Lady Antebellum — Dave Haywood (left), Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley — plays Gwinnett Arena Friday, June 22. Photo: Williams + Hirakawa
Lady Antebellum is one of the hottest bands in the music business at the moment. It’s rare for a band to get nominated for an award before releasing its debut album, but that’s what happened to Lady Antebellum. The trio was among the nominees for the Academy of Country Music’s top new duo or vocal group in 2008, and Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, both from Augusta, and their bandmate Hillary Scott went home with the award. Four years later, this Nashville-based outfit has three No. 1 albums, six No. 1 country singles and two Top 10 pop hits on its résumé.
7 p.m. June 22. Gwinnett Arena. $35-$79.50. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.
Vince Gill, Sarah Jarosz
One of the most likable performers in country music, Gill first came to national attention in Pure Prairie League. He then spent time as a sideman for Rodney Crowell, scored the first of many Top 10 country hits of his own in 1985, and toured with Emmylou Harris’ band. After all this time, he’s still making brilliant albums, including “Guitar Slinger,” released in October. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jarosz is a captivating performer whose voice and songcraft belie her youth. The 20-year-old Texan released her second album, “Follow Me Down,” in May 2011. Like her first release, 2009’s “Song Up In Her Head,” it brought comparisons to Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss.
8 p.m. June 22. $49.50. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859.
Tony-winning blond spark plug (and Emmy winner for the sadly short-lived “Pushing Daisies) Chenoweth brings her powerful pipes to town. Expect to hear tunes from her recent country-tinged fourth album, “Some Lessons Learned,” along with a batch of Broadway favorites.
8 p.m. June 22. $37-$125. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.
Lower Dens’ “Nootropics” is an album that covers a lot of tonal ground, from sprightly to ominous. The machine-like chug that underpins several of the songs recalls early ’70s German progressive rock but the airy sparkle of synthesizer figures and slinky swirls of guitar provide tracks such as “Brains” and “Stem” with a lovely contrast. The Baltimore band’s Facebook page mentions pre-punk experimentalists Chrome among the “artists we like,” and that makes sense, but there’s a little more pop in the grooves on “Nootropics.”
9 p.m. June 22. $10. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.
With a low-key approach unhampered by genre divisions, vocalist and pianist Jones (left, photo by Danny Clinch) burst onto the public stage with her big-selling Blue Note debut in 2002. She’s drawn comparisons to a diverse range of artists from Joni Mitchell to Patsy Cline to Billie Holiday. Those artists all hail from a different era; Jones herself seems to belong to a time when music was more craft and less product.
8 p.m. June 23. $48.50-$60. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.
Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper
The theatrical and thunderous Maiden is one of the most influential metal bands to ever crank an amp to 11. The group was one of the prime movers of what became known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (and yes, you’ll often see that phrase as an unpronounceable acronym), with a string of gold and platinum albums during the ’80s and into the ’90s. Cooper, whose horror-themed stage shows tagged him as a shock rocker, helped bridge the gap between the gritty Detroit rock of the late ’60s and the glam rock of the early ’70s. And he’s still at it.
7:30 p.m. June 23. $25-$100. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-443-5090.
Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack
Greenville, S.C., native Bryson (right, photo by Raymond Hagans) has been an Atlanta resident for many years. Though he’s only released one album in this decade, 2007’s “Missing You,” his softly sensual R&B will always be a popular concert draw. Flack’s sweetly sensual hits are among the highlights of the ’70s, several of them recorded with the late, great Donny Hathaway. In 1983, she teamed with Bryson for the Top 20 hit “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love.”
7 p.m. June 23. $55-$75. Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City. 770-631-0630.
It might be baffling to many adults, but the little girls certainly understand the appeal of five cute, nonthreatening boys from the British Isles. The quintet’s single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” is currently taking up loads of radio airspace. It’s a big, blustery bag of hooks that’s difficult to dislodge from the brain once you hear it. And there are worse things our teens could do than fall in love with a boy band or two.
7:30 p.m. June 26. $29.50-$59.50. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.
Earth, Wind & Fire
This R&B and funk powerhouse took 16 tracks into the charts between 1974 and 1983, including irresistible gems such as “September” and “Let’s Groove.” It’s some of the most joyous music to climb the pop charts in the ’70s.
8 p.m. June 27. $36-$66. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-233-2227.
Shane Harrison / email@example.com