Kansas with the Kennesaw State University Symphony Orchestra
Kansas’s art-rock epics of the ’70s brought an American flavor to progressive rock, a genre dominated by Europeans. That touch of home probably contributed to the band’s chart successes, too, with songs such as “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son.” The band includes several Atlanta residents, among them original drummer Phil Ehart, who had a big hand in putting together this Collegiate Symphony tour. The tour raises money for college and university music programs and will take the band to schools in New York, Florida, South Dakota, Louisiana and many other states.
8 p.m. Sept. 30. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.
Forbert’s a frequent — and very welcome — visitor to Atlanta’s stages, usually the one in Eddie’s Attic’s great listening room. Once tagged as the next Dylan, this Mississippi-born troubadour is best known for “Romeo’s Tune,” but he has a resume overflowing with great songs. That 1979 hit was his only foray into the mainstream, but he’s maintained a loyal fan base, still enjoys critical favor and is a mesmerizing live performer. With Rebecca Pronsky.
8 p.m. Sept. 30. $22; $20 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404- 377-4976.
He began his career with Roxy Music, crafting some of the weirdest pop music of the ‘70s. Tracks such as “Editions of You” and “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” still sound otherwordly nearly 40 years after they were first committed to tape. Not long after Roxy’s debut, he began a parallel solo career that put his suave crooner persona front and center. The art rocker is still in there, but it’s the smooth balladeer that has dominated both public perception and much of his recording career since the turn of the ’80s. With the Phenomenal Handclap Band.
8 p.m. Oct. 1. $35-$65. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-233-2227.
This Atlanta quartet racks up impressive sales (with many gold and platinum records to its name), has four Grammys and a boatload of the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards on its shelves and was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Hook-filled songs and stirring live shows have kept Third Day near the front of the God-rock pack for more than a decade. The band is still on the road behind its 11th album, the 2010 release “Move.”
7 p.m. Oct. 1. $23-$99. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.
There are few Georgia exports as sweet as the voice of Lizz Wright. Her deep, velvety tone could elevate your yearly tax return to the level of fine musical art. The singer, who hails from the South Georgia town Hahira, released her fourth album, “Fellowship, “ in 2010. The album was a return to her gospel roots, but she’s never been one to do the expected. Her take on gospel travels from traditional spirituals to Eric Clapton’s Blind Faith track “Presence of the Lord” and the Gladys Knight and the Pips hit “(I’ve Got to Use My) Imagination.”
8 p.m. Oct. 6. $30; $25 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 524-7354.
A3C Hip Hop Festival
The vast majority of hip-hop musicians are working outside of the mainstream — and outside the big-budget world of the major labels. This annual festival brings an impressive number of some of the underground’s best artists together, offering a compact look at some of the most innovative practitioners of a genre that is too often defined by a few big-name, mainstream stars. The fest also brings in some of the genre’s pioneers and this year they have Big Daddy Kane performing along with younger talents such as Dead Prez, Murs, Freeway, Jean Grae, Random Axe, 9th Wonder, Cory Gunz and Homeboy Sandman.
Oct. 6-8. $20 per day; three-day pass online and in advance price is $40, $45 at the event. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.
Callaway Gardens’ Harvest Moon Festival
It’s just a little way down the road, but once you get there, you’ll have a weekend of great live music. Callaway Gardens has gathered a pretty impressive line-up for this festival, including the B-52s, John Hiatt, Mat Kearney, Gin Blossoms, Shawn Mullins and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Things get under way Thursday with music from singer-songwriters Nic Cowan and Joe Purdy and a dinner celebration hosted by celebrity chef Claire Robinson of the Food Network.
Oct. 6-9. Oct. 6 Harvest Feast pass, $62; weekend pass (Oct. 6-9), $79; Oct. 7 only, $39; Oct. 8 only, $49. Callaway Gardens, Intersection of Ga. 18 and 354, Pine Mountain. 1-800-225-5292.