Live music picks


Celebrate Freedom Atlanta

With Switchfoot, Third Day, Laura Story, Francesca Battistelli, Jason Gray, Family Force 5 and more. It’s billed as the largest free one-day festival in Atlanta, and with this lineup of some of the most recognizable names in contemporary Christian music, no doubt the fans will flock.

8 a.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 31. Free, but tickets are required and can be picked up at Goodwill of North Georgia and Family Christian stores. Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road S.W., Marietta. 770-528-8875.

Sheryl Crow

With Uncle Kracker. The comely pop-folk-country songstress will help energize the crowd for the neighboring Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Radio station 680 the Fan is presenting the free pregame concert with Crow and old friend Uncle Kracker, the former Kid Rock protégé best remembered for his 2001 hit “Follow Me.” While Crow always incorporates her multitude of hits, she’ll also likely toss in some new country-leaning tunes from her upcoming album, “Feels Like Home.”

Gates open at noon (show will end at 4:30 p.m. to allow fans time to get to the Georgia Dome) Aug. 31. Free. Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. West N.W., Atlanta. 404-223-4412.

Toni Braxton

It wasn’t long ago that Braxton announced she was ditching music to focus on acting. But in June the Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee had a change of heart and surprised fans with the news that she and longtime collaborator Babyface will release a duets album in December. The first single, “Hurt You,” arrived earlier this month. It might be wise to catch Braxton while you can, in case the R&B-soul crooner reverts to her previous feelings about her music career.

8 p.m. Aug. 31. $40-$65. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000.


Big & Rich

After a hiatus of a couple of years, the country duo of Big Kenny and John Rich reunited in 2011 and last month announced they’ve started work on a fifth album. Rich, of course, had a successful detour on TV; in 2011 he won “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Big Kenny started a record label. But fans of “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” and “Lost in This Moment” will agree that the pair is at full speed when working together.

Concert takes place immediately after the Braves game (first pitch at 5:05 p.m.) Sept. 1. Free (field pit passes are $25). Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Dr. S.W., Atlanta. 404-522-7630.


The Allman Brothers Band

It’s a good thing Gregg Allman lives in Georgia since he’s spending a lot of time on stages here. In June, Allman shared a bill with Hank Williams Jr. at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, and now he’ll return to the venue with the Brothers in tow. Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge and Marc Quinones are all expected to be there (unless they’re forced to bow out to attend to one of their numerous side bands).

With Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. 6 p.m. Sept. 2. $29.50-$99.50. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 1-800-745-3000.



Think you don’t know Zedd? Then you haven’t been paying attention to Top 40 radio. The young Russian-German music producer is part of the exploding culture of DJ’s gaining huge popularity because of well-designed hookups with pop singers. He remixed Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and is a producer on her new album, “Artpop” (he also produced Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat”). But radio listeners will recognize his whirring sounds in the background of the ubiquitous “Clarity,” featuring British singer Foxes.

8 p.m. Sept. 3. $25.50. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000.



In April, the British rockers impressed the mega-sized crowd gathered at Centennial Olympic Park for a free concert in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four — and even kept their cool when the power inexplicably fizzled. Now that they’re playing inside, expect even more of a visual ride as they employ snazzy multimedia to accompany their guitar-heavy songs of grandeur, such as “Uprising” and the throbbing “Madness.”

7 p.m. Sept. 4. $49.50-$59.50. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 1-888-929-7849.


Butch Walker

He was born in a small town (Cartersville), but Walker has carved a very big career for himself as a musician, producer and songwriter. You can hear his handiwork on current hits from Taylor Swift, Pink and Fall Out Boy, but he also has his own gig churning out catchy guitar-driven pop-rock with his band, the Black Widows. The new documentary about Walker, “Out of Focus,” will screen at the Plaza Theatre at 7 p.m. prior to his concert.

8 p.m. Sept. 5. Sold out. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

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