bucks, 7 p.m.

November 15: Cleveland Cavaliers, 8 p.m.

November 18: Los Angeles Clippers, 7 p.m.

November 20: Minnesota Timberwolves, 7 p.m.

November 22: Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.

November 25: San Antonio Spurs, 7 p.m.

December 4: Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.

December 6: Golden State Warriors, 8 p.m.

December 8: Chicago Bulls, 7 p.m.

December 9: Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m.

December 15: Miami Heat, 7 p.m.

December 16: Portland Trailblazers, 7 p.m.

December 18: New York Knicks, 7 p.m.

December 20: Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.

Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St.

Cost: Ticket prices not yet listed


click to enlarge charlotte-checkers-logo-featured-.jpg

Charlotte Checkers

Just as we sadly prepare to watch the Charlotte Roller Girls pack up for the season and go rest their bones for the winter, we remember that we can still get our fill of body checking from the original source: ice hockey. The Checkers have always been a great way to spend an evening, but ever since they returned to the historic-but-renovated Bojangles Coliseum in 2015, games have been that much more fun to watch.

October 13: Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 7:15 p.m.

October 14: Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 6 p.m.

October 28: Utica Comets, 6 p.m.

October 29: Utica Comets, 1 p.m.

November 21: Belleville Senators, 7 p.m.

November 22: Belleville Senators, 7 p.m.

November 25: Providence Bruins, 6 p.m.

November 26: Providence Bruins, 1 p.m.

December 1: Springfield Thunderbirds, 7:15 p.m.

December 3: Springfield Thunderbirds, 1 p.m.

Where: Bojangles' Coliseum, 2700 E. Independence Blvd.

Cost: $18 and up.


Let's Go Racin'

One thinks of racing as something that takes place mostly in the summer, maybe just because there are so many people in the stands with their shirts off. However, there's plenty going on at Charlotte Motor Speedway this fall. There's enough branding in these next few listings to pay our publication costs for the next year, but unfortunately we get none of that sponsorship dough.

October 6: Bojangles' Pole night

An evening of knockout qualifying that sets the stage for the Bank of America 500. The night also includes the Better Half Dash, in which the ladies of NASCAR duel in a 25-lap Bandolero charity race, and a Whelen Modified Tour race featuring the best modified drivers on the planet.

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $13 and up.

October 7: Drive for the Cure 300

The contenders for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship will fight to the finish with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series regulars in a Saturday-free-for-all.

When: 3 p.m.

Cost: $26.75 and up.

October 8: Bank of America 500

This is the big one. The playoff hunt heats up as the weather cools down, and this race at NASCAR's home track will make or break a few drivers' championship dreams.

When: 2 p.m.

Cost: $52.50 and up.

October 20-22: Goodguys Southeastern Nationals

This race features more than 2,500 custom and modified pre-1972 era cars.

When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: Unlisted.

October 26-28: OneDirt World Short Track Championship

This three-day event will put eight divisions on center stage in pursuit of a purse in excess of $110,000 and is a nice lead up to the World of Outlaws the following weekend (see below).

When: $25 and up, kids under 13 years old free.

Cost: Unlisted.

November 2-4: World of Outlaws World Finals

The most prestigious dirt racing event in the country (that's what the website says, we really don't know) brings together the top series in the sport: the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series.

When: $25 and up, kids under 13 years old free.

Cost: $16 and up. Three-day packages, $95.

More: 1-800-455-FANS (3267)

MacTabby Cafe is coming this fall. Meow.
  • MacTabby Cafe is coming this fall. Meow.


CLT’s MACdown Mac-n-Cheese Competition & Craft Beer Tasting

What: How many plates of mac-n-cheese can you eat? Charlotte's Mac-n-Cheese Competition and Craft Beer Tasting is back again for all-you-can-eat dishes inspired by culinary traditions from around the world. Of course, drinks are needed to clear the palate for your next plate, so local breweries will be offering their finest beers. With 20-plus dishes and 20-plus breweries, you won't be going home without a full and happy belly. This event is for folks 21 and older only.

When: 2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 11

Where: Heights Music Hall, 935 S. Summit Ave.

More: $42.90;


What: We're not impressed by your dart-throwing, let's see you throw an axe. The satisfaction of hitting the bullseye is still there, but chucking axes has a whole different feel. Lumberjaxe is opening in late September, so hone your axe-throwing game. As for the drinking, well hell, we've been warming up for that all summer. It's BYOB, and staff promises to keep you safe from any drunken idiots and their sharp objects, so just make sure your standing behind everyone. They'll host competitive leagues, and if you're just looking for a reason to throw shit, this is the place!

When: Opening late September

Where: Belmont neighborhood



Americans love the idea of Oktoberfest, but do we ever celebrate it right? No, but Mecktoberfest is the closest thing to it. Instead of a 16-18 day festival, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery condenses it to three days of live German bands like Mountain Top Polka and Holzhackern Tyrolean, German food and the best crisp beer to remind us how autumn is the best season of the year. To top it off, it's a free, kid-and-dog-friendly atmosphere.

When: September 22-24

Where: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Rd.


You won't want to miss Dia de los Casi Muertos
  • You won't want to miss Dia de los Casi Muertos


Dia de los Casi Muertos

Do you mourn the death, or celebrate the life? Charlotte artist (and current McColl artist-in-residence) Julio Gonzalez's video and photography project explores the differences between American and Mexican approaches to mortality. The installation, which translates as "Day of the Almost Dead," features video interviews as well as portraits where the subjects wear nothing but skeletal-yet-colorful, Day of the Dead-style body paint. At the November 4 closing party, the innovative theater troupe XOXO will lead an interactive remembrance ceremony.

When: October 31 – November 4

Where: C3 Lab, 2525 Distribution St.

More: $5 donation;

Chinese Lantern Festival

So it's a balmy evening and you're strolling through the garden. Suddenly, as you round a bend in the path, you're face to face with a snarling tiger, its entire body ablaze with an internal flame! Not to worry, the jungle beast is an elaborate lantern; one of 800 created by the master craftsmen of Zigong, China, and ranged throughout Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Arranged in a kaleidoscope of colors and in the shapes of pandas, dinosaurs, elephants and more the lanterns transform the garden into a glowing wonderland. A woodland stage plays host to Kung Fu exhibitions and shadowplays.

When: September 7 – October 29

Where: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S New Hope Rd., Belmont, SC

More: $14.95-21.95;

Rodrigo Valenzuela: New Land

Documentary and fiction collide in Chilean-born photographer and videographer Valenzuela's immersive installations. New Land presents newly commissioned desert landscapes refracted through a prism of ideas and preconceptions – notions of home, borders and dystopia. Three videos focus on immigration and the limits of American democracy. For McColl's Community Pie Social on September 16, New Orleans–based chef and writer Tunde Wey joins Valenzuela in a discussion on the anti-immigration movement.

When: September 14 – December 2

Where: McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721 N Tryon St.

More: Free;

American Idiot

Broadway traditionalists scoffed at punk music on the Great White Way, and hardcore punk rockers lambasted Green Day for not being punk enough. To hell with both of them. The Tony-winning smash musical based on Green Day's Grammy-garnering album is invigorating and inspirational, a tale of wasted youth escaping soul sucking suburbia through the transcendent power of music. It's a message of defiance and hope. What can be more punk than that? The show seems the perfect match for Actor's Theater, Charlotte's underdog troupe that continues to bring some of the best and brightest new work to the Q.C.

When: September 21 – October 14

Where: Queens University's Hadley Theater, 2132 Radcliffe Ave.

More: $27-50;

Loose Leaves showcase

Produced and curated by local dancer/choreographer Salena Mable Stamp, Loose Leaves in a dance showcase unlike any other. The secret is Stamp's egalitarian approach to the arts. Stamp solicits short pieces from local choreographers and all styles of dance are accepted. So you're likely to see hip-hop, jazz and modern as well as classical ballet. The program boasts a proud legacy as Charlotte's most diverse dance showcase. So if you don't like a particular piece, just stick around. You may love the next one.

When: September 30 – October 1

Where: Duke Energy Theater, 345 N. College St.

More: $12;

College night at McColl

It's no secret that we think Blame the Youth is cool. Now it looks like the McColl is on board with us. The jazzy-sassy-eclectic young pop band performs at an evening especially created for more young people, namely college students. McColl adds a hip-hop dance class with local performer Dina Bedawy, paper flower making with artist-in-residence Julio Gonzalez, a culinary surprise by exhibiting artist-in-residence Leah Rosenberg. Student or faculty ID required for admission.

When: September 28

Where: McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721 N Tryon St.

More: Free;


Retro horror series

Like the sequel that won't stay dead, Arsley Grand Cinemas are back with a selection of classic creepshows to put a chill into the autumn air. Blood curdling favorites include the original sound versions of Dracula and Frankenstein that branded Universal Studios as the home for American horror for decades, the telekinetic splatterfest Carrie, and Scream, Director Wes Craven's fresh take on over-used horror movie tropes. Friday the 13th, the Mount Everest of slasher flicks, is appropriately screened on Friday the 13th.

When: September 29 – November 2

Where: Ayrsley Grand Cinemas, 9110 Kings Parade Blvd.

More: $5;

The Revolutionists

Who knew the reign of terror was so drop dead funny? Paperhouse Theater stages Lauren Gunderson's radical comedy, set during the extremist insanity of Paris in 1793. Corrupt men have seized power, and they're wallowing in violent rhetoric. Sound familiar? The original riot grrls, former queen Marie Antoinette, playwright Olympe De Gouge, assassin Charlotte Corday, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle try to beat back the wave of crazy. But will they lose their heads?

When: October 5 – 22

Where: Goodyear Arts, Camp North End

More: $20;

The Legend of Buster Neal

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture presents this production by Winston-Salem's North Carolina Black Repertory Company, the first professional Black theatre company in NC. In Buster Neal, a legendary civil rights activist, presumed dead for 60 years, returns to reconnect with his family and struggles to bond with a grandson he never knew. Telling the story of four generations of African-American men, the drama examines friendship, fatherhood and the how the past weighs on the present.

When: October 13 – 14

Where: Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St.

More: $25-35;

Fall dance works

In the spirit of autumn, a time of reflection, Charlotte Ballet turns a pensive eye on - Charlotte Ballet! George Balanchine's Apollo, staged by legendary Balanchine dancer Patricia McBride, pays tribute Charlotte Ballet's legacy, while Walking Mad, a piece choreographed by brilliant innovator Johan Inger, looks to the future of dance. The dark and sexy Elsa Canasta, originally created with Artistic Director Hope Muir, pulls the program together into the present.

When: October 19 – 21

Where: Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St.

More: $25-95;

Day of the Dead at Levine

Anglo culture is still mighty tight assed when it comes to the big dirt nap that levels us all. Seriously, we'd all be a lot better adjusted about the end of our life's journey if we took a cue from Latin culture and celebrated the joy and vitality of the dearly departed. Levine's family-friendly festival, presented in partnership with the Latin American Coalition, celebrates the traditional Mexican holiday with music, dance, sugar skull workshops and authentic arts and crafts.

When: October 29

Where: Levine Museum of the New South, 200 East 7th St.

More: Free;

Fahrenheit 451

The title of Three Bone Theatre's production is the temperature at which paper combusts. It's one of the few pieces of knowledge that fireman Guy Montag is allowed in his profession as a book burning fireman in this adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic dystopian novel. When Guy meets the strange yet compelling Clarissa, his mind is opened – and all hell breaks loose.

When: November 2 – 4

Where: Duke Energy Theater, 345 N College St.

More: $22-28;

All the Dogs and Horses

Last April, Matt Cosper's XOXO theater troupe debuted their psychedelic western, a twisted paean to frontier justice, gold fever and the wide-open spaces of the American desert in the comfy confines of Petra's in Plaza Midwood. For one night only, this remix adds expanded scenes, live musicians and more of XOXO's trippy Pee-wee's Playhouse-style scenery in the far more roomy expanse of The Courtroom.

When: November 17

Where: The Courtroom, 201 East Main St., Rock Hill, SC

More: $TBA;

Jay-Z is coming to town.
  • Jay-Z is coming to town.



What: By far the biggest concert of the season is the king of rap, Jay-Z, who brings his 4:44 tour to the Queen City for a show that's sure to make for interesting watercooler conversation the following day. The new album — his 13th — is stellar, but folks have already grumbled about so-called anti-semitic lyrics in the song "The Story of O.J." Of course, Jay-Z would have it no other way. He's long used language that pushes buttons and boundaries, with lyrics that have exaggerated and underscored every stereotype known to man, including stereotypes of blacks. Whatever you feel about Jay-Z or the new album, this is the Charlotte show that matters most in fall 2017.

When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 16

Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St.

More: $26 and up.

Mike Gordon

What: Apparently some Phish cover band's coming to town, but why go see a fake Phish when you can see a real one?

When: 8:30 p.m. Sat., Sept. 23.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $27 - $37.

The War on Drugs

What: Go deeper with Philly's War on Drugs, whose new album, A Deeper Understanding, continues exploring new soundscapes with traditional rock instruments.

When: 7 p.m. Mon., Sept. 25.

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $33.

Trombone Shorty

What: Forget that Trombone Shorty is going for a P. Diddy look on the cover of his new Parking Lot Symphony — there's nothing puffy about Troy Andrews' thick and gritty, jazz- and funk-based New Orleans R&B.

When: 8 p.m. Tues., Sept. 26.

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $30.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

What: Is this billing accurate? Last we heard, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was just Krayzie Bone and Bizzy Bone (aka Bone Thugs). Even as a duo, the '90s rappers are wroth catching.

When: 8 p.m. Wed., Sept. 27.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $30 - $40.

Jack Johnson

What: No need for a babysitter. Get chill with the acoustic songman whose lullabies will lull your babies to sleep — and maybe you, too.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 28.

Where: PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd.

More: $64 - up.

Alison Krauss

What: David Grey, who co-headlines this event, is no Robert Plant, but Krauss is Krauss, and she's always exquisite.

When: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Sept. 29.

Where: PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd.

More: $40 - up.

Southern Culture on the Skids

What: Few pairings are more perfect than Triangle twang-meisters SCOTS and Charlotte's own It's Snakes, which opens this show.

When: 9 p.m. Fri., Sept. 29.

Where: The Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave.

More: $14 - $18.

Jason Isbell

What: He's great, but damn, does he have to come around so often? Everybody loves Jason. But we remember when he played places like the Evening Muse, long before his two-night stands at big joints like Ovens.

When: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Sept. 29; Sat. Sept. 30

Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E Independence Blvd.

More: $34 and up.

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Rhiannon Giddens

What: Another mustn't-miss performance, the phenomenal Rhiannon Giddens brings her regular show (no orchestras, no pomp, just pure Americana) to NoDa. Prepare to sing some songs about freedom.

When: 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 30.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $30 - $35.

Space Jesus

What: Go to this one and you'll get ping-ponged around the Fillmore by Jasha Tull's jittery, MDMA-induced, futuristic EDM.

When: 8 p.m. Tues., Sept. 30

Where: Underground, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $16.

Roadcase Royale: Nancy Wilson and Liv Warfield

What: A queen of rock guitar (Heart's Wilson) teams with a princess of Prince's band (Warfield) for a royal showcase of rock and R&B.

When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 1.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $40 - $50.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story

What: This British duo sounds just like Simon & Garfunkel, but this isn't just a cover act. There's a narrative here, too. Kinda.

When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 1.

Where: Knight Theater, 430 S Tryon St.

More: $25 and up.

Seu Jorge

What: He's the Brazilian singer who performed those sublime acoustic David Bowie covers in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Go see him reprise them.

When: 8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 3

Where: Underground, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $35.

Beats Antique

What: Beats Antique brings its fascinating fusion of sounds from around the world.

When: 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 4.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $25 - $35.

Charlotte Symphony Rodrigo Concerto

What: Pablo Sainz Villegas is known as the "soul of Spanish guitar," and on this special night, Villegas will team with the Charlotte Symphony for a night of esquisite music from the great Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo.

When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 6.

Where: Knight Theater, 430 S Tryon St.

More: $19 and up.

Cafe Tacuba

What: One of the more adventurous rock acts ever to march out of Mexico, Cafe Tacuba is that country's Beatles, Sex Pistols, Queen, Mekos and Radiohead — combined.

When: 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 6

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $39.50.

Art of Cool ft. Robert Glasper

What: Some of the finest purveyors of the peculiar space where jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock meet — pianist Glasper and saxophonist Kenneth Whalum — close out Sol Kitchen's Art of Cool fest that takes over Charlotte Oct. 6 and 7, and also includes shows at the Evening Muse, Morehead Tavern and Heist Brewery. Be there, or be. . . uncool.

When: 8:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 7.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $50 - $100.

San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus

What: On their Lavender Pen Tour, the amazing voices of the SFGMC aims to share the group's mission of activism and compassion across the South, showing support for LGBTQ+ people in places not as tolerent as those in the chorus's Bay Area home base.

When: 7:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 14

Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E Independence Blvd.

More: $29 and up.

Against Me

What: Get your transgender dysphoria on when Ms. Laura Jane Grace sticks a pin in her heart and spills it all over the stage in songs from Against Me!'s latest album, Shape Shift With Me.

When: 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 18.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $20 - $30.

Old Crow Medicine Show

What: Jam to some contemporary, rock-based bluegrass when Old Crow comes to town.

When: 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 18

Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E Independence Blvd.

More: $29.50 and up.

Los Lobos

What: You'll never experience a bad show from this little band from east L.A.

When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 19.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $35 - $45.


What: He's a Christian, but not a bang-you-over-the-head Christian. Lecrae is more nuanced. He told one Christian publication, "Gandhi said it, Frederick Douglass said it, a lot of people have probably said, 'It's not Christ that I have a problem with, it's his people.'" Lecrae is about to take his conscious Christian rap to the mainstream.

When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 19

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $27.

click to enlarge bla-alt.png

Bla/Alt Music Festival

What: Local singer-songwriter LeAnna Eden has big ambitions for this festival of music by black alt-rockers from Charlotte. In the tradition of New York's Black Rock Coalition and Afro Punk fest, Eden celebrates rock made by marginalized artists in our area. Features her own band The Garden Of, along with The Business People, Nige Hood's Folk Rap Band, Lofidels and more.

When: Noon - 11 p.m. Sat., Oct. 21.

Where: Camp North End,, 1824 Statesville Ave.

More: free.

Marsha Ambrosius & Bilal

What: She made her name with the hip-hop/poetry duo Floetry. He's a New York-based neo-soul singer-songwriter. Together, Ambrosius and Bilal are one chill combo of intensely adventurous and soulful sonic sustenance.

When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 21

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: TBA.


What: Spoon got the plug pulled on them (not intentionally—it was an act of God) the last time they came here, so they're coming back. Make no mistake about it: the Austin indie rockers gave Charlotte their best, even unplugged. But these are the kind of guys who won't stop until they give it their all. A stellar band.

When: 8 p.m. Sun., Oct. 22

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $29.


What: Midwestern EDM from tattooed, whiskey-drinking, Pakistani-American sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, who grew up in the Chicago 'burbs and have a thing for Cruella de Vil.

When: 8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 24

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $20.


What: North Carolina's favorite indie-punk band that owns North Carolina's favorite indie-punk label, Merge, is coming to town, and they always put on a stellar show that harks back to the era of Husker Du, the Replacements and early R.E.M.

When: 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 27.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $18 - $25.

Fall Out Boy

What: Chicago rockers hit the big stage this fall.

When: 7 p.m. Fri., Nov. 3

Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St.

More: $51 - up.

The Shins

What: The glorious indie-pop of James Mercer just gets better and more flavorful with age.

When: 8 p.m. Mon., Nov. 16

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $35.

Kirk Franklin

What: God's got this one. And He will have you, too, if you venture into one of Franklin's powerhouse performances of pure, unadulterated gospel. A personal relationship with the Man on High is not required be inspired by Franklin's talent.

When: 7:30 p.m. Tues., Nov. 21

Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E Independence Blvd.

More: $35 and up.


What: Like America's Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine, Mexico's Molotov redeems the generally horried rap-rock genre with something Limp Bizkit never understood: songs.

When: 8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 6

Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.

More: $30.


What: To most, Squirrel Nut Zippers was a one-hit '90s novelty whose "Hot" got relentless play on MTV. To us, the Triangle band is an institution. This season, the Zippers celebrate the holidays with songs from their Christmas Caravan.

When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec 7.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $25 - $35.

Handel's 'Messiah'

What: Hallelujah! No more need be said about this wonderful holiday tradition, and you'll be in good hands with the Charlotte Symphony performing it.

When: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 15, and Sat., Dec. 16.

Where: Knight Theater, 430 S Tryon St.

More: $19 and up.

Double Door Inn Anniversary Reunion Party

What: You can't kill off an institution. Double Door regulars the Lenny Federal Band, Crisis and the Stragglers are throwing an end-of-the-year a reunion. Party on, dudes.

When: 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17.

Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.

More: $10.

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