Friday, February 13, 2015

This week's hot concerts

Ancient Cities
Friday  9 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., Free,  
Following last year’s critically acclaimed debut full-length, the Charlotte folk-rock foursome celebrate the release of a six track live EP recorded at WDVX in Knoxville’s Blue Plate Special daily lunchtime series. The fast-rising group’s music was also used in a  recent episode of the TBS sitcom “Cougar Town.”

Wayne Krantz Trio
Friday  10 p.m., Smokey Joe's, 510 Briar Creek Rd., TBA at door,
The jazz fusion guitarist is best known for his work with Steely Dan and Donald Fagen, but as a solo artist has released 10 albums. On his latest, "Good Piranha/Bad Piranha," he interprets songs by Ice Cube, MC Hammer, Pendulum, and Thom Yorke, not one, but twice each. 

Rachel Kate
Friday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $5,  
Like a lightning rod plucked from another era, this Charleston singer-songwriter could stop traffic with her stunning bluesy alto, bold presence, and a dramatic antiqued sound that combines modern soul with Southern gothic, vaudeville camp, and Depression era strength. She’s joined by the Menders and She Returns from War.

American Aquarium
Saturday  10 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $14,
With its distinctively Southern new album “Wolves,” the Raleigh roots-rock act captures the struggle of a band on the brink, the disconnection of road life, and the sacrifices that come with choosing art over security. “Wolves” echoes the working class blues of Drive-By Truckers and Ryan Adams and is one of the best early releases of the year.

Bryan Sutton
Saturday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $18-$20,  
A Grammy winner and six time International Bluegrass Music Awards guitarist of the year, this Asheville native divides his time between solo work, Nashville session work with eclectic artists like Dolly Parton, Harry Connick, Jr., and Taylor Swift, and legendary bluegrass band Hot Rize. If bluegrass makes your sweetheart’s knees weak, this is the Valentine’s show for you.

R&B Reunion Tour
Saturday  8 p.m., Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., $66.16-$119.92,
Turn back the clock to the golden age of Bad Boy Records with the reunion of P. Diddy’s label’s biggest acts - classy, charismatic crooner and Notorious B.I.G widow Faith Evans, Carl Thomas - the R&B singer behind the hit “I Wish” - and girl group Total (who appeared on Biggie’s “Juicy”). Hosted by Tone X.

The Loose Lugnuts/Bill Noonan
Saturday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $7,
If spending Valentine’s Day alone means tears in your beers, then the honky-tonk of these two Charlotte acts will help drink you through. The Lugnuts capture vintage country while rocking Telecaster slinger Noonan delivers his share of twang and heartache.

Johnson Brothers' Valentine's Bash
Saturday 10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $5, 
Wes and Chris Johnson's band Hardcore Lounge has been hosting this annual Valentine's Day party for 23 years and since making it a fundraiser 12 years ago have raised $6,000 for R.A.I.N. This year marks the return of Charlotte music vets Hope Nichols and Aaron Pitkin (Fetchin Bones, Sugarsmack, Snagglepuss) with their new band It's Snakes as well as the fittingly named duo Lovesucker who open the show. 

Sunday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $33.58,
With the Grammy night news that his amusingly titled new album, “The Album About Nothing,” will be released March 31, the DC rapper heads up the Simply Nothing Tour with Audio Push and Bizzy Crook. Wale performs an assist on the former’s new single “Quick Fast,” which serves as a preview of its upcoming debut album.

Erin McKeown
Tuesday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $12-$14,
In 2013 the quirky and creative jazz-folk singer-songwriter decided to combine her interest in activism and social justice with her musical pursuits and created the musical call to arms “Manifestra.” She returns to the Southeast touring between teaching music, activism, and hosting and blogging for a NYC NPR station.

Gordon Lightfoot
Thursday  8 p.m., Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St., $37-$67,  
Having weathered illness earlier this century, the Canadian folk-rock legend behind `70s hits and classic rock radio staples “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and “Sundown” returns to celebrate 50 Years on the Carefree Highway.