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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