Friday, September 25, 2015

Live review: Christopher O'Riley & Matt Haimovitz, Davidson College (9/24/2015)

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Christopher O'Riley & Matt Haimovitz
Duke Family Performance Hall, Davidson College
September 24, 2015

Pianist Christopher Riley stood up from his piano and welcomed the audience with a friendly warning. The evening’s program would be left to “the random actions of our hands.” He was joking but he was also telling the truth. Two master musicians, O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz, had claimed the stage to present Shuffle, Play, Listen, a selection that shattered the boundaries between classical, popular and avant-garde music. The only category that seemed to matter to the duo was “good music.” 

Who better to pick a playlist? O’Riley, one of the leading pianists of his generation and host of the popular NPR music program, From the Top, was teamed with Haimovitz, a player who redefined classical music by bringing it to the people – playing Bach in a series of intimate settings, including a groundbreaking 2002 gig at famed punk rock club CBGB’s.

Their opening piece, where Bernard Hermann’s score to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo segued into Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song,” was a foretaste of the musical adventure ahead. Introducing Shostakovich’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Minor” with the Monty Python quote, “And now for something completely different,” Haimovitz launched into mellow wine-like tones from his cello, followed by a dizzying precipitous descent. O’Riley’s low creeping chords kept pace as the sonata shifted through four movements, spanning an impish march, a whirling country waltz, a honeyed lament and a frantic slapstick chase where cello took the part of a drunken husband and piano signified his impatient wife.

And that was just the first half of the evening.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Tremont Music Hall to close in December

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Tremont Music Hall announced today it will close its doors after 20 years of business. A cornerstone of the Charlotte music scene, the West Tremont Avenue concert hall's owner said the building has been sold in a post on the venue's Facebook page today.


Tremont Music Hall has been a home to me and many local, regional, and national acts for the past 20 years. Not only has it been my great honor to own Tremont the past 5 years but it has been a greater joy to get to know the many fine musicians, wrestlers and comedians that Tremont has hosted.

Sadly, some things must change as economic prosperity moves into South End. Unfortunately, our building has been sold and we will be closing our doors on December 19th. We have a very special show planned on our final day to say thank you to some of the local bands that have supported us through the years.

My hope is that the 20 years of Tremont Music Hall will be remembered fondly; as we have worked very hard to make everyone who came through our doors feel like part of ‘The Tremont Family.

God Bless
-John Hayes, Owner
Only five years ago, Hayes purchased Tremont Music Hall from then-owner Dave Ogden. Last month, Ryan Pitkin wrote a story about how development in South End continues to threaten a number of locally owned businesses. 

With the Chop Shop set to close in November, the face of Charlotte's music scene is going to experience some lasting changes in the coming months.

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Live review: Janet Jackson, PNC Music Pavilion (9/18/2015)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 9:55 AM

Janet Jackson
PNC Music Pavilion
Sept. 18. 2015
The legendary Janet Jackson hit the stage at PNC Pavilion and showed the world that she’s still got it — at least, for those fans who were lucky enough to be in the venue when she began her two-hour set Friday night. Packed to the last blade of grass on the lawn, there were still people streaming into the amphitheater an hour into her set, dying for a glimpse of the legend after sitting in traffic around the venue. 

It was unfortunate that long lines on the roads around PNC put a damper on the evening for some concertgoers (not to mention the poor management after the show, as hundreds of people were basically stranded in their cars in the lots for two hours, hoping to make it home sometime before morning). Even if they were only able to make it inside for one of Jackson’s dozens of hits, it was almost worth it (almost).

The woman who forever altered pop and R&B, whose music video dance routines inspired choreographers all over the world, commanded the stage like the Jackson that she is. Draped head to toe in much more modest garb than we’ve seen her in in decades past, Janet Jackson blew the roof off the place with hit after hit.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Live photos: Darius Rucker, PNC Music Pavilion (8/29/2015)

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 1:02 PM

Darius Rucker
PNC Music Pavilion 
Aug. 29, 2015

Two songs into his set, Darius Rucker walked to the front of the stage at PNC Music Pavilion with the microphone in one hand and a shot of whiskey in the other. As Rucker made a toast to the crowd, he thanked Charlotte for their countless years of support. "I remember playing at Amos' Southend..." he said to rousing applause. "Hell, I remember playing at the Pterodactyl Club!" Rucker tossed back his shot before starting "Good For a Good Time." 

Before starting his next song, he thanked the crowd once again for their support of his career as a country artist. "A lot of people said this wouldn't work," he said. Roughly 15,000 people roaring in response has clearly proved those people wrong. Rucker, the former frontman of Hootie & The Blowfish, went on to perform more than a dozen of his songs — a mix of country/pop/rock and some of those old Hootie favorites, much to the crowd's delight. 

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