Archives for posts with tag: concerts

A Christmas Carol in Raleigh, N.C.Artful Holiday Traditions

Jingle all the way to Greater Raleigh to create new and artful holiday traditions for your family. Take delight in two time-honored performances at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (12/19-28) and Ira David Wood III’s A Christmas Carol (12/10-14).

You’ll be captivated and fascinated by the awe-inspiring grace, grandeur and mysterious illusions of Carolina Ballet’s production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. This season will be spectacular as Robert Weiss again combines the beauty of ballet with a little Las Vegas magic. You can also catch one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast,” A Christmas Carol in Raleigh. Celebrate the musical comedy’s 40th anniversary as this classic performance is sure to warm hearts of all ages. Both productions are bona fide Raleigh holiday traditions and are inspiring ways for adults and children to share in the holiday spirit.

Cap off your holiday experience by grabbing your mittens, lacing up a pair of skates and visiting Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest (through 2/1). A centerpiece during the winter season, this premier holiday event features a signature outdoor skating rink and other fun-filled festivities. Can’t miss: Other holiday favorites across Greater Raleigh like It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play (12/4-8) and “Tis the Season” (12/12) at the Cary Arts Center, Franc D’Ambrosio – Christmas in New York (12/7) at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre and “Handel’s Messiah – Christmas Section” (12/20) at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex :: All Creative Genius events in December

For the Adrenaline Junkie

The fall season in Greater Raleigh means nonstop soccer on a national scale, highlighted by the return of the NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cup (12/12-14). Forty-eight collegiate teams from across the nation will fight for a spot in the final game at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Greater Raleigh also hosts the largest annual youth sporting event in the area’s history, featuring the Boys Showcase during the CASL National Soccer Series (12/12-14). Can’t miss: Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament (12/26-30) at Broughton High School in Raleigh, featuring many of the top-ranked high school players from across the nation :: All Adrenaline Junkie events in December

Seasonal Treats

The holidays offer many special experiences across the Raleigh area. Children will love Brunch with Santa (12/17) at the Garner Performing Arts Center or sipping on a cup of hot apple cider at Historic Oak View County Park for their Sleigh Rides and Cider (12/6) event. Parents can enjoy a night out at the 12th Annual Gingerbread Benefit (12/7) at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, showcasing more than 25 elaborate gingerbread houses donated and created by local celebrity chefs. Can’t miss: North Carolina Symphony’s Sound Bites at the Pub (12/1) at Humble Pie. Sit back and enjoy the performance as you dine on a delicious multi-course meal :: All Foodie events in December

Holidays Around the World

Area holiday celebrations are not limited to those of secular pop culture but include celebrations paying homage to cultures from across the globe. Take part in the rich traditions of the Nordic countries during the Scandinavian Christmas Fair (12/6) at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds and indulge in homemade Scandinavian foods, Nordic folk dancing, a traditional Lucia Procession and more. Listen to the pipes and drums, watch traditional Irish dance and shop from local Celtic vendors at the 8th Annual Celtic Christmas (12/14) at Tir na nOg; or, be part of the candle-lighting and other festivities for all ages in the 20th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration (12/20) at the Cary Arts Center. Can’t miss: Take a special holiday tour of the North Carolina Executive Mansion during the Governor’s Mansion Holiday Open House (12/11-14). Browse the decorations, which include N.C.-grown Christmas trees, whimsical gingerbread houses, ornate mantle displays and mixed evergreen arrangements :: All Lifelong Learner events in December

Let’s Jam!

Warm up with a cup of joe and a performance at a coffee shop. Stop in Lorraine’s Coffee House in Garner for evening shows by Connie McCoy Rogers and Mo’ Jazz (12/6), Diamond Creel (12/11) and Foscoe Philharmonic (12/20). You can also relax with live music at Sola Coffee & Cafe while listening to Cory Bishop and Friends (12/5), Rachel Joy Pletts (12/6), Lounge Doctors (12/12) and Erin Mason (12/19). Can’t miss: The national and world tours stopping in Raleigh at PNC Arena, including The Black Keys (12/5) and The Avett Brothers (12/31) :: All Music Maniac events in December

Even more December can’t misses

The Raleigh Acorn will be lowered at First Night Raleigh 2015 to ring in the New Year. While the acorn has become synonymous with First Night Raleigh, the festival is much more than the countdown to midnight. Your admission grants access to every performance and every venue throughout the day. That’s nearly 100 performances in more than three dozen locations across downtown Raleigh. What a bargain for just $10! This year’s theme is “Out of This World Fun.” Learn more

Holidays in Raleigh wouldn’t be the same without the Capitol Tree Lighting at the North Carolina State Capitol. The Capitol is beautiful by itself… but holiday trees make things just a little more beautiful. Seasonal music and hands-on fun highlight this evening presented by the North Carolina Museum of History.

This is it. The weekend I’ve been waiting for since 2010. The commencement of one of our proud country’s greatest music festivals: Hopscotch Music Festival 2014, now in its fifth year. In past years, something always came up, keeping me from experiencing the coolest party in North Carolina. Last year at this time, I was in the process of moving from Winston-Salem to downtown Raleigh and missed out. This year, I knew nothing would get in my way. And I’m going to do it up right.

To honor the event, I’ve decided to write a running diary of my nights out in Raleigh.

Thurs., Sept. 4, 2014


vipContempory Art Museum (CAM Raleigh) hosts a VIP pre-party to kick off Hopscotch Music Festival 2014. I’m already impressed. Spacious, bright and clean, this venue adds panache to the weekend festival. The atmosphere makes me feel underdressed even though everyone here is dressed as casually as possible. It’s going to be a long night, after all–there’s no need for suits and ties at a festival that spreads itself across the city.

I see Standard Foods Grocery and Restaurant serving roasted eggplant with water-blanched peanuts, shiso (an Asian mint-like herb) and lettuce from Raleigh City Farm. Poole’s Diner set up a small grill to make toasted, bite-sized pimiento grilled cheese, and I’m all over it.

standardpoole'sNew Belgium Brewing supplied the beer, and I opt for Hop Kitchen, an American pale ale brewed in collaboration with its Fort Collins neighbors Odell Brewing Company. I’m thirsty, so this brew doesn’t last long in my hands.

new belgium5:55pm

I sample the red wine from McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks, which is excellent. Stanbury and Foundation are dishing out craft cocktails that look amazing, even in a plastic cup. I pass by Larry’s Bean’s–cold brew coffee on tap! Love it. New Belgium Brewing kicks its final keg.


Thurston Moore comes on stage. The principal singer and songwriter for Sonic Youth, Moore plays a 20-min. set of his experimental noise rock backed only by a drummer. No vocals. None needed.


Foundation and Stanbury run out of mixers and are now serving healthy pours of straight bourbon.


I arrive at City Plaza to catch the Durham-based hip hop group Toon & the Real Laww. You know you’re good when you’re picked to open for De La Soul on the main stage. Strong support from the crowd.


De La Soul. ‘Nuff said.


Z Pizza (Downtown) refuels me, and I eat as I watch De La Soul rock the block. Now I’m ready to rock. The problem with Hopscotch Music Festival 2014, if this is even a problem, is that it brings more than 150 exceptional talents to downtown Raleigh, many of which even a Music Maniac like myself hasn’t heard of. There are several bands playing simultaneously at venues across downtown all night long. I decide to explore and catch a few songs from as many bands as I can, hoping to broaden my musical horizons. This is going to be fun.


Wild Fur at Lincoln Theatre. I couldn’t pass up the chance to hear my area’s singer-songwriter Wylie Hunter’s newest project. I chose a great show to start my small stage odyssey. I love the synth-tinged Americana coming out of Hunter’s collaboration with another local stud, Nick Jaeger.

wild fur9:01pm

It’s raining, and, like most people, I’m on foot going from venue to venue. I’m not happy, but I’m a festival veteran. I will not let the weather spoil my night.


Young Cardinals at Deep South the Bar. I like power pop, and this band out of Raleigh had a good edge to them. A little dark power, perhaps.

young cardinals9:50pm

Sun Club at Lincoln Theatre. I’m back at Lincoln Theatre, which has, in my opinion, the most enticing lineup tonight. I wish I had caught more of these guys, but I arrive a little late. Sun Club, out of Baltimore, elicits comparisons to Vampire Weekend for their happy electric pop ditties. I hear more of the quirky band Born Ruffians in their style. I wonder if anyone will top this performance tonight.

sun club10:15pm

I’m thirsty again, and Lincoln Theatre offers one of my favorite N.C. craft beers in the bottle–Bad Penny Brown Ale from Big Boss Brewing Company. Malty, chocolaty goodness. Yum.

bad penny10:31pm

American Aquarium at Lincoln Theatre. It’s still raining, so I decide to stay dry a little longer and catch the beginning of this Raleigh band’s set. I want to slow it down some and get my alt-country fix. Think Uncle Tupelo or early Wilco. Though American Aquarium tours constantly around the U.S., tonight is my first time seeing them live. I’ve been making poor life decisions, I know. These guys are easily the tightest band I’ve seen tonight, everything perfectly in sync.

american aquarium20140904-DSC_099020140904-DSC_104420140904-DSC_101711:13pm

IIII (read “four”) at A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. How can I resist a band featuring 14 drum kits? I cannot. Two synthesizers/mixers in the middle of the stage are surrounded by 14 drummers, including core member Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. 14 bass drums pound in unison, their pulsating rhythm shaking the very foundation of this theater. I stay from the beginning to the end, the only show tonight that has sucked me in for its entirety. What a performance! Electronica meets a drum line, only more so. Just wow.

FourFour 212:10am

Reptar at Deep South the Bar. Friends have been pushing me to see Reptar for almost a year now, and it never happened. I decide to see what the fuss is about. It takes me about three seconds to get hooked. Seven band members crowd the stage at the tiny bar, giving them barely enough room to move around. They don’t seem to care. These guys are jumping, dancing, twirling, head banging and pouring sweat. This is high energy indie pop at its finest, and they’re exciting the crowd which, after so many hours of music, must be exhausted by now. I should be, too, but somehow I find an energy reserve, dug from the depths of my rain-soaked body by this band out of Athens, Ga.


I call it a night, deciding to skip The War on Drugs back at Lincoln Theatre. After all, this is only the first night of three. In a few hours, I’ll do it all again.

Music Maniacs taking in concerts at PNC Arena will be stoked to find out about the great selection of N.C. craft brews on draft. Not only can music fans experience big-name artists live, such as Bruno Mars and Tom Petty and The HeartBreakers, this summer and on, but can also enjoy a N.C. brew while doing so!

Craft brew at PNC ArenaThere’s something about live music and craft beer that goes together so very well. I pin it on the fact that great-quality live music deserves to be enjoyed with great-quality brews, which Greater Raleigh breweries offer.

Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing PNC Arena offers Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing beers, on tap, including year-round beers Buckshot Amber Ale, Wildflower Witbier, Guilford Golden Ale and Southern Pale Ale. If you’re new to craft brews and want to try one out, the Guilford Golden Ale is a good beer to start with, with a low amount of bitterness, a full body, slight tartness and a delicious wheat flavor. (On another important note: Though its closed during concerts, the Natty Greene’s PUBDECK is a must-visit during Carolina Hurricanes NHL hockey games. The area features a 2,000-square-foot sports bar, pub-style food, waiter/waitress table service and more. The deck screams craft beer, with information and artwork all throughout the section from Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing.)

Carolina Brewing Company is one of Greater Raleigh’s oldest breweries, and you can bet that its Carolina Pale Ale can be enjoyed at concerts, on draft and served in four different sections and also in bottles on the 200 level. Taste of one Greater Raleigh’s staple beers, an American-style pale ale using three varieties of American-grown hops to create a “pleasing bitterness, aroma and lingering hop taste,” as the brewery describes it.

Carolina Brewing CompanyGreater Raleigh’s Aviator Brewing Company continues to rise in popularity and is constantly offering unique and innovate beers. On tap currently are Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel, Hotrod Red, Saison de Aviator and HogWild IPA. I suggest the Saison de Aviator, available until Sept. 30, 2014, right through the summer. The brew is a Belgian-style made with pilsner malt, mid-kilned malts, coriander and sweet orange peel, offering up a refreshing and celebratory taste. Hops fans will absolutely love the HogWild IPA!

Aviator Brewing Company tapsAlso on tap are Foothills Brewing (Winston-Salem) beers, also a N.C. favorite! Taps can be found throughout the arena, with a dedicated section for Foothills Brewing, complete with a bar and a great selection of brews.

So, if you’re a Music Maniac and a fan of delicious beer, you’re all set when you rock at shows at PNC Arena! When you see your favorite artist, give the Greater Raleigh beers a try, and if you’ve already tasted what our area breweries have to offer, you already know you’re in for some good offerings. Have one to go along with the mouthwatering food PNC Arena offers, including Carolina barbecue, grilled sausages, fresh charbroiled burgers and much more.

Concerts coming up this summer at PNC Arena include Bruno Mars (June 14), Katy Perry (June 22) and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (Sept. 18).


A cool Carolina breeze and great live music always puts a smile on my face. And I was grinning ear to ear when I went to the first Oak City 7 event of the summer this Thurs. (it happens every other Thurs. of the summer until Aug. 22). The organizers of the event call the event “Downtown Raleigh’s Free Summer Concert Series.”


When I initially heard about the series, four parts of that phrase stuck out to me:

Downtown Raleigh: The downtown area of North Carolina’s capital city is a hot place to catch live music. City Plaza is where the event is held, and the area screams art and creativity with its public art and super-nice layout. The view up and down Fayetteville St. rocks, as you really feel and know that you’re in the center of a place alive with activity and charm.

Free: Those looking for a night out on a small budget can enjoy great live music with no admission cost.

Summer: The summer of music in Greater Raleigh (Music Mania) has the best of music events, and this is one of them. I know, personally, that I’ll be attending as many of these as I can! N.C.’s summer weather allows for cool evenings where you can catch some of the best local talent. If you break a sweat while dancing, you can always cool off with local brews and refuel with food from downtown restaurants and food trucks.

Concert: When I hear the word my ears perk up. The killer lineup alone is great. I immediately recognized some local bands on the list that I’ve heard, seen live and have a tremendous amount of respect for as a musician.

Not only do you get a great show with some really talented musicians, but you get the opportunity to try delicious local beer and food from local food trucks.

ImageA beer truck serves brews from local breweries Aviator Brewing Company, Big Boss Brewing Company, Lonerider Brewing Company and more. Food trucks also serve cuisine from Carolina barbecue, pizza, ice cream and more. I definitely recommend to go with an appetite and, if you’re a craft beer lover, a mindset to taste some great brews!

ImageBeing a true Music Maniac myself, seeing a vinyl record vendor at the event was super cool. The Record Exchange & Swap, normally located at Deep South The Bar, had a nice collection of records for sale at the event, including records ranging from Fleetwood Mac, to Lou Reed, to Living Colour and more. Also, obviously being a true fan of Raleigh, the House of Swank! vendor caught my attention with Raleigh t-shirts, N.C. t-shirts and other merchandise sporting the name of N.C.’s capital city.

Most of all, the live music itself was outstanding! The sound system is nice and loud with a crisp and clear overall tone. It’s definitely a sound system any musician would want to play through. The lineup Thurs. night, May 30, featured a great mix of genres from city blues to Latin dance, indie rock and country rock; music that influenced the crowd to start dancing and jamming with the music!

ImageA great lineup is in store for the Oak City 7 series. Check it out here! This is definitely an event you won’t want to miss.

This entry was written by Derek Chase Allman, Music Maniac, musician, songwriter and senior marketing manager at visitRaleigh.

While January weather may prevent you from enjoying many outdoor activities, there are plenty of indoor performances and concerts that you can enjoy within the cozy warmth of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

On Friday, Jan. 6th, Grammy Award winners David Holt, Bryan Sutton and T. Michael Coleman will explore the richness of traditional music in a Deep River Rising performance as part of PineCone’s Down Home Concert Series. The following day, enjoy a spectacular treat when Rob Kapilow puts his unique spin on Dr. Seuss’s beloved story about Sam-I-Am and his Green Eggs and Ham.

In Passport to Hungary, folk song-inspired masterpieces help you explore a tradition that has fueled hundreds of composers. Enjoy this wonderful concert, presented by the North Carolina Symphony, on Jan. 13th or 14th. For a beautiful and haunting piece sung in French with English supertitles, attend a performance of Les Enfants Terribles (Children of the Game), newly directed and choreographed by Robert Weiss and presented by the North Carolina Opera.

If you’re a fan of Billy Joel, you’ll love Grammy and Tony nominee Michael Cavanaugh and the North Carolina Symphony’s performance of some of Billy Joel’s greatest chart toppers on Jan. 20th and 21st.  On Jan. 27th and 28th, enjoy the provocative South American art form of tango in the concert hall in a showcase of works by Neuvo Tango master Astor Piazzolla.

Find more January concerts and performances at the Progress Energy Center on this calendar.

If you’re traveling into Greater Raleigh to attend a concert and don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving home afterwards, then you’re in luck.  Many hotels in the area offer deals specifically tailored for visitors who are in town to rock out. 

If you’re attending a Live Nation concert, then you can continue the party at the downtown Sheraton Raleigh Hotel at a discounted rate.  For only $99 a night on the weekend and $129 a night during the week, you can also have access to hundreds of restaurants, bars and entertainment options within a five-mile radius of this convenient hotel.

If you plan on tailgating at the concert, then why not buy a hotel package tailored for the experience?  You’ll receive deluxe overnight accommodations, a $25 gas card, and a cooler filled with water and snacks for only $149 a night at participating Cambria Suites hotels and $119 a night at participating Residence Inn by Marriott hotels. Residence Inn even throws in a custom Koozie.

If tailgating isn’t your thing, then Cambria Suites also offers a Concerts Rock discounted rate for concert-goers.  Enjoy wonderful accommodations located within convenient reach of several concert venues and a full, hot breakfast for only $84 a night on weekdays and $89 a night on weekends. (Note: all of these deals are subject to change or expire, so check for the latest deals and details when planning your trip.)

Make your next Greater Raleigh concert experience even better by taking advantage of these awesome hotel deals for Music Maniacs like you!

For almost three decades, they’ve been rock ‘n’ rollin’ all over the globe, performing for more than 34 million fans.  Bon Jovi has produced some of the greatest hits of our time, and you won’t have a hard time finding tons of loyal fans in the area.  Now, the iconic band will ring their 2011 tour with a February 21st performance at Raleigh’s RBC Center.

Watch Bon Jovi perform some of their greatest hits such as It’s My Life, Livin’ on a Prayer, and You Give Love a Bad Name with thousands of diehard fans at one of the best venues in the area.  Whether you’re traveling in from a nearby town or trekking across the country, this concert will be worth the trip.

Tickets for this performance start as low as $19.50 and rise up to $129 for the ultimate Bon Jovi concert experience.  While you’re at it, find awesome local hotels and eateries to complement your rock ‘n’ roll experience in the area.  Enjoy the greatest hits, eats, experiences and more in Greater Raleigh.

The Lincoln Theatre is an iconic music venue in downtown Raleigh that features some of the best regional and touring acts along with great tribute bands and local artists.  A constant stream of concert-goers flows through the theater for rock indie bands, soulful singers, heavy metal and everything in between.  If you’ve been looking for a great place to enjoy an awesome mid-sized concert experience, then this is the place for you.

For the ultimate Led Zeppelin experience, go see Zoso play albums one through three, with an opening act by The Stone Chiefs.  Zoso will perform Jan. 21st to 22nd and tickets are only $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

Do you love Journey?  Would you love to hear their popular tunes live?  Then you’ll enjoy the Journey tribute, Frontiers on Jan. 28th.  Or, if you’d like to get energized and dance to the music, go see DJ Lil’e and her critically acclaimed visual and music mash-up dance party the following night.

In the months ahead, you’ll also have the chance to see Joshua Radin, Gaelic Storm, Appetite for Destruction, David Allan Coe, and so many more performers live on stage at one of the best mid-sized music venues in Greater Raleigh.

We all have a genre of music that we love, but there are those who tend to love it all and be extremely passionate about all kinds of tunes.  If you’ve been to at least a 100 concerts in your life, and your main requirement for a good restaurant is that they have a band playing, then you just might be a Music Maniac.  These types of visitors can find plenty of awesome concerts, events and more to enjoy while in Greater Raleigh.

Whether you’re at a hotel, a bed and breakfast, or staying at a friend’s, set your alarm clock to the radio or a CD so you can rise and shine with your favorite music.  If it’s Sunday, then head off to brunch at Bogart’s American Grill in downtown Raleigh, where they feature a delightful weekly jazz brunch.  Then, let the kids make their own music at Marbles Kids Museum where there are all kinds of instruments and hands-on opportunities for creativity.

Next, it’s time to investigate and see what festivals and events are going on in the area.  If you’re lucky, one of Greater Raleigh’s popular festivals such as Hopscotch or musicSPARK will be going on.  Earlier this year, the inaugural Hopscotch festival brought more than 120 bands to the area for a few nights of amazing music mania.

There is no shortage of music venues for you to choose from during your stay.  The Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion hosts national touring acts, and Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre often has these, too, plus other festivities.  Visit the downtown Raleigh Amphitheater for a wonderful outdoor music experience and then wander around downtown to hear the hottest DJ’s spinning, talented bands rocking out and classical soloists soothing you into the night.

This July, some of your favorite classic movies will be coming to Greater Raleigh in the form of live symphony performances.  The awe-inspiring music from the beloved films The Wizard of Oz and Stars Wars will be played by live symphonies in the area, allowing you and yours to experience these movies in a whole new way.

The Wizard of Oz’s classic tunes will come to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre on July 10 as part of the NC Symphony’s Summerfest series.  The movie’s popular soundtrack will be played live on stage by the North Carolina Symphony.  This is a great event for families as kids 12 and under are free and the symphony’s special instrument-petting zoo for kids will be open prior to the live performance.  Pack up your picnic basket, prepare for family fun, and don’t forget to bring extra snacks for the lake ducks!

Star Wars: In Concert will be making its only stop in North Carolina at Raleigh’s very own RBC Center on July 18th.  This is a truly unique event that fully entertains by combining a performance by a live symphony orchestra and chorus with footage from all six Star Wars films.  This outstanding performance will take you on a journey through the Star Wars epic story and let you enjoy it in a completely new way.  There are a limited amount of family 4-packs available at $25 per ticket, as well as group discounts of $5 off for groups of 10 or more.

From the big screen to Greater Raleigh, these classic film soundtracks are sure to entertain and engage you in a great summer experience.  Buy your tickets today and enjoy a little taste of non-traditional symphony music this July.


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