With spring tours just beginning to get announced, we can only assume there will be plenty of great shows heading our way in the coming months -- and undoubtedly a bit of something for everyone. Here's a quick look at some of the concerts hitting town in the near future:
Ben Folds -- The North Carolina native dropped the "Five" monicker a while back, but that doesn't mean his music has lost the humor. Gigs in this state are often a homecoming of sorts, so expect him to feel right at home. At The Fillmore Charlotte on March 19.
Dillinger Escape Plan -- This metal militia joined Nine Inch Nails on stage for what, at the time, was their last gig in the U.S. at Bonnaroo last year. The next day, the guys shredded through one of the tents, jumping on anything they could get their feet on, running around and even falling into the photo pit. Might want to bring a helmet to this one. At Tremont Music Hall on March 25.
Rachael Sage -- The last time Sage, a piano-playing songstress, was in town, she comfortably won over a small crowd at the Muse in one of those shows you say, "I'm bringing friends next time ..." Well, next time is here. At The Evening Muse on April 8.
JJ Grey and Mofro -- Grey prides himself on rugged, Florida-bred swampy blues and rock that gets feet tappin' and the masses singing along. Last time here, he was opening for Derek Trucks, but when he's headlining, he truly gets time to shine. At the Visulite Theatre on April 9.
Needtobreathe -- You'd never guess the Seneca, S.C., band was hot on the Christian rock charts at first glance. The crowd at their shows gets bigger every time. They packed the Visulite the last time around and were recently announced as part of this year's Bonnaroo lineup. At Amos' Southend on April 16.
Jamie McLean Band -- For a long time, McLean was always called the "former guitarist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band." There comes a time when every artist breaks free from his past and sets out on a clear path of his own. McLean's time is now. His guitar-driven music combines styles and speaks for itself. At The Double Door Inn on April 17.
Weedeater -- The last time these Wilmington metal heads were lined up to perform in Charlotte, the lead singer, Dixie Dave, shot himself in the foot ... literally. While you can expect that incident to be mentioned, I'd be more expectant of the band making up for lost time. At The Milestone on April 23.
Emmitt Nershi Band -- The jam band fans are gonna love this one. Take one member of Leftover Salmon (Drew Emmitt), and one from the String Cheese Incident (Bill Nershi), and you're bound to get an off-the-radar supergroup that'll deliver an energetic brand of newgrass for a long, long time. At the Neighborhood Theatre on April 24.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- The last time around, his set was one of greatest hits that had the crowd singing along and on their feet for the duration. This time around, I'd expect more of the same, though the band is set to release its first new album in eight years, Mojo, and the opener -- the one and only Joe Cocker -- will quickly get the crowd warmed up. At Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on May 7.
Norah Jones -- The singer-songwriter is known for her sleepy jazz tunes, but her recent fourth album, The Fall, showed a different side of her -- something more energetic and leaning toward rock. It's been eight years since her debut, Come Away With Me, so one can only assume those songs might have a different edge to them as well. At Ovens Auditorium on May 12.
More Spring Guide stuff: