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MOONDANCE: THE ULTIMATE

VAN MORRISON

TRIBUTE CONCERT

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14

Where: The Levoy Theatre in Millville

What to expect: Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and two-time Grammy award-winning artist Van Morrison has been a monumental figure in the music world for more than six decades, having first made a name for himself as a teenager growing up in his native northern Ireland. In more recent years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee has become about as well known for his paucity of live performances as for his soulful sound and numerous R&B hits. A six-man ensemble called Moondance: The Ultimate Van Morrison Tribute Concert devotes itself to replicating a live Van Morrison performance as closely as possible. The biggest difference audience members fortunate enough to have seen Van Morrison live might notice is that the tribute band occasionally sprinkles in bits of history behind songs before performing them, unlike the notoriously reticent Morrison. “Van the Man” fans will hear such classics as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Domino,” “Tupelo Honey,” “Into The Mystic,” “It Stoned Me,” “Real Real Gone,” “Wild Night,” “Caravan” and others. A quote by the Los Angeles Times on the tribute band’s website calls the act, “An incredible recreation of the Irish legend.” The Levoy Theatre is located at 126-130 N. High St., Millville.

How much: Tickets, priced at $21 and $27, are available at Etix.com.

More info: VanTribute.com, Levoy.net

SO GOOD! THE NEIL

DIAMOND EXPERIENCE

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14

Where: The Landis Theater

What to expect: So Good! The Neil Diamond Experience is a tribute to one of the greatest and most successful recording artists in history. The Long Island, N.Y.-born Robert Neary strikes an incredible likeness in both look and sound to Diamond, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Backed up by an eight-piece band, Neary gives the audience a brief history and story behind each song before he performs them, with the information based on interviews he watched and autobiographical books he read about Diamond. Considered one of the greatest popular musical artists in history, Diamond songs that fans can expect to hear include “Sweet Caroline,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Longfellow Serenade,” “I’ve Been This Way Before,” “If You Know What I Mean,” “Desirée,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “America,” “Yesterday’s Songs” and others. The Landis Theater is located at 830 E. Landis Ave., Vineland.

How much: Tickets, priced at $25, are available at Etix.com.

More info: SoGoodTheNeil DiamondExperience.com, TheLandisTheater.com

THE PINK FLOYD

LASER SPECTACULAR

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14

Where: Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City

What to expect: On the website of the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular show, longtime fans of the British progressive-rock Pink Floyd are advised to “score ‘cool’ points with your teenagers and bring them along.” The smash-hit, multimedia, laser-and-light show features original master recordings of Pink Floyd’s songs, driven by cutting-edge special effects. Founded in San Antonio, Texas, in 1986, and billing itself as the longest touring theater show in the country, the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular stays fresh by having its multitude of special effects and sensory bombardment subtly tweaked each year. Producer Steve Monistere has turned the Laser Spectacular into a cult classic, presenting the music of Pink Floyd in a way that, according to the website, “carries listeners away on a mind-expanding journey driven by cutting-edge effects,” but without a live band on stage. This year’s Laser Spectacular show celebrates the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s 1972 studio album “The Dark Side of the Moon,” which is among the most critically acclaimed records in history. The album helped propel Pink Floyd to international fame, and included the hit songs “Money,” “Us and Them,” “Brain Damage (Dark Side of the Moon),” “Time,” “On the Run,” “Speak to Me,” “Breathe” (In the Air)” and others. The show takes place at Harrah’s Concert Venue.

How much: Tickets, priced at 19.50, $29.50 and $39.50, are available at Ticketmaster.com.

More info: LaserSpectacular.com, Caesars.com/Harrahs-AC

BEST FRIEND’S GIRL:

THE CARS TRIBUTE

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan 14

Where: Golden Nugget Atlantic City

What to expect: Best Friend’s Girl is a five-man tribute band that recreates the timeless hits of The Cars, a Boston, Mass., quintet that became renowned, since its 1976 founding for blending together a synthesizer-driven, New Wave sound with a more classic rock sound. The band had an on-and-off, 35-year history that saw 22 of its songs reach the Billboard Top 100. The Cars’ run officially ended with the 2019 death of singer-guitarist and principal songwriter Ric Ocasek, a year after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The tribute band takes its name from one of The Cars’ most notable hits. Fans of the originals can also expect to hear such Cars classics as “Shake It Up,” “Magic,” “Let’s Go,” “Moving in Stereo,” “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “You Might Think,” “Drive,” “Since You’re Gone,” “Tonight She Comes,” “Bye Bye Love,” “Candy-O,” “Just What I Needed,” “Good Times Roll,” “It’s All I Can Do” and others. The free show is part of the Flashback Fridays series at Golden Nugget. The show takes place at The Wave and is hosted by Michael James and the 100.7 WZXL Rock ‘n’ Roll Patrol.

How much: Tickets are free and the show is open to the public.

More info: BestFriendsGirl.com, GoldenNugget.com/Atlantic-City

ALMOST QUEEN

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14

Where: Bally’s Atlantic City

What to expect: While the band Queen still exists in some incarnation with surviving original members, the tribute band Almost Queen focuses on replicating the original band as it existed from its 1970 outset in London, England, until 1991, when superstar frontman Freddie Mercury died. Since forming in 2004 – three years after Queen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Almost Queen features the talents of northern New Jersey-born singer Joseph Russo, who delivers the spot-on looks, flamboyant stage persona and praiseworthy vocal similarities of Mercury. Almost Queen’s typical setlist covers the fan favorites and seemingly endless list of hits that the originals produced during their 21-year run, also occasionally digging deeper into Queen’s lesser-known tracks if the crowd seems to lean more toward Queen’s hard-core fanbase. Hailed for the four-part harmonies, intricate musical interludes and occasionally outrageous outfits the originals often wore, Almost Queen has been hailed as “recapturing the live energy and precision that is the ultimate Queen experience.” According to its website, the tribute band saw its already impressive popularity stoked by the success of the 2018 biographical musical film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is also the title of one of Queen’s most successful singles. Queen fans can also expect to hear such hits as “Crazy Little Thing,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “We Will Rock You,” “Tie Your Mother Down,” “Killer Queen,” “Spread Your Wings,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Bicycle Race,” “I Want It All,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Somebody to Love” and the mega-hit Queen had in collaboration with David Bowie in 1981, “Under Pressure.” The show takes place at Bally’s Grand Ballroom.

How much: Tickets, priced at $49.41, $62.67, $75.73, $89.19 and $102.46, are available at Ticketmaster.com.

More info: AlmostQueen.com, BallysAC.com

KURT VILE & THE VIOLATORS

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15

Where: Anchor Rock Club

What to expect: Kurt Vile is an indie-rock singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer who first gained fame among indie-rock fans as the former lead guitarist of the six-man, Philadelphia, Pa.-based band The War on Drugs. Vile’s current backing band, The Violators, includes multi-instrumentalist Jesse Trbovich, guitarist/bassist Rob Laakso and drummer Kyle Spence. Vile’s eighth studio album, “Bottle It In,” was released in 2018. Vile wrote 12 of the 13 tracks on the record. He lists among his greatest influences Neil Young, Tom Petty, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan and the late, renowned folk-rock artist John Prine, with whom Vile recorded the song “How Lucky” that reached No. 17 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay chart in 2017. The year before, Vile’s song “Pretty Pimpin’” reached No. 1 on the Billboard AAA chart, and he had one other song crack the AAA chart’s top 20, “Loading Zones,” that is a reference to Vile’s bragging about his skill at parking in restricted areas without receiving a parking ticket. Two other light-hearted songs penned by Vile, “Hysteria” and “Cold Was the Wind,” are references to his fear of flying. One of his 2017 song releases, “Lotta Sea Lice,” is a collaboration with Australian singer and guitarist Courtney Barnett that received substantial praise from critics. Vile has also released 18 EPs since 2003, either as a solo artist or with The Violators, most recently the five-song “Speed, Sound, Lonely KV” that was recorded in Nashville, Tenn. Opening for Vile on Saturday will be the band Pissed Jeans and solo artist Bill Nace. The Anchor Rock Club is located at 247 S. New York Ave., Atlantic City.

How much: Tickets, priced at $35, are available at Anchor RockClub.com.

More info: KurtVile.com, AnchorRockClub.com

REZA: EDGE OF ILLUSION

When: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15

Where: The Levoy Theatre in Millville

What to expect: His live shows having been hailed as “a rock concert meets a magic show,” the South Dakota-born Reza Borchardt – who goes by merely Reza as an on-stage moniker – is one of today’s most highly sought-after entertainers in the illusion industry. His innovative brand of audience-engaging acts has been performed in 31 countries and on numerous TV shows worldwide, including Season 4 of the CW network’s “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” where Reza drew high praise from show co-host Penn Jillette as a contestant and finalist in 2018. As is often the case with many stars in the world of magic, Reza became fascinated by performing tricks and illusions at a young age. By age 14 he was landing numerous weekly gigs at resorts, concert halls and corporations across the Midwest. Today he is renowned for his signature, grand-scale illusions. On Saturday he will bring to the Levoy Theatre two renderings of his newest show, “Edge of Illusion,” that has been hailed as a groundbreaking production that connects with the audience while leaving it mystified at the same time. More than a magic show, Reza infuses state-of-the-art production elements, masterful comedic timing and interactive and inspirational moments that allow audience members to experience the magic first-hand. The Levoy Theatre is located at 126-130 N. High St., Millville.

How much: Tickets, priced at $21 and $27, are available at Etix.com.

More info: RezaLive.com, Levoy.net

THEY FUNNY COMEDY SHOW

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15

Where: Showboat Hotel

What to expect: Big Reed Entertainment will bring some of the top comic talent from the Philadelphia area to the Showboat in Atlantic City on Saturday night, along with a musical group that bills itself as one of the hottest dance bands on the East Coast, Jaz Jordan and the G2 Band. Along with at least a half dozen funnymen from the Philly area, the Baltimore, Md.-based Kleon da Comedian will also be part of the lineup. Referring to himself as “an urban stand-up comedian who talks about love and relationships,” Kleon has been hailed in reviews as “having a playboy-ish charm, telling clever stories and performing hilarious skits that recall stories of his past deeds.” Other comedians will include Denny Live, Tulip “Tu Stacks” Porter, Coby Jackk and Craig Mclaren. The show will be hosted by comedians Chris Kennedy and Roni Graham, who will deliver their own quips in between sets. There will also be an after-party in which all Capricorns are invited to celebrate their birthdays. The afterparty will be hosted by DJ Marty Geez. Admission to the after-party is $40. Call 267-370-9124 for more details about the party.

How much: Tickets, priced at $60, are available at 2022AC. EventBrite.com.

More info: ShowboatHotel AC.com

ALL STARS OF HIP HOP

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16

Where: Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall

What to expect: Many of the most recognizable names in rap and hip-hop music will alternate acts on the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall stage Saturday night. Born Antonio Hardy in New York City, Big Daddy Kane is a rapper whose career started in 1986 as a member of Juice Crew, a highly influential rap group whose popularity peaked from the mid-1980s through early ’90s. Big Daddy Kane is widely regarded as one of the most skilled MCs – or mic controllers – in the hip-hop world. Another act out of New York City, Kid ‘n Play, is a duo that achieved immense popularity in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Among the group’s most successful singles were “Funhouse” and “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody,” both of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Rap singles chart in the early 1990s. Their hit “Rollin’ with Kid ‘n Play” reached No. 11 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in 1989. Also performing is legendary rapper Doug E. Fresh, who is also well regarded as a record producer and beatboxer, which is a skill involving mimicking drum and musical instrument sounds using only one’s voice. Dubbed the “Human Beat Box,” Fresh can accurately imitate drums and various special effects using only his mouth, lips, gums, throat, tongue and a microphone. A rapper from New Orleans, La., Mystical used to open for Doug E. Fresh in the early 1990s. His 1995 album “Mind of Mystikal” reached No. 14 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. The show will also include hip-hop standouts Roxanne Shante, Luke Campbell, KRS-One, Slick Rick, The Alumni, DJ Kool and DJ Kid Capri.

How much: Tickets, priced at $60, $75, $85, $95, $125 and $150, are available at Ticketmaster.com.

More info: BoardwalkHall.com

THE RAT PACK: BACK IN TOWN

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan 15

Where: Hard Rock Casino & Hotel

What to expect: The Rat Pack: Back in Town pays tribute to three renowned entertainers whose careers were all deeply rooted in the Atlantic City entertainment scene – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. The cast impersonates the late legends’ voices and mannerisms in impressive fashion, and also includes a Marilyn Monroe impersonator singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Rat Pack fans can also expect to hear such hit renditions as “Amore,” “Ain’t That A Kick In the Head” and “Everybody Loves Somebody” by Martin; “The Candy Man,” “I’ve Gotta Be Me,” “That Old Black Magic” and “Mr. Bojangles” by Davis; and “New York, New York,” “My Way,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “It Was A Very Good Year” by Sinatra. The show takes place 7 p.m. every Saturday through January at Hard Rock’s Sound Waves theater.

How much: Tickets, priced at $24 and $29, are available at Ticketmaster.com

More info: HardRockHotel AtlanticCity.com

AMERICAN PATCHWORK QUARTET

When: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19

Where: The Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River

What to expect: Based in New York City, American Patchwork Quartet is a foursome that claims on its website to be “on a mission to reclaim the immigrant soul of American roots music.” A supergroup of sorts, APQ consists of founder and Grammy-winning guitarist/vocalist Clay Ross, three-time Grammy-winning drummer Clarence Penn, Grammy-nominated vocalist Falu Shah, and highly acclaimed bassist Yasushi Nakamura. The group “showcases the dynamic diversity of contemporary culture by reimagining timeless songs from America’s past and drawing on a repertoire of centuries-old American folk songs that highlight America’s immigrant roots.” Another mission and principal ambition that the band strives to achieve through its music is to “counter pervasive prejudices centered around issues of race and immigration,” and help to “strengthen our country’s social fabric, acknowledge our differences, and build authentic and lasting bonds across cultures and color lines.” Songs show-goers can expect to hear include “Wayfaring Stranger,” “When First Unto To This Country,” “Pretty Saro,” “Soul of a Man” and others. The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts is located on College Drive in Toms River.

How much: Tickets, priced at $20, are available at Grunin Center.org.

More info: AmericanPatchwork Quartet.com, GruninCenter.org

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