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Live Photos: Eric Johnson in Atlanta March 11, 2020

On March 11, Eric Johnson played his “A Night with Eric Johnson Tour

At the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta.  TAM Photographer Chuck Holloway

was on hand to capture the evening.  For more tour dates, visit the Eric Johnson

website.

Eric Johnson – The Center Stage – 2020

 

Live Review: Lights with guests Chase Atlantic and DCF at Center Stage

The evening of February 20th was clear skies with no chance of rain, however, there was a storm brewing at Center Stage. Fans came from far and wide, forming a line that stretched around the block well before any music was played. The attraction for the evening was Lights, a group formed around a female lead of the same name, legally. This band is definitely something to take a look at, especially with the recent release of her graphic novel series. With Lights and her musical entourage were guests DCF and Chase Atlantic to help break the ice and set the mood for the night. The music was primed to make the night one to remember.

The first act of the night was a one-man show called DCF. Not much there to be honest other than an up-and-coming Sonreal-type artist. DCF was dressed up in a captain crunch kind of Halloween costume giving his show a bit of a fresh, comical appeal. His set got crowd appeal however with his final song being a great Paramore cover. After DCF was the one and only Chase Atlantic, an alternative band formed by two brothers and their close friend hailing from Australia. These guys definitely represent the down under well in their stage presence and overall performance. Even with a delayed start to their set, the band still kept the crowd hyped. The subtle harmonies displayed in their songs mixed with the vocal bars, and even the addition of a saxophone, really set this band apart from other up-and-coming acts. I definitely see Chase Atlantic headlining shows one day if they remain on their path of superb showmanship.

The last act of the night, and the obvious reason many of the audience showed up that night, was Lights. As soon as she took the stage the whole crowd lit up with whoops and hollers. From note one there was a punch behind their music with plenty of variety going from headbangers to ballads. Lights, the lead singer, has a voice that brings chills to the soul. I would put her as a combination of Ellie Goulding and Hayley Williams. Their drummer had an address in the pocket as he kept the beats succinct and moving. The rest of the band was also well seasoned to balance the raw power coming from their lead’s killer vocals.

Overall their showmanship was well polished and tuned to be good vibes only. There was even some theatrics brought in as Lights the singer was brought a pizza box onstage that had a keyboard inside that she promptly played on delivery. I recommend seeing Lights if you have the chance as their live performance blew away any expectations I had from listening to their recordings, both in cohesiveness in the band and vocal talent by their lead. Catch Lights on their tour by check out this link here.

 

 

Live Photos: Skillet at Center Stage

Here are the TAM photos of the Christian hard rock band Skillet, from their Friday, June 9 performance at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia. Skillet is currently touring to promote their latest album Unleashed, their tenth studio release. Opening for the band were T.R.O.Y and Devour the Day.

Find out more about Skillet at their website.

Skillet, live at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA

Full gallery of Skillet

 

Full gallery of Devour The Day

Live photos: Testament, Sepultura and Prong at Center Stage in Atlanta GA

Testament, live at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA, April 15, 2017

Images of the thrash metal Testament, along with Sepultura and Prong, from the threesome’s Saturday, April 15 concert at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA. Testament is touring to promote their latest album, titled Brotherhood of the Snake.

This is the third album in a row to feature founding member and guitarist Eric Peterson, singer Chuck Billy, guitarist Alex Skolnick and drummer Gene Hoglan. Returning for his second stint in the band is bassist Steve Di Giorgio.

The band pulled out all the stops production-wise, filling the stage with saturated color, smoke canons and strobes. Musically, they never sounded better, and ripped into cuts from the new album like “The Pale King,” “Centuries of Suffering” and the title track “Brotherhood of the Snake.”

Full gallery of Testament

 

Full gallery of Sepultura

 

Full gallery of Prong

Beth Hart Brought ‘Fire on the Floor’ 2017 Tour to Atlanta’s Center Stage on Feb. 11

Beth Hart embarked on the first official stop of her Fire on the Floor 2017 North American Tour at Atlanta’s Center Stage on Saturday, February 11 for a dynamic bluesy filled night with Rachael Sage in support. I love powerful, strong women who tell stories. Not just about love, betrayal or heartache, but songs that are political – that make a statement about the world we live in, and that’s is exactly what Rachael Sage does, especially with her brand new song “This Darkness” it’s a song about the trials and tribulations of what the people at Standing Rock are enduring. Both Rachael and Beth are fierce women with fire running through their veins.

Beth feels more like the living embodiment of Janis Joplin mixed with a splash of Billie Holiday and a dash of Etta James, simply speaking Hart is utter undiluted rawness. Hart is out in support of eighth solo studio album, Fire on the Floor, which made its North America release debut on February 3. The 13-track album illuminates Hart’s bluesy rock, jazz infused funk that is filled with heart, compassion and empathy – and that is exactly what you get when you see her perform live. First and foremost, you get honesty blended with the joy of love and all the perils of heartache to match.

Center Stage was the perfect place to host an intimate Beth Hart experience, as she performed a collection of songs that transcended her career, from “Rhymes” to “One Eyed Chicken” to the sensual as hell “Close to My Fire” and of course no Beth Hart show would be complete without “La Song,” the song that put her on the map in the late 90s. From compassion to pure blues, the set felt like a love letter to the past, while still embracing the now with “Jazz Man” and “No Place Like Home.” Hart divulges pieces of her soul, not only through her lush smoke-infused golden voice, but each night she gets on stage to perform, she let’s out all her demons and gives a hell of a performance.

Seriously this woman is one of my all-time favorite artists. Beth is fierce, unafraid at the depths at which she rawly exposes her flaws and embraces them as truth; not only on stage but in real life as well, with a fire-lit performance that leaves you wanting more, yet thoroughly sated by the knowledge that you’ve spent an evening with greatness. And that is exactly what Beth Hart is, she is the embodiment of passion, with a brazen heartache and redemption all rolled together. From playing in Los Angeles clubs in the early 90s to traveling around the world to sold out shows with greats like Joe Bonamassa, this is a woman who is finally comfortable in her own skin. And there is nothing more glorious, than to see an artist fully come into their own.

Beth Hart is an artist you need to see, she will set your blood on fire with pure saturated goodness. Her voice is honey-tinted shades of bits of heaven as she mesmerizes you with pain, love and the journey of life. How this singer-songwriter expresses herself through her music breath-taking, and a must see. Don’t miss out on The Fire on the Floor 2017 Tour, it runs through March 25, ending at The Chicago Theatre.

Full Photo Coverage of Beth Hart

Full Photo Coverage of Rachael Sage

Live review: Beth Hart at Center Stage in Atlanta June 16

Review and Photos by Danielle Boise

One of the best ways to spend any given evening is to see Beth Hart perform live with her bluesy, rock-roots soul. With a no nonsense attitude and mêlée worn heart, Hart shatters expectations as she refers to “the roller coaster of life” by demonstrating through song the arcs of bliss full joy to the edge of painful madness, all the while with an air of sassiness. Hart sings about the heartbreak and resplendent power of love, not only from outside forces, but to truly learn how to love one’s self.

What was so wonderful about seeing Hart perform live at Center Stage in Atlanta on Tuesday, June 16 was her sheer and utter honesty with the audience. Hart was stripped down emotionally and shared with the nearly full house her hard won battle scars as she opened up about her personal demons and encounters with mental illness, all while with a smile on her face.

The 2o-song set list was truly a testament to Hart’s evolution, which included originals spanning her entire career, and a few choice covers for good measure. Hart started the night off with a Billie Holiday cover of “Don’t Explain” followed by “Get Your Shit Together,” “Can’t Let Go (Rand Weeks cover),” “One Eyed Chicken,” “Good as It Gets,” “Better Man,” “Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits cover),” “Waterfalls,” “Might As Well Smile,” “Tell Her You Belong to Me,” “The Mood That I’m In,” “L.A. Song (Out of This Town),” “Leave the Light On,” “Learning to Live,” “Delicious Surprise” and ended on the glorious “Caught Out in the Rain.” For the encore, Hart returned to the stage with her band to perform “Trouble,’ “Better Than Home,” “House of Sin,” and ended the evening with “St. Teresa.”

Hart seemed lighter, happier, and finally settled into her skin. There is still an edge, angst under the skin, but it’s softening over time and a new balance seems to have been struck between the darkness that has always haunted.

Beth Hart is out on her World Tour in support of her latest album, Better Than Home. If you get a chance, this is an artist you will want to see live, and often. She’s a breath of fresh air with her enchanting voice. Do not pass up a chance to see her when she comes to town.

Beth Hart North American Tour Dates

June 20 – Munhall, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
June 21 – Harrisburg @ Whitaker Center **Sold Out**
June 23 – Rochester @ Rochester International Jazz Festival **Sold Out**
June 26 – Montreal @ Montreal Jazz Fest (Metropolis)
June 27 – Toronto @ The Danforth Music Hall

 

Full Photo Gallery of Beth Hart

 

KONGOS rocked Center Stage Feb. 5

Alternative rockers KONGOS returned to Atlanta on Feb. 5 as part of the Lunatic 2015 Tour, the band’s first headlining tour in the U.S.

Fans of the four brothers out of South Africa packed Center Stage as the band opened with “Hey I Don’t Know,” an upbeat and drum-heavy track from the debut album Lunatic. “Sex on the Radio,” “Escape,” and “It’s a Good Life” kept the crowd on their feet and dancing before the band decided to slow things down a bit.

“This is our first headlining tour, so we can do the slower songs we don’t normally do,” said vocalist/drummer Jesse Kongos as the lights went down and a spotlight fell on vocalist Dylan Kongos, who performed a gorgeous solo acoustic version of “Travelin’ On.”

The opening accordion notes of mega-hit “Come With Me Now” was met with roaring applause relatively early in the set, with the crowd singing back every word. New song “I Don’t Mind” was a highlight, as well as a cover of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” which featured an unconventional rap verse and the crowd was loving it.

“This is our sixth night of this tour and you are the loudest people yet,” said Jesse Kongos with a smile, which only spurred the crowd on more as the opening drums of “I’m Only Joking” filled the venue and rings of smoke shot from the stage into the crowd in time to the beat. Arguably the best performance of the night, the song had everyone on their feet rocking out and the brothers certainly seemed to enjoy themselves more during the last song of the set.

An encore was demanded almost immediately and the band came back out to perform two covers; the first being “Tokoloshe Man,” a song originally done by their father John Kongos in the 70s. New Order’s “Blue Monday” was something of a surprise, but KONGOS made it their own with a strange but interesting mix of new wave and kwaito sounds to end the night.

anberlin (3)

Anberlin’s final Atlanta Show at Center Stage Nov. 22

Atlanta said goodbye to alternative rockers Anberlin at Center Stage Nov. 22, one of the last dates of an extensive final tour. Earlier this year, the band surprised many by announcing that it would be breaking up after twelve years together, promising the release of a final album and one last world tour. Front man Stephen Christian assured fans that this decision was mutual with all members of the band and that they simply wanted to end things on their own terms rather than burn out somewhere down the road. Anberlin’s final album, Lowborn, is a reflection of that desire with an eclectic mix of songs unlike anything the band has ever done before.

It was Anberlin’s older material, however, that took the spotlight during the final show in Atlanta, as “Paperthin Hymn,” from 2005’s Never Take Friendship Personal opened the show with the crowd screaming along to every word. “We Owe This To Ourselves” kept the night going without missing a beat as Christian darted across the stage with incredible energy and a smile that never left his face. The band’s 12 year history was well represented in the set, from “Readyfuels,” their very first single from 2003’s Blueprints for the Black Market, to “We Are Destroyer,” from Lowborn. Songs from the band’s beloved 2007 album Cities seemed to get the most love from the crowd, with “A Whisper and a Clamor,” “Godspeed,” “Dismantle. Repair.” and “The Unwinding Cable Car,” which had them singing so loudly they drowned out Christian’s vocals.

The highlight of the evening was just after “(The Symphony of) Blase,” when Christian noticed that someone in the crowd had just proposed to his girlfriend. “You do realize that song is about a break up, right?” he joked with the couple. They told him that the first time they ever kissed was at an Anberlin concert five years before and Christian took this to heart and decided to dedicate “Inevitable,” which was not actually on the set list, to them. He even modified lyrics to, “Will you marry me tonight?” It was a beautiful and heartwarming performance for everyone present, but one that the couple will surely never forget for the rest of their lives.

“The first time we ever played in Atlanta, I knew we had made it,” Christian told the crowd between songs. “We were playing between (heavier bands) but you guys welcomed us. This is all because of you.” The night continued with “Impossible” and “A Day Late” before fan favorite “The Feel Good Drag” closed the set with the entire venue on their feet jumping and screaming along. The band came back out to perform “fin,” the beloved closing track from Cities. Lyrics from the song “Harbinger,” which is about the band’s decision to break up, found their way to the end of the song with Christian repeating earnestly, “We’ll live forever,” as fans held up their hands with fingers crossed in the symbol of the band as if they agreed completely.

H.I.M. with Anathema at Center Stage, March 18, 2014

HIM 02

Review by Jenna Hughes. Photos by Ken Lackner.

Finnish rockers H.I.M. returned to Atlanta March 18, playing Center Stage Atlanta in support of their latest album, 2013’s Tears on Tape.

Opening band Anathema, out of Liverpool, England, wowed the audience with its heavy melodic sound. Though they only played a half hour set, the band was very invested in the crowd, encouraging them to clap and sing along as they performed songs such as “Untouchable” from the latest album, 2013’s Universal. Though the band has an extensive collection, the rest of the short set focused on Universal, including “Deep,” “Thin Air” and current single “Fragile Dreams.”

The crowd was pumped and ready for H.I.M. when they took the stage and launched right into “Buried Alive By Love,” from 2003’s Love Metal. Front man Ville Valo, dressed in trademark head to toe black, didn’t have much to say to his screaming fans, but the smile never left his face as he continued through the band’s lengthy catalog, including “Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly” from 2005’s Dark Light, “Join Me In Death,” from 1999’s Razorblade Romance and “All Lips Go Blue,” from the band’s latest, Tears on Tape. A cover of Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game” had the crowd going crazy as Valo serenaded them and things slowed down a bit for “Tears on Tape,” as fans held up their lighters and/or cell phones. “The Funeral of Hearts” closed out the set but the crowd demanded an encore. H.I.M. returned to play “Into the Night” and “When Love and Death Embrace.”

Full Set List:

Buried Alive By Love
Rip out the Wings of a Butterfly
Right Here In My Arms
The Kiss of Dawn
All Lips Go Blue
Join Me in Death
Your Sweet 666
Passion’s Killing Floor
Soul on Fire
Wicked Game
Tears on Tape
Poison Girl
For You
The Funeral of Hearts

Encore:
Into The Night
When Love and Death Embrace

Anathema

H.I.M.