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Concert picks: George Benson, kd lang, Sting

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Jazz guitarist and pop hitmaker George Benson comes to the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater on Friday, June 1.

TODAY
George Benson

His distinctive and lyrical guitar lines are instantly recognizable, but this jazz man also enjoyed a period of mainstream success. Between 1976 and 1982, he put four songs into the Top 10 on the pop chart: “This Masquerade,” “On Broadway,” “Give Me the Night” and “Turn Your Love Around.”
8 p.m. June 1. $40-$100. Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City. 770-631-0630.

TODAY
k.d. lang

Canadian lang is a treasure and one of the most versatile vocalists you’ll ever hear. She can do rock, country, jazz and pop standards with equal ease. She could probably sing HTML code and make it swing.
8 p.m. June 1. $49.50. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859.

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Jackie Evancho

Discovered on “America’s Got Talent,” this angelic 12-year-old has a voice that belies her youth. Her debut album, “Dream With Me,” was recorded when Jackie (right, photo courtesy Sony Music Entertainment) was just 10 years old and includes duets with Barbra Streisand and Susan Boyle. She’ll perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
7:30 p.m. June 3. $29-$89. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.

WEDNESDAY
Neil Diamond

After more than 40 years as one of pop’s most successful songwriters, Neil Diamond still packs them in whenever he tours. The 71-year-old Diamond is a born entertainer who has a catalog of amazing songs (some of them hits for others) and nearly 40 Top 40 hits to his credit.
8 p.m. June 6. $55-$120. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404-878-3000.

THURSDAY
Foster the People, the Kooks

This California trio has made a big impact with its debut album, “Torches.” The album bowed at No. 8 on the strength of the track “Pumped Up Kicks,” a punchy, hook-heavy track that proved to be one of this summer’s anthems and now sits in the Top 5 on the Billboard 100 pop chart. That success meant the band’s earlier summer appearance here was sold out, so this is a second-chance gig for those who missed the previous show. The hook-happy British pop-rock outfit the Kooks opens the show.
8 p.m. June 7. $36-$42. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.

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THURSDAY
City And Colour

For much of City and Colour’s lifespan, main force Dallas Green (left, photo by Vanessa Heins) was doing double duty as the guitarist for punky Canadian post-hardcore outfit Alexisonfire. In 2011, he left that band to concentrate full time on City and Colour. That was probably a good move. City and Colour’s 2005 full-length debut, “Sometimes,” won a Juno Award, Canada’s Grammy equivalent, for best alternative album, and the latest, 2011’s “Little Hell,” debuted at the top of the Canadian album chart. David Bazan opens the show.
9 p.m. June 7. $30; $25 in advance. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

THURSDAY
Sting

When the Police reformed briefly in 2007, no one was asking where Sting had been. His highly visible, Grammy-loaded solo career couldn’t be missed. That solo career began at the 1981 Amnesty International benefit “The Secret Policeman’s Ball,” later released as a film and album. His involvement with Amnesty would continue, and he also founded the Rainforest Foundation.
8 p.m. June 7. $46.50$86.50. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-233-2227.

Shane Harrison / sharrison@ajc.com

2 comments Add your comment

Sweet Willie Jackson

May 31st, 2012
2:16 pm

Music has stunk since the Godfather died. Oh and FIRST!!!

Jack Nasty

June 2nd, 2012
4:54 am

The kd lang concert was amazing. If you’ve never seen her in concert, you owe it to yourself to hear that beautiful, soulful voice.