Monday, March 18, 2013

Concerts big & small dotting summer's calendar

Monday saw a string of summer concert announcements including `90s rock and an all-star Zeppelin tribute.

The latter finds headliners Heart teaming with Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience on the Heartbreaker Tour, which makes a stop at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Friday, June 21. Bonham - the son of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham (who died in 1980) - opens the show, but he'll also return for a 30-minute finale to pay further tribute to his father's legendary band with Heart. The Wilson sisters have long paid tribute to Zeppelin on stage, but only met Bonham in December when the group played a Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Led Zeppelin with him (see clip above). Bonham has occasionally played with the remaining members of Zeppelin (who Ann Wilson reports give the pairing their blessing) and had a hit in 1990 with his own band, Bonham ("Wait For You"). 

Charlotte's proximity to the Bonnaroo Festival (which takes place June 13-16) continues to serve the city well - at least for the week before and after. As a result Baltimore's dreamy Beach House will visit the Neighborhood Theatre June 13 en route to the Manchester, Tennessee festival. 

The `90s turned out to be a hot ticket last summer and the trend continues this year with Barenaked Ladies revisiting its 2012 "Last Summer on Earth Tour." The group celebrates its 25th anniversary with fellow `90s rock radio staples Ben Folds and Guster July 25 at Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre. Boothby Graffoe will open the show. Expect a new album from Canada's Ladies June 4th.

Fellow `90s pop-rockers Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls embark on a co-headlining tour that hits Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre August 6. Tickets for Barenaked Ladies go on sale March 23. Tickets for Heart and the Matchbox/GooGoo tour go on sale March 29. 

Miles & Coltrane: Blue (.), a tribute to the game changing period in jazz, returns for a limited run in preparation for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - which always seem to signal that Charlotte is in for an exciting, original show. Concrete Generation and the Stephen Gordon Group recreate the work of Miles Davis and John Coltrane and illustrate the dramatic shift in music history at Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square from May 30 to June 2. Scheduled concerts include two matinees and a Pay-What-You-Can night. 

At the club level the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart brings his band along with African Showboyz to Neighborhood Theatre May 8th. 

Oscar winner Ryan Bingham returns to Tremont Music Hall May 9th. That same night Welsh alt-rock trio the Joy Formidable stops at Visulite. 

The Charles Walker Band brings retro funk back to Double Door on May 23rd. Billy Joe Shaver also stops in at the long-running club June 19th. 

Later in the summer NC songstress Tift Merritt returns to Visulite August 16th. The BoDeans perform at McGlohon Theater August 23rd and Steve Forbert's Alive on Arrival Tour is at Stage Door Theater September 14th. 

Tickets available online at venue websites. Check individual band sites for pre-sale and VIP opportunities.