The Old Ceremony has always been an elegant bunch, a peerless pop band that makes sophisticated, grown-up records. But as good as The Old Ceremony is on record - and the quintet's latest, "Tender Age" (Alyosha Records), is another fantastic collection of layered pop-rock that wears well - what can get lost during at-home listens is just how rockin' the group can be onstage, blazing away with an anthemic fervor that ought to resonate with any Springsteen fan. So get on out to Kings in Raleigh ( kingsbarcade.com) and see The Old Ceremony tonight. It's $10 at the door, and Hammer No More the Fingers opens the show at 9:30.
The State Fair continues this weekend, highlighted by Carolina Chocolate Drops on Sunday; also Sunday, Vampire Weekend plays the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater (story on this page), Two Cow Garage tears it up at Kings, We Are Scientists play Carrboro's Cradle and the venerable cover band Sidewinder reconvenes to play a benefit show for African relief at the Longbranch in Raleigh; the manic Welsh young-rock band Los Campesinos! return to the Cradle on Monday; Tuesday brings Stone Temple Pilots to the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; and if you've not yet seen The Love Language, your next chance is Thursday at Kings.