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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dispatch serves up a stellar summer concert

Posted By on Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 9:21 PM

Dispatch w/ Guster, Jake Shimabukuro
Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
June 23, 2017

While it typically takes bands a few songs to get warmed up, Dispatch had no problem hitting its stride just moments into the band's first song. With an audience full of backup singers, the indie-roots band fed off the crowd and cruised through a lengthy set of 18 songs. Look, we can't tell you why Dispatch isn't a household name, but a large Charlotte crowd could give you plenty of reasons to give them a listen. The band found plenty of moments to let loose for jams, spurring on the summer night. It was one that started with a short set by ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro. Guster's lackluster set was satisfying for fans and spotlighted by the band's efforts to get the crowd involved - including a brief jaunt into the crowd to take some selfies and swig some beer. The night, however, belonged to Dispatch.



Dispatch setlist
Here We Go
Be Gone
Open Up
Skin the Rabbit
Passerby
Painted Yellow Lines
Beto
Bang Bang
Flag
Flying Horses
Rice Water
Elias
Only the Wild Ones
Circles Around the Sun
Curse + Crush
The General
Bats in the Belfry
Out loud >Time (Pink Floyd) > Out loud

Guster setlist
The Captain
Happier
Doin' It By Myself
Come Downstairs and Say Hello
Amsterdam
Airport Song
Long Night
Satellite
Demons
This Could All Be Yours

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Banks fuses artistry and style at Fillmore concert

Posted By on Sun, Jun 11, 2017 at 9:45 PM

Banks, Toulouse
The Fillmore
June 9, 2017

From the moment singer Banks hit the stage until the last notes rang out, the Fillmore crowd was completely enthralled. From the electropop tunes to the stellar vocals to the hypnotic visuals, Banks captivated everyone in attendance from the moment she walked on stage. Her dances were choreographed, yet artistic. The music had pop-sensibilities and poetic phrasing. The stage setup was simple, but enchanting. For all of the simplicity of the bare stage, Banks proved she didn't need anything flashy to impress. Those in attendance danced, stared and never, ever got enough.

Setlist
Intro
Poltergeist
Fuck With Myself
Gemini Feed
Trainwreck
Waiting Game
This is What
Mind Games
Better
Weaker Girl
Mother Earth
Drowning
Judas
Begging for Thread
Haunt

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chance the Rapper thrills packed PNC Music Pavilion

Posted By on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 11:56 PM

Chance the Rapper
PNC Music Pavilion
June 8, 2017

Five years ago, Chance the Rapper opened for Childish Gambino at the then Uptown Amphitheatre. What a difference five years makes. On Thursday night, throngs of fans crammed into PNC Music Pavilion and watched a nearly two-hour DJ set in anticipation of one of this year's hottest rap artists. When Chance hit the stage, that long wait was forgotten instantly. Fresh of his multiple Grammy wins, Chance the Rapper hit the Charlotte stage and offered a quick-paced set filled with nearly 20 songs. The crowd rapped along to every line as Chance paced back and forth on the stage. A massive LED screen behind him, Chance's stage performance was a reminder of his life right now - full-on in the spotlight.


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Paul Simon's still got it after all these years

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 8:58 PM

Paul Simon
Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
June 6, 2017

It had been nearly 20 years since Paul Simon performed in Charlotte, but those in attendance on Tuesday night at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre didn't leave disappointed. The 75-year-old singer/songwriter not only sounded fantastic, but he and a talented band opened up the catalog for a 25-song setlist. The crowd was appreciative of moments of banter, sat back and absorbed every folk tune new and old and danced through every rhythmic beat.

From the opening notes of "The Boy in the Bubble," all in attendance knew it would be a special night. Minor changes to the arrangements of classic songs made them sound fresh. Newer tunes fit in right along memorable Simon & Garfunkel songs. For more than two hours, Simon's voice never faltered. Perhaps perfectly, the night wrapped up with Simon standing alone, with only his acoustic guitar, to sing "Sound of Silence." For everyone in attendance, 1999 was a long time ago, but Simon's return to the Queen City was worth the wait.



Setlist
The Boy in the Bubble
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
Dazzling Blue
That Was Your Mother
Rewrite
America
Mother and Child Reunion
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
Spirit Voices
The Obvious Child
Stranger to Stranger
Homeward Bound
Duncan
Hearts and Bones
The Cool, Cool River
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
You Can Call Me Al

Encore
Wristband
Graceland
Still Crazy After All These Years

Encore 2
Questions for the Angels
The Boxer
One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor
Late in the Evening
The Sound of Silence

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Reenergized Sonics Rock the Neighborhood Theatre

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 11:15 AM

The Sonics, Dex Romweber
Neighborhood Theatre
May 19, 2017

On Saturday, May 19, The Sonics schooled an adoring crowd at the Neighborhood Theate on just who penned the manual on high-octane '60s scuzz rock, punk and grunge. The band, formed in 1960 in Tacoma, Wash., is responsible for such classic nuggets of mid-'60s photo-punk as "Psycho," "The Witch," and "Have Love, Will Travel." Sole original member, saxophonist Rob Lind, who now lives in Huntersville, was all old-school charm as front man, engaging the crowd with the flair of a classic big band leader, while the rest of the group took turns at the mic, bringing their take on the frantic, shriek-heavy, freaked-out rock 'n' roll. With diamond precision, the set was a short, sweet, relentless barrage of glorious noise, of course culminating in the immortal "Psycho," and an excellent encore performance of their first hit, "The Witch." Highlights included their blistering cover of Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody," and a song especially written for the band by Australia's Hoodoo Gurus, "Be A Woman."

The Sonics setlist
Cinderella
Shot Down
Cmon Everybody
Sugaree
Have Love
Be a Woman
Back in the Car
Head on Backwards
Bad Betty
Keep on Knockin
Louie Louie
Hard Way
Boss Hoss
Money
Little Sister
He's Waiting
Lucille
Psycho
Doctor
Strychnine
Witch

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Sylvan Esso turns The Fillmore into a dance club

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 10:12 PM

Sylvan Esso w/ Lucy Dacus
The Fillmore
May 14, 2017

Indie-pop duo Sylvan Esso took the stage on Sunday night and provided a relentless party from the opening notes. Two years ago, the band played the Neighborhood Theatre with a short setlist filled with every song they knew. This time around, the packed crowd at the Fillmore sang along, danced and loved every minute of the band's set. The vibe felt more like a dance club than a rock concert. Singer Amelia Meath has increased her dance moves significantly, while producer Nick Sanborn continues bobbing and weaving behind the decks. The duo is far more of a cohesive unit these days. A fun side note of the evening was white tape on Sanborn's table spelling out "F the NC GOP." Let's hope the duo returns to Charlotte before another two years goes by.



Setlist
Sound
The Glow
Kick Jump Twist
Dress
Signal
Die Young
Song
Coffee
Just Dancing
Slack Jaw
Uncatena
H.S.K.T.
Hey Mami
Radio

Encore
Rewind
Play It Right

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Things we overheard at the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Charlotte concert

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:08 AM

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Babymetal, Jack Irons
Spectrum Center
April 17, 2017

The Red Hot Chili Peppers brought their legendary brand of punk rock and funk to Charlotte’s Spectrum Center Monday night as part of their 2017 North American Tour. The quartet has been going strong (with a few lineup changes) since its formation in 1983 and managed to pack every seat in the arena. The RHCP have a way of bridging the generation gap, as evidenced by the wide age ranges in attendance on Monday night. There were parents introducing their 10-year olds to the band that defined their young adulthood, older folks rocking out as hard as they did in their youth and high schoolers just discovering their discography.

With half of Charlotte seemingly in attendance for the big show, there was a lot to be heard:

One of the hundreds of concert goers swarming the concessions stands in an effort to escape Babymetal, the opening band’s, performance: “You guys in line for beer?...FUCK!”

A man in awe of the apparent uniform worn by a good portion of the crowd: “There’s flannel everywhere…”

Older man at the concessions stand, referring to all of the tweens and teens attending the show: “It’s like Disney World in here.”

Two millenials in their Target RHCP gear, greeting each other across the crowd: “Bro?!” “BRO!!”

A parent as they grudgingly coughed up the dough for their child’s souvenir: “$80 for a hoodie? Who do they think they are, The Beatles?”

A wide-eyed young man grabbing pizza at the concession stand “I feel like I’m in a white man’s Narnia.”

Man on a beer run: “Yup, that’s about right…four hundred dollars for one ticket and two beers.”

A mom talking about her children’s induction into the RHCP tradition: “We’re in the nosebleeds, but they won’t care. It’s their first concert.”


Setlist
Can't Stop
Snow ((Hey Oh))
The Zephyr Song
Dark Necessities
She's Only 18
Me & My Friends
Go Robot
Parallel Universe
The Power of Equality
The Getaway
Higher Ground
Californication
What Is Soul?
Under the Bridge
By the Way

Encore
Goodbye Angels
Give It Away

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Big Sean's performance should be on a bigger stage

Posted By on Sun, Apr 16, 2017 at 11:15 PM

Big Sean, MadeinTYO, Neisha Ne'shae
The Fillmore
April 14, 2017

There's a common theme running through live reviews of Big Sean's I Decided Tour — he should be performing in bigger venues. The excitement for the Detroit rapper started early and rarely waned once he hit the Fillmore's stage. Even openers MadeinTYO and Neisha Ne'shae got the sold-out venue's crowd quickly into the show. It could have been because of a Friday night concert, but it's more likely because Big Sean has had commercial success while maintaining a balance between moments of humility and bravado. His recent single "Bounce Back" has gone double platinum and he continues to earn the respect of fellow rappers. I wouldn't expect him to play in venues of this size for much longer.


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Gogol Bordello provides relentless entertainment at The Fillmore

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 12:02 AM

Gogol Bordello w/ In the Whale
The Fillmore
April 12, 2017

There's no warmup time when Gogol Bordello hits the stage. From the opening notes, the gypsy punk outfit rocks, rolls and offers a relentless party atmosphere. The band's nonstop energy is infectious and rarely wanes before the last notes ring out. Singer/frontman Eugene Hutz was drenched in sweat after only a few songs. Don't know the words to all 20+ songs the band offered? No problem. The groove never stops and neither did the dancing until the four-song encore was over. Gogol Bordello has been on my list of top 10 bands to see live for nearly a decade. Wednesday night's show simply reinforced that idea.



Setlist
Break Into Your Higher Self
Saboteur Blues
Not a Crime
Immigrant Punk
60 Revolutions
Oh No
Dogs Were Barking
Book of Caveman
Transcontinental Hustle
Immigradiada
Illumination
You Know Who We Are
Think Locally, Fuck Globally
Kathy Cruel
Start Wearing Purple
Mishto
Wonderlust King

Encore
We Did It All
Ultimate
Alcohol
Haro Foro

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Fillmore basks in excitement of Thursday reunion

Posted By on Mon, Apr 3, 2017 at 7:48 PM

Thursday, Basement, Touche Amore, Wax Idols
The Fillmore
April 1, 2017

As post-hardcore inspiration Thursday hit the stage, it wasn't immediately evident who was more excited — the band or the crowd. Having reunited after a five-year hiatus, the group was ready to charge through its catalog, while fans crowd surfed and sang along. A three-hour buildup to the group's first notes had the energetic crowd primed. The night started with a set by Wax Idols, featuring singer Hether Fortune (ex- White Lung) and their brand of post-punk. Touche Amore was more in the vein of what people were looking for on this night, and it didn't take long for a circle pit to start up. Basement, having themselves reunited a couple of years ago, offered a slightly more emo approach before Thursday hit the stage hot and powered through their set in an unrelenting manner.



Thursday setlist
Workforce
Otherside
Cross
Beyond the Visible Spectrum
Auto
Counting
Hole in the World
Signals
Jet Black New Year
This Song
Division St.
Sparks
Understanding in a Car Crash

Encore
War All the Time
Turnpike Divides

Basement setlist
Whole
Fading
Aquasun
Spoiled
4 U Da Moon
Earl Grey
Crickets
Brother's Keeper
Promise Everything
Pine
Covet

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