BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
As 2016 crawls to a close — and takes with it a nerve-frazzling election and far, far too many musician deaths — it feels as if we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, doesn’t it?
A slew of live music offerings are coming to salve our weary souls. Here are a dozen of them to consider.
Mannheim Steamroller. When Mannheim Steamroller’s “Christmas” album arrived 32 years ago, it was a pioneering effort that melded New Age and rock music. Mannheim mastermind Chip Davis is directing and co-producing this tour, which will feature the expected seasonal hits along with captivating multimedia effects. 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 26. $36.50-$96.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, www.foxtheatre.org.
Kristian Bush. This set of dates marks the 15th year that the country star and all-around good guy is performing his annual post-Thanksgiving concerts at Eddie’s Attic. This year, Bush has commissioned Lindsay Ell and Michelle Malone to join him for his 6 and 9:30 p.m. shows on Nov. 27. His 7 p.m. performance on Nov. 28 will include Andrew Hyra — Bush’s partner in the cult fave folk-rock duo Billy Pilgrim — and the 9:30 p.m. performance will spotlight Bush solo. 6 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 27; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 28. $25-$32. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 1-877-725-8849, www.eddiesattic.com.
Dave Koz. The smooth jazz sax man has earned the nickname “Santa Koz” because of the popularity of his annual holiday run. Joining him for the 19th edition are Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and Ashford & Simpson’s Valerie Simpson. Koz has released five holiday albums, including 2014’s “The 25th of December.” 8 p.m. Dec. 2. $36-$76. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
Brian Setzer. The official title of the show has grown a bit — SiriusXM Presents the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s 13th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour — but Mr. Stray Cats is still a dependable rockabilly riff monster. And good news for ‘80s music fans — Setzer indicated in a recent interview to promote his Christmas tour that he and the Stray Cats will reunite soon. 8 p.m. Dec. 3. $35-$75. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Jingle Jam. Star 94.1 will present its 15th annual musical holiday feast in Gwinnett with a parade of radio-friendly acts including Train, X Ambassadors, James Bay and Charlie Puth. This year’s event marks a return to a larger venue for the concert. Infinite Energy Center (formerly the Arena at Gwinnett Center) served as the usual Jingle Jam home until a shift to “intimate” environments at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in 2014 (with Echosmith, the Script and Lindsey Stirling) and last year at the Fox Theatre (Needtobreathe, Pentatonix and Andy Grammer topped the lineup). 7 p.m. Dec. 4. $31-$101. Infinite Energy Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-626-2464, www.infiniteenergycenter.com.
V-103 Winterfest. Last year, V-103 started the Winterfest tradition for its 40th anniversary with a sold-out show that included Keith Sweat, Silk and 112. This year, an all-star hip-hop R&B lineup featuring Lil Wayne, Jeezy, 2 Chainz, The-Dream, Young Thug and DJ Luke Nasty will keep the beats pumping. The station suggests there will be some surprise guests as well. 8 p.m. Dec. 10. $33-$103. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
Keith and Kristyn Getty. The husband-wife team renowned for writing modern hymns and carols (“In Christ Alone”) return for their fifth annual Irish Christmas tour. The Gettys will be joined by a band of instrumentalists, who fuse Celtic, bluegrass, Americana and classical music as well as cultural dance and choral sounds of Christmas. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12. $28.50-$88.50. Fox Theatre.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra. About half of this year’s show will spotlight “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” a 1999 TV movie that featured TSO music and was initially revived for last year’s mega tour. In a recent interview, TSO founder Paul O’Neill said that fan mail prompted him to reconsider revisiting the material. “We exist for the fans,” he said. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. $47.50-$77. Infinite Energy Center.
Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Grant has a new holiday album from which to cull tunes (“Tennessee Christmas”), and she and longtime musical pal Smith have a new recruit joining them — Jordan Smith, the 2015 winner of “The Voice.” “I think it’s a welcome dynamic, musically,” Grant said in a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The trio will be backed by the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. $39.50-$150. Infinite Energy Center.
Jingle Ball. Power 96.1 has culled an impressive array for its annual holiday concert. Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, the Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, DNCE, Alessia Cara, Daya and Lukas Graham will perform at the Top 40-focused soiree. Several of the acts have recently played Atlanta — DNCE and Daya hit Music Midtown, Trainor and Fifth Harmony filled Chastain — but Grande is a notable anchor. She, by the way, will return to Atlanta in April for a headlining show at Philips Arena. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. $50-$130. Philips Arena.
Ed Roland & Friends. For a decade, the Collective Soul frontman has wrangled some of his musician pals for a series of charity concerts. This year’s will benefit the TJ Martell Foundation (Dec. 19), Pets for Vets (Dec. 20) and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (Dec. 21). 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19-21. $25-$32. Eddie’s Attic.
R. Kelly. The King of R&B is celebrating the holidays in a big way this year — with his first-ever Christmas album and a short tour that launches in Detroit Dec. 2 and wraps in his part-time home of Atlanta. Kelly’s “12 Nights of Christmas,” a collection of a dozen soul-pop originals, is available now for purchase and streaming at Google Play, Amazon, Spotify and iTunes/Apple Music. 8 p.m. Dec. 27. $41.50-$195.50. Fox Theatre.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.