On the Scene: Columbia’s concert calendar

02/01/2013 12:00 AM

03/18/2013 12:38 PM

I CAN GO FOR THAT: A week ago, the phone was ringing off the hook at Township Auditorium.

Last month when the venue announced rock ’n’ soul duo Hall & Oates was performing on March 12, who knew it would be a popular show? I have at times been blinded by preference, but when the ticket-buying effort became a complicated maze of texts and Twitter DMs, I felt others were feeling as nostalgic for ’80s pop as I was.

Last Friday morning, when the tickets went on sale, I was up at 7:30 a.m. making plans. And for good reason, because the Township, a 3,000-seat venue, sold more than a third of its seats that day. By Monday, about 1,500 tickets had been purchased.

My two reserved seats are on the floor – thank you Kristian Niemi and Anne Postic – but I had to frantically message a fellow Hall & Oates fan that, because of the Township’s eight-ticket limit per purchase, she and her husband would have to buy their own tickets. She was able to find something on the balcony near the stage.

At 10 today, tickets for Taylor Swift’s March 23 concert at the Colonial Life Arena go on sale. At noon today, St. Pat’s in Five Points will announce its lineup, and one of the headliners seemingly points the festival in a new booking direction. (To learn about some of the more tangible festival changes, see a story I wrote for today’s news section.)

By adding to the concert equation the show at New Brookland Tavern the night before St. Pat’s by Pinback, an indie rock band, it appears that March is going to be a busy music month for local music fans.

So is April, with Widespread Panic (two nights at the Township) and Carrie Underwood (Colonial Life Arena) headlining the month.

So is May, because Kenny Chesney (with Zac Brown Band, Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves opening) is at Williams-Brice Stadium, which means the Rosewood Crawfish Festival moves to the second weekend of the month.

June has potential, too. And in July, there’s a plan to revive the 3 Rivers Music Festival.

The screams of tens of thousands of people are, without a doubt, going to resonate in the Vista when Justin Bieber comes to Soda City on Aug. 5.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and overlook the fact that one of R&B’s most distinguished voices will be in town when Gladys Knight performs at the Auntie Karen Foundation’s Legends Of ... concert on Feb. 22. And don’t forget The Wallflowers, Atlantic Starr and Biz Markie were the marquee names on Famously Hot New Years’ lineup, and Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley and Sumter native Lee Brice played Colonial Life Arena last month.

See what’s happening here? If viewed through a macro lens, this city is drawing an impressive amount of music entertainment. USC is sponsoring a student-only appearance by comedian Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”) Feb. 5. Broadening the entertainment scope, “Les Miserables’” six-night, eight-performance run at the Koger Center in March; Bill Maher and David Sedaris at the venue in April; and the Mardi Gras parade and festival next weekend, it’s apparent the local calendar is dotted with plentiful options.

And the above conclusion is presented without mentioning the fine local programming offered weekly. There can never be enough to satisfy all tastes, but certainly more than enough to satiate most.

After almost a decade in my current position, I can admit that I’ve sometimes been blinded by optimism. But this feels different, feels good. It feels like Columbia has something to brag about.

And I can go for that.

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