As usual, it has started off as a great season for concerts goers. My husband and I started our concert season with Van Halen at Time Warner Arena on April 25 – loud and awesome as usual. We were lucky to see them since the rest of their tour has been cancelled. That same week, we attended the Sugarland concert at Verizon Amphitheater and especially enjoyed the audience interaction. On May 17, we were back at Verizon withStyx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent, and bought Jimmy Buffet tickets while we were there.
The Carolinas have many great venues for concerts, with both indoor and outdoor. And there is certainly no shortage of North Carolina artists.
Albemarle native Kellie Pickler played Charlotte on April 20. The former American Idol contestant was raised by her grandparents and cites her grandfather as a major influence in her life. Her sixth place finish was a springboard for her career, which included her biggest hit “Best Days of Your Life,” which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift and reached No. 9 on the Billboard Charts. When I saw Kellie perform in Erie, Pa. about four years ago with Sugarland (yes, I’ve seen Sugarland four times), she was a very sincere and enjoyable performer.
Eric “Chief” Church, born and raised in Granite Fall, bought his first guitar at 13 and began writing songs. By his senior year, he had a gig at a local bar playing his originals. He has had two Top 10 hits, “Love Your Love the Most” and “Hell on the Heart”. In January, he released his first #1 single “Drink in my Hand.” He’ll be playing November 28 at Time Warner Arena as part of the Blood, Sweet and Beers tour. I had the privilege of seeing Eric Church at Verizon with Brad Paisley and Lee Brice …I think. I know that sounds bad, but we are concert junkies and it’s hard to keep track of who is touring with whom when we see them year after year.
Chris Daughtry – another American Idol alumni from McLeansville (same year as Kellie Pickler) – began performing at age 16 with rock bands at local venues. His fifth place Idol finish didn’t keep this artist from success; he formed a band and received a record contract from RCA. His debut album was the fastest selling debut rock album in history, selling more than one million copies in five weeks and reaching No. 1 on the Billboard charts in its ninth week. Daughtry is now the third most successful Idol contestant in terms of record sales, behind only Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. I’m hoping Daughtry’s current tour schedule will include a Carolina stop, because he really brought it a few years ago when he toured with Def Leppard in Greensboro.
Marshville son Randy Travis will perform October 28 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. With lifetime sales in excess of $20 million, Travis has received seven Grammys, 10 Academy of Country Music awards, 10 American Music awards, two People’s Choice awards, seven Music City News awards, eight Dove Awards and five Country Music Association honors. In addition, three of his performances earned CMA Song of the Year honors. Wow!
To celebrate his 25 years in music, Travis recently released an anniversary album, featuring Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, and Don Henley.
Tickets for his performance go on sale June 15. I have seen him once and am trying to figure out to get to this show!
With so much musical talent playing in – and hailing from North Carolina, there’s a good chance you’ll find a show to interest you right in your own back yard. Enjoy!
By DJ Stephan (President, Allen Tate Relocation)