North Carolina’s Acoustic Syndicate enlists a quintet of bona-fide virtuosos to create uplifting bluegrass music that swings like a pendulum between rock and folk. Since 1992, this troupe of prodigious players has captivated audiences with polyrhythmic banjo skills, seamless three-part vocal harmonies, and infectious showmanship that charms snakes out of boots and leads to side effects such as hootin’ and hollerin’. Sporting dobros, mandolins, and resophonic guitars, these veterans of Farm Aid and Bonnaroo eschew the auto-tune age with gregarious toe-tappers about eco-friendly subsistence in a world under attack by Styrofoam overlords. Local goodtime gang Moonshine Racers joins in the revelry with its potent brew of 100-proof psychedelic bluegrass.
• For $44, you get two upper-balcony (balcony rows LL–WW) tickets (a $68 value before fees, or up to an $86.30 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $60, you get two lower-balcony (mezzanine rows AA–KK) tickets (a $97 value before fees, or up to a $116.20 value online, including all ticketing fees).
Seasoned boat captains and crustacean prospectors Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand, and Andy Hillstrand gather to share with audience members their tales of struggle and survival during crab season on the high seas, as partly documented by the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Fishing the Bering Sea in the middle of winter demands strong wills—which can come together in times of treacherous weather and 100-foot waves or come to blows about who performs better in the three-legged crabwalk race. Selected audience members will also have the chance to don the survival suits from the Time Bandit. Following the story-swapping and previously unreleased video footage, greenhorns and avid fans will have the opportunity to launch questions at the captains, wave giant foam claws, and learn how to communicate in claw-snap Morse code.
Before Bell Biv DeVoe warned that girl was “Poison,” Johnny Gill “Just Got Paid,” Ralph Tresvant boasted his “Sensitivity,” and Bobby Brown declared it was “My Prerogative,” all six new jack swingers strutted across stages as teen sensation New Edition. Fully reunited and dressed to the nines, the soulful sextet packs the stage with decades of accumulated Top 10 classics and smooth dance moves. The nearly two-hour set spans the group’s entire career, from falsetto-laden classics such as “Candy Girl” and “Cool It Now” to later hits such as “If It Isn’t Love,” all mixed with stacks of tracks from their successful solo careers. This tour finds them putting on a show that's "loose, fast-paced, high-spirited, loaded with hits and personality, and thoroughly entertaining," according to the Newark Star-Ledger review of a recent concert, bringing to life a catalog of songs that sticks to ears like earmuffs filled with honey.
Housed inside a mansion, Cajun Queen smacks of New Orleans, its home-like confines decked out in bayou-themed decor. Vibrant purple paint, Mardi Gras–masks affixed to the walls, and live jazz music compete for attention against a colorful wall mural depicting three gators on a picnic.
The kitchen staff foregoes gator, however, and instead cooks up gulf creatures such as shrimp, crawfish, oysters, and scallops, each served in various New Orleans–fashions: splayed over rice in an étouffée, sautéed creole-style with tomatoes and onions, or blown straight out of a clarinet. Encrusted with a mélange of spices, farm-raised catfish and new york strip steaks sizzle on the grill until blackened, and then join a mound of garlic mashed potatoes on the eatery’s wooden dining tables set up on either inside or on the spacious back patio. Come the weekend, Sunday brunch pairs eggs benedict and andouille sausage with Kahlua-laced coffee.