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Upcoming shows you should check out

TRIAL BY FIRE

Friday, Jan 2, Ziggy’s, Winston-Salem, 336.722.5000

Journey is arguably one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, even if you are tired of hearing college kids belting out the lyrics to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Since Journey isn’t coming to Greensboro, the next best thing is, and that’s Trial By Fire, a Journey tribute act that grabbed its name from one of Journey’s later albums of the same name. It’s a given that you’re going to hear, and probably sing along to “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but the real treat will be in the lesser-known-but-equally-as-awesome tracks like “Faithfully” (probably the closer, or at least the encore), “Wheel in the Sky” and “Separate Ways.” Ernie Shepherd absolutely nails the Steve Perry vocal scale, and the guitars and drums will pretty much sound as if you are standing in front of the legendary act. Tickets for the show cost $7 in advance and go up to $10 day of the show. Bad Romeo is scheduled to open the show.

MOTHER’S FINEST

Wednesday, Dec. 31, Cone Denim Entertainment Center, Greensboro, 336.378.9646

True funk and soul might be on life support, but it’s bands like Mother’s Finest who are keeping that blood pumping. An act that has been cranking out music for more than forty years, Mother’s Finest is set to ring in the New Year in Greensboro with what could be the funkiest get down of the year. You know how they say save the best for last? Well, this might be pushing it, but Mother’s Finest is surely going to be a rowdy get down to celebrate the ball dropping and 2014 coming to a close. Expect to hear “Baby Love” and “Don’t Wanna Come Back,” but if you don’t, still be happy that you’re getting the chance to see true funk doctors resuscitating one of the best genres in existence. Tickets for show start at $45, but there are varying levels of dinner packages available, as well as meet and greet packages to get in more personal with the band.

BEAR STEVENS

Saturday, Jan. 3, Bull’s Tavern, Winston-Salem, 336.331.3431

There must be something in the water in Winston-Salem, because emerging and emerged talents seem to be endless. Bear Stevens, known to his friends as Steven Hall, is one of those singer/songwriters that will immediately steal your attention. As a solo act, he’s been able to expand his career out of Winston-Salem all the way across the country to Los Angeles, a town that does not get the type of true, southern blues and emotion that we are so accustomed to here. But when he’s with his band, you’re in for a real treat. There’s a comfortable subtlety in his voice – the reassuring calmness of a great storyteller – but his ability to instrumentalize his vocal chords without taking away from the lyricism is what really sets this artist apart. It’s just Bear Stevens, the band, and your ears meeting in harmonic nirvana. Bull’s Tavern never charges anything at the door for the music (psst! that means free show) and music typically gets started around 9 p.m. or so. If it’s later than that, well, enjoy a beverage and thank us later. !

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