Thursday, August 16, 2012

This week's hot concerts

Jay Brannan
8 p.m. Friday, August 17, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $12-$15. 704-358-9200.
While the lesbian community has an entire genre of indie folk artists to choose from, this openly gay singer-songwriter/actor (whose drawn comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman) gives male (and female) folk-pop fans something to swoon over.

Leela James
10:30 p.m. Friday, August 17, Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. $15.
Part of the neo-soul resurgence of the mid `00s, the raw, vintage soul throwback has reined in her signature wild main and recently released a thoroughly modernized yet still respectful tribute album to her hero and stage-namesake Etta James.

Matisyahu/Dirty Heads
7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 19, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $38.
The versatile reggae-rock singer, who released a sunny/dance-friendly new album last month and makes his major motion picture debut later this month in “The Possession,” teams with the rock/reggae/hip-hop hybrid who has its own new disc in June’s “Cabin By the Sea.”

Steve Vai
7:30 p.m. Monday, August 20, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $33.
The veteran shredder’s new album “The Story of Light” swells with experimentation as he draws from disparate genres and toys with harmony and melody with the help of harpist/multi-instrumentalist Deborah Henson-Conant, songwriter Aimee Mann, and “The Voice’s” Beverly McClellan.

Trespass America
7:30 p.m . Tuesday, August 21, Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $40.50-$60.50.
Five Finger Death Punch celebrates its 10th Top 10 hit “Coming Down” (currently #1 at rock radio) by heading up “Metal Hammer’s” Trespass America hard rock tour which includes Killswtich Engage, Trivium, Pop Evil, Emmure, God Forbid, and Battlecross.

Fear Factory 
8 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave. $20-$23.
If your taste in metal is more old school and thrash and industrial-oriented, then you may prefer this 25-year-old veteran group (led by vocalist co-founders Burton C. Bell and guitarist Dino Cazares since 2009).

8 p.m. Wednesday, August 22, Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd. $12-$14.
The politically outspoken alternative hip-hop artist (a co-founder of his former label Anticon Records) brings his anarchist and idealistic visions to life on his first solo world tour in several years.

10 p.m. Thursday, August 23, Phoenix, 300 N. College St. $10/$25 VIP.
The former Forum launches College Night with a glow party featuring the up and coming Chicago trio, whose sugary mix of thumping dance music, dreamy electro, fuzzy dubstep, and girly vocals never strays far from its accessible pop-roots.