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Friday, February 23, 2024
15 Apr 2023
The Counting Crows returned to our shores for the first time since 2008.

The Counting Crows returned to our shores for the first time since 2008. The poignant delivery and mesmerizing vocals of Adam Duritz filled the SunBet Arena with a gentle yet powerful energy that left the 6000 crowd feeling enchanted.

Their songs shift something deep in your core. The night was the musical equivalent of chicken soup for the crowds 90s-music-loving soul, as Duritz’s soothing and at times haunting voice weaved through the old, the new, the nostalgic, the heartbreaking, the heart soaring and the best of the band’s catalogue.

Pretoria was the first of Counting Crows two South African concerts on their Butter Miracle tour. It was a tour that should have happened years ago, however was postponed due to Covid. The tour started in the USA and made its way through Asia and Europe before one last stop in Africa.

The country is in the midst of load shedding and Adam stated that two amps blew up during the sound check, however that didn't stop an amazing performance. From the first note to the last Duritz, guitarists Dan Vickrey, David Immerglück and David Bryson, keyboard player Charlie Gillingham, drummer Jim Bogios and bassist Millard Powers mesmerised the crowd.

Counting Crows are renowned for their energetic and passionate live shows and they offered nothing but their best as they performed for fans, most of whom have undoubtedly been fans since purchasing August and Everything After.

From Round Here, Duritz led the way through St Robinson, the crowd pleasing Mr Jones and a harrowingly beautiful rendition of Colourblind. It was non-stop - Durtiz and co focused more on moving seamlessly through the setlist than jabbering to the crowd between songs and we were spoilt with hits spanning all of their albums.

Adam stated that his girlfriend requested Butterfly in Reverse, to be put back onto the setlist even though she was on another continent, so he obliged. The chart topping cover of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxii, Recovering the Satellites and a host of other top hits were performed before the new stuff - all four tracks from their 2021 EP Butter Miracle, Suite One. The Tall Grass, Elevator Books, Angel of 14th Street, Bobby and the Rat-Kings.

The piano came out and Adam performed the song everyone was waiting for, A Long December .Its poignant lyrics resonate deeply with many in the crowd. It’s a melancholic yet uplifting song about looking back on your life - but also looking forward. It’s about hanging in there. It’s about acknowledging the hardship but having faith that things will improve. “It’s been a long December, and there’s reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last,” sang Duritz. “I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”

The last song of the main list was Rain King, before an encore that had the crowd on its feet. It was a beautiful trifecta of Counting Crows genius - Omaha, Hanginaround and Holiday in Spain. To say the fans were enchanted last night, particularly by Duritz, is a dramatic understatement. From start to finish the show was absorbing, charming and delightful - quite frankly one of the most memorable concerts that have taken place at the Sunbet Arena.

Thank you Big Concerts and Counting Crows. We can not wait to see you again.

Kevin Rademeyer
Media Manager
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


06 Sep 2022
The Cherrytree Music Company and Big Concerts have confirmed that Sting will perform a special My Songs concert in Cape Town at the Grand Arena, GrandWest on Wednesday the 1st and 2nd of February 2023 and in Pretoria, Saturday 4th and 5th of February 2023 at the SunBet Arena, Time Square.

The Cherrytree Music Company and Big Concerts have confirmed that Sting will perform a special My Songs concert in Cape Town at the Grand Arena, GrandWest on Wednesday the 1st and 2nd of February 2023 and in Pretoria, Saturday 4th and 5th of February 2023 at the SunBet Arena, Time Square. Tickets went on sale on Friday 2 from

Sting’s My Songs concert is an exuberant and dynamic show featuring his most beloved songs, written throughout the 17-time Grammy Award winner’s illustrious career both with The Police and as a solo artist. Following a sold out six-night residency at the London Palladium, My Songs was hailed "a masterclass” by The Times; "Sting remains an undeniably skilled performer with a gold-plated back catalogue". A musical journey taking in hits like 'Fields of Gold', 'Shape of my Heart', 'Roxanne' and 'Demolition Man', the concert was described as "a rare treat" by The Telegraph and saw Sting praised as "near peerless" by The Guardian with "sublime pop alchemy". Fans can also expect to hear 'Englishman In New York,' 'Every Breath You Take,' 'Roxanne,' 'Message In A Bottle' and many more.

On tour, Sting will be accompanied by an electric, rock ensemble. Special Guest Joe Sumner appears at all newly announced dates.

• More info + FAQ will be on the Big Concerts website

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

06 Sep 2022
Pack away those winter blues, Spring has sprung, and Summer is getting ready to spread its wings.

Pack away those winter blues, Spring has sprung, and Summer is getting ready to spread its wings. What better way than to welcome & celebrate the change of weather with three days of fun, the Portuguese Way, at the colourful Madeira Fest, featuring mouthwatering food, vibrant music, captivating folk dancing and unlimited fun, from 30 September to 2 October 2022 at Casa de Madeira in Alberton and brought to you by the Portuguese Forum, the hosts of the successful Caravela Portuguese Festivals.

It`s a Festival of Music featuring International Portuguese artists Joao Quintino & Sergio Rossi, superstars Kurt Darren and Lee Cole, local heartthrobs Irene van Wyk & Diana de Sousa, and, if that wasn’t enough to keep you entertained, you can dance your boots off with party pleasers Dr Victor and The Rasta Rebels as well as Brent Harris and Thee Jam. To keep you moving there are also beat-filled DJ sets from Luis Almeida, Dino Bravo and Nicole de Silva Performance times TBA.

It`s a Festival of Food - In addition to their love of life and family the Portuguese community are world renowned for their scrumptious food. You can expect the warmest welcome and lip gastronomic delights on the menu at the Madeira Fest including juicy prawns, spicy chourico, the iconic espetada and delicious pastel de nata.
It’s a Festival of Dance - “It is with your feet that you move but it is with your heart that you dance”, and there is passion galore in Portuguese folk dancing. There are many types of dances on show at the Madeira Fest including the traditional Vira and Chula, each with a different story to tell.

Make a date for the whole family to head South to enjoy the culture and sounds of Madeira Island, Party at the Madeira Fest from 30 September to 2 October 2022.
Where: Casa de Madeira @ 46 Goodwood Road, Newmarket, Alberton.

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


11 Jul 2022
Multi-platinum Grammy award-winning rock band Imagine Dragons announce the South African leg of their massive Mercury World Tour.

Multi-platinum Grammy award-winning rock band Imagine Dragons announce the South African leg of their massive Mercury World Tour. Produced by Live Nation, the tour celebrates the release of their latest album, Mercury – Act 1 (KIDinaKORNER/Interscope) kicking off in Cape Town at DHL Stadium on Wednesday 1st February 2023 and then heading to FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on the 4th February 2023. This tour marks the band’s biggest shows of their career to date.

On the heels of “Enemy,” which has topped the Alternative Radio chart for the past seven weeks and is rapidly ascending at Top 40 radio (#10) and Hot AC (#9), Imagine Dragons unveiled their new single, “Bones,” the first new music from their forthcoming release Mercury – Act 2. A spirited examination of life and death, the song explodes with an infectious chorus that celebrates the intangible spark that ignites our beings. Listen to “Bones” here and view the lyric video here.

Don't miss Imagine Dragons perform all their hits! To find out more about the #ImagineDragonsSA23 tour, go to

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

Author Val Tapia  Music
11 Feb 2020
Queensryche hit Tempe again on "The Verdict" tour

Queensryche hit Tempe again on "The Verdict" tour

Photo Credits: Fred Kuhlman


There's one thing that is fairly certain about veteran progressive hard rock band Queensryche: they love playing Arizona.

After all, their show at Tempe's Marquee Theatre on Tuesday Jan. 28 marks the second time in under a year that they've visited us on their current tour supporting their latest album, 2019's The Verdict.

"We've been touring this album since March of last year", said lead guitarist and Queensryche founding member Michael Wilton a few hours before showtime.

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"We've worked hard over the past few years successfully rebuilding the band with our current lineup", which also includes original bassist Eddie Jackson, guitarist Parker Lundgren (since 2009), lead vocalist Todd La Torre (since 2012), and touring drummer Casey Grillo (since 2017).

When Queensryche hit the Marquee stage with Prophecy for a 90-minute, 17-song set, there was no stopping them. They meant business, and their loyal Arizona fans couldn't have been more welcoming.

Although the band utilizes video to enhance the music onstage, it's never a distraction. With Queensryche, the music always does the talking.

Fun fact: Prophecy was originally written during sessions for their 1984 album The Warning.

However, it wasn't recorded until 1986 during the Rage For Order sessions. It was eventually released as a bonus track on their self-titled 1983 EP that was re-issued on compact disc for the first time in late 1988. Confusing, isn't it?

Next up was the title track from 1988's landmark album Operation: mindcrime, widely considered Queensryche's finest creative achievement on record. Walk In The Shadows followed, while deep cut Resistance (from Empire, 1990) returned to their live set after a lengthy hiatus.

Speaking of deep cuts, the undisputed surprise of the night had to be No Sanctuary off The Warning. Truth be told, it hadn't been played at any Phoenix-area show since the Rage tour in Oct. 1986. That was also the first time they headlined here in the Valley of the Sun.

With momentum building onstage, it wasn't until the seventh song in the set when the current lineup was represented. Man The Machine, from The Verdict received respectable applause. La Torre was in fine form vocally, especially on new songs Bent and Dark Reverie.

Interestingly, on this night there were no songs represented from the band's two previous albums, 2013's Queensryche and 2015's Condition Human.

I asked Wilton if he could ever envison an entire live set with "La Torre-era" material, especially considering the demand from many fans online to feature more of it live. Not to mention they're already looking forward to writing the next album later this year.

Would a Queensryche show be the same without any material from the original lineup that also included guitarist Chris DeGarmo, drummer Scott Rockenfield, and vocalist Geoff Tate? I'll let "Whip" tell you.

"", Wilton said after a brief pause.

"The albums (from the original lineup) are the band's legacy", he continued. "We wouldn't want to stop playing those songs, no matter how many more albums we do in the future", Wilton stated proudly.

"Having said that, we wouldn't mind splitting new and old material 50-50 eventually. It's very gratifying that people are enjoying what we're doing today, so that would be the ideal scenario."

If there's one criticism I have of the current lineup live, it would have to be the length of their set. Considering the amount of albums they have, it would be nice if they would play 20 songs minimum.

As strong as the current lineup is, I know they could pull it off with ease.

Back onstage, Queensryche winds down the main set with a blistering version of Screaming In Digital. By all appearances, that's one song where one can tell they have a blast playing, and rightly so. It's nothing less than quintessential Queensryche.

Next, La Torre asks the crowd if they're ready to "go old school"? They immediately tear into Queen Of The Reich (which concluded the main set), from the aforementioned debut EP.

The crowd wasn't quite ready to head home yet, so the band happily obliged with a three-song encore of Light years (the fourth new song played from The Verdict), Empire, and the mandatory Eyes Of A Stranger to close out the night.

I couldn't help but notice that Wilton seemed to be the proud papa onstage. When it comes to delivering the goods onstage, there's no question that Queensryche intend to continue doing just that for the forseeable future. Don't miss them when they pass through town.

-Val Tapia

Author's note: On Jan. 10, 2020 the music world received the sad and shocking news that Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart had passed away on Tues. Jan. 7 after a three-year long battle with brain cancer.

Knowing that Rush was a prime influence on Queensryche in their formative years, I asked Wilton to share his thoughts on this.

"Yeah, we definitely lost one of the greats in Neil", Wilton said somberly. "The music of Rush is just so amazing, it's so hard to pick  a favorite memory."

"I will say that I really loved Clockwork Angels though. I missed that tour unfortunately, which I really regret now", Wilton continued.

"They truly went out at the top of their game. He'll definitely be missed."


Author USPA  Music
02 Sep 2019
With a relative resurgence in pop culture, new generations are being turned on to the sounds of bluegrass and traditional music.

With a relative resurgence in pop culture, new generations are being turned on to the sounds of bluegrass and traditional music. Bluegrass in its modern form is capturing those seeking out both its traditional and a more modern jamband style of the genre. Enter Songs From The Road Band.


Songs From The Road Band is an Asheville, NC based band whose members each have an impressive musical background. In their current form, the bands members are Charles Humphrey III, Sam Wharton, Mark Schmick and James Schlender. Their roles are as follows: Charles Humphrey III (bass), Mark Schimick (mandolin), Sam Wharton (guitar), James Schlender (fiddle) and Ryan Cavanaugh is a guest on the album playing banjo.


Waiting On A Ride is their fifth studio album. They say “every good story has a good beginning, middle and end”, well Waiting On A Ride has a great beginning, middle and end! From the moment I started listening to their new album, I knew this was something new and fresh yet at the same time familiar and comforting. Waiting On A Ride begins with the track Any Highway. This song sets the scene for the album and draws you into the music without delay.


To me this is the mark of great music, when you hear new songs yet it’s as if you’ve been familiar with them for years. The composition and arrangements bring bluegrass and Americana into the present without abandoning the traditional roots of this great music.


The lyrics are smart, witty, easy to relate to and thread a constant theme throughout the whole album. Whether you are or have been a musician playing out on the road or not, I believe you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement with the heartfelt lyrics and delivery of these songs. The album also contains some instrumentals, of which “Thunderstorm Serenade” is nothing short of brilliant and could easily be a memorable cinematic score.


In addition to picking up this album, I’d highly recommend catching a show if you find Songs From The Road Band anywhere near your town. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find them delivering tight, seamless jams and improv.


To me it’s a pretty safe bet that Songs From The Road Band and Waiting On A Ride, will surely fill in some spots on your favorite playlist.

Glenn DePretis
Picker Magazine

Buy Waiting On A Ride

Find A Tour Date Near You...


Author G. DePretis  Music
25 Aug 2019
David Crosby takes the stage on the 50th anniversary of playing at Woodstock

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of his playing at Woodstock, Davis Crosby and the Sky Trails Band put on a memorable performance at the 58th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival.


The crowd at the Philadelphia Folk Festival was eager to see the two time Grammy winner perform. Crosby was engaging and offered up conversation as well as his signature sound for all to enjoy. Crosby and the band mesh well and deliver a sound that to long time listeners and fans is both familiar yet fresh.

Crosby treated everyone to a classic setlist of songs. You can check out the setlist here -

Author USPA  Music
21 Jun 2019
No Encore!

No Encore!

Musicians Reveal Their Weirdest, Wildest, Most Embarrassing Gigs

Drew's book features never-before-told stories, No Encore! takes you on tour with over sixty iconic musicians as they relive their weirdest, wildest, most embarrassing gigs.

No Encore! is an unflinchingly honest account of the shows that tested the dedication to a dream—from Alice Cooper’s python having a violent, gastric malfunction on stage to Lou Barlow’s disastrous attempt to sober up at Glastonbury, from Shirley Manson’s desperate search for a bathroom to the extraordinary effort made to awaken Al Jourgenson as Ministry was taking the stage. As Hunter S. Thompson famously wrote, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” 

You can pre-order Drew's book now on Amazon -

Author Abbe Sparks  Music
31 Aug 2017
With opioid addiction at an all time high, Massachusetts community & Music Legends banned together Wednesday night to raise awareness & funds for Cape Cod.

With Opioid addiction at an all time high, the Massachusetts community and over 20 Music Legends banned together Wednesday night to raise awareness of and funds for opioid addiction, treatment and recovery programs in the heavily impacted town of Cape Cod

Substance abuse and death by overdose is at epidemic proportions throughout the United States. The most impacted states are in New England, the Midwest and Appalachia. According to The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Barnstable County, which overlaps with Cape Cod, experienced a 340 percent increase in the annual opioid overdose death rate between 2000 and 2015.


802084704 1503953473 0 Music The Hope Music Festival brought 20 Rock'n Roll Legends together to perform under the famed Cape Cod Melody Tent -- all to benefit Cape Cod Healthcare and address the opioid addiction and overdose issue head on.

Legendary artists lending their support included Grammy Award-winners Rick Derringer (Hang on Sloopy fame), Elliot Easton (The Cars), Barry Goudreau (former Boston guitarist) and The Uptown Horns (The Rolling Stones); Paul Nelson (Johnny Winter), drummer Marty Richards (J. Geils) Jeff Howell (Foghat), bluesman James Montgomery, Charlie Torres, Charlie Farren, Sandy McDonald, Grace Kelly (saxophonist, Late Show with Stephen Colbert) and more.

The brainchild of Brian Serpone, Brian Serpone Productions and his partners John Ippolito and Linda Apsey, who set out to use music and the arts to revitalize Cape Cod and combat drug abuse.

“The vision of the Hope Music Festival as a single event is to raise money and awareness to fight a national epidemic in one region — Cape Cod and the surrounding area — as a starting point.” -- Brian Serpone

The benefit concert continued to entertain and raise funds with the Red White and Blues After Party across the street at the Cape Cod Resort & Conference Center. An artist meet & greet, cocktails, food and more rock & roll music featuring the NY-based Red, White and Blues Band -- who rocked the late night with many of the artists from the Hope lineup.

A special bonus was a memorial to those members of the community who had lost a loved one to addiction. They were asked to submit photographs of their loved ones in advance of the show so that their memories could be honored at the festival’s after-party.


In its inaugural year, The Festival raised $250,000 dollars for the new Hope Foundation to combat the opioid abuse epidemic in the area. The concert fundraiser benefits Cape Cod Healthcare, which operates two hospitals in Cape Cod and runs programs to help combat addiction under its Substance Use Disorders Initiative.

The Hope Music Festival initiative is Community Activism at its best. While just a starting point addressing one small region of the country, wouldn't it be great to see them take this show on the road to address the national epidemic in all regions? -- Abbe is SOCIALLY SPARKED™!  

[Submitted by Abbe Sparks]


26 Jan 2024
South Africa, January 25, 2024 - The much-anticipated Calabash South Africa is on the horizon, set to unfold at DHL Stadium, Cape Town, and FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.

South Africa, January 25, 2024 - The much-anticipated Calabash South Africa is on the horizon, set to unfold at DHL Stadium, Cape Town, and FNB Stadium, Johannesburg. In an exhilarating announcement, Big Concerts has added South African sensation Shekhinah and The Groove Yard to the line-up, promising an unparalleled concert experience.

As the largest international summer concert, Calabash South Africa is gearing up to be a musical extravaganza, featuring chart-topping artists from around the world. Here's a glimpse of what concert-goers can expect:

The Groove Yard: A Sonic Wonderland[

Enter the vibrant world of Calabash SA, where the rhythm never falters, and the energy is infectious. The newly unveiled addition, The Groove Yard, offers an electrifying space pulsating with extraordinary talent. In Cape Town, immerse yourself in the musical prowess of Stashe, Dwson, Das Kapital, and Dean Fuel. Meanwhile, DJ Buhle, Abby Nurock, Roz, and Kyle Cassim will captivate Johannesburg, ensuring an unforgettable experience at Calabash South Africa.

Headliners Galore: A Musical Dream

Calabash South Africa is not just the summer's biggest concert; it's a haven for music lovers. Headlined by Grammy Award-winning pop-rock royalty Maroon 5, the event features performances by international sensations like Keane, Meduza, Ava Max, Will Linley, Shekinah, Lloyiso, Sunset Sweetshop, and Timo ODV in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Maroon 5's Chart-Topping Hits: An Unforgettable Night

With Adam Levine's enthralling vocals, Maroon 5 promises a night to remember with chart-topping hits like "Moves like Jagger," "Sugar," "Payphone," and "Girls Like You."

Keane's 20th Anniversary Celebration: A Pianistic Journey

British band Keane, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their acclaimed debut album "Hopes and Fears," will enchant the audience with piano-driven pop-rock hits like "Somewhere Only We Know" and "Everybody's Changing."

Meduza's Global Dominance: Setting the Standard

In just two years, Meduza has become the most significant global streaming Italian artist, setting the benchmark for dance music worldwide. Their debut release, "Piece of Your Heart," has amassed over 2 billion streams and secured a top 10 spot in charts in 20 countries.

Ava Max's Electrifying Performance: Pop Sensation

Chart-topping pop sensation Ava Max, known for electrifying performances and powerhouse vocals, is anticipated to set the stage ablaze with hits like "Sweet but Psycho" and "Kings & Queens."

Local Talent and Rising Stars: A Distinctive Flavor

South Africa-born Will Linley brings a unique touch to the line-up, combining raw emotion with saccharine melodies. Acclaimed South African musician Lloyiso will showcase his soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, establishing himself as a rising star.

The Rise of Sunset Sweatshop: A South African Storm

Since the release of their debut single "Move It," Sunset Sweatshop has stormed the South African music industry. Following positive critical reception and multiple award nominations, the band's success has soared.

I Make Beats - Timo ODV: Global Recognition

Timo ODV, with 80 million streams globally and 6x Platinum/Multi-Platinum records, brings his beat-making prowess to the stage, promising an unforgettable performance.

Suited Star – Shekhinah: A Musical Force

Shekhinah's electrifying musical journey has left an indelible mark on the global stage. Collaborating with international icons and recognized on Forbes Africa's "30 under 30" list for creatives, Shekhinah stands poised on the brink of greater heights.

VIP Experiences and Beyond: A Sensory Extravaganza

Calabash South Africa offers a range of VIP experiences, ensuring a premium and comfortable concert experience. Beyond the music, the event promises LED frame girls, towering stilt walkers, mimes, mikishi performers, pantsula dancers, acrobats, jugglers, and roaming festival glitter artists, creating a sensory feast that captivates, entertains, and leaves lasting memories.

Presented by Big Concerts, in association with Discovery Bank, Heineken, M-Net, 947, and KFM, Calabash South Africa is not just a concert; it's an experience you won't soon forget.

For complete tour and ticket information, visit Calabash South Africa's official website or follow them on social media:

Facebook: Calabash South Africa
Instagram: Calabash South Africa
Twitter: Calabash SA Fest
TikTok: @calabashsouthafrica
Book your tickets now at Calabash South Africa or Avoid purchasing tickets from Viagogo, as these may be unlawfully resold at multiple times the face value.

About Calabash South Africa:
Calabash South Africa is the ultimate international summer concert, featuring a star-studded line-up of world-renowned artists. The festival promises an unforgettable experience, celebrating the power of music at the largest venues on the African continent. For more information, visit Calabash South Africa's official website.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


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