It’s officially summer! This first weekend of the season offers plenty of choices in the arts, culture and music. Ryan Pitkin, editor of Queen City Nerve joined WFAE’s Mark Rumsey for a preview of events.
Mark Rumsey: For starters, summertime and skateboarding are a natural combination. There are a couple of events in Charlotte that'll be highlighting that right?
Ryan Pitkin: Absolutely. Go Skate Day is sort of a national holiday, and there's a couple of cool things going on right down the street from each other this weekend. That starts at Abari, the bar and arcade in the Villa Heights area and that's going to be an all-day party from noon until late night. That's going to include more than 35 skate decks painted by local artists. There'll be a mini ramp set up for people to skate, if you do want to skate on Go Skate Day. If you're better with your fingers, you can hit up the Tony Hawk's Pro-Skater competition inside, because it is an arcade after all. And that's a legendary PlayStation game that I grew up playing. So they'll have a tournament going on the TVs, a DJ will be spinning tunes from that game, which folks who grew up with that game like me know the soundtracks were killer. So it'll be an all-day sort of party.
Rumsey: All right. And there's more with the skating?
Pitkin: Absolutely. Down the street...a little bit later that night at 8 p.m...at Oso Skate Park. Those guys are over there next to Catawba Brewing, the ax throwing bar and stuff like that on Louise Avenue. They'll be hosting a best trick competition as they do have a full skate park as opposed to a mini ramp, so if you're really trying to skate that's where you want to be. But they also have performances coming from Phaze Gawd, A Man with Antlers, Team Gang Squad, Key Chains Hefner. So if you're looking for hip hop and what not that's where you want to be.
Rumsey: So, when I hear skateboarding and ax throwing in one response...as a parent I have to say be careful.
Pitkin: No ax throwing is just a bar next to Oso Skate Park, so it's not related. Don't worry.
Rumsey: All right. I feel better. On Saturday, Ryan, something for music fans. It's an event called the Playroom Music Festival?
Pitkin: Right. Playroom is a studio. They tag themselves as an amusement park for musicians there in west Charlotte on Tuckaseegee Road. They're not so well-known as a music venue, but they're trying to change that it looks like. They're hosting the Playroom Music Festival from 2:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. And that will feature a bunch of local artists.
Two highlights I think would be Adrian Crutchfield, a lot of folks know who that is already. He played with Prince as his saxophonist, and went solo on Prince's advice after Prince passed away with his album Leap, which has been an instant classic album.
Then we got new up and comers like Abby K who's a 16 year-old heavy metal bass player from Mooresville. She recently formed her own band. She's seen all sorts of success already opening for Nita Stauss on tour. She's one of the three U.S. bassists selected to attend Grammy Camp last year and now she's sort of formed her own band. She'll be performing her new single, “It Should Have Been Me.” She’s going to be performing that this Saturday and that'll be coming out later this summer. So I'm excited to see what she's got coming for the rest of the year.
Rumsey: Okay. Lots of music there. And on Saturday evening another way to pass some of these early summer hours?
Pitkin: This is definitely the most chill event of the weekend. This is going to be at Max and Lola Bodega. It's called Summer Blaze. They've sort of been at the forefront of this CBD craze that's been happening around Charlotte. And they'll be offering some of those products up there. They also have their regular wine and cocktails. They're also known as a dog friendly spot named after the owner Holly's dogs. So you can bring your dogs up there, they've got a fenced in area. They also have CBD ice cream for dogs, which...if that's not the most Charlotte 2019 thing you’ve ever heard I don't know what is. They have Mexican seafood food truck Taco-saurus, local duo Brocus Bros does chill, but upbeat acoustic music. Lot of stuff going on over there at Max and Lola throughout the day starting at 5:00 p.m. so throughout the evening.
Rumsey: With that almost a wrap here for the weekend. But anything else that jumps out at you for this summer inaugural?
Pitkin: Yeah. If you're looking to stay cool and out of the sun VisArt has a cool event coming up on Saturday as well. And that's going to be a screening of "Beast Mode" starring C. Thomas Howell. I think we all remember him back from the 80s, 90s, but he's back. Also the filmmakers of that movie, Drew Fortune and Chris Freeman, will actually be in town hosting a Q&A and there will be two different screenings. That’s around 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., so check that out. VisArt Video if you're looking for more air conditioned entertainment.
Rumsey: Ryan Pitkin, editor of Queen City Nerve. Thanks a lot and happy summer.
Pitkin: Appreciate you having me on, I look forward to it.