Asheville Music Weekend: Night Circus, Freeway Revival, Asheville Opry and More


By Caleb Calhoun

Night Circus at Asheville Music Hall on Friday Night

Friday is quite the treat for all of you weirdos out there, as two of the weirdest bands in town, Plankeye Peggy and Sirius B have one hell of a spectacular ride planned for all of us. From a musical standpoint it is an odd pairing, as their styles of music are quite dissimilar, but from a mental and emotional viewpoint, this combination makes all kinds of sense.

Plankeye Peggy is a group of storytellers who tell their stories through a very unique style that they like to call Pirate Rock. Always dressed up to the nines – or in the case of their Xpand Fest set, down to the tutus – everything about their music and their vibe encourages freedom and originality.

With a little bit of punk mixed in, their live performances are part rock-n-roll show, part theatrical performance. It’s a combination that’s working very well for them. This will be their first time co-headlining Asheville Music Hall and I expect them to be in great form, especially with them coming off the very successful summer they just had.

On the other side of the bill is Sirius B. For those that have been following along you will remember that I was introduced to Sirius B by “Janis” at the French Broad River Festival. I know, after having listened to more of their music, that I would have loved them regardless, but it didn’t hurt that, due to sound issues the band had, they ditched the stage and played right in the middle of the crowd.

That story really does capture the band’s identity in some ways. They take what you give them and give everything in return. They are consummate professionals, able to play through any scenario. Rather than get mad, they get creative.

And it’s that blue-sky creative spirit that makes their Balkan-influenced, genre-transcending sound so enrapturing. Not quite klezmer, not quite hot club swing, they play something in between the lines, something fun and dark and infinitely danceable.

All of them are tremendous musicians and people. Here at Ashvegas are particularly fond of their fiddle player, Drayton Aldridge. If you missed it you can read all about him here. It’s worth the three minutes for sure. Still, either way, if you like weird, good music, and I assume you do if you live in Asheville, this is definitely where you want to be Friday night.

Asheville Opry Part One at the Masonic Temple Saturday Night

Red Rover Booking is presenting a three-part Asheville Opry Series. The first installment is  Saturday. This portion of the event focuses on country music from WWII to Watergate, and features local musicians Devils in Dust, The Christy Lynn Band, and Alexa Rose.

Located at the beautiful Masonic Temple, a venue that was recently renovated to be one of the nicest spaces around, and hosted by Lo Wolf, this is going to be a night of incredible gold country covers.

Freeway Revival at One Word West on Friday Night

If clean, classic sounding rock is more your thing than classic country, then you can head on over to One World West on Haywood for The Freeway Revival. Currently gaining all kinds of steam and acclaim for their tight, solid grooves, this band, who is often thought of as a jam-band, rocks first and jams second.

Another band that has had a very successful summer, these guys are always on their A-game when they play out and I don’t see any reason that Saturday night would be any different. If I wasn’t already committed to Cory Wong at Sierra Nevada, this is where I would be for sure.

Crosstown Traffic

God there is some local music for just about every taste playing in town this weekend. On Friday night Styrofoam Turtles, who are singlehandedly building a new grunge scene in Asheville, will be playing with their running mates the Sane Voids over at the Sly Grog at 9 p.m.

Tomorrow Pleasure Chest will be thumping at 5 Walnut and Friday night, that venue will host Siamese Sound Club. Both nights the music is at 8 p.m.

Saturday night The Moon and You will be playing some Wilco with a full band over at The Mothlight at 9, while Laura Blackley and the Wildflowers will be up at Pillar at 7.

Billy Litz and Drayton Aldridge both play solo gigs on Thursday evening, with Litz at Sanctuary Brewing and Drayton at Capella on 9. Both of those shows kick off at 8 p.m.

If you need a break from the weirdness at AMH on Friday night you can head in one of two directions and catch either The Paper Crowns at Foggy Mountain, or the Resonant Rogues at Jack of the Wood.

G.A.M.E. is going on at Ambrose West at 8 p.m. Thursday and the Carolina Catskins play at Crow and Quill at 10.

The Secret B-Sides will be at Capella on 9 at 9 on Saturday, and there is so much more happening that we don’t even have time to mention.

If I don’t see you before, I hope to see all of y’all at Bluegrass Brunch at The One Stop Sunday morning.

Caleb Calhoun is an author, poet, and journalist who lives in Asheville, NC. He likes wearing dresses, using Oxford commas, and most animals. He has a mermaid named Dr. Gonzo and trouble keeping girlfriends. He can be found on Facebook or emailed at