It has been a fabulous summer for concerts, and some of the best are yet to come as the season comes to a close.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the more interesting bands and artists playing in our area during the next few weeks.
The Allman Brothers are performing twice within easy driving distance. On Aug. 31, the band visits Charlotte’s Verizon Amphitheater with the legendary Steve Winwood opening. You will not find a better twin-bill for classic rock enthusiasts.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals begin the festivities at the Verizon Wireless shed in Alpharetta on Sept. 2, so it’s gonna be quite a difficult choice for locals to decide which show to attend.
Potter and her excellent R&B band might make that decision a bit easier, as they will headline Columbia’s Township Auditorium on Oct. 2. Their terrific offering from last year – The Lion, The Beast, The Beat – confirmed Potter’s status as the heiress apparent to the blueswailing stylings of KoKo Taylor, Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. What a voice!
REELING IN THE BEERS DEPT. Steely Dan tours only every other year these days, which is so strange as the band did not tour at all from ’74 to ’93! Their current Mood Swings jaunt around the states has two possibilities for Danheads: Sept. 7 (Verizon Wireless in Alpharetta) and Sept. 17 (Charlotte’s Uptown Amphitheatre.)
SIGH NO MORE, INDEED! Mumford and Sons just keep getting better with every CD. 2012’s Babel garnered the Grammy for Album of the Year and the foursome’s phenomenal DVD The Road to Red Rocks is a fine indicator of just what musical magic Marcus, Ben, Winston and Dwane possess. (Sept. 10, Centennial Park in Atlanta.)
STILL ROOM FOR SQUARES DEPT. Seven-time Grammy winner John Mayer has sold more than 17 million discs worldwide. Paradise Alley, his newest disc, will be released on Aug. 20 so you can expect many new songs as well as the hits. (Sept. 4 show at Charlotte’s Verizon Wireless.)
• Muse is one of those rare bands that continuously reinvents itself with almost every offering. The band’s sixth LP, The 2nd Law, sounds almost nothing like Black Holes and Revelations (’06) or Origin of Symmetry (’05.) Cage the Elephant opens for the Sept. 3 show at Charlotte’s Time Warner Arena.
WHERE’S THE KID’S BEARD? DEPT. Gee, maybe Rock ’n Roll Jesus actually did leave Chicago. Kid Rock has teamed up with ZZ Top All Summer Long for some good ol’ Redneck Paradise. The two acts are visiting Aaron’s Lakewood Amphitheatre Sept. 14 for a scattered, smothered and covered night of craziness.
• Jerry Butler, one of the finest soul singers of our generation, has a 4 p.m. show set for the Newberry Opera House. Only the Strong Survive, Hey Western Union Man and He Will Break your Heart are just three of the Butler’s dozens of hits. (Sept. 22 in Newberry, S.C.)
AUGUSTA THREE! DEPT. The Augusta-area too has some very interesting acts coming in the next few months. Mountain Heart with Lera Lynn (Sept. 13, Imperial Theatre), The Dirty Dozen Brass Band w/Funk You and the J.A.M.P. Band (Sept. 16, Imperial) and former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber, who is set for the Hardin Center in Evans on Sept. 15.
As always, please support your local musicians as well as the promoters who are working very hard to bring top-quality entertainment to our area.