Paul McCartney, Animazement and Summerfest kick off Memorial Day weekend

Paul McCartney brings his Freshen Up tour to Raleigh’s PNC Arena, the second stop on his new tour.
Paul McCartney brings his Freshen Up tour to Raleigh’s PNC Arena, the second stop on his new tour. Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision

There’s a lot going on this week. Here’s your cheat sheet of can’t-miss events around town.

Paul McCartney

“Freshen Up” with music legend Paul McCartney, the first tour by the former Beatle since the release of his album “Egypt Station.” Raleigh’s PNC Arena is the second stop on his tour, which could be his last. Look for faves such as “Hey Jude,” “Let it Be,” “Maybe I’m Amazed” and many more. PNC Arena, Raleigh. May 27, 8 p.m. From $133. pncarena.com


If you start seeing tons of people walking around the streets of downtown Raleigh looking straight out of a comic book, that’s Animazement. The annual celebration of Japanese animation and culture is May 24-26 at the Raleigh Convention Center with panels, concerts, , karaoke, a game room, the artists alley juried marketplace and plenty of costumes. (Costumes are optional but definitely make people-watching much more interesting. Just make sure to follow the props and weapons policy.) May 24, 6 to 12 midnight; May 25-26, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.; May 26; and May 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St. Ticket prices vary with weekend passes decreasing in price each day. animazement.com

Animazement, the anime and Japanese culture convention, will be at the Raleigh Convention Center May 24-27, 2018. newsobserver.com


The North Carolina Symphony’s annual Summerfest concert series at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary kicks off May 25 with Symphonie Fantastique and “Play with the Pros,” where non-pros will play alongside the Symphony’s experts. This season, look for the symphony to play classical fare, Broadway hits, the music of Chicago (the band), as well as popular music with Ben Folds. (The symphony also will play with “Weird Al” Yankovic but it’s not considered part of the Summerfest season.) Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the concert at 7:30 p.m. boothamphitheatre.com/

The North Carolina Symphony’s Summerfest kicks off its annual summer series at Koka Booth Amphitheatre May 26, 2018, with the opening concert, which includes Mussorgsky’s popular “Pictures at an Exhibition.” NC SYMPHONY

Carolina Fear Fest Horror Convention

Be afraid. A horror convention is coming to town, featuring celebrity guests, panels, vendors and, of course, a frightening film fest. Upgrade to VIP for early access, front-row seats and super-spooky swag. Jim Graham Building, NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. May 25-26, 10 a.m. Saturday pass adults 13 and older $30, 6-12 $25; Sunday pass adults 13 and older $25, 6-12 $20; weekend pass adults 13+ $40, 6-12 $35; VIP upgrade $60. carolinafearfest.com

Memorial Day Weekend Funk Party

If you’re not making the mass exodus to the beach for Memorial Day weekend, get funky at The Pour House Music Hall’s Funk Party featuring funk sensation The Up and Up. 224 S. Blount St., Raleigh. May 26, 8 p.m.-midnight. Tickets $7-$10. thepourhousemusichall.com/

Bird Fair

Birds of a feather do flock together, so grab the fam and hatch up some free fun with this annual bird fair, featuring birds from around the world, vendors, food and bev, plus an awesome raffle (proceeds donated to avian conservation, education and veterinary medical research). Kerr-Scott Building, NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. May 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. rdcbs.org/maybirdfair/

Spirits of NC Tasting Festival

Show your state pride with an afternoon of sipping North Carolina spirits at the Raleigh Beer Garden, with 40-plus statewide distillers on offer (think Lonerider, Social House Vodka, TOPO Organic Distillery and much more) showcasing their finest in tastings and cocktails, plus great food, raffle prizes and live music. All proceeds benefit the Distillers Association of North Carolina. 614 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. May 25, noon-4 p.m. GA $35, VIP $60. eventbrite.com/e/spirits-of-nc-tasting-festival-tickets-61263962160

The Music of Pink Floyd

Find yourself comfortably numb as the North Carolina Symphony, along with guest conductor Brent Havens and a full rock band take on Pink Floyd’s classics against perfectly choreographed laser lights. Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. May 30, 7:30 p.m. From $55. ncsymphony.org/events/203/the-music-of-pink-floyd/

Beer and Banjos

Salt and pepper. Chandler and Joey. Wine and cheese. … Beer and banjos — battling to make your list of top duos as the pairing plays out via traditional and acoustic music from North Carolina and the Appalachian Mountains in this weekly music series at The Raleigh Times Bar. 14 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. Weekly on Tuesdays through Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. Free. facebook.com/beerandbanjos/

Outlaws & Renegades: Travis Tritt & Charlie Daniels Band

Country-rock veterans Travis Tritt and Charlie Daniels Band take the stage at Koka Booth for their co-headlining tour — a great day to be alive, indeed. Koka Booth Ampitheatre, Cary. May 30, 6 p.m. From $39.50. boothamphitheatre.com

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