7 buzzworthy concerts coming to Charlotte in the next week

Photo by Brian Twitty
Junior Astronomers will perform at the Refresh Records Birthday Party on Friday night.



7:30 p.m. Friday. Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. $30-$125.

In support of his upcoming album “Let Love” (out on Aug. 30) and his recent memoir “Let Love Have the Last Word,” the Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning performer brings this intimate chapter of his life to Charlotte. The new album, which parallels his memoir, shows Common opening up about his life experiences in a way the rapper has not yet explored in his professional career. The release of “Let Love” comes three years after his project “Black America Again,” which reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Each pair of tickets to Friday’s show comes with a linked email to Common’s new music. 

Queen with Adam Lambert

8 p.m. Friday. Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St. $375 and up.

For the past 15 years, original band members Brian May and Roger Taylor have brought the live magic of Queen to new generations of fans with guest vocalists standing in for Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991. Last year’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” biopic blockbuster shed new light and energy on the operatic, innovative British rock stars with a special sensitivity to Mercury’s tortured personal life. Although recreating the powerful showmanship of the beloved Mercury seems a near impossible task, former “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert has been the primary live vocalist with Queen since 2011 and brings honor, gratitude and humility to each show.

Coughing Dove

9 p.m. Friday. Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. $5 in advance, $7 day-of.

Photo by Josh Taggart
Coughing Dove will perform at Petra’s on Friday night.

Local multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Holman (Pullover, Landless) releases his first solo effort, “Nearly a Complete Ghost,” on Friday under the moniker of Coughing Dove. Holman recruited a handful of fellow local musicians to lend their expertise throughout the album — including Bo White (Patois Counselors), Scott Thompson (Julian Calendar), Brent Bagwell (Ghost Trees) — before sending the album to Brooklyn, N.Y., for mastering. “Nearly a Complete Ghost” will be released on cassette and streaming platforms, and this album release party will feature support from melodic, literary rapper Indigo Jo, Raleigh’s Sportsmanship and Pretty Baby & the Wedding Cult.

Friday and Saturday

Refresh Records Birthday Party

10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $5-$8.

The Charlotte-based independent record label celebrates four years with a blowout show at its stomping grounds featuring a comprehensive roundup of musicians from its roster and more. Refresh Records is the brainchild of Josh Higgins, who moved to Charlotte in 2007 with the intent to highlight local and regional talent after spending years releasing his friends’ 7-inch records in Pennsylvania. The first night of the two-day birthday show will feature local stalwarts Junior Astronomers and Cuzco alongside Florida’s Just Neighbors, and Saturday boasts N.C. songwriter Young Mister, Richmond’s emo-pop Downhaul, and Charleston’s Catholics.


Alan Jackson

7:30 p.m. Saturday. Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St. $40 and up.

This concert is the rescheduled date from September 2018, when the singer postponed the original performance due to impending safety concerns from Hurricane Florence. The 2018 “Honky Tonk Highway” tour came after his 2017 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Songwriter Hall of Fame, highlighting the accomplished musician’s decade-spanning hits — including “Chattahoochee,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and “Gone Country.” Jackson has spent 30 years writing and recording “real music for and about real people,” with all but six of his 66 singles rising to the Top 40 of Billboard’s Country singles chart (and more than 20 going to No. 1).


Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon

6 p.m. Sunday. PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd. $29 and up.

Earlier this year, Cage the Elephant released its fifth studio album, “Night Cues,” which features a lavish, dub-reggae track titled “Night Running” that was co-written and sung by indie titan Beck — and prompted the two musical acts to embark on the co-headlining “Night Running Tour.” Beck rose to fame in the early ’90s with his experimental, creative interpretations of alternative music, and helped break down genre barriers between rock, pop, country, psychedelia and more, paving the way for left-of-center alternative artists like Cage the Elephant. Austin art-rock indie legends Spoon join the tour as a special guest, and glam-rockers Sunflower Bean will open. 



10 p.m. Wednesday. Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $5.

The indie quintet is influenced by retro 1960s garage pop and Motown harmonies blended into infectious, traditional Middle Eastern melody structures. Last year, the band released a lush fou-track EP titled “Cardamom Garden,” which came five years after their radiant self-titled full-length debut. Habibi comes to Snug Harbor as part of its “A Family Affair” monthlong residency showcasing the wide-ranging talents of Snug Harbor friends. Support will be provided by Bushwick’s psychedelic Fruit & Flowers and Charlotte’s stylish DJ Scott Weaver.


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