Music » Brittney After Dark

The Sound Of Summer

July is a time for big concerts QC After Dark

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If concerts are the essence of summertime, then Verizon Wireless Amphitheater is completely essential. Or is it? Just last week Verizon housed the Black Crowes, Chicago, Journey, Mary J. Blige and 3 Doors Down. Although the random line-up adhered to diverse musical tastes, it didn't seem to translate into ticket sales. Last week the Neighborhood Theatre got loco with the Carlotan Rock '06 Latin Festival, which was hotter than habanera, thanks to a spicy line-up that featured crowd hypers and pleasers Bakalao Stars, La Marea, Palo Viejo, Sin Recursos, Papas Underground and a QC favorito, La Rúa.

And then there is Memorial Stadium, which I'd never even heard of before WSOC 103.7's "Family Reunion" concert featuring Montgomery Gentry, Julie Roberts and more importantly, my all time favorite singer and songwriter, Pat Green. If it was a family reunion, as per the concert name, then it was one anomalous family. I saw leather biker bras with beer bellies, mullets, cowboy hats and cankles, and more tattoos than even Harley Davidson would approve of -- and they were one of the sponsors.

My side of the family were sponsors Carolina Game Day and Miller Lite, whom I took refuge with backstage where I got to meet my musical obsession, Pat Green. I acted like a 13-year-old girl coming face to face with a Backstreet Boy; I think I may have scared him, but at least now he knows who his biggest fan is. I was so high off my Pat Green encounter, I paid little mind to Montgomery Gentry, who was dressed like Blade in a cowboy hat.

I also met up-and-coming country artists Lindsay Marie Belbeck and Julie Roberts, the latter resembling Faith Hill both in looks and voice. Roberts has a new album titled Men and Mascara in which she states that men are like mascara: They run at the slightest sign of emotion. In addition to her cerebral insight, she's a Panther's fan.

In brief, we can all probably agree that a lively nightlife is one that includes live music. The masses like to complain about the live music scene in Charlotte, or lack thereof. Turns out, the scene was merely in hibernation because there are plenty of concerts and venues this summer. And let's not forget about other summer festivals I told you about, including the 6th Annual Bastille Day Festival that celebrated the holiday with French food, French music and French kisses (kisses came separately).

Chris Rock's brother Tony Rock was recently on hand at the Comedy Zone, proving that he's just as funny as his older, more famous brother. I don't know about you, but I like smiling, and I do plenty of it at the Comedy Zone. For more comedy check out Perch, SK Net Café, and the Big Chill (to name a few).

Speaking of the Big Chill, on Sunday I opted to skip the cluster mess of traffic at the Amphitheater (I did not pass go) and proceed directly to the Big Chill for the Mary J. Blige after party. The event was hosted by Power 98's Tone-X and sponsored in part by Redlite Promotions. There was lots of chillin' going down at the Big Chill. The dressed-to-impress crowd, wide open dance floor and set tables gave me the feeling of being at a wedding -- now if only the bar was of the open variety.

And, Redlite has given the green light for the SummerFest Taking it to the Streets Tour featuring Young Jeezy, E-40, Three 6 Mafia, Yung Joc, Bo Hagen and Rick Ross (also at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Aug. 5). With all the concerts serenading Charlotte, the 90-degree temperature isn't the only thing making the QC summer hot.

Psssstttt ... If you have any dirt or inside scoop on nightlife, shoot me an e-mail at brittney.cason@creativeloafing.com.

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