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See & Do

Singer/songwriter John Mayer may be a bit breathy, but his ease on the acoustic and electric guitars and songwriting prowess deserve credit. Mayer layers his sometimes raspy and often whispered singing over folk-rock and blues numbers that usually evolve into sing-alongs (he has a gift for connecting with an audience). His "chicks dig me" persona also hides the fact the cat can play serious blues. Maroon 5 and DJ Logic are also on the bill, at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at 7pm. Tickets are $32-$42. Details: 704-522-6500. (Shukla)

Tobacco Money Feeds My Family, a documentary about the ongoing struggles of North Carolina's tobacco farmers, will be screened at 7:30pm tonight at Spirit Square. The film is photographed and co-produced by Charlotte filmmaker Curtis Gaston. Admission is $7. For a short review, see this issue's Film section; for other info, call 704-333-9755. (Brunson)

Bike enthusiasts point their motorcycles just north of Charlotte for the first annual Liquid Steel Classic & Custom Bike Series at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center in Concord. Celebrity builders "steel" the show (sorry) with their custom creations and Discovery Channel's televised Great Biker Build-Off. Saturday night's "Liquid Steel Bash" features one of the 70s' most popular and, at least for awhile, most influential American bands, Grand Funk Railroad. Daily tickets available at the door for $15.95, weekly passes for $29.95. Kids 12 and under are free. "Liquid Steel Bash" tickets are $18 at the door. For a complete schedule of events, go to (Grossman)

Without much fanfare, Willie Colon has left the PAC's lineup of attractions at Belk Theater -- but his replacement, Tito Nieves & La India, should more than satisfy true salsa believers. Nieves can deliver the goods, hot and brassy with a high nasal shout that has won him a Grammy nomination. Performances range through an astonishing (or shameless) range of idioms: ballads, rap, flamenco flavorings, and even a cover of the Carpenters. The rambunctious "Pavarotti of Salsa" is joined onstage by the "Princess of Salsa," Puerto Rican pepperpot La India. This sensuous spitfire has a Grammy nomination of her own -- and an absolute mastery of eye-liner. Tickets are $25-$60. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

If you Google Bob Saget, within the first few hits you will find a "Bob Saget is God" website and a "Bob Saget is Satan" web page. Come to your own conclusion after seeing him perform at the Comedy Zone tonight and tomorrow night. This is not the corny Full House/America's Funniest Home Videos guy you've seen on network cable. Saget's stand-up can be so offensive, it could make Howard Stern blush. Showtimes for both nights are 8 & 10:15pm. Tickets cost $18.50 and may be purchased by calling 704-348-HAHA. (Grossman)

The documentary Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed tells the story of one of recent American history's most amazing political campaigns. Presented by the Afro-American Cultural Center and Southern Tip Films, the movie takes a candid look at Shirley Chisholm who, after becoming the first African-American woman elected to the US Congress in 1968, ran for the US presidency four years later as a champion of the underprivileged. Not taken seriously at first, Chisholm earned politicos' respect by her good-natured approach backed by tough campaigning, winning over notable grassroots support before losing the Democratic nomination to George McGovern. The film will be shown at 7pm and 9pm tonight at the Afro-American Cultural Center. Admission is $10, or $8 for those with a voter registration card or those registering to vote this evening. For further details, call 704-374-1565. (Brunson)

The Light Factory and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) team up to present a series of architecturally themed films. The program is an offshoot of the AIA-NC regional conference "Future Office Symposium," taking place in Charlotte August 26-28. The film series, open to everyone, starts this evening at 7:30pm with a showing of the Oscar-nominated documentary My Architect: A Son's Journey at Spirit Square. Tickets cost $10 at the door. Upcoming films, to be presented at various locations, include the documentary The Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee (September 2), Terry Gilliam's futuristic Brazil (September 9) and the Cary Grant comedy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (September 16). For costs, times and locations, call 704-333-9755 or visit (Brunson)

The Carolina Panthers face their Super Bowl nemesis, the New England Patriots, in a rematch of one of the best NFL championship games ever, tonight at Bank of America stadium. The Panthers' offensive line looked a little shaky in their overtime win against the not-that-great Washington Redskins but bounced back in time for last week's 27-20 victory against the New York Giants. The Patriots, meanwhile, seem to have picked up where they left off last year and are already hitting on all cylinders. Could be a long night for the Panthers, although you can never underestimate the revenge factor in Super Bowl rematches. The game starts at 8pm. Tickets are $29-$335, available by going to or by calling 704-522-6500.

It's Tosco Music Party time, when a host of Charlotte acts from a boatload of different styles, genres and abilities descend on Spirit Square for a fun night of sing-alongs and brief acoustic sets from the artists. This year the event, which began in the Toscos' living room two decades ago, and has kept its family orientation, features artists like Anais Mitchell, justincase, Les Dirt Clods, Shana Blake, Wood & Steel and many, many more. The doors open at 6:30pm, the show runs from 7-11pm. General admission tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $5.50 for the under-16 crowd; group discounts are available, but the tickets tend to disappear quickly. For more information call 704-372-1000 or visit www.performing or www.ToscoMusic (Schacht)

The Amazing Maize Maze challenges skills in problem-solving as folks explore a story of the American Revolution in the Carolinas while trying to navigate their way out of a giant maze made of corn plants (maize, get it?). Kind of a homegrown version of British hedgerow mazes, the Maize Maze has grown in popularity every year. Get lost, find your way out, and at the same time find clues about the Mecklenburg and Rowan Militia and their valiant stand on the banks of the Catawba River and the Battle of Cowan's Ford. It's all at Rural Hill Farm, Huntersville, Aug. 28-Oct. 17, Thu-Sun, 10am-5pm. Admission is $5-$10, 3 and under free. Details: 704-875-3113 or (Shukla)

The annual Sizzling Sounds in the Park will feature R&B and blues crooner Nappy Brown along with Betty Pride & the B.P. Ride. Brown is a Charlotte native who had a string of hits in the 50s followed by an on/off career that evolved into a comeback album in 1984. Brown's voice and stage shenanigans made him a "just under the radar" legend. Now at age 75 he can still lay down a raucous blues tune. Taurus & Who Dat? will open the show. This family affair will also feature food and vendors. At Marshall Park Uptown, 6-9pm, admission is free. Presented by The Charlotte Post Foundation. Details: 704-376-0496 (Shukla)

Returning from a month-long hiatus, the Charlotte Sting, including their Olympian athlete Dawn Staley, start off September by hosting the Connecticut Sun tonight at 7pm at Charlotte Coliseum. Charlotte holds a 1-1 record against the Sun this season, winning their last match-up in overtime. Tickets start at $10 -- get yours by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX. (Grossman)

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