Things to do

Top Concerts and Tours Coming This Summer

It’s officially summer in Charlotte and that means it’s time to enjoy the busiest time of the touring season for musicians.

Bojangles' Coliseum - Photo by Kyo H Nam

New Kids on the Block with Salt-N-Pepa and Naughty By Nature - The Mixtape Tour

July 9 at Spectrum Center

It may have been brewing long before, but with the ubiquitous popularity of Netflix’s Stranger Things, pop culture has officially shifted into the “80’s and 90’s nostalgia is cool” phase. Much to the bemusement of anyone this writer’s age (born in 1982), the Mixtape Tour, featuring late century pop deities New Kids on the Block, Salt-N-Pepa and Naughty By Nature, is bringing the pastel past to life this summer. Get yourself totally psyched for their show at Uptown’s Spectrum Center by watching this video for “80s Baby,” the song that the three tour headliners released together in promotion of this tour.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

July 12 at Ovens

One of the most unmistakable voices of the 20th Century will fill Ovens Auditorium with his indelible crooning in July. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are regarded as one of the greatest pop vocals groups of all time, having been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Frankie’s work (which inspired the musical Jersey Boys), is timeless and songs like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” are considered classics.

Carly Rae Jepsen - The Dedicated Tour

Carly Rae Jepsen - The Dedicated Tour

July 24 at the Underground

Since releasing the 2012 earworm “Call Me Maybe”, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen has proven she’s more than a one-hit-wonder. Four studio albums and 20 million records sold worldwide later and Carly Rae is a bonafide star. Don’t miss her smart, catchy and pop-friendly sound in the cozy confines of the Underground.

Eric B. and Rakim

July 27 at The Fillmore

Ask any serious hip-hop fan to name the greatest MCs of all time and it won’t take long for the name Rakim to be spoken several times. Considered the epitome of skilled lyricism, word play and delivery by rappers across all generations, The God MC certainly qualifies as one of rap’s all time greats. Still a staple on the touring scene, Rakim will display the razor-sharp rhymes that have made him legendary at the Fillmore at the end of July.

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

August 5 at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre

For those who have never seen a Flaming Lips show live, the only advice I can give you is to prepare your senses. While the music that Wayne Coyne and company produce is more than worthy of seeing their show on its own merits, it is likewise impossible to dismiss their kaleidoscopic presentation. You can expect to see plenty of intricate lights and LEDs, massive balloons and props, and perhaps even Wayne himself climbing into a balloon and surfing the crowd like he did when The Flaming Lips last played in Charlotte two years ago.

John Mayer

August 9 at Spectrum Center

John Mayer has had a star-crossed career since bursting onto the scene in 2001. His early albums Room for Squares and Heavier Things solidified his place as one of the biggest pop stars in the world. After time in the limelight, Mayer became disenfranchised with fame and grew reclusive. He has recently returned to form, playing guitar with the remaining members of The Grateful Dead and rebuilding his image in the process. Mayer makes a stop in Charlotte riding this wave of newfound momentum, and you can bet he’ll show more of the blues and rock guitar he built his fame on in the first place.

Khalid - Free Spirit Tour

August 13 at Spectrum Center

The rise to fame for Georgia-born Khalid (pronounced KAH-leed, please don’t mistake it for the DJ of a similar name) has been swift. The soulful pop R&B singer set high expectations with his debut album, 2017’s American Dream. Since then Khalid has been a name in high demand, having worked with artists such as Logic, Shawn Mendes, Billie Eilish and more. With this stadium-headling tour, and his sophomore album Free Spirit released in April, Khalid looks primed to become a pop superstar in 2019.

The Raconteurs

August 18 at The Fillmore

Jack White is an artist that demands as much of the audience’s effort and intention as he does of his band or himself. That kind of energy makes any show he plays a highly anticipated one. The Raconteurs are one of the many iterations of Jack’s perpetual projects, this one featuring White on lead vocals and guitar. The Nashville-based band released their third studio album, Help Us Stranger, in June, and will be playing their first show in Charlotte as the Raconteurs.

Jesús Adrián Romero

August 30 at Ovens Auditorium

Jesús Adrián Romero is perhaps the most popular Christian Spanish-language singer-songwriter in the world. After many years as a pastor, and even founding his own Christian community (“Amistad Y Vida” or “Friendship and Life”), Jesús found great success as a performing and recording artist, as well as a promoter of Latin Christian music, having earned three Latin Grammy nominations.

Flying Lotus in 3D

Flying Lotus - Flamagra North American Tour

September 6 at The Fillmore

Los Angeles-based producer and DJ Flying Lotus is responsible for some of the most mind-bending electronic and hip-hop beats this decade. His eclectic sounds have lent their color to compositions featuring Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, George Clinton and the late Mac Miller. Flying Lotus’ sixth studio album, Flamagra, was released in April, and is a masterclass at creating epic sound landscapes with a MOOG synthesizer. And if all that weren’t enough, FlyLo will be using 3D imagery on set (yes, complete with the glasses too)!

KC and the Sunshine Band

September 14 at Ovens Auditorium

Some of the most iconic songs in funk, soul and disco in the 1970s and 80s were courtesy of Florida-based KC and the Sunshine Band. Songs like “Boogie Shoes,” “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “That’s the Way (I Like It)” and “Keep it Comin’ Love” are instantly recognizable and staples to this day of soul radio and wedding dance floors everywhere. Don’t let that polished veneer fool you, however. This band was the soundtrack to many a hot, sweaty and sticky summer night in their prime.

Kacey Musgraves - Oh, What a World: Tour II

Kacey Musgraves

September 19 at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre

Currently one of the biggest names in country music, Kacey Musgraves will perform in the open air atmosphere at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. Since exploding onto the scene with her 2013 debut album Same Trailer, Different Park, Kacey has earned six Grammy wins, four of which come from 2018’s Golden Hour. Make plans to hear Kacey’s melodic, harmonious and progressive style on a gorgeous southern evening outdoors with the Uptown skyline in the backdrop.

Travis Tritt

September 21 at Ovens Auditorium

A thirty-year veteran of the country music scene, Travis Tritt has earned his place among country music’s biggest names. Born in Georgia and taught to sing in a church choir, Tritt has seven platinum albums and earned two Grammy awards. Sing along and stomp your boots with Travis and the band at historic Ovens Auditorium.

Phil Collins - Not Dead Yet Tour

September 29 at Spectrum Center

Named after his autobiography released in 2017, Phil Collins’ Not Dead Yet tour rides through the Queen City as it concludes what will be a two-and-a-half year run. One of the world’s highest selling artists with more than 150 million records sold, Phil Collins has had a spectacular career not only as a solo artist, but as the ground-breaking drummer of Genesis as well. If you’ve ever wanted to do the world’s greatest air drum fill with 20,000 other people, this is a show you won’t want to miss.