Country, Merge Records turns 30 and more highlight this week’s live music picks

Watch Florida Georgia Line in concert at the Mid-State Fair

The Florida Georgia Line took the stage at the Chumash Grandstand Arena at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles in 2018.
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The Florida Georgia Line took the stage at the Chumash Grandstand Arena at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles in 2018.

It’s a truly varied week on the horizon, with concerts ranging from country to reggae to surf rock to R&B to hip-hop, to indie rock to punk.

It’s all about balance. The common denominator among the following acts is energy. If you hit one or more of these concerts, you’ll be on your feet.

1. Florida Georgia Line

The Details: July 26, 7 p.m. Coastal Credit Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, 3801 Rock Quarry Road. Check online for tickets. 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com

It’s difficult to invent anything new in the music industry. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, Florida Georgia Line arguably birthed “bro country.” The sub-genre is all about good time country-pop tunes rendered by buff dudes, who look like FGL’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. Who would have thought that the tandem would become a seminal force?

“They definitely influenced me,” songwriter Michael Hardy told The Washington Post. He is a co-writer of the the group’s hit “Simple” and recalls listening to the duo’s early songs in college.

“It was so, so different so original and something very fresh,” Hardy told The Post. “I think everybody else was like, ‘This what we needed to do, this is the new sound.’”

The sound is working for FLG, which has had several songs top the country chart, such as “Cruise,” “Get Your Shine On” and “Round Here.”

2. Nelly, TLC, Flo Rida

The Details: July 27, 7 p.m., Coastal Credit Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. Tickets start at $25. 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com

It’s hard to believe it’s been a quarter-century since TLC’s “CrazySexyCool” was released. The album not only turned the then-trio into superstars, the catchy cuts were lauded for their positive messages. TLC, which is comprised of T-Boz and Chilli, will deliver the hits. The animated Nelly and Flo Rida will help make this event into a high energy show from start to finish.

Nelly, Ludacris, Flo Rida and the Ying Yang Twins performed during the United Music Fest at Spirit Communications Park, the first concert held at the home of the Columbia Fireflies.

3. Iration

The Details: July 6, 8 p.m. Red Hat Amphitheater, 500 S. McDowell St., Raleigh. Abby Anderson will open. Tickets start at $20. 919-996- 8800 or redhatamphitheater.com

The emerging reggae band is touring behind its latest album, an eponymous release. “It is extremely eclectic,” Iration vocalist Micah Pueschel recently told Billboard. “Our sound is eclectic and it has changed over the years from album to album. We’re at a place where we are hitting a sweet spot with our songwriting and refining the sound we’ve been working on for ten years now.”

Iration is an engaging and unpredictable live act. Pepper, who used to tab Iration as its support act, is opening.

Titus Andronicus, who has released its sixth album, “An Obelisk,” is part of the Merge Records MRG30 concert. Ray Concepcion

4. Titus Andronicus

The Details: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro. Steady Holiday will open. The show, part of the Merge Records MRG30 celebration, is sold out. 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com

The noisy punk band from New Jersey has quietly been one of the most consistent indie-rock bands on the circuit over the last decade. The iconic Bob Mould of Husker Du fame produced the band’s latest album, “An Obelisk,” which is its most powerful and direct project to date. The clever lyrics and the inventive guitar work catapult Titus Andronicus to another echelon.

5. We Were Promised Jetpacks

The Details: July 29. 8 p.m. Motorco, 723 Rigsbee Ave., Durham. Tickets start at $16. 919-901-0875 or motorcomusic.com

A decade ago “These Four Walls” was released to some fanfare in Scotland. But the most powerful We Were Promised Jetpacks album was available by import only in America. The powerful pop-rock debut album has been re-released, and We Were Promised Jetpacks is touring behind their initial project. The urgent, catchy pop-rock is well worth re-visiting — or checking out for the first time.

6. Donovan Frankenreiter

The Details: Aug. 1, 8 p.m., Cat’s Cradle. Steady Holiday will open. Tickets start at $20. 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com

Surfs up, Jack Johnson’s mellow protege returns to Cat’s Cradle. Expect a batch of sunny, soothing and carefree acoustic material, dude.

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