2nd Annual QC Summerfest
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 7 p.m,, 7 p.m., and 6 p.m., respectively, Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St., $39.50-$69.50 each night or $187.65 3 night pass, www.blumenthalarts.org
This three-day jazz festival is made up of several downtown concerts from intimate after parties to daytime shows and even bowling. Headliners are Boney James Friday, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, and Norman Brown Saturday, and Jonathan Butler Sunday. Maysa (of Incognito) celebrates 25 years in music Saturday afternoon at McGlohon. Stage Door Theater features late night sets, and guitarist David P. Stevens plays Strike City Sunday. Tickets for non-Belk shows are available separately.
Phillip Phillips/Matt Nathanson
Friday 7 p.m., Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $25-$55, www.livenation.com
“American Idol” has sung its final note, but 2012’s Season 11 winner Phillips was the Fox series’ last winner to achieve widespread name recognition. Now working on his third album, he’s graduated from opening for Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer to co-headline with veteran folk-rock singer-songwriter Nathanson, whose own TV appearances from “The Bachelor” to “That Metal Show” have broadened his audience.
Friday 7:15 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $10, www.snugrock.com
Since leaving the Queen City to chase Hollywood music stardom, Charlotte native Joe Firstman has had a wildly varied career that echoes ability to adapt to any style. It’s included a deal with Atlantic, tours with Jewel and Sheryl Crow, a stint as an NBC late night band leader, and a jazz club with actor Danny Masterson. Now he and three stellar Nashville cats are showcasing stunning harmonies and a roots-anchored Southern sound that may be his best work yet.
Friday 8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $10, www.eveningmuse.com
The Charlotte native and recent Triangle transplant has drawn more attention for his political songwriting and activism of late as cofounder of the NC Music Love Army and presence at Moral Mondays. Since releasing his long awaited new album, “Cities & Schools” last month, he’s also attracting national ears with snappy pop songwriting that’s big on quirkiness but never strays far from hooks.
Friday 9 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $20, www.visulite.com
Although the Western NC progressive roots quintet now spends more time on the farm and in the wild (the McMurry family has worked in NC agriculture for generations) than on a tour bus, it still makes time for semi-annual regional gigs like this one at its old Charlotte haunt. Expect songs from its `90s and early `00s as well as from its latest – 2013’s “Rooftop Garden.”
Fifty Watt Freight Train/Something Clever
Saturday 8 p.m., The Underground, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $10, www.livenation.com
The Fillmore opens a neighboring sister venue that strives to fill the void left by Tremont and Chop Shop or so its current calendar of locals and rising and established indie acts (the Struts, Danny Brown, Nothing But Thieves) indicates. Although the new digs may not ooze the same dirty rock club vibe as its homegrown predecessors, it gives hard rock fixtures like these two acts a new spot to call home.
Tuesday 6:30 p.m., PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd., $30-$70, www.livenation.com
Still on the mend from his June spinal surgery, frontman Corey Taylor admits he’s had to reevaluate his physical performance, but, because of it, is vocally better than ever. The masked marauders are joined by opener Of Mice and Men and Manson, who has something to prove given his uneven 2015 Carolina Rebellion performance that had even die-hard fans scratching their heads.
GSTQC August Residency
Wednesday 10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $2-$10, www.snugrock.com
The folks behind the annual God Save the Queen City festival expand the indie music fest again while shaking up its format. It all starts with this Wednesday residency curated by Ink Floyd with Philly indie rock foursome Left & Right, NC’s answer to second wave riot grrrl, Daddy Issues, and two of the city’s best emcees Rapper Shane and Elevator Jay, who both released new material this summer.