Monday, July 22, 2024

Li’l Friday: Blackberry Smoke, Michael Longfellow, Cole Swindell

Blackberry Smoke performing at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in 2022. (MoonFrog Media/Tom Dorgan)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Li’l Friday is a weekly roundup of events in art, music, theater, comedy, pop-up markets and more.

READ MORE: In Photos: Blackberry Smoke at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

All events featured were scheduled as of Thursday; however, it’s wise to check in ahead of attending any one. Inclement weather, changes in schedules and unforeseen circumstances may shift for organizers at the last minute.

Thursday, June 27

Blackberry Smoke
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, 1941 Amphitheater Drive • Tickets: $51

Coming off the loss of their drummer Brit Turner — who passed away in March after a two-year battle with brain cancer — Blackberry Smoke will perform at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater this weekend.

From Atlanta, Georgia, the five-piece was founded in 2000 by Charlie Starr (guitar), Paul Jackson (guitar), Richard Turner (bass), his brother, Brit (drummer), and Brandon Still (keyboards). The band has added touring members in recent years, including Preston Holcomb and Benji Shanks in 2018, and Kent Aberle in 2022. Holcomb announced in April he also would be stepping back. 

Performing for two decades, the band is known for their high energy, Southern rock sounds. It has released eight studio albums, 2024’s “Be Right Here” (3 Legged Records), including the track “A Little Bit Crazy.”

Read PCD’s 2022 interview with the band here. Tickets to the show are sold out but resales can be accessed here.

Much Ado About Nothing — After catching Cape Fear Shakespeare on the Green’s youth production of “Romeo and Juliet” on Wednesday, the adults will entertain Friday in “Much Ado About Nothing,” directed by Kendra Goehring. It focuses on two interconnected love stories in a humorous romp centered on town gossip. One features Benedick and Beatrice and the other love affair is between their cousins, Claudio and Hero. The free show will be performed June 14 through 16, June 21 through 23 and and June 26 through 28 at 8 p.m. The audience is welcome to attend early and enjoy a picnic at the lake; concessions are also for sale.

‘Annie’ — Everyone’s favorite mischievous orphan will be singing about the sun coming out tomorrow on Thalian Hall’s mainstage this weekend. “Annie” is opening from Opera House Theater Co. and will run at 7:30 p.m. on June 27-29 and July 5-6, and 2 p.m. June 29-30 and July 6-7. Based on the 1924 comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” — taken loosely from an 1885 poem of the same name — the musical follows Annie as she is adopted by billionaire businessman Daddy Warbucks. Set in the 1920s, the story follows Annie from rags to riches as her former orphanage housemother, Miss Hannigan, a cantankerous alcoholic who hates children, tries to scheme to get her back and cash in on reward money Warbucks put out to find Annie’s real parents. The musical has scored seven Tony Awards, and is well known for its songs  “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life.”

Seahawk Summer Fam — Annually, UNCW prepares programming for families as part of its Summer Fam series. Thursday it has a storytelling hour with well-known local librarian Mr. Scooter, who adds raps to his retellings. He has released two children’s albums under the pseudonym Melvil Dewey, an international library hip-hop superstar, who also created Book Wrangler and Rap Battle of the Books. The event takes place at 10:30 a.m. in Kenan Auditorium and admission is $5. See Mr. Scooter’s YouTube channel here.

Friday, June 28

Michael Longfellow
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Tickets: $20-$30

Thirty-year-old Michael Longfellow, who was on “SNL” season 48 in 2022, will be hosting his standup at Dead Crow Comedy Room with four shows planned this weekend.

He’s appeared on “Conan” and also in 2022 “Netflix is a Joke Comedy Festival.” 

“I moved back in with my mommy during the disease,” he said in the special. “I’d probably still be there right now but her boyfriend, Terry, moved in … I left because Terry tried too hard to be my friend. I’m like, pick a lane, Terry. Quit trying to do it all … ‘What can I do to be your friend?’ ‘You can stop having sex with my mother, Terry.’ I feel like I gotta draw a line, it’s just a pet peeve. I hate when my friends do that.”

Longfellow will perform at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m on June 28 and 29. Tickets are $28 to $30.

The Phantom Playboys — At Eagle’s Dare (420 N. Third St.), a popular rockabilly band will be performing as part of the venue’s free Friday night concert series. The Phantom Playboys are a local quintet who bring high energy to every show, with rockabilly, ‘50s rock and even blending in surf sounds. Shows at the Eagle’s Dare also benefit nonprofits, with this week’s show shining a spotlight on the Marine Raider Foundation. Opening will be Churchyard Ghost. 

Persephone’s Pandemonium Cabaret — The Sorrow Drowner, an interactive tiki bar at 10th and Dock streets, is hosting a cabaret at 9:30 p.m. It will be a burlesque show, with performers bringing the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece to life including Dionysus, Aphrodite and Persephone. Tickets are available here for general admission ($35) and balcony and bar ($25). 

Juneteenth Poetry Workshop — The first African-American poet laureate of North Carolina, Jaki Shelton Green, will be hosting a workshop in celebration of Juneteenth at Cameron Art Museum (3201 S. 17th St.). Green — who teaches documentary poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies — wrote “This I Know For Sure,” regarding the June 19 holiday, wherein 150 years ago Texas slaves were informed they were free, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. It’s considered Freedom Day in the African-American community. Shelton’s piece centers on a call to remembrance of ancestry and hard-earned freedom. Joining the workshop will be local poets Mahlaynee Cooper, Dierdre Parker, and Tim Joyner. There’s a $5 suggested donation.

Cole Swindell will perform Live Oak Bank Pavilion Saturday evening. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday, June 29

Cole Swindell
Live Oak Bank Pavilion, 10 Cowan St. • Tickets: $42

The Academy of Country Music Awards “Best Artist of the Year 2015” is touring with special guests Dylan Scott and Lily Rose and coming through Wilmington Saturday evening.

Originally from Georgia, Swindell has released four studio albums to date, including 2022’s “Stereotype.” He also is coming off last year’s single “3 Feet Tall” and spring’s “Forever To Me,” to be featured on his impending fifth studio album.

The name of the 2024 tour comes from Swindell and his band’s catchphrase every night before hitting a stage.

“My band and crew on the road have been a big reason for the successes in my career and I never take that for granted,” Swindell said in a release. “It is our goal every single night to give the fans the best show we can, so the last three words we say before stepping on stage is ‘Win The Night.’ This one is for my band, my crew, my team and for the ones that continue to show up — the fans!”

Tickets are available here, starting at $42.

The Stews — A group of musicians that formed out of Auburn University, The Stews are packing out crowds with their electric, energetic rock shows. The band debuted with the album “What Was” in April 2022 and released a four-song EP, “Lately/How It Ends,” recently. It will be followed up with a full LP, “Chicken Fight,” planned for a July 12 release — a combination of country, punk and blues. Based out of Charleston, South Carolina, the hard rock group have been heavily touring nationwide and make a stop at Greenfield Lake, with tickets starting around $30.

Paw Pup Market — Wilmington’s dog bar, Ruff Draft, is hosting its monthly market from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be more than 20 outdoor and indoor vendors set up in the lot between the bar and burger joint Mess Hall (2144 Wrightsville Ave. in Cargo District East). Artisans and craft-makers will sell jewelry, pet wares, leather goods, vintage clothes and more. There also will be  pup portraits available. 

Honey Harvest — Halyburton Park is celebrating bees from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 4099 S. 17th St. Attendees can learn what it takes to make honey and bring a 4-ounce jar to harvest it. There are three time slots open to participate, 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. Pre-registration is open here for one person per household.

Learn to make sushi rolls Sunday at Hi-Wire with GringoNinja Private Chef Service, for a special culinary class. (Port City Daily/File)

Sunday, June 30

Sunday Sushi Class
Hi-Wire Brewing, 1020 Princess St. • Tickets: $59.99

Culinarians will be treated to a how-to at Hi-Wire from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

GringoNinja Private Chef Service will host a class teaching traditional sushi techniques, combining unique flavors.

There will be both sweet and savory ingredients provided, with hands-on instruction. Attendees will learn how to make the perfect sushi roll. Ticket is all-you-can-eat and comes with one drink ticket.

The Tams — Beach music lovers will not want to miss out on this free show in Holden Beach from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bands set up in a park facing the Intracoastal Waterway, in full view of the Holden Beach bridge. A kids playground is open for the young’ns to run about as the Atlanta-based outfit sings tunes like “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.” Shagging shoes optional.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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