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C-ville spring concert preview

Country stars, hometown heroes and indie starlets will highlight upcoming local live music scene

With spring on the horizon and a new semester in full swing, touring musical artists will soon perform at local venues such as The Jefferson Theater and John Paul Jones Arena.

The country music genre seems an overwhelmingly popular choice in the John Paul Jones Arena line-up of visiting bands this spring. Miranda Lambert kicks off the season Jan. 27 at JPJ. Even those of you who don't keep up with the country scene may still recognize some of her hits such as "Gunpowder and Lead" from her album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. To add to the country line-up, Luke Bryan will perform at JPJ March 23 in what promises to be a night filled with good old country fun. Bryan's show will be opened by country star Jason Aldean, who is known for his chart-topping "My Kinda Party," and former American Idol star Lauren Alaina.

Don't worry if twangy southern spirit isn't your thing. Fans of raves and bass-thumping concerts like last season's Pretty Lights at the nTelos Pavilion can breathe easy, as the opening band from the Pretty Light's show, Big Gigantic, will be back to tour and will perform at The Jefferson. A DJ-style pair of guys who mix beats and pull samples from a variety of different songs, Big Gigantic exudes that face-melting, body-rocking sensation common in new electronic music. So get ready to break out that neon and spandex when Feb. 12 rolls around.

The Jefferson's diverse line-up also includes Grammy-winning alternative rock band They Might Be Giants, who will perform Feb. 16; singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson, whose claim to fame includes the platinum-selling song "Come On Get Higher," comes to town Feb. 29; and three-piece indie-pop band FUN., whose '70s-style pop and rock'n'roll orchestral arrangements will provide the perfect mid-exam music break May 5.

This semester's music scene also provides plenty of homegrown talent. Five-piece Anatomy of Frank, composed of former University students, will be playing at the Southern Jan. 26. On March 15, the band Parachute, whose lead singer, Will Anderson, is a University alum, returns home after two years of national and international touring.

Whether you're in search of country, rock, electronic or new indie groups, Charlottesville will definitely please this semester with its ever-growing music scene.