Concert Preview

MerleFest 2021 – Our Most Anticipated Ask

Merlefest is back after a year off (there was some kind of virus last year?) and it’s a packed four day weekend with plenty of local bluegrass and big country names. Sturgill Simpson opens the festival this Thursday night, but WKNC coverage begins Friday afternoon – here’s what we’re most excited for (listed in bullet form, not numerical, because we refuse to rank):

  • Amythyst Kiah: Wary + Strange, Kiah’s third album, came out earlier this year and we’re more than ready to hear it live. We’re most excited to hear the new electrified version of her song Black Myself, previously released in 2019 with her group Our Native Daughters (composed of Kiah, Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell) and getting to feel her voice vibrate through our bodies. Friday at 7:50pm.
  • Leann Rimes. Perhaps after hearing Blue live, we can die fulfilled and content. A revisit of the critically acclaimed 2000 film, Coyote Ugly, was necessary to prepare for our visit with Ms. Rimes. Fun fact: we all know that Leann’s first album, Blue, dropped when she was only 13 years old, which is crazy enough. Even crazier, she had recorded Blue as an 11 year old, re-recorded it two years later for the album, but the tracks got switched and the earlier version was accidentally released. She was eleven years old, singing like that – she won a Grammy for the album at age 14. We’ll see her Friday at 6:45pm.
  • Tedeschi Trucks: Although great through headphones or in the car, the full power of this group is only unleashed in their live performances. In lieu of a formal discussion, I’d like to direct you to this cool graphic showing their shifting band over the past 11 years. We’ll see them Friday at 8:30pm.
  • Sarah Shook and the Disarmers: Although well known around the triangle music scene, this is the group’s first Merlefest. In our interview with the group, they teased that they’ll be playing some tracks off of their upcoming album, Nightroamer, at the festival. We’ll be seeing them Saturday at 5pm.

Mavis Staples: Mavis Staples. In the flesh. You may have seen the gospel legend in Questlove’s documentary Summer of Soul about the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in the summer of 1969. Fifty two years later, at 82 years old, Mavis Staples has only become more of a commanding presence, both musically and as an icon. We’ll be seeing her Sunday at 2:25pm.

Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Music Festival 2021 Series: Animal Collective

Animal Collective is difficult to pin down and a lot of fun to consume. Luckily, the band is performing this year at Hopscotch Music Festival on Saturday, September 11th at 9:30 pm at City Plaza. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the band and their discography.

The American experimental band came together in Baltimore, Maryland in 2003. Animal Collective, consisting of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz), weave genres through their unique vocal combinations, ambiance, and pop foundations. The members began to musically collaborate when they met in school before the band was officially formed. Their discography consists of a variety of retroactively added music, studio albums, extended plays, live albums, visual albums, and a soundtrack album. 

Check out their full discography below:

Studio Albums:
– Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (2000) (as Avey Tare and Panda Bear)
– Danse Manatee (2001) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Campfire Songs (2003) (as Campfire Songs)
– Here Comes the Indian (2003) (also known as Ark)
– Sung Tongs (2004)
– Feels (2005)
– Strawberry Jam (2007)
– Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
– Centipede Hz (2012)
– Painting With (2016)

Extended Plays:
– Prospect Hummer (2005) (with Vashti Bunyan)
– People (2006)
– Water Curses (2008)
– Fall Be Kind (2009)
– Keep + Animal Collective (2011)
– Transverse Temporal Gyrus (2012)
– Monkey Been to Burn Town (2013)
– The Painters (2017)
– Meeting of the Waters (2017)
– Bridge to Quiet (2020)

Live Albums:
– Hollinndagain (2002) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Animal Crack Box (2009)
– Live at 9:30 (2015)
– Ballet Slippers (2019)
– 2 Nights (2020)[112]

Visual Albums:
– ODDSAC (2010)
– Tangerine Reef (2018)

Soundtrack Album:
– Crestone (Original Score) (2021)[113]

I know I’ll be at the Animal Collective set at Hopscotch and I hope you will be, too.

Here’s to my favorite Animal Collective track, “Who Could Win a Rabbit,”

Silya Bennai

Concert Preview

Hopscotch Day Parties

For over ten years Raleigh has been home to the three day music festival, Hopscotch. Because of Covid-19, there was no festival last year, but it is returning this week with a star studded line-up of acts which include Carolina Polachek, Animal Collective, Parquet Courts, and Dr. Dog. 

For many people it might be too expensive to attend the festival, but unlike most festivals, Hopscotch has day parties that are free and open to the public. All you need is proof of vaccination or a negative covid test and you can enjoy shows at Hopscotch for free! Music venues all over Raleigh are hosting day parties with a variety of local bands. Venues like the Pour House, Ruby Deluxe, Slim’s, The Night Rider, Lincoln Theater, and other locations will be home to these day parties. 

WKNC and the NCSU Libraries are hosting a party on Thursday September 9th from 12pm to 3pm. Outside of the DH Hill Jr. Library, Sand Pact, en-decay, JOB, and Mid Century Modular will be performing. There’s a few acts that will be playing multiple shows throughout the weekend that you can catch like BANGZZ; a punk duo from Durham, The Veldt; an alternative-shoegaze band, and Tongues of Fire; a heavy alternative band from Asheville. 

Day parties are a great way to spend the weekend, hanging out with friends and seeing live music, you can even discover your new favorite artist. I haven’t listened to many of the artists, but I am excited to go to some day parties and see different bands. One day party I’m already excited to go to is at Ruby Deluxe on Friday. Wednesday, an indie rock, shoegaze band from Asheville, NC is playing and their latest album, Twin Plagues, is one of my favorite releases from 2021. The album effortlessly blends blissful guitar sounds, heavy bass tones, classic indie rock guitar licks, and admirably raw and honest lyrics. The show will be outside from 12-5pm along with Google Dolls, BANGZZ, Tall Juan, and Spider Bags.

You can view the official day party schedule on the Hopscotch website to plan your weekend of shows! 

Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview Festival Coverage

Bands to Watch at Hopscotch 2021: Patois Counselors

General Manager Maddie here to tell you all about a band I’m very excited to see play this year’s Hopscotch Festival: Patois Counselors.

Before I indulge in my own personal relationship to the band, the important information to know is that they’re playing Hopscotch tomorrow, Sept 9, on the Moore Square stage at 3:45PM. In terms of genre, they fall under the wide umbrella of “post punk”, so check ’em out if you like stuff like Parquet Courts or Gang of Four.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to tell you my story about the discovery of one of my favorite local bands. We have to go all the way back to October 2018, the fall of my first year at NC State. One of my favorite bands, Screaming Females, was playing a show at one of my favorite venues, the Milestone, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The only problem with this fantastic set-up was that I was stuck in Raleigh without a car. So, I got together with a friend of mine who had a car, agreed to skip my calculus class (the first class I ever skipped in college!) and we drove 2 and a half hours to see Screaming Females.

They were great, of course, but that’s not who I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the second band I saw at the Milestone that night, a local opener called TKO Faith Healer. I didn’t have high expectations; based on the band name, I was expecting some sort of Southern garage-rocky type dad band. However, as they began playing, I found myself enjoying their music a lot more than I was expecting. I’m not gonna say it was like nothing I had ever heard before, but at this time in my life, I wasn’t really listening to bands like Wire or Powerplant much, and I certainly didn’t know how much I would come to love bands like that later on in my life. Besides being sonically interesting, they also played just an overall super clean and tight set.

Also, I have to add that their singer came out wearing an Amnesia Scanner long sleeve t shirt. I did not know who Amnesia Scanner was at the time, but now, I look back on this move and realize how cool it is. Any guy in an “indie rock” band wearing an Amnesia Scanner shirt is a cool guy.

Unfortunately, TKO Faith Healer didn’t have any songs up on Spotify at this point (and they sadly still do not, but they have one EP on Bandcamp), so I more or less forgot about them after the show. I’ve gotten better at this since 2018, but really, the convenience of being on Spotify is a selling factor on if I’ll listen to a band’s music or not- I know, I know, but I gotta make sure all my songs scrobble!

In October 2020- two years later- I was browsing Instagram and came across a post from Charlotte independent record store Lunchbox Records (the second best thing about Charlotte, with the first being the Milestone) that instantly captivated me. I’m a big album artwork guy, and my opinions on an album can strongly be swayed by the album art alone. I had one glance at the eerie, larger-than-life eyeball painting and knew I was gonna like the album. Also, the band was from Charlotte, and I’m always looking for more local bands to love.

I remember quickly going to Spotify and checking out songs from the band’s previous album, Proper Release, in anticipation of the new album. When the new album came out, I proudly uploaded some songs from The Optimal Seat into WKNC’s Local Lunch segment, because our local segment definitely needs some more post-punk.

Since then, the album has been a local favorite of mine, and I find new songs and parts to enjoy with every listen. Some of my favorite tracks are the super-danceable yet anxious The Galvanizer, and angular, jerky Give Me Voltage. I also still continue to be absolutely transfixed by the album artwork; it’s probably one of my favorite album covers of all time (you can see more paintings by the artist on her website, although none of them strike me like the red eye featured on the Optimal Seat).

Now, to get back to TKO Faith Healer- I’m not quite sure when exactly it was, but at one point, I thought back to the band I saw open for Screaming Females and thought they sounded familiar to a new band I had recently discovered. I did some research, and sure enough, TKO Faith Healer lead singer and Amnesia Scanner-enjoyer Bo White was the vocalist in Patois Counselors. While doing research for this post, I discovered White actually has a slew of other Charlotte bands under his wing- basically, I have a lot of new music to listen to.

But, for now, I’m gonna get ready for Patois Counselors’ performance by re-listening to the album that captured my attention from the first second I saw it. I hope you’re able to catch Patois Counselors’ set tomorrow, but if not, you can listen to their music anytime.

Concert Preview Music News and Interviews

Phoebe Bridgers’ “Reunion Tour” Makes Some Changes

On September 3, 2021, Phoebe Bridgers’ “Reunion Tour” is scheduled to kick off. The name of the tour is a joke/followup after her first tour was titled “Farewell Tour.” She announced the tour on July 12 of this year, not exactly a last minute announcement but certainly cutting it close. Bridgers is doing some of the shows with openers MUNA, an indie-pop band signed to her record label “Dead Oceans,” and Bartees Strange, an alternative musician from England. The tour has recently undergone some changes in light of COVID-19, including some indoor venues being changed to outdoor venues. On August 23, Bridgers posted on Instagram with updated information regarding the alterations.

The caption reads: “Let’s try this again… In the interest of safety, I’ve decided to only play outdoors for the upcoming tour. We are moving all previously scheduled indoor shows to outdoor venues and we’ve needed to postpone shows in a couple cities so please check the updated schedule. At my request, there are updated health and safety requirements. Entry will require proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Where that’s not permissible by law, we’ll agree to proof of vaccination OR proof of negative test result (PCR preferred/Antigen accepted) within 48 hours prior to entering those venues. And please wear a mask. I love you. See you soon.”

She stated, on “Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast” that “I am slightly terrified [for tour], to be real, because I did it for three years straight really before the pandemic, and I got really good at it.”

Phoebe Bridgers is making her way to the Carolinas about halfway through her stops, coming to Charlotte and Raleigh, on September 19 and 21 respectively. Both of the venues were changed: the Charlotte concert was once going to be at The Fillmore and will now be held at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater, and the Raleigh show was going to be at The Ritz and will now be held at Red Hat Amphitheater. Both shows will have MUNA as an opener.

She is not the only artist to advocate for similar policies on their tour. John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and Lucy Dacus have also instated alike guidelines on their tours or have stated the intention to.

The tour is scheduled to wrap up on October 24, in Atlanta.

I have tickets to the Raleigh show, and am tentatively going to attend.

Until next time,

Concert Preview

Concerts We’re Looking Forward To

I could not be more excited (though albeit a little anxious) to get back into concert season. Even though I think it’s going to take a hot minute for me personally to feel comfortable enough to be squeezed up against hundreds of sweaty strangers, it’s nice to know that live music is slowly creeping its way back. Here are some of the concerts I’m looking forward to most, all within the Triangle area:

1. Japanese Breakfast

Date: July 26

Venue: Cat’s Cradle

The Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill really has an incredible lineup of concerts for this summer and fall. If you’ve been paying attention to our weekly charts, Japanese Breakfast has been at number one for the past two weeks, and for good reason. Her new album, “Jubilee,” is a work of experimental, indie-pop magic. The intimacy of the Cradle will only enhance the beauty of her discography.

2. Dead and Company

Date: August 13

Venue: Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek

Even though Jerry Garcia isn’t around to bless us with his sweet turtle face and otherwordly guitar skills, it’s pretty incredible that the Grateful Dead (and guests) are still touring. You’ll find all kinds at a Dead & Co show: ageing hippies, dad rockers, new age yogis and pretty much everything in between. I consider myself to have a little bit of all those personalities, so you can bet I’ll be there.

3. Jack Harlow

Date: September 14

Venue: The Ritz

The Ritz is one of my favorite venues in Raleigh. Any place that’s just one giant pit is absolute gold to me. There’s no doubt that seeing Jack Harlow in a place like that will result in some moshing injuries, but it’ll definetely be worth it.

4. Crumb

Date: October 16

Venue: Cat’s Cradle

Another gem at the Cradle. Crumb, best known for their hit single “Locket,” is one of the mellowest, most psychotropic bands on the indie scene today. If you’re interested in hearing more about them, DJ Psyched just did an interview with them last month on their newest album, “Ice Melt.”

5. Khruangbin

Date: October 23

Venue: Red Hat Amphitheater

This has to be the show that I’m most excited about. Khruangbin has been one of my favorite bands for the past couple of years, and seeing the trio at Red Hat will be even better. That’s where I experienced my first concert (Cage the Elephant in 2013), and I still feel that good energy every time I go there. The combination of their lo-fi psychedelia and the spacious lawn at Red Hat will make for a perfect concert experience.

I know it’ll be a little scary at first to get back into seeing live music, and I truly encourage everyone to stick to their comfort level. Some have already jumped back in, but I think it’s important to engage in big group activities like that at your own pace. Even though North Carolina is starting to open up again, there’s no shame in waiting for some of those later concerts to roll around.

Happy listening,

DJ Butter

Concert Preview Festival Coverage Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews

Bonnaroo 2021: Who I’m Excited to See

After much anticipation, Bonnaroo is back in business. After rescheduling from last year (I think there was some sort of pandemic or something), Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee will be flooded with tens of thousands of fans from all over the world. And for good reason too. The lineup for 2021 is definitely going to be one for the books. The headliners for each day include Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Tyler the Creator, who I would shovel out any amount of money to be able to see. Beyond the bigger names include a modge podge of artists ranging from folk to indie to rap, providing a unique taste for everyone there. Among these names, here are a few that I am especially excited to see. 

Megan Thee Stallion 
I’ll be honest, at my first glance of the lineup for this year I was a bit surprised to see Megan on there. When I usually think of Bonnaroo, artists like Tash Sultana, Cage the Elephant, and Tyler Childers come to mind. But the more I think about it, the happier I am to have the chance to see her there. All of Megan’s music has such an upbeat flow to it and I’m sure it will be a tough challenge for any artist to get the crowd more hype than she does. 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard 
This just seems like the kind of band that would be amazing live. With their eccentric guitar riffs and mellowed out lyrics, they make for a perfect midday vibe to bring the crowd together under the sun. 

This band definitely holds a special place in my heart. I’m not a huge folk fan, but Caamp has a perfect balance of bluegrass with just a hint of modern rock sprinkled in. The main singer’s voice is raspy, but not too raspy, and their lyrics remind me of a life I used to dream of when a more adventurous writer occupied my mind when I was younger. 

Tame Impala 
Have you guys heard of them? It’s super underground, super indie, you probably wouldn’t like it. All jokes aside, Tame Impala is known to be amazing live and I would love a chance to see Kevin Parker shred the guitar. 

Resistance Revival Chorus 
This group has some of the most amazing harmonies to date. I’d say it’s a mixture of blues and folk. Their lyrics speak to a wide audience and they send a good message. 

Remi Wolf
The last one on this list goes out to Remi Wolf. Her music is a bit reminiscent of Still Woozy, with a funk bass to compliment her wide vocal range. Any song of hers could easily get the crowd dancing. 

These artists are only a few on this incredible lineup. Words cannot describe how excited I am to be in the middle of a tightly packed crowd all there to get the same, beautiful experience of a music festival. Rain or shine, Bonnaroo 2021 is happening and you’re not going to want to miss it. 
-DJ Chippypants

Image Creds:

Concert Preview

Rissi Palmer Live@the Lot

Country music artist Rissi Palmer comes to NC State’s Centennial Campus on Friday, Oct. 23 for Live@the Lot, a drive-in concert experience sponsored by NC State LIVE and Visit Centennial Campus.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with music at 6:30 p.m. Local food trucks will be on hand to deliver food to vehicles. Vehicle pre-registration is required.

Learn more about the event and COVID-19 precautions.

Concert Preview

Upcoming Metal Shows

What’s going on Butcher Crew?! There has been tons of shows that have been announced and I know that it can be hard to keep up with, but I decided I would help out my Butcher Crew and make a list of the tours that will be coming through North Carolina!! The Saw will be at most of these shows, will I see you?

Monday, March 9th: Local 506, Chapel Hill

This show is going to be killer!! You have some of the most hard-hitting bands on one bill! I am mainly excited to see Kublai Khan because I love their most recent album, Absolute, and I can’t wait to hear them play those songs live!

Sunday, March 15th: Amos’ Southend, Charlotte

Literally every band on this bill I am excited for. I haven’t seen Aversions Crown or Fit For An Autopsy in a few years!!I’ve just recently seen Thy Art Is Murder a few months ago and I love seeing them any chance I get.

Sunday, March 15th: The Ritz, Raleigh

Killswitch Engage is one of the OG bands for the new wave of metal that opened the door for metalcore bands, and they are bringing another heavy hitter, August Burns Red, with them!

Friday, March 20th: The Pour House, Raleigh

Vio-lence has never been to Raleigh and this will be their first time coming here! They have some of my Local Butchers opening for them! I will be the MC for this show!

Saturday, March 21st: The Drunk Horse Pub, Fayetteville

Pathology and Pyrexia are some big-name bands that have had a huge impact on the heavier realm of music, and they are bringing some more of my Local Butchers with them to open up this show! The Saw will be there, will I see you?

Friday, May 8th: The Blind Tiger, Greensboro

Suicide Silence is hitting North Carolina again with their newest record, Become the Hunter, and they will have many of my Local Butchers with them! The Saw will most definitely be there!!

Sunday, May 10th: The Ritz, Raleigh

I am so excited to see Motionless in White, Knocked Loose, Stick To Your Guns, and Ovtlier. There is a wide variety of bands on this bill and I am very interested to see how this shows goes!! I am super excited to see all of these bands!

Monday, June 1st: The Ritz, Raleigh

Do I really need to say anything about this tour? Two of my favorite bands are touring together, so it’s a no brainer that I will for sure be there.

Sunday, June 14th: Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh

Megadeth, Lamb of God, Trivium, and In Flames will be hitting Raleigh and I am super-excited for all of these bands! I haven’t seen Megadeth in so long and I can’t wait to yell their lyrics back to them!

Wednesday, June 17th: PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte 

Slipknot is bringing A Day To Remember on this run and, honestly, I love seeing the mixed genres that bands are bringing on tour with them! Slipknot and ADTR never disappoint!

Friday, September 11th: Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater, Charlotte

Let’s be real, I love all of these bands on this bill: Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Knocked Loose, and Fit For A King. I already got my pit tickets for this show and I can’t wait to mosh to all of these bands!

Thursday, September 17th: PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte

I have never seen Judas Priest live so hopefully this will be my chance to see them!

Are you going to any of these shows? Did I miss any that you are excited about?

Stay Metal,


Concert Preview

Volumes – Spring Tour 2018 @ Ground Zero 5/24/18

I was so excited for this show because one of my favorite bands, Upon A Burning Body, was playing! I am also really good friends with Joe from Upon A Burning Body and Myke from Volumes. So, I was looking forward to catching up with my friends!

The last time I saw Upon A Burning Body was at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro, NC.

At that show, I met the entire band and Danny Leal (the lead singer) gave me a hug and dedicated Texas Blood Money to me. Danny is a big fan of golfing, and I work in Pinehurst, NC which is one of the biggest and most popular golf locations in the United States. I promised him that the next time I see him, I would bring him some Pinehurst gear. So that is exactly what I did! I met up with him when I got to the venue and he was so excited and happy to see me. He was also really surprised when I gave him two golf shirts and a hat.

After hanging out with Danny, I met up with their bass player, Joe, and we also caught up. They were all really excited that I showed up to the show and kept asking me if I would be in the front again singing all of their songs. Is that even a question? OF COURSE I’m going to be in the front jamming out.

I bought a VIP ticket to meet Volumes and I got to hang out with the entire band. They were all really nice guys, and they were so excited to meet some of their fans. One of my friends is in the military and he was getting deployed that day. So, I asked Volumes if they could sign something for him and they did! Gus ended up sending him a video saying what’s up and Myke Facetimed him while my friend was on the way to the airport.


Myke Terry (Lead Singer) for Volumes 

After the meet and greet, Myke went with me and some friends to Zaxbys. Shoutout to Myke for paying for my food, you are the real MVP. Once we got back to the venue, I got in the front and was ready to jam out!

A couple of local bands played first, and they were pretty good! They were jamming out and trying to engage with the crowd, but like most shows, the crowd did not really get into the opening acts as much. Convictions was the first band from the tour lineup to play and they were really interactive with the crowd. There was some movement from the crowd and they did put on a great show! This band were Christian’s because the singer apologized to the fans if some people from that religion ever judged them. He also said that what those people do is not what they stand for. I thought that was pretty cool. The White Noise came on, and wow. They put on an amazing performance. The singer was a wild man! He got on some guy’s shoulders and was running around in the pit. He really got the crowd pumped up for the rest of the show.

Upon A Burning Body (UABB) was up next and you already know that I was hyped to see them! They came out playing Red Razor Wrist and the crowd exploded! Everyone was jamming out and there were people running around in the pit. UABB has amazing energy and I love seeing them live. Everyone in the band waved at me at some point during their set. They played my favorite song, Scars, and during that song, Danny was in front of me and he squatted down, ruffled my hair, and gave me a hug. There were two little kids in the front and Danny noticed them getting squished from the pit, so he pulled them on stage and let them watch the rest of the show from stage-side. They played all of their hits, such as You Don’t Own Me, Already Broken, Intermission, and Texas Blood Money. Danny dedicated their song, Sin City, to me. Joe gave me a guitar pick after their set and then it was time for Volumes!

Picture by: Rosario Gutierrez 

Can you spot me in this picture??

Volumes came out playing Left for Dead and the entire place was rocking! They also have great energy on stage and Myke has some sick dance moves. Everyone was singing and dancing to their songs. They played my favorite songs back to back. They played Finite, Feels Good, The Mixture, and Waves Control. After Waves Control, I went to UABB’s merch booth and hung out with Danny and Joe for the rest of the show. The guitarist for Volumes was walking around the venue while playing. He was at the bar and taking shots with fans, and he would go up behind people while playing. He was just hanging out having a great time. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Volumes came out and did an encore and played Vahle and Intake.

All of the bands put on a great show and I was really impressed with the turnout! The venue really surprised me, it turned out to be a really cool place! I got to meet new people, hang out with some bands, and to top it all off, Danny said that I am UABB’s favorite fan! This show was worth the 4 hour drive!

Danny Leal (Lead Singer) for Upon A Burning Body 

Joe Antonellis (Bassist) for Upon A Burning Body