Concerts crowd local calendar

by: Jeff Cavanaugh
January 22, 2013

Most people probably wouldn’t consider the greater Harrisburg area as a live music mecca — but sometimes we don’t realize how good we have it.

From big summer shows at Hersheypark Stadium and arena tours at  the Giant Center, to the multiple shows per week at great smaller venues like the Abbey Bar and Fed Live in Harrisburg, or the Chameleon Club and the American Music Theatre in Lancaster — music fans throughout the region can catch live bands nearly any night of the week.

That holds true through the end of January as a number of great concerts are coming through the area over the next week and a half.

Here’s a quick look at six of the tours stopping in the area through the end of the month:

Robert Earl Keen at the Abbey Bar
Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. {TONIGHT}

Robert Earl Keen

The Abbey Bar is always a great place to see a concert (and have a beer), and legendary singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen always puts on a good show. That math adds up to a great Tuesday night. Tickets are still available online.

Read my interview with Robert Earl Keen.

Johnny Winter at the Whitaker Center
Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

One of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Johnny Winter was one of the pioneers of Texas blues-rock in the late 60s and 70s. Winter’s latest album, 2011’s Grammy-nominated Roots, is a Master’s course in blues guitar and features an impressive list of guest musicians that includes Vince Gill, John Popper, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and Johnny’s brother, Edgar Winter. Winter recently performed a blistering version of “Dust My Broom” on Letterman.

Tickets are still available online.

Heart at the American Music Theatre
Sunday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.


Perhaps the greatest female-fronted rock group of all time and class of 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Heart is an absolute must-see in concert. The Wilson sisters — Ann and Nancy — have sold more than 30 million records worldwide and have dozens of classic hits that sound even better live because there are very few voices in rock history better than Ann Wilson (just watch this). I saw Heart a few years back in Scranton and have been looking to see them again ever since.

Only a few tickets remain for Sunday’s show, so don’t miss out. The American Music Theatre is expecting a full house, so plan to arrive early.

Andrew McMahon at the Chameleon Club
Monday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.


The Chameleon Club is one of only three solo dates on former Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin frontman/pianist Andrew McMahon’s tour schedule (he’s currently out on the road with Fun.). I saw Something Corporate at the Recher Theater in Towson years ago and instantly became a fan of their piano punk rock. I’ve followed McMahon’s music since those days through Jack’s Mannequin and it’s all been good — but none were better than the 2002 release Leaving Through the Window.

Tickets are still available online and start at only $18.50.

Florida Georgia Line at Buck Wild’s Rode House
Thursday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.

Everyone knows that all it takes is one song to burst onto the scene, and country newcomers Florida Georgia Line’s hit single “Cruise” was among the biggest country songs of 2012. The duos debut studio album was released in December and  is currently #2 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.

Buck Wild’s has had many big-time country stars take the stage in Mechanicsburg — Kix Brooks, Montgomery Gentry, etc. — but none sold out as fast as Florida Georgia Line. If you are looking for tickets, your best bet is to try Craigslist.

Eddie Money at the American Music Theatre
Thursday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.


Artists usually go on tour to promote an album, but with no album since 2007’s Wanna Go Back, maybe Eddie Money is hoping to capitalize off of his recent Geico commercial? Eddie Money has a good number of MTV/80s hits that we all know — so it could be an entertaining show.

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas will serve as the opening act. If you think they sound familiar, their biggest hit — the awesomely bad “We Built This City” —  was named the worst song of the 80s by Rolling Stone magazine in 2011.

Looking for “Two Tickets to Paradise” (or to Thursday’s show)? They are still available online.

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