Up & Coming Weekly

April 25, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1497864

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Page 19 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM APRIL 27 - 30, 2023 UCW 7 F R I D A Y , A P R I L 2 8 Country artists open Festival Park concert weekend by KATHLEEN RAMSEY Headlining the kickoff of the Dogwood Festival on Friday night this year are country singers Ashland Craft and David Nail. Nail has had number one hits like "Let It Rain" and "Whatever She's Got." While Nail has been to Fayetteville, this will be his first time performing at the Dogwood Festival. "It gets us excited any time we play something with a little bit of history," he said. Nail's set will include a soon to be released single, "Best of Me." "That'll be the first time we've ever played it live," he said. From Greenville, South Carolina, Craft's debut album "Travelin Kind" is out now. Festival concerts will be free to the public and attendees will have access to both food and drink vendors. For those who want to get closer to the action, "Best Seat in the House" tickets are available for $25 for each festival day — thrifty music lovers can purchase a weekend pass for $60 at w w w.thedogwoodfestival.com/. S A T U R D A Y , A P R I L 2 9 Bands ready to rock Dogwood audience Saturday by ASHLEY SHIRLEY This year's Dogwood Festival lineup is the living embodiment of "a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll." Music lovers of Cumberland County will be able to boot scoot, head thrash and moonwalk with the best of them at Festival Park. Saturday night will take the All- American City back to the halcyon days of early 2000 with California alternative rockers Lit at 7:45 p.m. and Buckcherry at 9 p.m. Coming off the scuffed-Converse navel-gazing grunge which dominat- ed the airwaves throughout the 90s, Lit, Buckcherry, and even the bubble- gum pop of their Billboard contem- poraries were a welcome change to the post-grunge musical landscape as Y2K approached. When Lit leaped onto the scene with their hit single "My Own Worst Enemy" in 1999, it was clear to any- one with access to MTV or a Discman that rock had gotten fun again. The song charted at number one, un- doubtedly on the power of its accom- panying video — a delightful homage to the cult film, "The Big Lebowski." It stayed for 11 weeks, earning the band a Billboard Music Award. Their album, "A Place in the Sun," spawned two more hits, "Ziploc" and "Miser- able," and went certified platinum. In the intervening years, Lit, comprised of brothers Jeremy and A. Jay Popoff (lead guitar and vocals; lead vocals), Kevin Baldes (bass), and Taylor Carroll (drums) have gone through some lineup changes, most notably due to the cancer-related death of their drummer, Allen Shel- lenberger, in 2009. Since "A Place in the Sun," the band has released five studio albums; the latest, "Tastes Like Gold," was released in 2022. Also on stage Saturday is rowdy party band Buckcherry, whose catchy hit single, "Crazy B—" held the public captive for a significant portion of the mid-2000s and gar- nered the band a Grammy nomina- tion in 2006. Buckcherry, whose current roster now hosts Josh Todd (lead vocals), Stevie D. (lead and rhythm guitar), Kelly LeMieux (bass), Francis Ruiz, and Billy Rowe (rhythm and lead guitar), has released 10 studio albums between 1999 and 2023 and contin- ues to tour extensively. Together, these two bands invite the audience back to a simpler time — a time just before smartphones and Tiktok. The slick guitar riffs and forever-young feel-good lyrics are sure to be the perfect punctuation to a day filled with good food, games, vendors and community. S U N D A Y , A P R I L 3 0 King of Pop tribute experience will close out festival by ASHLEY SHIRLEY Nearly 14 years after his death, Michael Jackson is still the undis- puted King of Pop. From a precocious child star to one of the world's most polarizing celebrities, Jackson's 40- year career forever changed the face of music and made him one of the most culturally prominent figures of his lifetime. Jackson's musical legacy will close out the Dogwood Festival's three- night concert series on Sunday, April 30, when Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience takes to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Founded in 2003 by Vamsi Tade- palli in Charlotte, — six years before his tragic passing — Who's Bad is now the longest-running Michael Jackson tribute in the world. The Ultimate Michael Jackson Ex- perience is created from meticulous research of Jackson's tours, videos and live performances to perfect the showmanship that sold out arenas for decades. Having performed nearly 3,000 shows worldwide, Whose Bad has gotten the tribute game down to a science, impressing generations of fans, friends and industry insiders. Remembered for certified diamond hits like "Billie Jean" and "Thriller," the invention of the moonwalk, and his larger-than-life persona off stage, Jackson's contribution to music and pop culture are both still seen and felt in the entertainment industry. In his lifetime, Jackson produced 13 number-one singles, won 15 Grammy awards and sold over one billion re- cords — making him one of the best musical artists of all time. As far as legacies go — it's a tough act to follow, but Who's Bad has made it their mis- sion to elevate their craft to meet that challenge consistently. According to their website, "Each individual show is designed and constructed through an unparal- leled study of the artists' original performances, and infused with new energy so that they can be brought to life…." Not content to perform only a portion of his catalog or emulate a particular era, Who's Bad: The Ulti- mate Michael Jackson Experience is an exciting kaleidoscope of Jackson's most iconic looks, moves and tunes. From his rakish fedora, singular white glove and the loafers that seemed to glide on air — Who's Bad has distilled all the moving parts of the Jackson juggernaut into a perfor- mance that pays respect to his fans, his craft and his memory. Though "Michael," whose distinc- tive dance moves and vocal style are eerily brought to life by James Till III and Taalib York, is the clear star of the show, an impressive roster of singers, dancers and entertainment professionals propel the kinetic, dance-driven performance to a level of magic befitting the King of Pop. Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson experience is free and open to the public.

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