Listen Up / July 2011

Who to see and what to hear in July

By Todd Coder

Motley Crue

The live music club scene is the life blood of the industry. This is where touring bands get their start and where we as fans can experience artists in the most intimate environment. Going to club shows gives us the ability to say, “I knew them when…” I admit it. I love getting in on the ground floor with an artist and tracking their career as it progresses to the top. There is nothing more satisfying than introducing a friend to a new band and watching that band explode.

I have had the opportunity to experience this on many occasions, but one memory stands out. Early in my college career, long before I imagined actually working in the music industry, I caught a show by a popular but still relatively unknown band from Charlottesville, VA. I didn’t know much about them but had heard that their live show was unparalleled. I went in a skeptic and came out a believer. The Dave Matthews Band put on one of the most gripping performances that I had ever seen at the time for a few hundred people. I knew that I had to see them again, in this atmosphere while I still had the chance.

I travelled around the Southeast to take in as many shows as I could, knowing it was only a matter of time until the band would be playing amphitheaters and arenas to tens of thousands of people. I was right, and to this day they are still one of the most successful touring bands around. The now inconceivable experience of seeing the Dave Matthews Band in a Tuscaloosa club will always remain one of my fondest concert memories.

Next month, I will feature two venues, primed and ready to provide you with similar intimate experiences. Here’s a hint…one of them opens back up on August 1 after a long and lengthy rebuilding process. Here’s another hint…it’s located in Athens, Ga.  The other is an incredible new spot in Chattanooga which is likely to reshape the live music scene in that area, providing concert goers the opportunity to see shows ranging in capacity from 500 to 2000. Exciting times for both markets and each are within a three–hour drive of Birmingham.

More on both of these venues in next month’s issue. So until then, let’s take a look at what’s happening this month at a music venue near you…

Motley Crue with New York Dolls âRaucous, loud, obnoxious. Just a few of the adjectives that one could use to describe a Motley Crue show.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wildly entertaining show,
but bring some ear plugs (and ear muffs if you are easily offended). Taking place before the show is the Salvation Army Food Crue Tattooed fund raiser
benefiting Tornado victims affected by the storms of April 27. There will be a collection of nonperishable food items at the main gate
(so bring some canned goods) and a silent auction and raffle inside the grounds, featuring locally donated items, and Motley Crue memorabilia etc.
All donated food and money raised will go to help those effected by the storms.

Verizon Wireless Center, July 9

Steve Earle & the Dukes (and Duchesses) featuring Allison Moorer

Steve Earle

From the ASC website: “A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Earle quickly became a master storyteller in his own right. 1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, and what followed was an exciting and varied array of releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road(1988), the minimalist beauty of Train A Comin’ (1995) the politically charged masterpiece, Jerusalem(2002) and the Grammy Award Winning albums The Revolution Starts…Now (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007) and Townes(2009).  Earle’s latest album, I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, was produced by T Bone Burnett and includes the Emmy and Grammy Award nominated song “This City,” which was written for the HBO series Treme, in which Earle appears as a cast member. His debut novel, also titled I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, was published in May.” The Alys Stephens Center creates a perfect background for this show, which also boasts Allison Moorer (sister of Shelby Lynne) in the Dukes (and Duchesses) as the show opener. What to expect? A show filled with history–rich music and legendary performers.
Alys Stephens Center, July 14
An Evening with Eliot Morris & Jon Black
For me, this night constitutes a perfect evening: two talented regional artists, performing on the same stage inside the air–conditioned Theatre at WorkPlay on a sweltering summer night in July. Mobile native Eliot Morris moved to Memphis a few years back and shifted much of his focus in life to family and painting. His performances on the stage are few and far between, so we have a nice treat in store later this month when he appears in concert with Birmingham favorite Jon Black. Black continues to make waves in the industry coming off an impressive performance at this year’s Hangout Festival. Great things continue to happen for Black including song placements in Private Practice, 90210and The United States of Tara.
WorkPlay Theatre, July 16 –
Todd Coder is the Director of Music Account Development at TicketBiscuit.  He is also the Talent Buyer at WorkPlay Theatre and for The Hangout Music Festival

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