Thursday, May 28, 2015

This week's hot concerts

Friday  6 p.m., Fountain Plaza at NC Music Factory, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $8,
The Friday Live Concert Series gets a shot of youthful pop with this rising NYC quartet whose bouncy, uplifting dance pop is big on messages of equality and empowerment, funky horn lines, jangling guitars, clever melodies and the wise-beyond-her-years vocals of singer Mandy Lee.

John Mark McMillan
Friday  7 p.m., Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St., $10,    
The Charlotte-based singer-songwriter returns to a bigger stage following the success of last year’s independent release “Borderland,” which nearly cracked Billboard’s Top 40 album charts with his brooding baritone, folk-infused indie rock, and gift for catchy, yet poignant songwriting.

Pierre Bensusan
Friday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $22,
The French-Algerian acoustic guitarist celebrates four decades of music with a 40th Anniversary World Tour and 3-disc collection, “Encore,” spanning the nimble fingered player’s accomplished career. While most of his tour dates are in Asia and Europe, local fans can catch him during this intimate, but brief Southeastern run.  

The Fox Flashback Festival
Saturday  2 p.m., Uptown Amphitheatre, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $25,     
This tribute band showcase - which includes sets by two Charlotte acts recently featured on AXS TV’s “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” (Natural Wonder and On the Border) - features tributes to the Eagles, AC/DC, Stevie Wonder, Metallica, Pink Floyd, and Billy Joel.

Time Sawyer
Saturday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $10-$12,
The Charlotte transplants who originated in Elkin don’t sound like the hybrid of Rush and Doctor Who as their name might imply. Instead the recent Merlefest performers make tempered, modern bluegrass and orchestral rural folk with touches of New Grass Revival’s soul streak and a hint of early Coldplay’s melodic scope.

St. Vincent/Sarah Neufeld
Tuesday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $36.73,      
One of the most startlingly original artists to come along in years, the eccentric Annie Clark captivates whether mixing it up with David Byrne or opening for the Black Keys. She’s upped to headliner this time with Arcade Fire violinist Neufeld, who released her solo debut in 2013 followed by a recent collaboration with saxophonist Colin Stetson.

Kate Tempest
Wednesday  9 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $13-$16,
Who could have foreseen that the next wave of quality hip-hop would blow in from across the Atlantic out of the mouth of British sirens like award winning poet and playwright Tempest, who mixes her literary background with gritty street sense and a touch of Lady Soveriegn and M.I.A. without the colorful campiness.  

Reel Big Fish/Less Than Jake
Thursday  7:30 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $31.08,   
Few bands captured the bratty fun and silliness of the `90s Jamaican-swiping ska-punk revival than these two live powerhouses, who are still at it. They fire the ska-punk confetti cannon and party like its Warped Tour `99.  

Parker Milsap/Reeve Coobs
Thursday  8:30 p.m., Visulite,1615 Elizabeth Ave., $12-$15,
Just a few years past his teens, this Oklahoma songwriter surprises with raspy vocal depth, mature songwriting, and a commanding presence. It’s that drive and quality that have earned him spots at the Grand Ole Opry and on tours with Old Crow Medicine Show and Shovels & Rope. Homegrown singer-songwriter Coobs opens the show.