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Live music picks, July 2-8

Earth, Wind & Fire vocalist Philip Bailey performing at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta in 2009 (on a bill with Chicago). This year, the band headlines at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta. Photo: Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Earth, Wind & Fire vocalist Philip Bailey performing at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta in 2009 (on a bill with Chicago). This year, EW&F headlines at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta. Photo: Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

FRIDAY
Earth, Wind & Fire

This R&B and funk powerhouse took 16 tracks into the chart between 1974 and 1983, including irresistible gems such as “September,” “Shining Star” and “Let’s Groove.” This is rump-shaking fun at its finest.
8 p.m. July 2. $25-$70. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.

FRIDAY
The Swingin’ Medallions

Yes, you can build a career on one hit, and here’s your proof. More than 40 years after hitting the Top 10 with “Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love),” this South Carolina-based party band is still going strong.
7 p.m. July 2. $45-$55. Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City. 770-631-0630.

FRIDAY
Liza Minnelli

It’s been all too easy to forget that the celeb-rehab pioneer and magnet for unsuitable husbands is also a vocalist and entertainer of some repute. She’s not quite the tabloid fodder she was 10 years ago, but she’s been more television guest star than musical force of nature in recent years. With this show, the big-voiced Minnelli will try to refresh our memories. With the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
8 p.m. July 2. $25-$75. Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-733-4949.


SATURDAY-SUNDAY
Phish

These exploratory rockers have a fiercely loyal fan base, and the band has been keeping in touch with them since 1996 with one of the most extensive and informative Web sites in the music business. Want to know the set list from the March 28, 1993, gig at Variety Playhouse? Or maybe you’d like to see photos from last week’s Phish shows. It’s all there at phish.com
7:30 p.m. July 3-4. $50. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.


SATURDAY-SUNDAY
Col. Bruce Hampton & the Quark Alliance

From the legendary Hampton Grease Band to the Aquarium Rescue Unit and several other incarnations, Atlanta mainstay Hampton is always a crowd-pleaser. The Quark Alliance is the latest in a long line of Hampton backing bands, but no matter what he’s playing or who he’s playing with, it all gets filtered through Hampton’s singularly skewed sensibility.
8 p.m. July 3-4. $10 advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

Ben Deignan plays a free show at Park Tavern as part of the Unplugged in the Park series.

Ben Deignan plays a free show at Park Tavern as part of the Unplugged in the Park series.

SUNDAY
Ben Deignan

The buzz about talented young Atlanta singer-songwriter Deignan just gets louder and louder. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, here’s the perfect opportunity. The charismatic rising star will play a free show at the weekly Unplugged in the Park series. With Wesley Cook.
6 p.m. July 4. Free. Park Tavern, 500 10th St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-249-0001.


THURSDAY
Gentleman Jesse and His Men

A release show for the band’s new “Live at The EARL” 7-inch vinyl single. The record comes from a performance last Halloween, with a version of Nick Cave’s “Deanna” on the A-side and Roky Erickson’s “I Walked with a Zombie” on the flip. Anytime there’s a new Gentleman Jesse recording, it’s a reason to celebrate. So, crank up the old Victrola (that’s a record player for you youngsters), because the ticket price includes a copy of the single.
8:30 p.m. July 8. $5. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

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