Live music


With a metro population of 425k plus, one would think the city I live in could draw some major musical acts.  We have the population, a 7k-8k capacity arena, and a concert hall with enough seats for 2k folks.  On the schedule for this year: 2 country music acts, Avenged Sevenfold, and the Doobie Brothers.  Not exactly what I was looking for.  

If I want to see live music, I have to travel for it.  Birmingham has a few small venues, amphitheater, and an arena, Nashville is glut with venues and a diverse schedule, but they are 90 minutes to 2 hours away.  Atlanta and Memphis attract bands, big and small, with tons of venue options, but they aren't viable options for mid-workweek events.  It's tough being an old guy who needs his sleep, with a measly vacation plan at work.  In my younger days, I could hang with anyone, drinks or no drinks, way past midnight, even until dawn.  And still get up reasonably early.  Four hours of sleep was all I needed.  Not now, if I am up past midnight, I am sick, and if I don't get 7 hours of sleep, I am miserable.

Despite those location limitations, and getting old, I've got a few events on the schedule, and several maybes.  I'll try to make as many as I can, but a trip to the UK this year will likely impact a few.  I'm hoping to catch a live show while over there too.  Anyway, here's what's on tap:

Angel Olsen, April 25th at the Bottletree in Birmingham

Eagulls, May 17th at the Bottletree in Birmingham

Potty Mouth, June 7th at the Bottletree in Birmingham

Sharon Van Etten, June 21st at Exit/In in Nashville

Arcade Fire, May 1st, in Nashville

The Toadies, May 13th at Exit/In in Nashville

Jessica Lea Mayfield, May 2nd at Mercy Lounge in Nashville

Eagulls, May 19th at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville

Weezer, April 5th and 6th, at the Ryman in Nashville

The Kills, May 30th at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville

Neko Case, June 25th, at Iron City in Birmingham

Ray LaMontagne, July 19th, at the BJCC in Birmingham

I already have tickets for these two events:

The Replacements, May 10th at the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta

The Joy Formidable, May 17th at the Party in the Park Festival in Atlanta

No way am I missing The Replacements.  Never in a million years did I think they'd ever reunite after 20+ years to play a few gigs a year.  Even if it is a festival and they aren't the top bill, I'm there.  And The Joy Formidable is just such a great band, so lively and loud.  And friendly.  They put on a great show and love their work.  I paid VIP prices for that show, and hope there is a meet and great after their show.  

And I really hate that I couldn't make all 3 days of the Shaky Knees festival.  Blood Red Shoes is playing day 1, as is Cage the Elephant; two bands I really must see.  And then, on Sunday, the Alabama Shakes, local talent I've seen once already is ending the festival.  But, Saturday with my all time favorite band, seeing Paul Westerberg perform, and hearing those songs that defined my late teens and 20's will be surreal, and will make up for the other days.

So, right, lots to ponder this spring.  Definitely want to see Eagulls, but the Nashville date will most likely be when I catch them, and Jessica Lea Mayfield is a must.  Weezer sold out both nights and balcony seats are going for close to $300 a pair, but, I would love to hear Pinkerton in full.  Goosebumps.  And, then Arcade Fire is tempting, but that's a work night, so, I may have to pass.  The Toadies might be fun too, but past one fantastic song, I'm not sure I know much of their catalog.

Who are you excited to see on tour this year?