From Taylor Swift to Foo Fighters, Atlanta's fall concert scene is packed

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI

Is it time for “The Force Awakens” yet? No? Oh, right, this is a fall music story. Sorry. Sometimes the inner “Star Wars” geek commandeers everything.

So yes, fall is (sort of) here and the concert calendar is overstuffed like a family at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

From the sublime Lisa Fischer to the world-dominating Taylor Swift, artists of every genre will visit Atlanta venues this season.

What you won’t see here are any of the numerous fall festivals — they warranted their own story because they’re seriously taking over the city — but here is a glimpse of who you can see live the next few months.

Make sure to check out Live Music Picks and Hot Tix every week in Go Guide and on the Music Scene blog for complete listings of updated concert information.

All tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000 unless otherwise noted.

Kristin Chenoweth will bring her distinctive voice to Cobb. Photo: Getty Images.

Kristin Chenoweth. Some performers would have a hard time shaking the role most associated with them. But while the Tony-winning Chenoweth and “Wicked” will always be synonymous, the diminutive singer has maintained a varied career in TV (“Pushing Daisies,” “Glee”), writing (“A Little Bit Wicked”) and on her beloved Broadway stage, where she recently starred in “On the Twentieth Century.” Her Atlanta show is a benefit for the ArtsBridge Foundation for arts education. 8 p.m. Sept. 18. $45-$125. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Lisa Fischer. Haven’t seen 2013’s Oscar-winning documentary “20 Feet From Stardom” yet? Go. Now. Seriously. Stop reading and find it because it will show you in painstaking detail, the fascinating, non-glamorous life of powerhouse vocalist Fischer and her “backup singer” brethren. Just remember that she still sings with the Rolling Stones and has toured with Luther Vandross and Tina Turner. With Grand Baton. 8 p.m. Sept. 19. $27.50 ($30 day of show). Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta.

Nick Jonas. At first, it was all about those abs. But then people started to listen to what the young JoBro was singing and realized that the kid has some chops. His 2014 eponymous album has spawned the R&B-tinged pop hits “Chains” and “Jealous,” as his album heads toward gold status. With Bebe Rexha. 8 p.m. Sept. 25. $29.50-$39.50. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta.

Janet Jackson. On her first tour in four years, Jackson is surrounded by dazzling lights and choreography and zips fans through her iconic catalog (although early reviews noted that hits including “Control,” “What Have You Done for Me Lately” and “Escapade” are delivered in partial, medley form, as she’s done in the past). Jackson is preparing her first album since 2008 — “Unbreakable,” out Oct. 2. If you miss her at Chastain, she returns March 3 at Philips Arena. 8 p.m. Sept. 26. $55-$135 (non-table setup; no coolers or carry-ins allowed). Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta.

Marc Anthony has teamed with pal Carlos Vives. Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images.

Marc Anthony & Carlos Vives. The Latin music superstars collaborated for the hit “Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar” (“When We Meet Again”), and on Sept. 11 embark on an 11-city tour. They’ve dubbed it UNIDO2, a play on words that means “United Part 2.” Last year, Anthony was ranked as the highest-grossing Latin touring act, according to Billboard Boxscore. 7 p.m. Sept. 27. $59-$139. Philips Arena.

Lucinda Williams. The alt-country-folk-blues singer-guitarist remains a critical darling. But her understated career has brought her legions of faithful fans (hence, her two-night stand at the Variety). Last year, she released the double album “Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone.” 8 p.m. Sept. 29-30. $32.50 ($35 day of show). Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta.

Nate Ruess. While Fun bandmate Jack Antonoff tackles millennial angst with the poppy sounds of his side project, Bleachers, Fun frontman Ruess went the sweeping grandiosity route for his solo project. His distinctive voice made first single “Nothing Without Love” instantly recognizable, and his solo debut, “Grand Romantic,” is peppered with big musical gestures. With Saint Motel. 8 p.m. Sept. 30. $29 (general admission). Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta.

Collective Soul. It’s been more than a 20-year journey for the Stockbridge natives, and longtime fans will revel in the C.S. specialty combination of crunch rock (“This”) and melodic balladry (“AYTA”) that anchors “See What You Started by Continuing,” the band’s first new album in six years. Oh, and singer Ed Roland would like it known that he did not schedule this date, which coincides with his beloved Georgia Bulldogs taking on Alabama in Athens. 8 p.m. Oct. 3. $32.50-$38. The Tabernacle.

Dave Grohl might be mobile by the time Foo Fighters play Atlanta. Photo: Getty Images.

Foo Fighters. The hard-rocking, hair-flailing Foo Fighters are on their biggest-ever North American tour to support “Sonic Highways.” The guys — Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear — had a bit of a scare when Grohl severely injured his leg this summer in a stage fall, but an inventive, typically Foo “throne” constructed for Grohl has allowed the show to go on while he heals. With Gary Clark Jr. 4 p.m. Oct. 4. $67.50 (general admission). Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. W. N.W., Atlanta.

Parachute. The trio from Charlottesville, Va., is going “Stripped” on this tour, an acoustic evening that will feature songs from their three albums. Their most recent, “Overnight,” arrived in 2013 and slickly produced songs such as “Higher”” and “Can’t Help” earned them spots on late-night and ESPN shows. With Emily Hackett. 7 and 9:40 p.m. Oct. 5. $18 ($20 day of show). Vinyl at Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. www.ticketalternative.com.

Of Monsters and Men. The Icelandic indie folk-rockers broke through in the U.S. in 2013 when they landed a “Saturday Night Live” slot to perform “Little Talks” and “Mountain Sound.” Their second album, “Beneath the Skin,” arrived in June and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Album chart, while “Crystals” has done some damage to Billboard’s rock charts. 8 p.m. Oct. 9. $22.50-$38.50 (non-table setup; no coolers or carry-ins allowed). Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

Jackson Browne, shown at the February MusiCares event honoring Bob Dylan, will play Chastain in October. Photo: Getty Images

Jackson Browne. When your career is esteemed enough to earn a tribute album with contributions from Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett and Bonnie Raitt, clearly you’ve done something right. The folk-rock troubadour released his 14th studio album, “Standing in the Breach,” last fall, so you’ll hear some new tracks. But Browne always includes classics such as “The Pretender,” “Doctor My Eyes” and “Running on Empty.” 8 p.m. Oct. 10. $36-$56. Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

Don Henley. The insightful Eagles frontman is back on the road to support “Cass County,” his fifth solo album and his first in 15 years, which will bow Sept. 25. It’s named for the northeastern Texas county where Henley was raised and was recorded primarily in Nashville, Tenn., and Dallas. Among Henley’s musical pals making appearances on the record are Mick Jagger, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton. With Shawn Colvin. 8 p.m. Oct. 17. $62.50-$152.50. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Chris Tomlin. Since moving from Texas to Atlanta seven years ago, the Christian singer’s career has hit a series of pinnacles. His award shelf is getting full with Grammys (he scored for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for “And If Our God Is for Us …” in 2012), Dove Awards and Billboard Music Awards. In January 2013, Tomlin made a bit of history with his “Burning Lights” album as only the fourth-ever Christian artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. His 10th studio album, “Love Ran Red,” arrived last fall. With Rend Collective. 7 p.m. Oct. 17. $10.47-$43. Infinite Energy Center (formerly the Arena at Gwinnett Center), 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 1-888-929-7849, www.infiniteenergycenter.com/.

Hanson. Brothers Taylor, Isaac and Zac have prepared something special for fans on their “Roots & Rock ‘N’ Roll” tour — a two-night event in 10 cities nationwide. The first night, according to Isaac Hanson, will spotlight cover songs that have inspired the trio, and the second show will be dedicated to rare tunes and fan favorites. The guys are also using their tour to promote their craft beer, Mmmhops Pale Ale; each tour stop will also include an after-party (entry requires an add-on to the ticket package) featuring a DJ set from Taylor Hanson and the presence of the Hanson brothers’ beer. 7 p.m. Oct. 19-20. $79 (for both shows). Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta.

Ricky Martin still has his sex appeal. Photo: Getty Images.

Ricky Martin. A hit machine since the early ‘90s (or mid-‘80s if you want to go back to the Menudo days), the Puerto Rican heartthrob continues to prove why he’s a must-see live act. Between his gyrating hips and playful song delivery and production that rivals any major Top 40 act, Martin is a dynamo. His 10th studio album, “A Quien Quiera Escuchar” (“To Those Who Want to Listen”), bowed earlier this year. With Wisin. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22. $26-$126. Philips Arena.

Taylor Swift. Let’s see … who might Swift bring onstage in Atlanta, since that guessing game has become a nightly ritual on her “1989” tour? A “Real Housewives” “star”? Usher or Big Boi? Matt Ryan? The possibilities are endless. But for those who found Swift’s “1989” album a genius slice of polished pop, attention will be — and should be — turned toward her live presentations of “Blank Space” and “Style.” With Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes. 7 p.m. Oct. 24. $59.50-$200. Georgia Dome, 1 Georgia Dome Drive N.W., Atlanta.

Tim McGraw will visit with Rascal Flatts and friends. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Tim McGraw. As he closes in on 50, McGraw can still rock a cowboy hat and tight pair of jeans. He’s also still a chart staple, having sold more than 40 million albums since 1993. He and his Rascal Flatts buddies will share the spotlight with Chris Janson and Chase Bryant for the Kicks 101.5 Country Fair, where McGraw is sure to unfurl fan favorites including “Truck Yeah,” “Indian Outlaw” and the ever-inspirational “Live Like You Were Dying.” With Rascal Flatts, Chris Janson and Chase Bryant. 5 p.m. Nov. 7. $29-$125. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta.

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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.  
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