Arts & Culture

Top Concerts and Tours Coming This Spring

This spring promises to be a busy one for live music in the Charlotte area. Pandemic restrictions are slowly being lifted and musicians are hungry to get back on tour after two years of limited performances and capped venues.

Bojangles Entertainment Complex

This article is brought to you in partnership with Bojangles Entertainment Complex, home of historic venues Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium.

There are far more great shows coming to the Queen City than we could list here so here is a sneak peek at the best concerts–you’ll want to make sure to mark your calendar.

Photo courtesy of Ticketmaster

Tyler, the Creator

When: March, 16
Where: Bojangles Coliseum

Rapper and producer Tyler, the Creator has managed to evolve sonically with each phase of his career, while still maintaining a loyal connection to himself and his art. An artist once thought of as so controversial he was banned from entering (much less performing in) the UK, Tyler has achieved a level of mainstream success that has led to Grammy Awards, headlining spots at Lollapalooza and his own highly-successful annual summer festival, Camp Flog Gnaw.

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Anthony Hamilton & Maxwell

When: March, 17
Where: Spectrum Center

Perhaps Charlotte’s favorite musical son, Anthony Hamilton has crafted a career as one of soul’s most impactful voices. Hamilton’s music is synonymous with southern soul, continuing the legacy of Bill Withers, Bobby Womack and Al Green. Maxwell is a multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter and producer who many credit for pioneering the neo-soul sound of the 90s along with D’Angelo and Erykah Badu. The two kings of soul will tour together along with Joe, making for a smooth and funky night under the bright Uptown lights.

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Shovels & Rope

When: March, 22
Where:
The Visulite Theater

Who doesn’t love a good romance story at the heart of the bands that we enjoy so much? That’s exactly the backstory behind Shovels & Rope, a grassroots folk and country duo who are also husband and wife. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent were both musicians in the Charleston area when they met and began playing music together, eventually marrying in 2009 and committing to the Shovels & Rope project full-time in 2012. Their story is detailed in the Kickstarter-fueled documentary, The Ballad of Shovels & Rope, and the duo will tour in support of their forthcoming album, Manticore.

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Bob Dylan

When: March, 30
Where:
Ovens Auditorium

It’s something of a marvel, a true distillation of musical genius and longevity, that Bob Dylan is still just as active touring and recording new music today as he was in 1965. Truly an American icon, Bob Dylan’s influence, endlessly prolific and savant-style output is unmatched. Quite simply, Bob Dylan is an iconic musician whose music has sound-tracked multiple generations, redefined new styles of music and gave words to some of the biggest social and political debates of the modern era. Don’t miss your chance to see the legendary troubadour grace the stage at historic Ovens Auditorium at the end of March.

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Photo courtesy of Ticketmaster

John Mayer

When: April, 11
Where: Spectrum Center

Long gone are the days when John Mayer’s breakthrough 2002 single “Your Body is a Wonderland” dominated airwaves. Fortunately for music fans, we’ve evolved a bit since the awkward post-CD, pre-streaming era and so has John Mayer. Since riding the crest of pop stardom, Mayer has withdrawn from the public spotlight to instead focus on creating the music that inspired him to pick up a guitar in the first place: blues and rock. Like many of us, Mayer retreated into his passions during the pandemic and the result was 2021’s Sob Rock album, a collection of softer 80s-inspired songs that Mayer will tour in support of.

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Billy Joel

When: April, 23
Where: Bank of America Stadium

Universally regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time (one of three on this list), Billy Joel’s music has been the soundtrack to millions of people’s lives for more than five decades. Joel’s catalog of music is nearly unrivaled, with hits like “Piano Man,” “My Life,” and “Uptown Girl” in constant heavy rotation and whose lyrics leap from people’s mouths with impassioned exuberance. Originally scheduled for 2020, this show was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Shannon and the Clams

When: April, 26
Where:
Neighborhood Theatre

If you’re not familiar with Shannon and the Clams, a California-based quartet that blends garage rock, pop, surf and doo-wop all in one explosive package, then do yourself a favor and grab tickets to their show at NoDa’s Neighborhood Theatre. Drawing from a wide variety of influences including everything from Elvis to Etta James to Dick Dale, Shannon and the Clams will give you a show that will have you feeling electric after the house lights come on.

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Photo courtesy of Ticketmaster

Kenny Chesney

When: April, 30
Where: Bank of America Stadium

A Kenny Chesney tour is a sure-fire sign that summer is quickly approaching, this one perhaps more anticipated than others due to the rescheduling of this show because of the pandemic. That’s given Kenny two years to prepare for this tour in support of his 2020 album Here and Now. Chesney, the generously-lauded country music star whose tours have consistently been some of the highest grossing in each of the past 20 years, promises to have high energy and a few surprises in his first return to Bank of America Stadium since 2012.

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Mavis Staples

When: April, 30
Where:
Tuck Fest, U.S. National Whitewater Center

Exalted gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples will perform at The U.S. National White Water Center’s annual celebration, Tuck Fest. An essential voice that helped define southern soul in the 60s and 70s with the Staples Singers, Mavis Staples has continued to evolve her sound and her career, working with contemporary artists such as The Gorillaz and Run the Jewels. Make no mistake–the true genius of Mavis Staples' work lies in her groundbreaking work with The Staples Singers and Stax Records, whose timeless music still sounds as fresh today as it did in 1968.

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Brightfire Music & Arts Festival

When: April, 30
Where:
Historic Rural Hill

The return of warm weather means that festival season is right around the corner. Stay close to home by attending Brightfire Festival at Rural Hill Farms in Huntersville. The event celebrates Beltane, a Celtic agricultural tradition that marks the end of winter and the beginning of summer. Brightfire will feature a wide range of activities and performances by musicians like Anne Harris, Tuatha Dea and Space Ballet.

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Jacob Collier

When: April, 30
Where:
The Fillmore

If you’re looking for a co-signer on quality for a musician, you can’t get much better than Quincy Jones. After going viral on YouTube for his one-man-band covers of Stevie Wonder songs, the legendary record producer took a young Jacob Collier under his wing. Since then the British-born multi-instrumentalist has been using his thoroughly off-the-charts musical IQ to create brightly textured soundscapes with cleverly constructed harmonies. The Grammy winner will make a stop at the AvidXchange Music Factory in April to promote his four volume magnum opus, Djesse.

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Photo courtesy of Ticketmaster

Leon Bridges

When: May, 16
Where:
Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater

You’d be quickly forgiven if you turned on Leon Bridges’ music and thought you were hearing oldies radio from the 1950s and 60s. Bridges has become a unique talent in the music industry by paying homage to the classic blues, soul, gospel and doo-wop sounds made famous by a long line of Black musicians from the south. The Atlanta-born crooner gained fame in 2015 for the release of his debut album Coming Home, and has continued to refine his soulful sound ever since, including creating a pair of albums with Khruangbin (Texas Sun and Texas Moon).

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Photo courtesy of Ticketmaster

Foo Fighters

When: May, 24
Where:
PNC Music Pavilion

Personally, the Foo Fighters show I saw at Spectrum Center in 2015 might have been the best rock show I’ve ever seen. That’s not because Foo Fighters makes the best music, has the best light show or even comes up with a kitschy theme for the tour. No, what makes Foo Fighters one of the best rock shows you’ll ever see is the relentless and uncompromising degree to which Dave Grohl and company put their everything into their performance on a nightly basis, not satisfied with their show until the venue tells them that for real, they need to end the show now. Seriously, that’s what happened in 2015. Spectrum Center turned the lights on in an effort to get them to stop playing, only for them to play two more songs.

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Robert Glasper

When: April, 27
Where:
Neighborhood Theatre

One of the strongest subgenres of hip hop in recent years has been the emergence of a new era of jazz musicians who have paired saxophones, keyboards and altered dominant chords with top lyricists. With the release of 2012’s Black Radio, Robert Glasper would win a Grammy and establish himself among the leaders of this new sound. Glasper, a master composer and arranger, expertly blends jazz, soul, R&B and hip hop, exemplified in his most recent release, Black Radio 3.

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Photo courtesy of Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt & Lucinda Williams

When: June, 1
Where:
Ovens Auditorium

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and the first woman to ever have a signature Fender guitar line, Bonnie Raitt returns to Charlotte in June with fellow folk and country singer Lucinda Williams. Raitt is widely regarded as one of the best songwriters and singers of her time, with ten Grammy awards to back it up. Raitt hits such as “Something to Talk About” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me” display a bright exuberance tempered with a soulful longing. Get your tickets now and sing along to these hits with Bonnie and Lucinda in June.

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Lauren Mayberry - Photo courtesy of CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

When: June, 4
Where:
The Fillmore

Scottish electro-indie-pop trio Chvrches returns to the Fillmore stage for the first time since 2018 in promotion of their latest album, Screen Violence. Sonically, Chvrches centers their soaring synthesizers with a keen sense of composition, balancing their electronic soundscapes with clean and accessible songwriting. While technically a trio, expect a well-seasoned quartet to take the stage with core members Lauren Mayberry singing lead vocals, Ian Cook and Martin Doherty holding down synths and guitars, while Johnny Scott lays down the rhythm on drums.

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More Can't-Miss Concerts

311

When: March, 22
Where:
Neighborhood Theatre

Orville Peck

When: May, 24
Where:
The Fillmore

T-Pain

When: May, 27
Where:
The Fillmore

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