Saturday, March 28, 2015

Horror film with NC Halloween roots gets Mad Monster premier Saturday

Last October a friend and I ventured to the small town of Kannapolis for the premier of the new horror film "Honeyspider" paired in a old-fashioned double feature with the original "Night of the Living Dead" a couple weeks before Halloween. Besides being the birthplace of godfather of Funk George Clinton, Kannapolis is home to an adorable historical single screen movie house called the Gem Theatre where part of the movie is set. It was really special to see the film's theatrical premier in the very spot it was filmed with the filmmakers and actors in tow. 

The film is screening closer to Charlotte's city center this weekend. It's part of the Mad Monster Party film festival at The Sheraton downtown. It will screen Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Screenwriter Kenny Caperton, who grew up near Kannapolis and frequented that theater as a kid, will be on hand. He's running the Honeyspider/Myers House, NC table in the vendor's room. "Honeyspider" is one of a string of full-length and short films that are screened during the three-day horror fest. You can pop in any time and get your fill of horror (I still can't get this short about a giant killer chicken from the first year out of my head). 

In "Honeyspider" college student Jackie Blue (newcomer Mariah Brown) works concessions at the theater. It’s Halloween and her twenty-first birthday. She’s having issues with her family and wants to celebrate her birthday quietly, but the mysterious man that’s watching her from a distance seems to have other plans.

I was interested in "Honeyspider" for several reasons. First, it’s the first horror film to get a local world premier since the campy zombie indie "Come Get Some" (written and directed by Charlotte’s Jason Griscom) screened here in 2003. It is also the first featurel-length film from Caperton, who owns the Myers House in Hillsborough, NC. Caperton built an actual replica of the house from John Carpenter’s original 1978 "Halloween." His home was purposely patterned after the house from the movie where Michael Myers knifed his sister Judith as a child and later tried to do the same to his baby sister Laurie. 

I’ve wanted to write about Myers House since I found out about it and "Honeyspider" allowed me to kill two birds with one story, so to speak. You can read all about Myers House and "Honeyspider" in the preview we did on the premier last fall here

I knew as soon as the film ended I would need a while to digest (ahem) the movie. Six months later there are scenes that still stick with me. I tend to replay movies in my head when I can't sleep at night - particularly horror movies (weird, I know) - and I've done this as much with "Honeyspider" as I have with last fall's "Annabelle" (that creepy doll). 

Watching a movie after I interviewed the screenwriter and knew a bit about him was interesting because I found myself watching it the same way I listen to records - with references jutting out at me. I know Caperton grew up on classic horror films and that he has a soft spot for `80s horror. "Honeyspider" is set in 1989, for instance, and some of the fashion is a hoot (oh, ill-fitting jeans and side ponytails).  There’s also a classic `80s movie-within-the-movie, “Sleepover Slaughterhouse III,” which includes all the `80s tropes - bubbleheaded teenage girls, boobs, and a serial killer that’s distracted by neither. It in itself is a fun ride with a completely different tone than the actual movie. 

Caperton took the title of the film from an old Smashing Pumpkins track that served as inspiration. There are several Pumpkins references throughout. The first reference I can find online to the song “Honeyspider” was on a cassette demo released in, you guessed it, 1989. You have to admire Caperton’s devotion to weaving it all together. The song plays over the end credits, by the way, with Billy Corgan’s permission, and Caperton, who plays a college student, is introduced in the film pummeling a jack-o-lantern.

The pace is another factor. There’s not a ton of dialogue, which is probably smart for new filmmakers. The exchanges between friends and co-workers are funny and realistic. Actresses Katie Bearden, who plays Jackie’s friend Jenny, and  Rachel Jeffreys as her co-worker, were particularly at ease. And the humor and ease of those characters counters the drama, stress and obvious discomfort of Jackie's situation. 

There are also long shots of Jackie walking across campus, quietly drifting to sleep in her room, and driving through the country on her way to work. Since "Scream" horror movies have often rushed through one scare after another. "Honeyspider" is restrained by comparison. There are a few jump-in-your-seat moments and some clever Halloween-related scenes. Oh candy corn, you got me! I don’t want to give much away, but the title’s meaning is much more unsettling than I imagined. 

Besides the slower `80s pace and the `80s-like setting, two other films come to mind. The dream sequences recall "The Blair Witch Project" and the dissonant music at the end recalls John 5’s score from "Lords of Salem." I found a couple of parallels with the Rob Zombie Kubrick-esque modern witchcraft story, including an ending that’s a bit open-ended. But I didn’t find the ending of "Honeyspider" frustrating as i did with "Salem."


Pairing it with George A. Romero’s original 1968 "Night of the Living Dead" turned out to be a perfect companion to capture the spirit of independent filmmaking then and now. First of all seeing it in the theater with no commercials and, better yet, no remote control in hand, was like seeing "Night of the Living Dead" with new eyes.  I’m not a huge fan of zombies. They’re gross and slow (and that flesh eating scene is still pretty gross), but it unfolds slowly and calmly as well. I began thinking about the parallels between the independent filmmakers behind "HoneySpider" and "Living Dead" - the spirit and passion in seeing a project through and doing it with the tools you have at hand on a budget especially in an industry that seems to pour money and can build an entire film on a green screen. 

I wouldn't have thought playing a classic following the premier of a brand new film would reflect so well on the new film and add the the experience. But it did. On the way home I found myself pondering tragedy and fanaticism. 

"Honeyspider" is sandwiched between a sneak preview of something called "Toxic Tutu" (gotta check that out) and a short Hell On Earth film block Saturday. Saturday passes are $35 and that includes access to a lot of fun - the vendor's room (it's like Christmas for a horror fan), the film festival, Q&A panels (Saturday's include Batman and Robin/Adam West and Burt Ward, Leatherfaces Gunnar Hansen and Bill Johnson, William Forsythe and Steve Railsback, and voice actors that verbally animate Skeletor, Roger Rabbit, and the Cryptkeeper), live music, a costume contest, beauty pageant, scaraoke, games, and a chance to meet the guests stars from film, TV, and muisc (autographs and photos are usually extra). 

Check out the full schedule and film schedule here and learn more about "Honeyspider" (I hear there will be big new soon) here

New Music: Solar Cat

This week's new music is from Charlotte hard rock duo Solar Cat who celebrates its "Tales From the Savage Land" EP release Saturday during the late show at Evening Muse.

What's so interesting to me about Solar Cat is as much about what the band is not as what it is. Chris Rigo spent a decade playing guitar for Sugar Glyder, a band that wrote ambitious, layered pop-rock arrangements that balanced hooks and complexity and would have sounded at home in an arena. With quick, riff-anchored psychedelic songs about comic books, fantasy, and dinosaurs, Solar Cat sounds nothing like Sugar Glyder.

As Rigo's girlfriend Sara English bashes away on the drums with purpose, Rigo shifts from thick stoner rock riffing to more hurried passages and flashier guitar work (which comes as no surprise) while demonstrating a knack for a classic psychedelic stoner rock style of singing that places Solar Cat in league with bands like NC's ASG (one of the most underrated acts in the genre by the way). It's like hearing a whole different musician.

What's more, Solar Cat sounds like its having a blast ripping through tracks like "Weather Witch" and "Ter-O-Dac-Tal Man" (my four year old's favorites, by the way). But it's got more than one color too as illustrated on the slower (but not weaker) track "Kazar and Zabu."

The pop and punk shows up on "Mister S" and "She Devil." The former sounds like a superhero anthem that aspires to really catchy `80s college radio hitdom - a bit like Tom Petty meets one of R.E.M.s early lesser known contemporaries.

You can check it out and download the entire EP here. Solar Cat is also part of our online video series this week. You can watch the trippy clip for "Weather Witch" here.

Saturday's show starts at 10:30 p.m. The Business People, Del Rio, and the Body Bags round out the bill. Admission is $5 to $7.

Friday, March 27, 2015

This week's hot concerts


John Mellencamp/Carlene Carter
Friday  7:30 p.m., Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., $40.50-$117.50, www.ticketmaster.com
The Heartland rocker explores his Americana roots on The Plain Spoken Tour (named for his 2014 album). He touches on songs from the musical he wrote with Stephen King “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County”  with the help of opener Carlene Carter, but by the end he’s “R.O.C.K.”-ing many of his expected hits.

Asleep at the Wheel
Saturday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $25-$28, www.neighborhoodtheatre.com    
Forty-five years into its career, the veteran Western swing band is still honoring forefather Bob Wills - this time with another all-star collection. “Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys” features guests like Elizabeth Cook, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, and the Avett Brothers.


Martin Sexton
Sunday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $22-$25, www.visulite.com
The veteran singer-songwriter taps into the true idea behind an old school mix tape on his appropriately titled “Mixtape for the Open Road,” shifting from bare bones old time folk to heartfelt R&B to bluesy soul within the first three songs, illustrating his ability to channel Guy Clark and the Neville Brothers.

Rittz/Kxng Crooked
Sunday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $17-$20, www.neighborhoodtheatre.com  
On their South West Kings Tour the lightning-tongued Atlanta rapper and the Long Beach Slaughterhouse emcee formerly known as Crooked are touring behind new projects. Ginger emcee Rittz returned in September with “Next to Nothing;” Crooked released the “Sex, Money & Hip-Hop” mixtape in December.


Rhiannon Giddens
Wednesay  7:30 p.m., McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St., $25-$35, www.blumenthalarts.org  
The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ founder teamed with T-Bone Burnett on her first solo album, “Tomorrow is My Turn,” on which she interprets work by influential female artists in country, folk, blues, and gospel, often casting them in a new light with fresh arrangements and a soulful voice that sometimes makes you forget the original.


Chuck Prophet
Wednesday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $15, www.doubledoorinn.com   
Prophet may be the greatest California folky pop-rock songwriter that you haven’t heard of. Striking in similar territory to John Doe and Tom Petty with a knack for classic boogieing rock n’ roll, he continues to put out one quality collection after another on NC’s Yep Roc label. His latest is 2014’s “Night Surfer.” Jeffrey Dean Foster, whose new album is produced by Carolinians Don Dixon and Mitch Easter, opens the show.


Death of Paris
Wednesday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $5-$7, www.themilestoneclub.com
The hardworking Columbia combo, which has evolved from an impressive dream pop outfit to a more widely accessible pop-rock powerhouse,  plays the final night of its tour on the way home from SXSW. Echoing Paramore, the female-fronted act make the sonic equivalent to hard candy - snappy, sweet, colorful and irresistible. 

Andy the Doorbum
Wednesday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., Free, www.snugrock.com
Musician, visual and performance artist Andy Fenstermaker kicks off a busy month for his Alien Native Movement’s arts takeover of Charlotte. The weekly live music residency begins with a ceremonial burning symbolizing a fresh start and each week the premier of a new performance and guests artists. He’s also curated the art show next door at Twenty-Two.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Music: Swell Friends



Charlotte foursome Swell Friends celebrates the release of its latest EP "Dizzy" Sunday at the Milestone (3400 Tuckaseegee Rd.).

Swell Friends is the fourth band for singer Robby Hartis since the breakup of the Lights, Fluorescent, which was probably my favorite Charlotte band of all time. Other than his stint playing bass in Sugar Glyder before its breakup, Swell Friends is also his first without any of the other Lights. While both Sidewalks and My Captain sounded a lot like Lights, Fluorescent, Swell Friends takes a new approach. 

"Dizzy" is full of catchy, fast-paced tracks that land closer to melodic hardcore and punk than indie rock. Daniel Hodges proves a creative guitar player adding to the intensity with frantic, yet colorful playing. As the former sound engineer for Steel Train and Grammy winners fun. who ran a successful Kickstarter for his own work last year, the full-speed-ahead punk is not what I expected. The rhythm section of Ryan Southwell (formerly of Love Colt and David Stein and the Ravens), and Jesse Soper (of A Stained Glass Romance) drive with a propulsive back beat but also keep the barreling vehicle on the road. 

"Dizzy" often reminds me of old school bands like Minor Threat, Sick of It All and Agnostic Front, as well as the Suicide Machines second album "Battle Hymns" with shades of screamo and emo. Some of the breakdowns turn mathy. Others are just incredibly catchy. 

As a lyricist Hartis revisits territory he's explored in other bands. His father's death, which he touched on more than once with the Lights, gets a heavier, angrier ode this time out, 

There's an urgency and a messiness to the tracks that never lets up, but melody isn't sacrificed for speed and noise. 

You can check out "Dizzy" here or join Swell Friends tonight at The Milestone where Kang, Black Pope, Del Rio, and Release the Dog also play. Admission is $5-$7 and music starts at 9 p.m.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tremont celebrates 20 years Saturday; I open my scrapbook

Most of the current and former staff who showed up for the Tremont family reunion in Oct. 2013 with all three owners Penny Craver, Dave Ogden, and John Hayes (About 8 people didn't fit in the shot. And that's my little boy's head in the front).
Tremont Music Hall celebrates its 20th anniversary Saturday with a show that takes a nostalgic look back at local music while acknowledging the heavier direction the rock club has taken in recent years.
Antiseen, who predates the club by over a decade but has a long history there, will headline. Co-founders Joe Young, who passed away in 2014, and Jeff Clayton both worked there at times, held antiversary concerts there, and Young's memorial service was held there last May.
Other acts include Radio $alesmen, Animal Bag, Kudzu Ganja, It Could Be Nothing, Cronic Disorder, Deadlock, October, and Bloody Mary. The Fill Ins fill the resident youngster spot on the lineup, while many of the other bands are no longer active although many of Tremont's early patrons will remember them. Some are reuniting simply to honor their old rocking grounds.

Laura Baca of the Eyeliners.
The hard rock, punk, and metal lineup reflects the kind of music that Tremont is known for, but while hardcore, punk, metal, industrial, and screamo became its calling card the venue started out as practically the only large all ages club in town. So while Tremont hosted Ministry, Christian Death, Earth Crisis, Bloodlet, Social Distortion, L7, Fugazi, Rob Zombie, Green Day, Clutch, Fall Out Boy, the Deftones, Incubus, and My Chemical Romance, it also boasted Stereolab, Blur, Paula Cole, Jewel, Maroon 5, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Iggy Pop. the Psychedelic Furs, the Roots, Ween, Blues Traveler, Matchbox 20, Son Volt, Gregg Allman, Train, Mighty Bosstones, Drive-By Truckers, and Cypress Hill.
Jason Navarro and Royce Nunley of the Suicide Machines

Pretty much anyone that had a hit on WEND 106.5 The End in the mid `90s made a stop at Tremont.

This was before venues like Neighborhood Theatre and the Visulite or Amos' moved to SouthEnd and expanded. My own college live music experience was tied to Tremont. I discovered the Suicide Machines there; watched 7 Year Bitch with about 10 people in the big room; saw Ani Difranco for the first time; soldiered through Placebo's opening set for Stabbing Westward through a cold medicine haze; held coats while punk kids danced to "Ice Ice Baby;" and danced like a complete fool myself to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Rancid (mostly so my friend wouldn't look so lonely).

Musicians like Valient Himself and Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara, who grew up in High Point, wax nostalgic about the shows they saw their in their youth long before headlining there.

The notable live shows I experienced there aren't limited to those early years though. I left Valient Thorr in June 2013 grinning from ear to ear, took my son to see Iamdynamite there twice that year (that's him with the band below) and watched Foxy Shazam 8 months pregnant from the bleachers in the back of the Casbah. I found a few shots I took at shows in the `90s as well as some early ticket stubs. It's amazing what $10 would get you back then.


This January I caught Wednesday 13, who played the club frequently with his old band Frankenstein Drag Queens. And Antiseen's December comeback show with new guitarist Russ Ward was one of the warmest receptions I've ever witnessed.

It's passed through the hands of three owners, Penny Craver, Dave Ogden and now metal lover John Hayes who is calendar busy. What's remained besides a family-like staff, is the owner's passion for music which is reflected in a staff who are often members of local bands or somehow tied to the local music scene.

Tremont hasn't only played host to national acts, it nurtured local talent. The first show I saw there was my boss' band Laburnum (I started at the Cotswold Record Exchange the month before). I practically got lost dragging two of my friends from Queens beyond the walls of Dilworth.

So many local acts called Tremont home-base at one time. Sugarsmack, Lou Ford, Jolene (who went on to tour with Hootie & the Blowfish), Muscadine, Come On Thunderchild, My So-Called Band, Alternative Champs, Babyshaker, HRVRD, Scapegoat, Campbell (members of Flagship), Sugar Glyder, Junior Astronomers and numerous others honed their act there - some while as young as their early teens. Many moved on to other venues in town or broke up, but Tremont played a part in supporting new acts and still does whether its up and coming hip-hop or the latest hardcore or metal act.

You'll also still find that odd singer-songwriter or pop bill on the calendar along with the juggalo shows, because really, who's to say what Tremont is other than withstanding? It may be like Cher and cockroaches, still standing (much like its predecessor the Milestone) long after we're all gone or just too old to go to shows.

Admission to Saturday's anniversary show is $10 to $15 and music starts at 5:30 p.m.

My son watching the Aggrolites soundcheck on Mother's Day 2012.

 (All photos: Courtney Devores)







Thursday, March 19, 2015

McLachlan proves humble host, indelible vocalist at long-awaited return

When Sarah McLachlan walked on stage Wednesday night at Ovens Auditorium, she didn't do it with big bounding intro music or launch into a fiery opener, she simply stood at the mic, welcomed the crowd, and introduced the first song. There was no pop singer pretension or facade of "entertainer" and the crowd didn't need any props, choreography or distracting bling. They were there for one reason - to hear that showstopping, emotional powerhouse of a voice.

After opening with "In Your Shoes" - a single from her latest album, "Shine On," written for MalalaYousafzai - McLachlan shared that she wanted to remove the "us and them scenario" from the concert setting. She did so by creating a sort of interactive environment answering questions submitted at the merch table and inviting social media contest winners on stage where she gave them all hugs, took selfies and answered questions including, "Have you ever fallen in love with a woman?" Sorry girls.

Introducing songs like "Monsters" and "Loving You Is Easy," she sounded like a woman scorned who hasn't lost her sense of humor. She told stories about her struggles in romance, losing her father, parenting two girls (ages 13 and 7) who do not think she's the cool rock star that her audience does and meeting her new beau (reportedly former hockey player Geoff Courtnall). She even gushed about the message of the new "Cinderella" movie. By the end of the night it felt like McLachlan was just like us. Until, of course, she launched into the operatic vocal exercise that is "Fear." Um, well, no she's not just like us. Her voice is so good I'm not even sure she's human. And at 47 she looks about 35.  If she hadn't shared earlier that she'd taken Dayquil and had to rehearse for two hours before the show because of her illness, no one would've been the wiser.

McLachlan and her four-piece band (which seemed more stripped down than when I saw her at the height of her popularity in the `90s) played two sets drawing heavily on 2014's "Shine On" as well as best sellers "Fumbling Toward Ecstacy" and "Surfacing" with a few stops at 2003's "Afterglow" and 2010's "Laws of Illusion."

The only hiccup was visual. The fairly simple set relied on a smattering of different types of lighting, but the blocky LED screens which projected distracting watery images seemed like they'd be better suited to an outdoor amphitheater setting.

The tracks she chose from "Fumbling" weren't always the ones you'd expect - although anyone that owned that album knew every track on it. The band altered the arrangements of older songs like "Hold On" slightly, which seemed more "up" than the original. "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" always doubled as the emotional climax of that album as well the odd track that wouldn't have fit as a single. It filled that place in the set as well turning into a shuffling psychedelic epic (McLachlan even flexed her whammy bar) that would have served as the concert closer at a jam band show.

"Stupid" (from 2003's "Afterglow"), which closed the first set, boiled to the place where the arena rock of Muse meets "Fumbling"-era McLachlan. It was as heavy as the night got. There was no need for earplugs as the volume was relatively quiet and made space for McLachlan's voice. Songs like "Sweet Surrender" and "Possession," which closed the regular set, had some of the crowd dancing on its feet although most remained reserved, glued to their seats even during the closing sing-along of "Ice Cream."

"Angel" - forever tied to McLachlan's ASPCA commercials (3 hours of her life which raised $30 million she shared earlier) - featured bassist Butterfly Boucher, an Australian recording artist and songwriter in her own right who has played Tremont Music Hall as a solo artist. "Beautiful Girl," written for her daughter, and "The Sound That Love Makes" helped finish out the set on a positive note.

Although the band was smaller and the room less awe-inspiring than the Fox Theatre in Atlanta where I first saw her in October 1997, I left thinking similar thoughts. While that Atlanta show confirmed what a remarkable and natural live vocalist McLachlan is, I left Wednesday thinking she is an equally remarkable person.



Friday, March 13, 2015

This week's hot concerts

Something Clever
Friday  6:30 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave., $8-$10, www.tremontmusichall.com  
The Charlotte-based metallic hard rock band celebrates the release of “Season of Darkness.” The album creates a melodic metal assault with thick riffs and intricate fretwork, crisp basslines, pummeling tempos and vocal dynamics. The anthem “Best Laid Plans” would be a perfect score for a WWE or UFC promo.

Mipso
Friday  7:30 p.m., Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Ave., Free, www.folksociety.org
The NC new grass outfit, whose 2013 album title “Dark Holler Pop” is an apt description as any of the band’s fresh take on roots music, brings youthful, spirited, but still tradition-based, modern bluegrass to the Charlotte Folk Society’s monthly free concert series.


J. Roddy Walston & the Business/Moon Taxi/Jessica Hernandez
Friday  8 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $13-$15, www.amossouthend.com  
The long buzzed about Southern rock outfit is enjoying sell out concerts and long awaited popularity following 2013’s “Essential Tremors,” which was boosted by “Sweat Shock’s” inclusion in a Coors Light commercial last fall. Nashville’s Moon Taxi and soul/blues-rock singer Hernandez make for an impressive lineup.


Andy Grammer/Alex & Sierra
Friday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $27.51, www.livenation.com
The acoustic pop singer-songwriter behind 2011’s “Keep Your Head Up” continues making positive pop songs like his latest ode to fidelity on the road “Honey, I’m Good.” He’s joined by 2013 “X Factor” winners Alex & Sierra, who first charmed Simon Cowell with their unique take on Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”

Adventure Club
Friday  8 p.m., Label, 900 NC Music Factory Blvd., $30/$45-$100 VIP, www.labelcharlotte.com  
Crafting a dynamic mix of the abrasive and accessible by blending dizzying dubstep, gentler electropop, and dancefloor atmospherics often with the aid of delicate guest vocals, the Canadian production duo is making a name for itself in dance music.

Pat Green/Hudson Moore
Friday  11 p.m., Coyote Joe’s, 4621 Wilkinson Blvd., $15-$18, www.coyote-joes.com  
With the single “Girls From Texas” (with Lyle Lovett) from his forthcoming album, country singer Pat Green returns to his independent Texas roots and in doing so brings 24 year old Ft. Worth songwriter Moore on the road. Like Green, the rising country singer bridges Nashville gloss and red dirt grit.


Green River Revival
Saturday  1 p.m., US National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy,  
The US National Whitewater Center’s fifth annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K run is followed by an afternoon concert featuring Charlotte’s Matrimony and Durham’s quirky roots-pop combo Bombadil, who announce the departure of multi-instrumentalist Stuart Robinson just weeks before the March 24 release of its new album “Hold On.”

Anthony D’Amato/Liz Longley
Saturday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $12-$15, www.eveningmuse.com  
D’Amato is one of the most gifted folk-rock singer-songwriters to come along since Josh Ritter with whom he shares a literary Dylanesque quality. He recorded his acclaimed “The Shipwreck from the Shore” with members of Megafaun and Bon Iver and Ritter’s bands and joins Longley as she celebrates the release of her new self-titled album.


Sarah McLachlan
Tuesday  8 p.m., Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., $55.27-$99.18, www.ticketmaster.com
Not since Lilith Fair has the Canadian songstress best known for her beloved `90s albums, gut wrenching ASPCA commercials, and the dormant femme-fest, graced a Charlotte stage. Her “Shine On Tour” boasts over 2 hours of career-spanning songs, so it should please old and new fans.

Steve Aoki
Thursday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $48.41, www.livenation.com  
The Grammy nominated DJ and Dim Mak Records founder’s latest live production - the Neon Future Experience, which follows the September release of his latest all-star album - boasts custom built LED cubes with mirrored panels that mimic much larger festival sets and create visual depth to reflect the pumping electro-pop soundtrack.