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Carolina Rebellion 2018

December 15, 2017

Its coming! The 8th annual Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC on Friday, May 4, Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, 2018. This will be my first time attending the event being I moved here last year. My tickets and campsite are all set. Now its just the… Read More ›

Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis earned an Oscar® nomination for playing Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Lost Bayou Ramblers and N.C. Symphony Spiced Up Beasts of the Southern Wild at Duke

A conductor stands at attention. Before him are 25 of the North Carolina Symphony’s finest. To his right sits a row of six musicians that look more like Mumford & Sons than Stravinsky. Silence. On the film screen behind the orchestra bursts a cityscape, with a golden beam of light streaking across it. Duke Performances… Read More ›

Four Voices, which Cat's Cradle brought to the N.C. Museum of Art on June 7th, includes (from left) Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joan Baez, Amy Ray, and Emily Saliers (photo by Daniel Hosterman)

Four Voices – Legendary Performers Delight at the NCMA

This is the age of badass women. You can find them everywhere: marching in pink hats, fighting for democracy on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and portraying superheroes in your summer blockbuster. But this week, four badass women were singing in Raleigh, NC, for a rescheduled (and sold out) midweek show, Four Voices: Joan… Read More ›

The North Carolina Symphony presented The Music of Prince on June 7th

The Music of Prince Celebrated His Birthday on June 7th in Raleigh in Royal Purple Style

Who can sit down when pop idol Prince’s music comes on the radio? No one who gathered together at Meymandi Concert Hall to celebrate Prince’s music on what would have been his 59th birthday on Wednesday, June 7th, that’s for sure! Fans filled the hall to hear The Music of Prince, performed by the North… Read More ›

Nine Entertainment presented 1964 The Tribute, which recreates a Beatles concert from the pre-Sgt. Pepper era, Nov. 4th at The Carolina Theatre of Durham

1964 The Tribute Rocked The Carolina Theatre Nov. 4th with a pre-Sgt. Pepper Beatles Concert

To borrow a line from The Beatles’ 1963 chart-topper, “Do You Want to Know a Secret?,” written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon (not Lennon-McCartney, as they are usually billed) and their first Top 10 hit to feature George Harrison on lead vocals: “Listen (do dah do), do you want to know a secret (do… Read More ›

Middle Earth Met the Marvel Universe on Sept. 16th and 18th in the N.C. Opera’s Das Rheingold

Over the span of nearly 26 years, German composer Richard Wagner constructed a cycle of four operas, based loosely on characters from Norse mythology and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungs). This quartet, officially titled Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is more commonly known as The Ring… Read More ›

The Durham Performing Arts Center presented the "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Return of the Mandatory World Tour at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9th

"Weird Al" Yankovic Made Fun Mandatory Sept. 9th at the Durham Performing Arts Center

“Weird Al” Yankovic is a four-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer, parodist, and songwriter with six platinum comedy albums and more than 12 million records sold over his 40-year career. His most recent album, Mandatory Fun, was his first Billboard number-one selling album; and he brought those hits to the Durham Performing Arts Center on Friday night… Read More ›

Brian Wilson’s Electrifying Pet Sounds Still Generates Good Vibrations!

At 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19th, AEG Live presented a one-night-only engagement of Brian Wilson Celebrates Pet Sounds’ 50th Anniversary in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Musical legend and Grammy® winner Brian Wilson was joined on stage by an entire army of extremely talented musicians, including former… Read More ›

Cool Summer Evenings: Georgia Stitt and Friends Was Thoroughly Enjoyable

Cool Summer Evenings is the yin to Theatre Raleigh’s yang, Hot Summer Nights. These concerts, held over the course of several Saturdays during the summer, give local artists the opportunity to take the stage and showcase their talents. On Saturday, July 16th, Theatre Raleigh presented Cool Summer Evenings Georgia Stitt and Friends, featuring singer/composer Georgia… Read More ›

Yolanda Rabun’s July 9th Cool Summer Evening Was a Hot Concert for Theatre Raleigh Patrons

Theatre Raleigh has been bringing quality theater to downtown Raleigh for several years with its Hot Summer Nights series. On Saturday, July 9th, they launched their new Cool Summer Evenings music series with Cool Summer Evenings: Yolanda Rabun. Theatre Raleigh’s website states: “Cool Summer Evenings is the side dish to Theatre Raleigh‘s main course, Hot… Read More ›

Wil Baptiste (left) plays viola and Kev Marcus plays violin; together they comprise Black Violin

Black Violin’s Fresh, Modern Sound Electrifies The Carolina Theatre of Durham on April 5th

Combine classic training with a hip hop sound, pair a violin with a viola, put them both on stage in the hands of young Black men, and you have music that is fresh, modern, classic, and just plain enjoyable. Black Violin (a.k.a. Kev Marcus and Wil B) brought their unique sound to The Carolina TheatreRead More ›

The Carolina Theatre of Durham presented the Metropolitan Opera Rising Stars on Saturday, Feb. 27th, in Fletcher Hall as part of Series 26

On Feb. 27th, the Metropolitan Opera Rising Stars Offered a "Whitman’s Sampler®" of Delights

On Feb. 27th, The Carolina Theatre of Durham hosted a crowd-pleasing performance of the Metropolitan Opera Rising Stars Concert Series, as part of its Series 26. Pianist/M.C. Brent Funderburk described their offerings as “a potpourri of [their] favorites.” And we were treated to 19 well-chosen, well-performed songs from various operas and musical theater. In addition… Read More ›

The Durham Performing Arts Center presented The Tenors: Under One Sky Tour on Wednesday, Jan. 27th

The Tenors Charm DPAC’s Audience on Jan. 27th

Some might have started thinking about Valentine’s Day, which is still two weeks away; but if the audience at the Durham Performing Arts Center hadn’t already started planning for that romantic holiday, they certainly were in the mood by the time they left the Jan. 27th performance of The Tenors: Under One Sky Tour. The… Read More ›

David Sanborn Introduced His Brilliant New CD on Friday, Dec. 4th, at The Carolina Theatre of Durham

Legends never disappear, but they might slow down a little. Saxophonist David Sanborn is showing no signs of going down that road. In fact, on Dec. 4th — the same day the David Sanborn Electric Band performed at the The Carolina Theatre of Durham — a new version of the Chuck Berry classic “Johnny B…. Read More ›

On Sept. 18th and 19th, the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Master Chorale, the Raleigh Boychoir, and the North Carolina Boys Choir performed all of Howard Shore's Oscar®-winning score for "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" live at Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh

Local Talent Performs the “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” Soundtrack Live

A few seasons ago, I mentioned to a local artistic director that a concert production of Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, performed in Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater and backed by the North Carolina Symphony, would be a sure-fire hit. While that production never came to fruition (and now can’t happen for some… Read More ›

The Carolina Theatre of Durham presented virtuoso jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter George Benson on Thursday, Sept. 17th (photo by Josh Hofer)

George Benson, Virtuoso Guitarist and Singer, Wowed The Carolina Theatre of Durham on Sept. 17th

Grammy Award winner, multi-platinum album producer and Hollywood Walk of Fame member George Benson thrilled a packed house with his own inimitable brand of jazz at The Carolina Theatre of Durham on Thursday, Sept. 17th. Playing both his hits, as well as covers by other artists, the 72-year-old virtuoso jazz guitar player, singer, and songwriter… Read More ›

British folk and alternative-country singer/songwriter Callaghan will perform at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12th as part of Burning Coal's 2015 MusiCoal Summer Concert Series (photo by Scott Lowden Photography)

British Singer/Songwriter Callaghan Returns at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12th in Murphey School Auditorium

Drop-dead gorgeous 32-year-old British folk and alternative-country singer/songwriter Callaghan returns to Murphey School Auditorium in Raleigh, NC, for one performance only — at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12th — as part of Burning Coal Theatre Company’s 2015 MusiCoal Summer Concert Series, showcasing what the Raleigh-based professional theater calls “new music that is exhilarating, fresh,… Read More ›

Twice the delight from Rob Thomas & Plain White T’s

Unexpected circumstances didn’t deter those immersed in Charlotte’s Uptown Amphitheater at NC Music Factory Tuesday night from coming to see Grammy Award winning artist and lead singer of pop rock multi-platinum superstars Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas. Apart of The Great Unknown Tour supporting the album released this year and bearing the same name, the show… Read More ›

Idina Does Red Hat

Seeing an artist live is generally an exhilarating experience. In the grand pantheon of the musical-theater world, there are The Divas: Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Chita Rivera, and the late Elaine Stritch and Ethel Merman, just to name a few. Headliners. If the show doesn’t draw the crowd, the leading lady will. In the late… Read More ›

Goodbye June, Hello Rock and Roll!

On Saturday, June 20th, the band Goodbye June rolled into Raleigh and stopped at the City Limits Saloon Raleigh underneath Goodnights Comedy Club. You may not have heard about these boys yet, but get ready, ’cause they’ll soon be opening for the veteran rock group, ZZ Top. And they have the hair and the chops… Read More ›

The N.C. Symphony performed "An Evening of Broadway" June 19th in Booth Amphitheatre

How to Dampen “An Evening of Broadway” with the N.C. Symphony in Three Easy Steps

If you’ve read any of the reviews Kurt Benrud and I have done, you know that Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary is one of our favorite places to hear music. It’s natural, wooded setting on a small pond is intimate, relaxing, and a perfect size for a concert. They let you bring food and wine,… Read More ›

The 90’s ARE all that as Dashboard Confessional & Third Eye Blind will attest

Alt met Emo as two of the biggest acts from the late 90’s/early 00’s joined together for a co-headlining extravaganza Tuesday night at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. Roots rock band Augustana started off the show, playing to the crowd by swapping out the names and places referenced in their songs with the city of Raleigh…. Read More ›

The Decemberists: All grown up and still with the whale

Despite clouds and precipitation, attendees at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC Wednesday night were treated to the one-two punch of Shovels and Rope & The Decemberists. From neighboring Charleston, South Carolina, Shovels and Rope are the husband and wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, who combined their individual solo careers to… Read More ›

The North Carolina Opera presented "Opera in the Pines" on May 9th in Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre

North Carolina Opera’s May 9th “Opera in the Pines” Concert at Koka Booth Amphitheatre Was Stellar

Okay, we’ll admit that we come to this review with a certain level of bias. We love Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park in Cary, NC. It is simply one of the best venues in the Triangle to hear live music. It’s the perfect balance of space, ambiance, and acoustics. You are outside under a… Read More ›

Boney James Blows The Carolina Theatre Away

The Carolina Theatre of Durham is the perfect venue in the Triangle to provide an intimate and unique musical experience, and Boney James filled every inch of the space on Friday, April 3 when he arrived with his explosive saxophonic style and his winning personality. Bouncing on the stage in his trademark fedora, black jacket,… Read More ›

Last Friday night, Carolina Performing Arts presented six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald in Memorial Hall at UNC

Audra McDonald Dazzles at UNC’s Memorial Hall

There was an excitement in the packed house last Friday night for Carolina Performing Arts’ presentation of Audra McDonald. We knew she was waiting backstage, ready to come out. We could feel her presence. People were buzzing, talking about her achievements and her talent. Humming tunes. This reviewer, who was first introduced to her powerhouse… Read More ›

The Carolina Theatre presented the "David Benoit Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown" on Dec. 11th

David Benoit’s “Charlie Brown Christmas” Tribute to the Music of Vince Guaraldi Was Effortless and Fun

David Benoit has been charming audiences with his jazzy Mr. Rogers-like personality for more than 40 years; and though he’s charted over 25 albums, it appears the sounds and music of Charlie Brown have his heart — and that heart is what he gave to The Carolina Theatre’s audience during his Christmas Tribute to Charlie… Read More ›

Brian Culbertson brought his 20th anniversary tour to The Carolina Theatre in Durham on Nov. 21st

Brian Culbertson Cuts It Up at The Carolina Theatre

Every once in a while, there’s a Friday night in Durham that reminds us of how funky and jazzy this town is. When The Carolina Theatre welcomed Brian Culbertson and his bandmates on Friday, Nov. 21st, the town bopped and snapped and jumped up to dance. And we were reminded that this is Durham, home… Read More ›

Chris Botti and His Band Brought Trumpet Jazz to the Durham Performing Arts Center on Nov. 16th

On a tour that has spanned 10 years and many countries, Chris Botti has performed with and for luminaries who are too numerous to count. On Nov. 16th, thousands of his closest friends packed the Durham Performing Arts Center on a misty Sunday night to be thrilled by his virtuosity; and all of them left… Read More ›

Duke Performances and The Carolina Theatre of Durham presented the "Oh Yeah! Tour," starring legendary New Orleans musicians Allen Toussaint (left) and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, on Nov. 6th in Fletcher Hall at The Carolina Theatre

Allen Toussaint and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band Rocked The Carolina Theatre of Durham on Nov. 6th

During the first five minutes of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s performance on Thursday, Nov. 6th, it was obvious that Duke Performances and The Carolina Theatre of Durham had hit a good ol’ American home run by scheduling the Oh Yeah! Tour, starring Allen Toussaint and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s. The musicians stroll onto… Read More ›