Unplugged in the Park at Park Tavern has been a summer time tradition in Atlanta now for 12 years. Local jazz/funk trio The Instructors kicked off this season’s 15th week at Park Tavern. They were followed by Bonnie Bishop, who traveled down from Nashville with her band mates to perform. Headlining the show were a trio from Boston who call themselves The Ballroom Theives. Of course no Unplugged in the Park would be complete without radio station giveaways. Host Matt “Organic” Jones from Atlanta’s Rock Station, Rock 100.5, had DVDs, concert tickets, and Atlanta Braves tickets to hand out to lucky fans in attendance.
Between albums, Canadian progressive rock group Rush hit the States in the Fall of 2010 with the highly acclaimed Time Machine Tour. Opening with one of their most popular hits, “The Spirit of Radio,” the band performed material encompassing their nearly 40-year career. One of the unique features of a Rush show in today’s modern concert world is the absence of any opening act. When Rush take the stage, they perform for nearly three hours, with a 20-minute intermission. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the Time Machine Tour was the performance of the 1981 album Moving Pictures in its entirety at the beginning of the second set. Afterward, front man Geddy Lee announced production of their upcoming release Clockwork Angels, and the band performed a track or two from the new album.
Third Eye Blind were not on tour this Spring, but they visited Carrollton to play a show at The Colosseum at University of West Georgia. The show wasn’t widely publicized, so fans who did catch word of it and were able to attended had their pick of practically any seat in the house, as the arena was roughly half-full.
Touring in support of their latest release, Stereolithic, 311 stopped in Atlanta for two intimate sold-out performances at The Tabernacle. Many fans may not have had the opportunity to see the band perform in such an environment, as they typically play large amphitheaters when they tour. DJ Soulman warmed the crowd up Thursday evening for 45 minutes before 311 took the stage, opening the set with two of their early hits, “Beautiful Disaster” and “Do You Right.”
The quintet from Omaha, Nebraska are widely known for mixing hip hop, reggae, and rock with their own unique style. The band’s performance at The Tabernacle was energetic from start to finish. Front man Nick Hexum shared the spotlight with Doug “SA” Martinez, who performed vocals along with Hexum when he wasn’t spinning the turntables. Hexum and SA were joined on stage by lead guitarist Tim Mahoney, bassist Aaron “P-Nut” Wills, and drummer Chad Sexton.
Fresh off their Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! Winter tour, this pop punk band from Vegas is hitting a handful of festivals and University shows around the country before heading to Europe for a Spring tour. The University of West Georgia brought Panic! to open for Third Eye Blind at The Colosseum at the Carrollton campus last week. With a lineup like that, you’d think the house would be packed, yet the 6,000-seat sports arena barely seemed half full due to very little promotion of the event.
Progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria once again brought their sci-fi epic known as The Amory Wars to life this winter with The Afterman tour in support of their new double album Ascension and Descension. A prequel to the band’s previous concept albums, collectively known as The Amory Wars, The Afterman tells the story of Dr. Sirius Amory as he sets out to explore a system of planets and stars known as Heaven’s Fence.
Summer always brings great concerts with it. Poison with Def Leppard was the first big show for me this season. I saw both acts last year, with Poison opening for Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard touring with Heart. Both bands put on an amazing live show full of energy and are always a great opportunity for any concert photographer. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I discovered this year that Poison was not a soundboard shoot as they were last year. Last year it was most likely due to the fact that they were touring in support of Mötley Crüe, so Crüe got to call the shots. (Crüe was a soundboard shoot again this year when they opened for KISS, which I opted out of.)