Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood March 11-13, PNC Arena, Raleigh
It’s been nearly 20 years since Brooks last played the Triangle. After a prolonged stretch off the road, he’s getting back at it and seems intent on returning to the top. But the country landscape has changed greatly since his 1990s heyday. Can Brooks beat the bro’s to reclaim his throne?
Pearl Jam April 20, PNC Arena
Back in the day, one wouldn’t necessarily have picked Pearl Jam as the Grunge Generation band that would outlast ’em all. But the Seattle group has defied the odds and still puts on one of the best shows in mainstream arena-rock.
Beyonce May 3, Carter-Finley Stadium
Fresh off her Super Bowl halftime show, Queen B brings her Formation Tour to Carter-Finley this spring. It will be the Triangle’s first stadium-sized concert since the Rolling Stones last summer.
Aretha Franklin May 19, Durham Performing Arts Center
Franklin was to play DPAC on Jan. 28 but postponed it under the thinnest of pretenses, citing the effects of a snowstorm 250 miles away. That makes five cancellations or postponements The Queen of Soul has laid on the Triangle since 2005. The one date during that stretch she actually played was at DPAC in 2012, so maybe she’ll make it this time, too.
Local albums at Cat’s Cradle
This spring will see a bumper crop of very fine local albums coming out, and you can see them played live at the friendly confines of Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle nightclub. Of particular note, make a point of checking out dB’s sideman Brett Harris’ “Up in the Air” (and playing the Cradle March 4); edgy Americana group Mount Moriah’s “How to Dance” (March 26); and singer Skylar Gudasz’s “Oleander” (April 1).
Walnut Creek’s season opens
This year’s outdoor-music season will get going in April, especially at Raleigh’s 20,000-capacity Walnut Creek Amphitheatre. The shed’s 26th concert season opens with old favorite Jimmy Buffett on April 21, followed by the gospel Outcry Tour on April 22 and Widespread Panic on April 30. Country is the main event at Walnut Creek nowadays, and its first big country show of 2016 will be perennial favorite Kenny Chesney on May 21.
Staff writer David Menconi