FRIDAY, AUG. 24: The first Carolina Panthers game of the preseason and it has to be against those damn Patriots. That's right, folks, it's a Super Bowl XXXVIII repeat showdown between two of the baddest teams on the East coast. Local MVP Jake Delhomme matches wits with SB MVP Tom Brady (who by the way, should be much more concerned with them two bundles of joy dropping from actress Bridget Moynahan and supermodel Giselle). If you don't already have a ticket to the show, you're freakin' SOL, buddy. Scalper, anyone? 8 p.m. $45-$70. Bank of America Stadium, 800 S. Mint St. 704-358-7800. www.panthers.com.
SATURDAY, AUG. 25: Over the past decade, the Canadian rockers Nickelback have nailed their alterna, hard rock down to a comfy groove. Guitars fuel the quartet's muse, replete with 1970s hard rock and metal touches. The songs spin on a dime, um, nickel, and radioland has loved them from the onset. Frontman/guitarist Chad Kroeger's voice suitably feels in place on rockers as well as the requisite acoustic ballads. With Puddle of Mudd and Finger Eleven. 7 p.m. $29-$59. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 707 Pavilion Blvd. 704-549-5555. www.livenation.com.
SATURDAY, AUG. 25: Three things that gays have a monopoly on: (1) High fashion and methods of making low fashion seem high; (2) Rainbows (I don't care if you just like the way the spectrum of colors looks on a T-shirt, if you wear it, you're gay. In fact, that's how it starts); (3) Gateway Village on Aug, 25. Because it's the season for PRIDE celebrations and Charlotte has the largest LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) population between Washington D.C. and Atlanta, expect crowds. Expect rainbow flags atop carloads of backed-up traffic. Expect amazing performances emceed by guests Cooper Lawrence (107.9), Christy Snow, and Riley AKA the West Coast Kid Expect inspirational speakers. And, of course, the most fun aspect of any PRIDE celebration, expect protestors. Pretentious fun-blockers who think that their message is worth penetrating security and annoying the participants. Someone should tell them, "the gays have a monopoly today ..." 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Gateway Village, 800 W. Trade St. 704-333-0144. www.pridecharlotte.com.
SATURDAY, AUG. 25: Life is a very precious commodity that most people take for granted. Adrian Oates is a young boy fighting for his life against leukemia, but his family needs help. To aid in the cause, jumps Razin' Da R.O.O.F. (Raising Optimal Opportunities for Families). Creative Loafing is partnering with the National Marrow Donor Program, the Hoop Magicians and the Charlotte Bobcats to present a basketball game featuring the Media All-Stars against the Hoop Magicians. WNBA legend and former Sting player Andrea Stinson will be on hand in her debut as a Magician. Come out and support this good cause and share in the fun of this entertainment-packed game. 1 p.m. $7-$25. Philip O. Berry Academy, 1430 Alleghany St. www.crowntickets.com/www.hoopmagicians.com.