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Charlotte Spring Concert Guide

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 By Mitchell Franklin

March 5, 2019

Winter is the time of year where everyone seems to get complacent. It’s cold, the sun barely shines, and events seem to dwindle due to holidays and weather. Basically, it’s the time of year where you spend far too much time huddled in your home binge-watching whatever show you can find on Netflix. But spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to break out of those habits, get out of the house, and live a little. There is a whole slew of great concerts coming through Charlotte early this year, and we have taken the opportunity to highlight some of the shows that you don’t want to miss. Whether you’re a hip-hop head, folk purist, rocker, or indie elitist, there are plenty of performances to go see.

Tank and the Bangas – March 13 at Neighborhood Theatre

NPR’s annual Tiny Desk Contest allows anyone to enter for the chance to perform a Tiny Desk Concert at their offices. In 2017, Tank and the Bangas won, beating out over 6,000 other entrants. The video of their concert is electrifying, and shows off the abilities and versatility of the group. The band effortlessly transitions between funk, R&B, and jazz as vocalists “Tank” and “Jelly” trade off bars and hooks, acting as natural and engaging storytellers. The group performs with an air of ease and joy that makes their performance completely engrossing.

Petrov (Release Show), Patois Counselors, Jail Socks, Pullover – March 16 at Snug Harbor

Local newcomers, Petrov, are set to release their debut EP, Sleep Year, on March 15. The post-pop band will be celebrating with a release show at Snug Harbor, featuring a slew of Charlotte’s best bands. Led by frontwoman Mary Grace McKusick’s powerful vocals, Petrov is definitely a band to watch as they climb the local indie scene.

Hozier – March 17 at Ovens Auditorium

Hozier is going to take the Queen City to church for the first time since 2015. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter will bring his Irish, bluesy rock-and-roll to town to promote his upcoming album, Wasteland, Baby!.


Moneybagg Yo – March 20 at The Underground

Moneybagg Yo has been grinding hard over the last few years. The Memphis rapper has released 11 mixtapes since 2016, most recently Reset, which came out in November. With collaborative releases with Yo Gotti and NBA Youngboy and features from Future, J. Cole, YG, and Kodak Black, Moneybagg is positioning himself make a serious impact in the rap game.

John Mellencamp – March 22 at Ovens Auditorium 

John “Cougar” Mellencamp will make his way through the Queen City in support of his latest effort, Other People’s Stuff, which consists of new recordings of songs that he has previously covered. Each ticket purchased online for the show, dubbed “The John Mellencamp Show,” comes with a physical copy of the new album. This show is great for anyone who needs to get up early, as the shows will “start promptly at 8 p.m. and will not have an opening act.”

Gogol Bordello – March 23 at The Fillmore

Everyone’s favorite “gypsy-punk” band, Gogol Bordello is celebrating 20 years of bringing Eastern European music into the English-speaking world. Known for their raucous live performances, the large ensemble is sure to fascinate as they incorporate violin, accordion, tuba, and clarinet into their high-energy set. They have a passionate and loyal following, and the evening is sure to be filled with excited fans singing and dancing along with the band.

Abari Game Bar Block Party – March 23 at Abari Game Bar

Abari Game Bar will be celebrating their 3 year anniversary with an epic block party featuring a stellar cast of Charlotte bands including: Late Bloomer, Acne, Wes and The Railroaders, Junior Astronomers, Petrov, Dollhands, Hungry Girl, Cuzco, The Business People, and more. In addition, local food trucks will provide delicious eats with local shopping from Charlotte vendors.

Travis Scott – March 24 at Spectrum Center

2018 was a big year for Travis Scott, from having his first child with Kylie Jenner to releasing his excellent third album, Astroworld. The Kanye West protege is stepping out of his mentor’s shadow and becoming a star in his own right. Audiences can expect a wild night on his amusement park themed tour, complete with a roller coaster, a giant inflatable astronaut, and blazing pyrotechnics.

Earl Sweatshirt – March 25 at The Underground (*Giveaway*)

Coming up with Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, and The Internet as a part of Odd Future, Earl Sweatshirt has separated himself from the crew over recent years. As his contemporaries have been approaching music from a more melodic angle and gaining commercial exposure through mainstream collaborations and movie soundtracks, Earl has been becoming more insular. His latest album, Some Rap Songs, finds Earl digging into his struggles with fame, family, and depression over off-kilter beats built from lo-fi samples.

I’m With Her – March 28 at McGlohon Theater 

A band comprised of accomplished musicians from the bands Nickel Creek and Crooked Still, I’m With Her features Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan. Together, the multi-Grammy-Award-winners have released seven solo efforts and contributed to critically acclaimed albums with a bevy of esteemed artists. Their full-length debut See You Around showcases the chemistry between the trio with their serene and harmonious folk/bluegrass stylings.

Raekwon and Ghostface – March 29 at The Fillmore (*Giveaway*

Raekwon and Ghostface Killah have been in the game together for a long time. From the inception of The Wu-Tang Clan in 1991 and including Raekwon’s debut album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, which Ghostface is heavily featured on, the pair have a long standing past with each other. Their latest of many joint tours bring them through Charlotte, where they will be performing solo cuts as well as classic Wu-Tang songs.

Dexter Jordan – March 29 at Resident Culture Brewing

Charlotte’s talented neo-soul singer-songwriter Dexter Jordan will be releasing his much-anticipated album Blue on March 29, and he’ll be celebrating with a release party at Resident Culture Brewing. Jordan’s sultry sounds mixed with his hip-hop influenced R&B tracks from the new project paired with light appetizers and beer, this is sure to create a cool atmosphere showcasing one the the city’s brightest artists.

Gary Clark, Jr. – April 3 at The Fillmore

Gary Clark Jr. is one of the most versatile musicians out there right now. Blending rock, blues, soul, and hip-hop, the singer and guitarist has seamlessly collaborated with artists such as Alicia Keys, The-Dream, The Foo Fighters, and Childish Gambino. Clark will be coming to town in support of his third album, This Land.

Aaron Lee Tasjan – April 4 at The Neighborhood Theatre

Aaron Lee Tasjan has made a name for himself playing Americana and folk music with a druggy, witty atmosphere. With his latest work, he’s been dipping more into pop and psych music, reminiscent of some of The Beatles best work. Karma for Cheap is the Nashville musician’s newest album, and it showcase he’s unafraid of reinventing himself.

RNIE, Patois Counselors, Dollhands, Wild Trees – April 5 at Snug Harbor

RNIE, formerly known as Ernie or Aggrocragg, is the moniker of Lamont Brown. Originally formed in Charlotte, the now New York-based artist is touring behind his long-awaited debut album, Citrus. The dreamy synth-pop album is dense and multi-dimensional, as Brown sings about the growth he’s gone through over the last five years of this band.

Leon Bridges – April 11 at Uptown Amphitheatre

A soul singer from Texas, Leon Bridges made a name for himself by performing songs with a throwback sound reminiscent of the 60’s. As he’s moved forward with his career and released his latest album, Good Thing, Bridges is showing his ability to craft more modern tinged pop songs. His voice always remains front and center, showing off his rich and smooth tones that shine through in live performances.

Death Cab for Cutie – April 12 at Ovens Auditorium 

Death Cab for Cutie has been a revolving cast of musicians for the last 22 years, centered around singer-songwriter Ben Gibbard. In the early 2000’s they found major label success and had songs prominently featured in shows such as The O.C. and Scrubs, including their biggest hit “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” Their latest albums have incorporated more synthesizers and drum machines into their typically guitar-based work, reminiscent of Gibbard’s other project, The Postal Service.

Lil Baby – April 19 at The Fillmore

Lil Baby’s had an incredibly fast ascent in the hip hop community. He started with releasing his first mixtape in April of 2017, and just two short years later he’s headlining a show at The Fillmore and has put out albums with features from Drake, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, and Offset. The Atlanta rapper delivers his lines melodically over trap beats, telling stories about his past struggles and his shifting his focus towards music after a couple of years in jail.

Tuck Fest – April 25-28 at USNWC 

Returning for its 7th year, the US National Whitewater Center will be hosting Tuck Fest again this spring. The multi-day festival features a wide array of activities from raft races to yoga to kayaking and, of course, live music. This year’s performers include J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Tyler Childers, The Milk Carton Kids, and many more. Plan for a full weekend out in the sun, and get ready to experience all that the USNWC has to offer.

Lyrical Lemonade Presents Lil Mosey – April 26 at The Underground

Lil Mosey is at the age where most kids would be in high school, but instead he is spending his spring touring around the country. The 17-year-old rapper is supporting his debut album, Northsbest, showcasing what he describes as “melodic rapping.” The Seattle MC has a couple of hits, including “Pull Up,” and this show will be a great opportunity to catch a young star on the rise.

Lord Huron – April 27 at The Fillmore

Americana-tinged folk rock isn’t the genre that immediately comes to mind when thinking of L.A., but California-based Lord Huron is crafting exactly that. After their single “The Night We Met” was prominently featured in Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” the band has seen a large increase in popularity. They released their first album on a major label, Vide Noir, in April of last year, which featured more bass, drums, and distortion than their previous work.

Camp Cope – April 30 at Snug Harbor

Camp Cope are out to make a difference in the toxic, male-dominated field of indie-rock. The all-female trio from Australia holds no punches, especially on their latest album, How to Socialize & Make Friends. Songs on this album focus on unwanted advances, power dynamics in relationships, and female musicians being shoehorned into opening sets. The bandmates are always fighting for equality, from writing essays on music industry discrimination to calling out festivals for barely booking any female musicians.

Gunna – May 1 at The Fillmore

Gunna, a young rapper signed to Young Thug’s label YSL Records, is trying to get out of his mentor’s shadow. Known for his series of Drip Season mixtapes and his collaborative mixtape with Lil Baby, Drip Harder, the rapper sounds much like Young Thug before he got big. Using a combination or rapping and singing, he is able to make some moving and affective songs that show the he can grow into something great.

Steve Gunn – May 2 at Neighborhood Theatre

Steve Gunn initially became famous for his fingerstyle guitar work, particularly as a member of Kurt Vile’s backing band, The Violators. The guitarist has since stepped out into being a singer-songwriter, and is showing his aptitude for creating emotive songs with poignant lyrics. In typical folk-rock style, Gunn is frequently singing stories about characters out on the road who are exploring and wandering on their way to their destination. His music is familiar and comfortable, letting the listener relax and drift away.

Lucy Dacus – May 4 at Visulite Theatre 

Fresh off the heels of her excellent sophomore album Historian and her super-group’s debut boygenius EP, Lucy Dacus is bringing her indie-rock show to the Queen City. With her sorrowful vocals and the huge dynamic swells of the music, audiences can expect to be swept up in the power of the moment. Keep an eye out for new music from Dacus in 2019, as she releases singles to celebrate various holidays.

PJ Morton – May 5 at Neighborhood Theatre 

Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist PJ Morton returns to Charlotte. Boasting collaborations and production credits with BJ The Chicago Kid, Busta Rhymes, Jermaine Dupri, Jazmine Sullivan, Monica, India.Arie, and many more, Morton will perform songs from his 2017 Grammy-nominated album, Gumbo for this intimate show.

Smino – May 6 at The Underground

Smino, the St. Louis rapper and singer, is bringing the Hoopti Tour to Charlotte. His latest album, NØIR, blends neo-soul, funk, and rap into a similar sound as contemporaries Chance the Rapper and Noname. Be sure to look out for a rumored collaborative album coming later this year from Smino, Noname, and Saba.

Garbage – May 8 at The Fillmore

Formed in 1993, during the height of grunge, Garbage has been creating music together for over 25 years now. The alternative rock band creates an interesting blend of sounds, which the band has described as “taking pop music and making it as horrible sounding as we can.” They incorporate many different genres, including trip-hop, grunge, 80’s rock, and techno into their pop songwriting. The band has teased releasing a new album this year, so audiences can hope to hear some samplings of their new material at this show.

India.Arie – May 9 at Ovens Auditorium 

Four-time Grammy award winning singer-songwriter India.Arie is bringing The Worthy Tour to Charlotte. Her new album, Worthy, is all about the realization of everyone’s worthiness, without having to do something to earn it. She is an empowering, important figure, inspiring others to achieve personal and spiritual growth, and challenging pre-conceived racial and gender biases.

Shakey Graves – May 10 at The Fillmore

Once known for his one-man band touring setup, complete with a customized suitcase to function as a kick drum/tambourine, Shakey Graves will be bringing his full band through Charlotte. The Americana group is touring to support last year’s Can’t Wake Up, which finds the band expanding their musical palette, creating songs that ebb and flow and keep listeners on their toes. Filled with energetic guitar lines, vocal harmonies, and some synthesizer embellishments, the group is growing into a powerful unit, and are sure to put on a show that will enthrall the whole crowd.

The Struts – May 13 at The Underground

For people who weren’t alive to experience classic rock and glam acts in their prime, The Struts may be one of the closest experiences they can get. The English rock band lists Queen, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Def Leppard as influences, and frontman Luke Spiller has been described as “the musical lovechild of Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger.” They have a reputation for putting on a great show, and have had the opportunity to play with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Foo Fighters, and many other legends.

Johnnyswim – May 13 at The Fillmore

Husband and wife duo, Johnnyswim, are coming through the Queen City to promote their upcoming album, Moonlight. The two singer-songwriters work together to create pop songs with folk and soul undertones, similar to contemporaries such as The Civil Wars and The Lone Bellow. Their show should feature plenty of songs examining their shared stories and bond created by working with your spouse day in and out.

Tash Sultana – May 14 at The Fillmore 

The incredibly talented Australian multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana will be bring her unique amalgam of psychedelic and R&B reggae rock  to Charlotte. Playing over 20 instruments and also boasting a stellar voice, Sultana is truly a “one-person” band and musical prodigy.

Bob Seger – May 16 at PNC Music Pavilion 

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bob Seger brings his wholesome midwest brand of heartland rock with his Silver Bullet Band. With a 40-year music catalog to draw from, this show to enjoy some great tunes. Lay a blanket on the pavilion lawn and enjoy iconic songs like “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” “Night Moves,” “Turn the Page,” and many more.

Ella Mai – May 17 at The Fillmore (*Giveaway*)

The UK R&B songstress has extended her tour due to high demand, and she’ll be bringing her love-struck sounds to Charlotte. Her mega hits “Boo’d Up” and “Trip” from her debut self-titled album has launched the 24-year-old to superstardom as one of the hottest international acts. She’ll be bringing fellow up-and-coming English singer-songwriter Mahalia with her on this leg of her tour.

1975 – May 19 at Uptown Amphitheatre

The 1975 have been creating music together since they were teenagers back in 2002, but the last few years the band has seen a meteoric rise. 2016’s I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it and last year’s A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships received critical and commercial success for being able to create catchy, synth-pop songs while also remaining experimental and relevant. The band will be performing in Charlotte in May, which is the same month they are expected to release their next album, Notes on a Conditional Form. Be sure to catch this act while they are at such a prolific, golden age of their career.

Ozzy Osbourne – June 4 at PNC Pavilion 

What can be said that hasn’t already been said about The Prince of Darkness? Ozzy Osbourne: frontman of Black Sabbath, reality TV star, bat head biter, heavy metal badass. His reputation proceeds him, and it’s hard to discern how much of his legacy is fact vs. fiction. The 70-year-old rocker is coming to town as a part of his “No More Tours II” tour (the original “No More Tours” tour took place in 1992). This is definitely not a concert to miss, as Ozzy has said that he is considering this his final tour and a celebration of the music that he has been creating over the last 50 years.

Wu-Tang Clan – June 7 + 8 at CCNB Amphitheatre (June 7) and Red Hat Amphitheatre (June 8) 

The iconic Staten Island hip-hop collective will reunite to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The group has performed at occasional festivals and one-off events, but this will be their first official tour with all members performing together in years. Although the tour will not be making a stop in Charlotte, shows in Raleigh, NC and Simpsonville, SC will make for a fun and convenient road trip for Wu-Tang heads in the Queen City area.

Ariana Grande – June 10 at Spectrum Center 

Ariana Grande can’t seem to keep out of the news these days. From high-profile relationships and their aftermath to Mean Girls-referencing music videos to public feuds with the Grammys, she has mastered the art of trending on social media. The pop starlet will be coming through Charlotte in support of 2018’s Sweetener and 2019’s Thank U, Next. Expect a high-energy, flashy performance for the former Disney star to show off her powerful vocals and big personality.

Jon Bellion – June 16 – Uptown Amphitheatre

Jon Bellion crafts music that is so intricate and expansive that it sounds absolutely larger than life. The singer-songwriter, producer, and rapper creates pop music that constantly twists and turns, never becoming complacent. His latest album, Glory Sound Prep, is a little too quirky to be fully mainstream, but Bellion has a distinct style that is unique and captivating.

Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers – June 19 at Knight Theater 

Grateful Dead collaborator and legendary solo artist Bruce Hornsby is coming to town with The Noisemakers to support his upcoming album Absolute Zero. The new album features contributions from members of Bon Iver, The Staves, and modern classical ensemble yMusic. Hornsby continues to evolve his sound thirty-three years after he released his debut album.

Vampire Weekend and Chicano Batman – June 22 at Uptown Amphitheatre

Finally, Vampire Weekend has returned. The New York indie rock band found great amounts of success from their first three albums, but have been relatively quiet since their last release in 2013. With a new album on the way, and the loss of founding member Rostam, Vampire Weekend is ready to prove that they haven’t lost what made them special all those years ago.

Be sure to keep checking back as we continue to update our Spring Concert Guide. Have a concert that should be added to this list? Shoot us an email at info@CLTure.org.

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