Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Live review: Evanescence, The Fillmore (11/15/2016)

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 11:13 AM

  • Evanescence
Evanescence w/ Veridia
The Fillmore
Nov. 15, 2016

For the last four years, Evanescence fans have waited for a reunion tour after the hard rock band went on hiatus in 2012. Charlotte-area fans got their wish with a tour stop at the Fillmore on Tuesday night that didn't disappoint from the opening notes to the closing chords.

  • Veridia
The night opened with a short set from Veridia that set the tone early with its hard rock sound. The band was solid, yet a bit forgettable, simply offering a good warmup set. The crowd's focus was on what was yet to come.

Then, Evanescence hit the stage with the energy of a quintet who acted like they'd never been offstage in the last few years and sounded like they never missed a beat or note.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

New Release: Brio ft. RonLui - Gone

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM


Charlotte rapper and producer Brio has moved one step closer to releasing BLEU, a project that's been three years in the making. Creative Loafing wrote about Brio's patient process with BLEU back in July, and now the release of "Gone" marks the rollout of that project. Well, sort of. "Gone" will be featured on LITEBLEU, a prequel EP of sorts to BLEU.

The song is Brio's reintroduction to the game, although he's been around — performing in Charlotte and Atlanta and releasing a video in July. In "Gone," he speaks  with a whispered voice over an eerie piano beat about where he's been and his readiness to release his new material. Brio brought along fellow Charlotte rapper Ron Lui for "Gone," and he keeps the mellowed effect going while contrasting Brio's whisper with a deeper, auto-tuned delivery.

The addition of the same exclamatory samples you grew up hearing behind Rob Bass in "It Takes Two" makes for an interesting contrast in the beat, produced by Brio, since those noises have been viscerally attached to a dance beat in America's collective musical conscious. It does add to the song in a subtle, head-nodding way, however.

Brio plans to follow up on the release of "Gone" with a video for his previously released single, "Sapphire." He says he hopes to release BLEU this winter. Check out more of his music here.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Live Review: Fitz and the Tantrums, The Fillmore (11/9/16)

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 11:36 AM

If you were looking for a distraction from the chaos resulting from Tuesday's election of Donald Trump as president on Wednesday night, you’d have found it at the Fillmore Charlotte.

  • Jeff Hahne

The Fillmore played host to one of the hottest acts to emerge on the scene in recent years and gave people something akin to hope after a devastating election the night before. Fitz and the Tantrums completely took over the Queen City without uttering so much as a word between songs.

Fitz and the Tantrums are an indie-pop and neo soul band that began in Los Angeles in 2008. They
  • Jeff Hahne
 released their debut, “Pickin’ Up the Pieces,” in 2010 and hit number one on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Rolling Stone profiled the group in 2011, naming them one to watch, and they followed up their critically acclaimed release with 2013’s “More Than Just a Dream.”

The band made a name for itself as one that can unite fans from all walks of life. That was evident, judging by the crowd packing the Fillmore Charlotte last night. The audience was full of people aged from 16 to 60 who showed up to fill the club in anticipation of the indie group’s set. Families could be seen taking selfies as all ages waited for the show to begin, eager for a fun release following an exhausting past 24 hours. From the moment the band graced the stage to the encore, every single member of the audience was completely immersed in a frenzy of screaming, singing and — above all — dance.

“Clearly this isn’t a show for wall flowers,” lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick said between songs, as co-singer Noelle Scaggs egged him on.

Despite the generational gap and difference in temperament of their loyal fans, Fitzpatrick was right — every single audience member raised their hands and stomped their feet in time to the music at the singer's slightest coaxing. It didn’t matter if they were playing old favorites like “Moneygrabber” or songs from the new album like “Tricky” and “Roll Up,” the crowd was in the palm of their hands and completely into each and every track they played.

  • Jef Hahne
It’s rare to see an act command an audience like this. Fitz and the Tantrums have it down to a science, able to bring a crowd to their feet with even a subtle beckoning or have them waving in unison while the group is getting their groove on. The band brought a fun atmosphere to a crowd desperately in need of an escape from reality and flawlessly played through a fun set that captured the essence of a time when pop-synth ruled the airwaves.

Next time you’re looking for a fun escape from reality, see if Fitz and the Tantrums are touring near you. They’re guaranteed to give you a musical escape that will encourage you to leave your inhibitions behind.

1. Get Right Back
2. Spark
3. Don’t Gotta Work It
4. Out of My League
5. Run It
6. Break the Walls
7. Breakin’ the Chains of Love
8. Walking Target
9. Complicated
10. Fool’s Gold
11. Roll Up
12. Do What You Want
13. MoneyGrabber
14. Burn It Down
15. L.O.V.

16. HandClap
17. 6 A.M.
18. The Walker

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Live review: Relient K and Switchfoot

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Relient K and Switchfoot
Nov. 2, 2016
The Fillmore Charlotte

Most Wednesdays you’ll find the working class of the Queen City winding down after a long day at work at a local brewery. So what could possibly bring a crowd of bankers, hipsters and parents out to The Fillmore late on a weeknight? The promise of reliving a significant portion of their high school years.

Relient K and Switchfoot graced the Fillmore with their presence Wednesday night for their “Looking for America Tour.” These two powerhouses were pivotal to the pop-punk scene that took the mainstream by storm in the early 2000s and are now coming together for one epic tour.

Relient K kicked off the show with a 19-song set that featured a mix of old classics and their latest material. The group came onstage and played without any fancy pyrotechnics or screens — they kept it simple, with a background painting of a log cabin, a few trees placed on stage and a life-sized white buffalo casually sitting on the stage. It was quirky, and yet somehow perfectly aligned with the theme of their latest album, Air for Free.

They ripped through a fairly balanced set with their trademark energy. Occasionally you could feel the crowd getting restless, especially during their newer songs, but the room exploded every time they reached into their backlog. Songs like “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been,” “Sadie Hawkins Dance” and “Be My Escape” received a level of audience interaction that most bands only dream of.

Once Relient K finished up (with a gorgeous rendition of Deathbed, on which Switchfoot’s singer Jon Foreman joined), the audience’s energy slowly started to lag as the stage was set for Switchfoot. The 45 minute break in between the two groups was a touch too long to keep the momentum built by Relient K going. Yet when the lights finally came down, the crowd’s energy returned. Switchfoot took the stage and immediately launched into “Holy Water” from their album “Where the Light Shines Through.”

The interaction between front man Foreman and the crowd is a joy to watch. He took the time between songs to really build a rapport with the audience, and frequently jumped into the crowd to get as close as possible to the band’s fans. His joy and energy were apparent as he jumped from end to end of the venue, singing without missing a single note the entire time.

He had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire time, especially during the songs from Switchfoot’s early years. The crowd was entirely captivated when “Meant to Live” and other songs from their debut “The Beautiful Letdown” were played. The band seemed to tailor their setlist to the fans, setting everything up to give them the most nostalgic, enjoyable experience possible. The closed their amazing set with one of the first songs that launched them into the mainstream, “Dare You to Move.”

Switchfoot and Relient K proved to be the perfect combination. Both groups have been around for more than 10 years and hit the mainstream scene almost simultaneously. Together, the two bands put on a powerhouse show that fans aren’t likely to see again. If you were lucky enough to be at The Fillmore Wednesday night, you bore witness to the meeting of two incredible musical minds.

Relient K Setlist:
1. Local Construction
2. High of 75
3. Bummin’
4. Don’t Blink
5. The One I’m Waiting For
6. Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been
7. Runnin’
8. Mountaintop
9. Forget and Not Slow Down
10. Sahara
11. Air for Free
12. Mrs. Hippopotamuses’
13. Crayons Can Melt On Us for All I Care
14. Mood rings
15. Crayons Can Melt On Us for All I Care
16. Heartache
17. Sadie Hawkins Dance
18. Be My Escape
19. Deathbed

Switchfoot Setlist:
1. Holy Water
2. Meant to Live
3. Stars
4. Bull in a China Shop
5. Where the Light Shines Through
6. I Won’t Let You Go
7. The Shadow Proves the Sunshine
8. Love Alone is Worth the Fight
9. Twenty-Four (acoustic)
10. If the House Burns Down Tonight
11. The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)
12. Where I Belong
13. Float
14. Live It Well
15. Dare You to Move

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Live photos: Jon Bon Jovi, The Fillmore (11/6/2016)

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 1:39 PM

Get Out the Vote w/ Jon Bon Jovi
The Fillmore
Nov. 6, 2016

A small crowd filled the Fillmore on Sunday night for a dose of politics and music. A series of short speeches gave way to a brief acoustic performance by Jon Bon Jovi with a theme, of course, of getting out to vote.

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