Some of the artists in this list may be attainable and many of the ones I don’t think are reality but I will mention them anyhow because I believe you’ll never know unless you try.
This is of course a long, but certainly not an exhaustive, list of the acts I personally would like to see perform at the Weldon Mills Theatre.
I asked a friend the other day what she thought my first suggested act would be and she was near the mark when she said some of the Americana acts I like but the truth is I would love to see an encore appearance by the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra at the venue.
Even though it’s been just shy of 11 years since the state’s premier ensemble performed a Christmas concert there, I remain in awe of the sounds that reverberated throughout this much-maligned venue.
Say what you will about the late Randy Parton, he and his associates built an acoustically-pleasing concert hall.
The second encore performance would have to be Old Crow Medicine Show, which graced the theater in 2010 with its fiddles and guitars just a rockin’. Make the effort to get them back here, please.
While I know these are most-likely going to be hard and expensive to book — The Lumineers rate high on my wishlist and I’m fairly certain (no-duh statement of the year here) that U2, Bob Dylan and Sprinsteen are well out of range but like I say, you never know unless you try.
And I say this almost in a bashful whisper — (Wouldn’t it be great to see a live performance of Hamilton here). Yeah, I know, very wishful thinking!
It would be wonderful to hear the comic stylings of Jim Gaffigan at the venue but his popularity has skyrocketed so I add that to the pipedream list along with Jerry Seinfeld, who I was fortunate enough to see a few years ago at DPAC.
That being said, Tom Papa warmed up the Seinfeld audience and I found his observations just as sharp and funny as Jerry’s so he would definitely be worth a shot.
Like Gaffigan, I’m sure Sebastian Maniscalco’s stock has risen beyond Halifax County reality, especially since he’s booked in Vegas now. But you never know until you try.
There is a guy who presents a show called An Evening With Groucho, a show that pays tribute to one of the primary members of the Marx Brothers comedy troupe.
Scoring Frank Ferrante as Groucho would be an evening to remember.
In the attainable list I would say bringing Todd Snider to Roanoke Rapids would be a boost. He is a consummate singer-songwriter and can go from the comedic — think Alright Guy and Talkin’ Seattle Blues — to a range of serious issues all in one show.
I had to miss the Goldsboro performance of Black Violin a few years ago — something about a city council meeting being scheduled that night.
These virtuoso performers combine classical violin with hip-hop to create a unique and outstanding sound and most likely they would love talking to school children about how they combine classical violin with hip-hop. (They will be at DPAC on October 8)
Two members of the former Durham-based Carolina Chocolate Drops have gone on to solo careers.
Rhiannon Giddens is touring now and has shows scheduled at the Ryman in Nashville along with dates in Greensboro, Wilmington and Richmond.
Her Chocolate Drops counterpart Dom Flemons is on his American Songster tour with no dates close by.
Speaking of North Carolina acts, I have a feeling Southern Culture on the Skids would love to bring their Countrypolitan music to the Weldon Mills Theatre and their shows, as I can attest to, never disappoint.
The Avett Brothers, another North Carolina band, would be a godsend for this theater along with Raleigh-based American Aquarium.
While I could go on and on and on — Sturgill Simpson, Corb Lund, Colter Wall, Drive-by Truckers and more — I’ll leave it at this for now.
While some of these acts may be unattainable, as I say, you never know until you try.
Weldon Mills Theatre, please keep these in mind — Lance Martin