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Concerts not to be missed!

by Jesi Harris
Music, as a unique medium of artistic expression, seems to be one of the sole common fibers shared through all cultures and communities (including the LGBT community). The right melody has the power to unify a nation in the same way that a popular beat can solidify a movement. As a monument to music fans and gay-friendly venues, here is a list of popular upcoming musical events. Enjoy and rock on!

July 27 • Asheville
Amy Steinberg
The crusader for tolerance and openness stops by Asheville’s most celebrated gay/lesbian venue for a show. Songs will include those from her seventh album “Must Be the Moon.” Notable performances, like ones with Ani DiFranco, Alix Olson and Melissa Ferrick, will soon make Steinberg a household name in the LGBT community and beyond. She will perform for an OutSpoken Bookstore audience. OutSpoken Books, 721 Haywood Rd.

July 28 • Charlotte
Breaking Laces
This indie rock band totes such tunes as “Astronomy” and “What You Can’t Take” to the stage of Charlotte’s Evening Muse. Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. 704-376-3737.

July 29 • Charlotte
Beyoncé
One of America’s favorite performers brings her energy and charisma to North Carolina. She’ll perform such recent hits as “Upgrade You” with Jay-Z and break-up anthem “Irreplaceable.” Charlotte Bobcats Arena, 333 E. Trade St. 704-522-6500.

July 31 • Raleigh
Ben Folds
Since 1995, this artist has captivated audiences with his acoustic soul tunes. Now he brings his pensive melodies and universal lyrics to Raleigh audiences. Artist favorites such as “Annie Waits” and the all-powerful “Evaporated” will attract both new listeners and diehard fans. Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, 3801 Rock Quarry Rd. 919-831-6400.

August 1 • Charlotte
John Mayer
The poster boy of pensive pop comes to Charlotte to perform pieces from his latest, “Continuum.” The most popular of such, “Waiting on the World to Change,” topped U.S. charts for weeks. Other performance titles include the tear-jerking “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” and “I Don’t Trust Myself with Loving You.” Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 707 Pavilion Blvd.
704-522-6500.

August 4 • Charlotte
Fiona Apple
Singer will enchant Charlotte audiences with tunes from her 2005 album “Extraordinary Machine.” Old fans will come for her classic favorites “Paper Bag,” “Criminal,” and “Fast As You Can.” Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. 704-522-6500.

August 6 • Charlotte
Bianca Ryan
“America’s Got Talent’s” debut winner performs her pop songs for her Charlotte fans. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 707 Pavilion Blvd. 704-522-6500.

August 11 • Asheville
Zach
Just like his album title indicates, Zach’s eyes and voice will “Mesmerize” his Asheville audience in August. OutSpoken Bookstore, 721 Haywood Rd.

August 18 • Myrtle Beach
Erykah Badu
Her powerful lyrics move fans of all ages. As a member of hip-hop’s prophecy, she is a powerful influence on upcoming generations of musicians, poets and spoken word artists as well as an activist for acceptance, tolerance and equality. Erykah Badu will perform for a packed audience at the House of Blues, 4640 Highway 17 S. www.hob.com.

August 23 • Raleigh
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and The Beach Boys
“Silence is Golden” and “Good Vibrations” have not yet lost their luster on the American music circuit. The classic mid-century sounds of the baby-boom generation will be heard from the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, 3801 Rock Quarry Rd. 919-831-6400.

September 11 • Greensboro
‘American Idol’ Live
Performances by Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Lakisha Jones, Melinda Doolittle, Gina Glockson, Blake Lewis and more “American Idol” favorites. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. www.greensborocoliseum.com.

September 13 • Greenville
Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra / Wynton Marsalis
Jazz, the art form said to soothe the soul and feed the mind, will be performed at the Peace Center, 300 S. Main St. www.peacecenter.org.

September 19 • Charlotte
Dave Matthews Band
The eclectic jam band from Charlottesville, Va., will collect America’s favorite songs and hit the road for Charlotte. Recognizable titles include “Crash Into Me” and “Satellite.” Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 707 Pavilion Blvd. 704-522-6500.

October 6 • Asheville
Gregory Douglas
At 24, he has established himself as an independent musical artist and released four critically acclaimed CD’s. He’s been recognized as “the voice of an angel” and “an old soul” by Pamela Polston of Seven Days. OutSpoken Bookstore, 721 Haywood Rd.

October 12-14 • Raleigh
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Smooth sounds from Meymandi Concert Hall, 500 Fayetteville St. Mall. www.ticketmaster.com.

October 16 • Raleigh
Kellie Pickler
After displaying her talent to America, local star and Albermarle sweetheart brings her music close to home, performing her biggest hit “Red High Heels.” Pickler finished sixth on Season 5’s “American Idol.” NC State Fair, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd. 864-582-9685.

October 18 • Columbia
Maroon 5, The Hives
The pop band that captivated a nation with hits like “This Love,” “Sunday Morning” and “Harder To Breathe.” Colonial Center, 801 Lincoln St. www.thecolonialcenter.org.

November 12 • Cary
Ani DiFranco
The beloved bisexual artist/activist will perform her classic and new hits such as “Crime for Crime,” “Light of Some Kind” and “Cradle and All.” Her visit is highly anticipated and much appreciated by LGBT music lovers from Virginia to South Carolina. Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, 87 Haywood St. www.ticketmaster.com.

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