Billy Joel, Ariana Grande, Hozier dot winter concert landscape

Classic rock veterans, princessy pop stars and the biggest Christian tour in existence are among the musical offerings that will brave the winter chill and hit the South this season.

Here is a look at 16 shows due in town by early spring.

Unless otherwise noted, tickets can be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Martina McBride

The big-voiced country beauty dropped her 12th studio album, “Everlasting,” last spring and took an interesting detour. The dozen tracks are soul and R&B covers of tunes from Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and Van Morrison. But while she plays some of her interpretations live, fans can be assured that McBride favorites such as “Independence Day” and “This One’s for the Girls” will make appearances as well.

7:30 p.m. Jan. 16. $36.50-$46.50. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.

Billy Idol

With a feisty new album (“Kings & Queens of the Underground”), a juicy new autobiography (“Dancing With Myself”) and a sneer that hasn’t diminished with age, it’s hard to argue that Billy Idol is anything but, simply, cool.

With Broncho. 8 p.m. Jan. 22. Sold out. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta.

Merle Haggard

At 77, the grizzled country outlaw can boast a resume with 38 No. 1 hits, a couple of dozen awards (including the Crystal Milestone Award from the Academy of Country Music last year) and a loyal following that will never tire of hearing “Okie From Muskogee” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star.” Good thing, since he’s still playing them.

8 p.m. Jan. 23. $45.50-$85.50. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta.

Bob Seger

When the Detroit rocker announced a tour last fall to support his new album, “Ride Out,” fans were ecstatic for two reasons: Seger isn’t a road monster, so seeing him live is like capturing a glimpse of an elusive animal in a forest. And the release of “Ride Out” came eight years after his last studio effort, so getting to hear some new tunes tucked between “Turn the Page” and “Old Time Rock and Roll” sounds appealing. Seger turns 70 in May and has hinted that he’s winding down his career.

With J. Geils Band. 8 p.m. Jan. 31. $68-$98. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 1-888-929-7849,

Chris Brown and Trey Songz

The Virginia natives are launching their Between the Sheets tour in their home state Jan. 28 and will stay on the road through March. Brown's handful of dates last month sans Songz received middling reviews (from those who aren't fans of singing over guide vocals or short sets), but this is a different outing, so perhaps Brown, who is up for three Grammys next month, has modified his live presentation.

With Tyga. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3. $59.75-$125.75. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta.

Winter Jam

The mega-tour of Christian artists Skillet, Jeremy Camp, Canton's Francesca Battistelli, Building 429, Atlanta's Family Force 5, Newsong, For King & Country, Blanca, About a Mile, Veridia and speakers Tony Nolan and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey has again singled out Atlanta as the only stadium date on the itinerary, which indicates the area's interest in the genre. Free Jam Zone events also will take place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center.

6 p.m. Feb. 7. $10 (at the door only). Georgia Dome, 1 Georgia Dome Drive N.W., Atlanta.

Harry Connick Jr.

When he isn't imparting the most musical wisdom ever heard from a judge on "American Idol," Connick returns to his roots as an ace musician. Last seen performing in Atlanta in July 2013 at Chastain, Connick will head indoors this time (where the crowd might pay more attention to him). His monthlong winter tour, which launches Feb. 4, will keep him on the road for a month.

7:30 p.m. Feb. 16. $52-$112. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Maroon 5

The other musical talent show on TV, “The Voice,” has catapulted Adam Levine from the reasonably well-known frontman of a band that was struggling to maintain its relevance between its second and third albums last decade to an international superstar. Maroon 5’s current album, “V,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has spawned the ubiquitous hits “Animals” and “Maps.”

7:30 p.m. With Magic and Rozzi Crane. Feb. 19. $29.50-$125. Philips Arena.

Jackie Evancho

The child prodigy discovered on “America’s Got Talent” released her fifth album, “Awakening,” last fall at the ripe old age of 14. Her crystalline voice and ability to swing between classical and pop have boosted her popularity among the PBS crowd. Here, she’ll perform with musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

7:30 p.m. Feb. 20. $69.50-$125.50. Symphony Hall.

Willie Nelson

It's probably a safe bet that Nelson will keep performing until it's impossible to strum a chord or eke out a lyric. He turns 82 in April, but Nelson is still churning out records and hitting the dusty road. December marked the release of "December Day" with his sister Bobbie, the first release from a set of archival recordings curated by Nelson called "Willie's Stash." Yes, go ahead and chuckle.

8 p.m. Feb. 27. $47.50-$57.50. The Tabernacle.

Billy Joel

When the veteran piano-pop maestro takes the stage Feb. 28, it will end a seven-year drought since he last played solo in Atlanta. As someone who has traveled the country to attend Joel's concerts — I've seen him with and without Elton John at least 50 times since the late '80s — I will admit that there is nothing like seeing him perform at New York City's Madison Square Garden. But even outside of his home state, Joel delivers a show stocked with nostalgia (he pulled out a ton of much-missed album tracks during his past year of concerts) and hearty sing-alongs. And he's sounding better than ever.

8 p.m. Feb. 28. $29-$128.50. Philips Arena.


It's already quite a year for the "Take Me to Church" singer. The soulful Irish rocker will play a makeup show at the Variety (he fell ill prior to the original October date), then three nights later will head downtown to the Tabernacle for another sold-out gig. If you didn't score tickets to either performance, have faith — Hozier will return for a May 8 show at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

8 p.m. March 10. Sold out. Variety Playhouse. 8 p.m. March 13. Sold out. The Tabernacle.

John Mellencamp

The feisty singer-songwriter played the Fox Theatre in early 2011, then returned to Atlanta in 2012 to open his stage musical with Stephen King, "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," at the Alliance Theatre. Since then, Mellencamp has released the visceral "Plain Spoken," his 22nd studio album, recorded at his studio in Indiana. Mellencamp will stay on the road most of the year promoting it with live performances.

7:30 p.m. March 13. $39.50-$125.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499,


How many groups can say they owe their career to Nick Lachey? Well, OK, to the Lachey-hosted show, “The Sing-Off,” which this impressive vocal quintet won in 2011. Now, they’re nominated for a Grammy Award, just earned a platinum Christmas album (“That’s Christmas to Me”) and last year released “PTX, Vols. 1 & 2,” a collection of original songs and their creative covers of pop hits such as “We Are Young” and “Radioactive.”

8 p.m. March 21. $35.50-$49.50. The Tabernacle.

Ariana Grande

The Honeymoon Tour is only the second road jaunt for the "Break Free" pop phenom. But it's been a big jump from starring in Nickelodeon's "Sam & Cat" to racking up awards and sharing stage time with Nicki Minaj and Little Big Town, so why not add arena headliner to the list? After traversing North America through April, Grande will head to Europe, tagging this as her first world tour.

With Rixton. 7:30 p.m. March 24. $29.50-$69.50. Philips Arena.

Fleetwood Mac

Some (ahem) thought the band's December performance at Philips Arena was the top concert of 2014. If you missed it, you'll get another chance to see just how strongly the return of Christine McVie elevates the game of bandmates Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. If you're returning for an encore viewing, well, you already know the potential for magic being conjured onstage.

8 p.m. March 25. $49.50-$179.50. Philips Arena.