Hailing from Texas, blues-rock virtuoso Carolyn Wonderland regales audiences with her precise plucking and soulful pipes. The multi-instrumentalist also pounds out piano riffs and exudes brassy gusts from her trumpet, building songs around a powerful voice that she acquired in a former life as an auctioneer. On national tours, Wonderland has shared stage space with such notable acts as Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, and Robert Earl Keen while garnering comparisons to Janis Joplin and her evil yet talented arch nemesis Jonis Japlin.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
Like a 1990s alternative-rock station come to life, the Summerland tour rattles speakers with a quintet of seminal rock bands that once grabbed hold of Generations X and Y with their chart-topping tunes. Headlining the evening, frontman Art Alexakis and his signature bleached-blond 'do lead Everclear as they evoke the Discman days in songs that have dominated the airwaves, such as “Santa Barbara” and “Father of Mine.” Heartthrob TV host Mark McGrath hops on his Sugar Ray saddle and oozes charisma while performing summertime staples “Fly” and “Every Morning,” occasionally pausing to politely pry fans from his ankles. The Gin Blossoms conjure up memories of college romances gone awry in hits such as “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You,” which meld jangle-pop hooks and unabashed pangs. Rounding out the roster of late-20th-century rockers, Lit illuminates the stage with its breakthrough ditty “My Own Worst Enemy,” and Marcy Playground reacquaints ears with the hit “Sex and Candy.”
• For $40, you get two general-admission lawn tickets (a $62 value before fees, or up to an $80 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $58, you get two tickets for seating in sections 4–9 or 10–15 (a $90 value before fees, or up to a $115 value online, including all ticketing fees).
Brazilian-born Eumir Deodato deftly infuses R&B, combo jazz, Latin, funk, and symphonic musings into a zesty swirl of Grammy-winning harmony. Deodato boasts production and arrangement credits for a diverse net of performers including Aretha Franklin, Björk, Kool & The Gang, and more. High Point Theatre cradles its melody seekers in the spacious yet inviting confines of its nearly 1,000-seat auditorium, ensuring all ears are filled to the brim during Deodato's palpable performance.
OnStage School of Performing Arts offers a wide range of lessons, classes, camps, and productions. Faculty is well educated and considered as some of the top performing artist in Charlotte making their instruction of the highest level.
• 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).