Entertainment - Concert Reviews

The Weeknd’s ‘Starboy’ tour is mesmerizing

By Jakob S. Miller
Times-News correspondent

   One might assume that a huge starship hovering over and covering most of a stage, parts shifting and color changing all the while, would distract from whoever is performing. Usually they would probably be right. However it was evident that people attending The Weeknd’s stop at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte on Wednesday as part of the Starboy: Legend of The Fall tour were uninterested in this part of the concert when the set began, as his dedicated fans sang along to every word and watched the R&B powerhouse move across the stage.
The setlist was comprised mostly of songs off of his latest release, “Starboy,” along with other hits such as “Earned It” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” The opening acts were rapper Belly and Mississippi-native rapper duo Rae Sremmurd, who are also brothers. Both artists came back out during The Weeknd’s set, with Rae Sremmurd performing their hit “Black Beatles.”
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Melodious marathon: Tony Bennett’s concert a heavenly night for music lovers

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent

   DURHAM — Sunday evening ended on a high note — and what a heavenly night it had been. Legendary vocalist Tony Bennett serenaded an awe-struck audience at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). The concert was a family affair. His daughter, Antonia Bennett, opened with a short but sweet set of songs that showcased her clear voice, a unique instrument with hints of both experience and naïveté.
But when the star of the show stepped onto the stage — after a recorded introduction by the late Frank Sinatra — the audience leapt to its feet in roaring anticipation, cheering with unabashed enthusiasm in the first of many standing ovations. Grinning from ear-to-ear, Bennett began what would be a melodious marathon of crowd favorites and old classics. Belting out hot, jazzy numbers like “I Got Rhythm” and “Sing You Sinners,” he flaunted his youthful side while alternating the crackling energy with quieter, reflective tunes. The blissful response of the audience was audible when he began the opening lyrics of “The Way You Look Tonight,” accompanied only by soft electric guitar in a bittersweet, thoughtful rendition of the classic. “(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco” and “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)“ were also crowd-pleasing classics, both sung with an air of familiar appreciation.
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra show is incredible, organized chaos

By Nancy Drago
Times-News correspondent 

   GREENSBORO — The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Ghosts of Christmas Eve” tour stopped at the Greensboro Coliseum this weekend for two performances.
The “Ghosts of Christmas Eve” tour is the live version of the PBS special from several years ago. It features favorite songs, such as “Christmas Canon,” “Sarajevo” and “This Christmas Day.” The story is narrated by Bryan Hicks, and tells the story of a runaway who finds shelter in an old theater. The theater’s caretaker walks her through a series of dream sequences that are enhanced by the music, light show, and other special effects. The theme of the story suggests that in this life, it is never too late.
The second part of the concert features classical music played by the progressive rock band. Classics like “Carmina Burana,” “Flight of The Bumblebee” and others boom throughout the coliseum. Lead guitarist Joel Hoekstra, guitarist Chris Caffery, and violinist Roddy Chong bring new life to these beautiful classical compositions. The vocalists belt out their notes and dance in true rock concert fashion. The talent of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra company is enhanced by a strings section made of musicians local to the Carolinas.
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