March Raleigh Local Music Concert Guide

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By Grant Golden

March 3, 2023

Mellow Swells and NiiTO

Thursday, March 2 at The Pinhook at 9 p.m. 

Tickets: $10 plus

The Pinhook brings an eclectic but cohesive blend of bands for Mellow Swells’ album release show. The two bands represent different sides of the soulful spectrum, as Mellow Swells brings gritty funk and indie rock while NiiTO provides an entrancing, jazz-infused take on modern pop, funk and soul. NiiTO’s smooth arrangements serve as the perfect intro to Mellow Swells’ spastic brand of indie-soul, making for a night full of captivating music to kickstart your weekend.

WUNC Presents: Boulevards, Blue Cactus, and Charly Lowry

Friday, March 3 at The Pinhook at 8 p.m. 

Tickets: $18 plus

Boulevards’ Jamil Rashad is an embodiment of the funk rock aesthetic, so it’s hard to think of a better way to spend a Friday evening in the Triangle than this jam-packed Pinhook show. Boulevards have strayed from their initial ‘80s inspired funk-pop tunes in favor of a muddy, gritty take on blues rock, funk and soul, which pairs excellently with the cosmic-country of Blue Cactus and Charly Lowry’s impressive folk tunes. This bill serves as an excellent display of pacing for an evening of live music– Boulevards closes the evening with an infectious dance party, Lowry wows listeners with her jaw-dropping vocal range, and Blue Cactus eases folks into the late-night grooves with thoughtful country tunes infused with some tasteful experimentation.

Raleighwood Fest – LesTheGenius, Ace Henderson, Sonny Miles, Trent The Hooligan, and more

Saturday, March 4 at Transfer Co. Ballroom at 7 p.m. 

Tickets: $20 plus

LesTheGenius has curated an impeccable blend of North Carolina hip-hop for his inaugural RaleighwoodFest. Alongside Ace Henderson, Sonny Miles, Trent the Hooligan, Flower in Bloom, and more, LesTheGenius will be previewing his forthcoming EP Chasing The Sun. Les’ work was propelled to the national spotlight with “Raleighwood Hills” addition to Barack Obama’s favorite songs of 2019 list, and he’s steadily developed a compelling take on inspired, soulful hip-hop since. Expect a slew of incredible local artists on display as Les and friends showcase some of the finest regional hip-hop and R&B our state has to offer.

The Ton3s with D. Shawn & Soul and Nesha Da Voice

Friday, March 10 at Transfer Co. Ballroom at 7 p.m. 

Tickets: $40 plus

The Ton3s (formerly known as The Hamiltones) are an impeccable Grammy-nominated vocal trio with a powerful live presence. The trio’s music is rooted in harmonic exploration, but each vocalist boasts a powerful set of chops that goes toe-to-toe with top R&B vocalists. Their 2022 album We Are The Ton3s marked the debut of their new name and featured an impressive cast of features like Snoop Dogg, Tank & The Bangas, and PJ Morton. Alongside South Carolina’s Nesha Da Voice and regional R&B favorites D. Shawn & Soul, The Ton3s will be bringing an unforgettable night of soulful grooves to the Transfer Co. Ballroom.

Curtis Waters

Saturday, March 11 at Cat’s Cradle Back Room

Tickets: $15 plus

Curtis Waters could have easily been a flash in the pan with the rapid success of his debut track “Stunnin’,” a catchy electro-pop record with hundreds millions of streams. Instead Waters used that fame as a catapult for his creative energy, quickly developing a spastic post-punk sound that proves there’s more than just catchy hooks and dazzling production to his work. Waters will surely pack out the Cradle Back Room, and the blend between his newer punk-infused sound will be a fascinating juxtaposition to his earlier trend-setting outings.

Elijah Rosario, Kenny Wavinson, Micah Evans, and Tesh

Friday, March 17 at The Pinhook at 8 p.m. 

Tickets: $10 plus

Durham’s Elijah Rosario has an undeniable knack for memorable hooks and attention-grabbing melodies. His urban pop soundscapes are filled with airy, ethereal chords punctuated with fuzzy low-end and heavy-hitting percussion. At the core of these impressive productions lies a powerful songwriter that can blend elements of loss, love, lust and more into concise pop songs. Kenny Wavinson’s lo-fi, bare-boned indie rock tunes will ease folks into the pomp of Rosario’s music. Micah Evans and Tesh open the evening’s bill.

Kenny Roby

Friday, March 17 at Motorco Music Hall at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $15 plus

Kenny Roby has been crafting hard-hitting roots rock since his work in the early ‘90s with 6 String Drag, and like a fine wine his tunes have aged with time. Since his work in 6 String Drag, Roby has established himself as an acclaimed solo act, partnering with members of Little Feat, Steve Earle and Circles Around the Sun for a collection of remarkable alt-country albums. Roby brings his forthright brand of Southern music to Motorco for what’s sure to be an evening of heartfelt songs.

Dissimilar South and Touch Tank

Saturday, March 18 at The Pinhook at 8 p.m. 

Tickets: $12 plus

Dissimilar South is an act that has slowly grown into one of the Triangle’s most promising roots-adjacent acts. Carter Hodge and Maddie Fisher serve as the core of the band, but their studio work finds North Carolina music stalwarts like Joseph Terrell (Mipso), Alex Bingham (Hiss Golden Messenger), and Joe Westerlund (Sylvan Esso, Watchhouse) fleshing out their poetic lyricism into folk-inspired indie rock outings. Dissimilar South is joined by Touch Tank, an electronic pop duo that brings a similar core of affectionate tunes, but coated in an electronic veneer of beat-driven synth-heavy soundscapes.

Boy Jr., Augurs, Entrez Vous, BONIES

Wednesday, March 22 at The Pour House at 8 p.m. 

Tickets: $12 plus

Erica Allen-Lubman’s work in Boy Jr. is an amalgamation of influences from across the musical spectrum. With a pop core, Allen-Lubman blends elements of industrial music, synth-rock, and psychedelic swirls into a cohesive yet erratic output. Boy Jr. is joined by a trio of excellent Triangle based acts. BONIES’ brisk, distorted sounds; psych-pop outfit Entrez Vous, and the spacey psychedelic post-punk of Augurs. A stacked lineup and a great excuse to get out to The Pour House on a Wednesday night. 

Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road with Simon Dunson

Thursday, March 23 at Transfer Co. Ballroom at 8 p.m. 

Tickets: $15 plus

Expect an eclectic and outstanding display of string music for this Transfer Co. show. Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road have been heralded as one of the fastest-rising young bluegrass acts by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Despite their youth, they have been impressing fans across the nation for over half a decade. Cane Mill Road is heavily based in traditional bluegrass, but steadily pushes the genre forward with their awe-inspiring instrumentation. Simon Dunson on the other hand takes listeners’ expectations of a mandolin-led act and turns them on their head with looping and effects for a mind-bending display of proficiency. Dunson’s work is steeped in jazz foundations but forays into a wide range of genres.

Archer of Loaf, Truth Club, and MJ Lenderman

Saturday, March 25 and 26 at Cat’s Cradle at 

Tickets: Sold-out 

Cat’s Cradle hosts a two-night run with NC indie rock icons Archers of Loaf, pairing the band with two of the state’s most beloved up-and-coming acts. With Truth Club opening Saturday and MJ Lenderman joining the Archers on Sunday, these bills serve as a retrospective for how the state’s indie rock scene has evolved over three decades. 2022 saw the release of Archers’ first album in 24 years, so expect a career-spanning run of their frenzied guitar rock alongside the dynamism of Truth Club and the slow-trodden alt-country indie vibes of MJ Lenderman.

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