Tag Archives: Charlotte

Umphrey’s McGee brings crisp weather, crispy jams to the South

Umphrey’s McGee
Ziggy’s / The Fillmore
Winston-Salem, NC / Charlotte, NC
January 23, 2013 / January 24, 2013

Fresh from a much-talked-about string of stops in the Northeast, Umphrey’s McGee descended on Winston-Salem, NC for the first of a handful of Southern dates on their 2012/13 Winter Tour.

UM1The crisp January air brought the majority of the pre-show lot scene inside Ziggy’s Music Hall for opener Papadosio, an Asheville, NC-based livetronica quintet that did a great job of warming up the enthusiastic crowd. Umphrey’s took the stage just before 9 pm and came out of the gates running. The band served up a two tasty sets, each of which sandwiched by a longtime staple from their debut album, the tongue-in-cheek entitled Greatest Hits Volume III.

Set one, book ended by “Phil’s Farm,” featured a nearly 16-minute “Red Tape” (replete with improvised jamming, or “Jimmy Stewart” in Umphspeak). Set one was further highlighted with the elusive and aptly-named “Space Funk Booty.” The second set began and ended with “Divisions,” another jam-filled standard that moved seamlessly into a familiar-sounding riff that had the mostly 20-something crowd screaming once they recognized it as a Reggae / dub-styled cover of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe.”

Drummer Kris Myers was practically on fire on what turned out to be the 10th anniversary of his first show with the band. The evening ended with always hard-rocking “Pay The Snucka” (peppered with teases of Led Zeppelin’s “Rain Song”) and left many in the audience wanting more.


Thankfully, more was just what was in store, as the band’s next stop was a quick 90 minutes from Winston-Salem, at Charlotte’s Fillmore, part of the impressive NC Music Factory complex.

If Wednesday night in Winston-Salem was chilly, Thursday night in Charlotte was downright freezing. Familiar faces from the previous night dotted the long line outside the Fillmore, and the venue took the somewhat unprecedented step of opening up their Express Line – a premium service that under normal circumstances would cost patrons an additional $5.00 – to speed along access to the shivering throngs gathered outside.

Papadosio again played as support, this time to an almost capacity crowd as the Fillmore was nearly full well before the end of their opening set.

Umphrey’s’ first set opened with the unfamiliar “Drink My Drank.” Played for the first time since its debut during the recent new years run, this song, at its heart, is a hard rocking tune that the band seemed to have fun with and one that will likely develop into an incubator for serious jamming in the near future.


The evening really got going with “The Crooked One,” which had even the relatively calm top tier of the four-leveled venue jumping, and made it clear that the majority in attendance were true Umphrey’s fans, not merely locals coming to check out one of the biggest bands in the jam scene today.

Other highlights of set one included guitarist Brendan Bayliss playing slide during “Mullet (Over)” with his Budweiser longneck between sips, a fun cover of Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets to Paradise,” and an epic “Two by Two” to close the set.

“Hurt Bird Bath” opened set two, carrying with it all the energy and intensity from set one, and from there the band didn’t let up at all. A string of popular favorites followed, including “Hangover” and “Nemo,” but the highlight of the show was undoubtedly the rarely-played Warren G / Nate Dogg tune, “Regulate,” which brought the loudest crowd response of the evening. The fun and funky “40’s Theme” finished out the set, and after a short break the show closed with the very danceable electronica instrumental “The Triple Wide.”

Celebrating their 15th anniversary with this tour, it can be said that the band has really hit their stride. One might expect that shows in these mid-size venues will soon be a thing of nostalgia.


Ziggy’s Music Hall
Winston-Salem, NC

Set 1: Phil’s Farm > The Bottom Half, Red Tape[1], Loose Ends > Space Funk Booty, 2nd Self, Preamble > Mantis Ghetts > Mantis > Turn & Dub > Phil’s Farm

Set 2: Divisions > Breathe (dub)> Mantis, Push the Pig, Thin Air, Resolution[2] > Pipeline > Divisions

Encore: Pay the Snucka[3]

[1] with Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) teases
[2] with Norwegian Wood (The Beatles) jam
[3] with The Rain Song (Led Zeppelin) jam


Fillmore Charlotte
Charlotte, NC

Set 1: Drink My Drank > The Crooked One > Out Of Order, Got Your Milk (Right Here)[1] > Mullet (Over), Two Tickets to Paradise, Search 4 > 2×2

Set 2: Hurt Bird Bath, Deeper[2] > Rocker Part 2, Hangover, Nemo, Regulate, 40’s Theme

Encore: The Triple Wide

[1] with Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy) jam
[2] with Xxplosive (Dr. Dre) tease


Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…

Willie Nelson, 12/5/12

Willie Nelson
The Fillmore
Charlotte, NC
December 5, 2012

Few artists have been doing it as long, or as well, as the Red Headed Stranger. Willie Nelson is an American icon. He’s in a class by himself.

Nelson and his trusty guitar, Trigger, stopped at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Fillmore, and Honest Tune was fortunate enough to have Brad Kuntz at one of the must-see shows of the season.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…

Toubab Krewe and John Brown’s Body bring worldly vibe to Charlotte

Toubab Krewe with John Brown’s Body
The Visulite Theatre
Charlotte, NC
November 27, 2012

African roots reggae music fans received quite a cultural earful on Tuesday, November 27 at the Visulite theatre in Charlotte, NC. The night proved well worth the $17 admission price as two bands – John Brown’s Body and Toubab Krewe – kicked off their “Holiday Tour” which will lead them down the east coast into Florida.

Dub and reggae sounds were pumping as John Brown’s Body started the night shortly after 9 pm. It was immediately clear that this JBB’s collective, performing for the very first time in the busy Charlotte music market, was passionate about their craft. The band used reggae as a foundation, but had a rock, funk, and a soul vibe.

JBB was lead by singer Elliot Martin, who glided across the stage, swaying his long dreadlocks along to the beat. The percussion was audibly brilliant and the band had an exceptional three piece horn section. Crowd members thoroughly enjoyed a few incredible trombone solos by Scott Flynn. Overall, the band had good variety, energy, and style.

Headlining the show was Asheville, NC world music superstars Toubab Krewe. Toubab always puts on an amazing show, using many unusual instruments to create beautiful melodies. TBK’s unique, worldly sound blends West African and American southern blues. Friends since childhood, they had the privilege of journeying together to exotic locations of Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast to craft their music.

Justin Perkins plays the Kamelengoni, a twelve string harp-lute that he positions between his legs and primarily plucks with his thumbs and pointer fingers. The instrument sounds beautifully twangy and really adds to the overall mystical vibe.

It happened to be Justin’s birthday after midnight, just about when the band began playing. He asked the crowd if there were any other Sagittarians in the audience and one raised his hand but would not tell how old he was, only saying “December 2nd” and “way too old.”

The drummer, Terrence Houston, looked electric as he beat on African drums and congas while other members played percussion, guitar, and bass. As always, the band stayed true to its North Carolina roots by playing a few Appalachian folk tunes (with a worldly twist.)

All in all, both bands put on outstanding performances, and all in attendance had a grand time at one of Charlotte’s most intimate venues.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…

Chris Robinson Brotherhood, 11/2/12

Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Neighborhood Theater
Charlotte, NC
November 2, 2012

Sure, the Black Crowes may be on hiatus, but the band that Chris Robinson has put together since has been nothing short of stellar. Chris Robinson Brotherhood has been touring relentlessly and the band – comprised of fellow Crowe Adam MacDougall on keyboards, George Sluppick (Mofro, City Champs) on drums, “Muddy” Dutton on bass, and Neal Casal (Ryan Adams and the Cardinals) on guitar – is phenomenal.

They stopped in Charlotte and the Neighborhood Theater, and Brad Kuntz was there to capture the magic.

First Set: Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go, Tomorrow Blues, Mother of Stone, Star or Stone, Bertha, Vibration & Light Suite, Little Lizzie Mae, Blue Suede Shoes

Second Set: Meanwhile in the Gods…, 40 Days, Train Robbers, Hello L.A. Bye Bye Birmingham, Badlands Here We Come, Tough Mama, Sunday Sound, Rosalee

Encore: Reflections on a Broken Mirror, Mr. Charlie

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…

Brothers Past / Papadosio, 10/24/12

Brothers Past / Papadosio
Neighborhood Theater
Charlotte, NC
October 24, 2012

Brothers Past and Papadosio graced Charlotte, North Carolina’s Neighboorhood Theater on October 24 with their brands of indie-electronica.

Honest Tune’s Brad Kuntz was there to capture it all.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…

STS9 bumps in Charlotte

Sound Tribe Sector 9
The Fillmore
Charlotte, NC
October 25, 2012

Sound Tribe Sector 9 stirred up the music scene when they announced their Great Cycles Spectacles 2012 fall tour. They kicked off tour at the nostalgic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, a honky-tonk hub, and dropped some classic tunes there like “Kamuy,” “Somesing,” “Be Nice” and the “Breathe In” encore.

However, the Nashville setlist was merely a warmup for what they delivered to Charlotte at the Fillmore.

Located in the NC Music Factory, an entertainment district along the outskirts of downtown Charlotte, The Fillmore is a great place to catch good tunes. Driving into the Music Factory, a silhouette of Charlotte’s luminescent skyline welcomes you to “The Queen City.” Outside of the ridiculous drink prices, the Fillmore itself its a beautiful venue with several levels of viewing or dance room pleasure, and the venue’s chandeliers provided the perfect atmosphere for the magic.

STS9 opened up the evening with “Activation,” one of their newer songs. The whole room vibrate with sound as David Murphy’s bass ricocheted off the walls. It was great to see Murphy back on stage jamming with his cohorts after his break to undergo chemotherapy.

The energy of the crowd really started to get going when they played one of their groovier tunes, “Grow.” They also covered “Shakedown Street,” a Grateful Dead tune they debuted during the 2010 Denver New Years run that was a pleasant surprise for many Tribe and Dead fans. They closed out the first set with an “Arigato” that dropped everyone down to their knees, wanting more.

During set break, the majority of the people made their way out onto the patio to regroup. The community music creates really stuck out at this show in particular. People conversed with friends old and new.

The second set started and percussionist Jeffree Lerner really upped the energy during “Inspire Strikes Back.” It was a truly heartwarming sight to see everyone in the room getting down, huge smiles on every face.

STS9’s light master Saxton Waller is back on tour with them, and the whole ambiance of the show was on point. His lights were perfectly in sync with the music, creating a symmetrically stellar audio and visual experience.

“Rent” and “EHM” also made appearances in the second set, two staples that seem to never get old. They closed out the show with “Ramone & Emiglio,” giving David Phipps time to shine on the keys.

Many STS9 fans who have been listening to their music since the early 2000s are not pleased with the direction the band has taken over the past several years. Their sound use to be more directly related to funk, jazz, jam and improv, and their most recent albums Peace Blaster and When the Dust Settles almost sounds like a different band – more computers and less organic, instrumental sounds.

At the Fillmore, though, they did a great job of incorporating old tracks with new ones. Some of the newer songs were interestingly catchy and flowed well with the whole performance. Overall, the show was a success for the band and the audience.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…