December Charlotte Local Music Concert Guide

By Jonny Golian

December 1, 2022

After a year of memorable concerts in the Queen City, December is finally here. For many of us, it’s a time to reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished. For artists, it’s time to wrap the final moments up in a bow with new music or shows before starting off fresh in the new year. 

Women’s Winter Showcase feat. Søelle, Tiyane Clake, and Nani Layilaa

Thursday, December 1 at Petra’s Bar
Tickets: $50 

Carolina Farm Trust is putting together a night of music and conversation to highlight women in the Carolina community. The non-profit seeks to bridge the gap between growers and consumers by creating the infrastructure for bringing nutrient-rich food to our impoverished communities. The soundtrack for the evening will be filled with serenades by local R&B/soul artists Soelle, Tiyane, and Nani Layilaa, alongside a silent auction spotlighting artwork by women-owned businesses Slic Brand, Divine Wander Candles, and local artist Gracyn Harris.

Pretty Baby Album Release Show with Gasp and Wastoid

Saturday, December 3 at Snug Harbor
Tickets: $10 plus

Pretty Baby is an in-your-face adrenaline rush experience that keeps the volume cranked to 11. Multiple talents from the Charlotte music scene collide to make up this collective, including Lenny Muckle (guitar) and Bince D’Ambrosio (bass) of the experimental rock group LoFidels and Josh Taylor on the drums. Rusty Colton’s screams keep with the high octane percussion and guitar sections, making each set a mosh-worthy affair. Opening up for Pretty Baby’s Untitled album release show will be the equally rambunctious Gasp and Wastoid, guaranteeing Snug Harbor will be ground-zero for a night of chaotic energy.

Sometime In February with Swae, Subvertigo, and St. Jupiter

Sunday, December 4 at The Milestone Club
Tickets: $8 plus 

Tristan Auman’s project, Sometime In February, plays like a jam session for the pop-punk crowd. While being anchored in guitar-heavy anthems, the trio, consisting of Morgan Johnson on bass and Scott Barber on drums, add instrumental depth to each song. On tracks like “Frayed Knot,” you’ll hear sharp metal riffs that suddenly soften with an expanded saxophone. Listening to 2021’s Here Goes, it’s hard to not occasionally pick up an air guitar and play along, a feeling that’s sure to echo through The Milestone as Auman and company take the audience for a sonic ride. 

Adrian Crutchfield 

Wednesday, December 7 at Studio 229
Tickets: $30 plus

For sax aficionados, there are few that have touched as many with their sound as Adrian Crutchfield. With a portfolio that pairs him with many notable names of our time, including being the last horn man for the late Prince, Crutchfield has been around the music world and back. When it comes to his solo work, the saxophonist plays into a wide selection of genres, meshing with R&B, soul and pop, among others. He most recently showcased his talents in the 2022 album, Lover, a cohesive collection for those with the heart in mind.

Jim Avett

Friday, December 9 at The Evening Muse
Tickets: $20 plus 

Jim Avett has seen a lot in his lifetime. Born in 1947 in Cabarrus County, Avett’s musical upbringing is paired with observations of family and neighbors alike culminating into his wistful ballads. Blending in half-truths and personal experiences into his lyrical storytelling, the longtime singer-songwriter strives to be both entertaining and educational. Second Chance, Jim Avett’s 2012 album, collects tales from his life with a rural folk sound, transporting listeners to a place in time where the moments were a bit simpler.

Jason Scavone with Solis and Evan Miller

Friday, December 9 at Petra’s Bar
Tickets: $7 plus

Jason Scavone’s delivery has a nuanced way of catching the attention of listeners, whether building off melodic piano or singing along to easy-going rock stylings. His latest song, “Love Wins,” featuring Carly Taich and Michael Flynn, uses dream-inspired images for the heavy-hearted, but airy tune that embraces the warm sentiments of his writing, hitting notes with lavish articulation. Another release this year, “Wildfire,” describes the drastic changes in a person in the midst of finding themselves. Jason keeps an even pace throughout the track alongside the drums and synth, all building up to a cool crescendo by the end.

Solis, a husband-wife duo specializing in experimental sounds and atmospheric tones, will be joining the bill along with Evan Miller, a fellow music tinkerer with his own brand of thought-provoking lyricism.

OG Spliff with Blckfriend and NU-WRLD

Saturday, December 10 at The Evening Muse 
Tickets: $12 plus 

Borrowing from the pop culture many of us have grown up with, Winston-Salem rapper OG Spliff tethers his versatile lyricism to entertainment influences. Fans can get an elevated view of the world by taking the red pill in “Neo,” or go on a remixed Disney adventure in “Twilight Town.” Riding off of synth and jazz horn samples, Spliff’s alternative approach to hip-hop is energized, making for an inviting listen whether at the venue or at home. He will be performing alongside Charlotte-based R&B artist Blckfriend, and upstart group NU-WRLD.

Blankstate with I and The Lad

Wednesday, December 14 at The Evening Muse
Tickets: $10 plus 

Playful and catchy while occasionally sentimental with their lyrics, Blankstate brings a fresh take on indie rock to Charlotte’s scene. The trio, fronted by Jasper Juarez (guitar, vocals) with Sam Grout (bass) and Seth Brown (drums), is a refreshing listen as well as a playful one, with member-centric songs like “Jasper never cries!” and introspective tunes like “Dinosaur Camp.” In mid-December, Blankstate will be hitting the road alongside collaborator I And The Lad to support their latest album, The World Is Not Kind To These Things, kicking off in the casual confines of The Evening Muse.

Ethan Nathaniel and Young Mister

Thursday, December 15 at The Evening Muse
Tickets: $10 plus 

From the subtle strum of his guitar and notes from his piano, multi-instrumentalist Ethan Nathaniel commands a deep sense of tranquility that translates into his song production. As he pushes towards his sophomore album, scheduled for release in Spring 2023, Nathaniel has dropped recent singles “Bonafide” and “Picking Me Up” that call back to the serene moments in our lives, from the luminous lyrics to the placid instrumentals that accompany them. Nathaniel will be paired with North Carolina’s Young Mister, who is currently touring off their recent dreamy pop-infused EP release, Revisions.

Thousand Dollar Movie with Cat Folgor Day and Top Achiever

Saturday, December 17 at Petra’s Bar
Tickets: $7 plus

Thousand Dollar Movie, the rock instrumental collective, is the brainchild of bassist Jeremy Smith. Whether as a solo act or as a group endeavor backed by Leo Solis (guitar), Joel Willis (guitar), and Dominic Geralds (drums), the project grinds out its heavy guitar foundation and utilizes the sum of its parts to craft a rock symphony within each track. Thousand Dollar Movie’s latest song, “I Can’t Help But Feel Partly Responsible,” gently moves between guitars to percussion to the full ensemble, each getting their solo moments to shine within the track, climaxing on a collective high note.

The Lucky Five Reunion Show

Wednesday, December 28 at The Evening Muse
Tickets: $15 plus 

Rounding out 2022, one of Charlotte’s last big events brings Lucky Five in for a reunion on The Evening Muse stage. From the potent vocals of Marques Nash (piano, vocals) to the electrifyingly and infectious energy produced by band members Shago Elizondo (guitar), Andy Morimoto (bass), Jesse Williams (drums), and Jonny Fung (guitar, piano), the quintet offers one seriously intense performance. Their 2010 album, La Resistance, still holds true to the band’s focus for musical brilliance.

That Guy Smitty’s Wednesdays On Wax

Wednesdays (8 p.m. to 12 a.m.) in December at Vinyl CLT
Tickets: Free

In the same manner that our local venues provide a place for up-and-coming artists to perform, Vinyl has made a space for local DJs to showcase their craft on a weekly basis. Charlotte’s own Anthony Smith, better known as That Guy Smitty, heads this endeavor as he brings in familiar faces from around the Queen City, like VonFunkHauser and Danielle Kharman, while creating end-of-month opportunities for anyone new or traveling through town. The weekly event is curated by those at the turntables, so you can kick back as the DJs set the mood at this cozy South End neighborhood locale.

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