by Sherry Lucas
Can’t remember the first time I saw The Vamps, but in all likelihood, I was full of beer and full of youth and those guys delivered the earsful of music that kicked me onto the dance floor and made the night (and the wee hours of the next morning) really, truly sing. And that’s the way it was FOR YEARS. Loved it then, love it now, and the last time I saw them deliver those so-tight grooves on a Jackson stage — at Hal & Mal’s, where musicians shared their all to raise money for Puerto Rico hurricane recovery — it was just as much a blast as it’s always been.
It’s been a lot of performances over a lot of years that I’ve logged in the audience and on the dance floor to the beat of these guys — all such skilled musicians it’s hard not to think of The Vamps as simply Jackson’s very own supergroup.
They’ll be onstage Friday at Duling Hall. If you know what’s good for you and your ears, you won’t miss it, bringing their top-notch and really rockin’ soul-jazz and so much more (Memphis soul, reggae, blues, Latin, funk, etc.) for some Friday night fun that’ll tease a grin on your face and your butt into action. It’s $10 advance (ardenland.net) and $15 at the door and worth every penny and then some. Seth Power opens.
Jackson’s Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink, open Friday through Jan. 4 at Smith-Wills Stadium, brings cool fun to the capital city. Admission is $7 cash for skaters 17 and younger, and $10 cash for skaters 18 and older. Reservations are preferred since sessions are limited to 50 slots. For reservations and more information, call 601-960-0819.
The Weeks are back in Jackson for a Homecoming Show, 10 p.m. Friday (9 p.m. door) at Martin’s, with Dream Cult opening. Gear up for rowdy fun and the sound of “Easy,” the Weeks’ followup to their album, “Dear Bo Jackson.” Tickets are $18 on ticketfly.com.
A performance by PyInfamous wraps up the year with a Saturday night show at The Flamingo, 3011 N. State St., with the new EP, “Title: TBD — The Black Diaspora” along with some of the city’s best hip-hop artists. Hear PyInfamous, Skipp Coon and Timaal Bradford with DJ Spre, starting at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. It’s hosted by The Flamingo and the Jackson Jackals.
Saturday at Martin’s, catch Robby Peoples and Friends and his whiskey folk originals, 10 p.m.
Saturday night, enjoy great music by the Axe-Identals — Gena and David Steele, Jeff Reynolds, Ronnie Jenkins, Richard McCain, D. Michael Thorn and sitting-in drummer Cucho Gonzalez — along with fine wine and dining, 7 p.m. at Kathryn’s in Ridgeland.
Christmas Day — or rather, Christmas night — tune in and turn up for the Cats Purring Holiday Classic Vol. 3 with Cats Purring Family Band (featuring members of El Obo, Dead Gaze, Dream Cult and more) , DJ Scrap Dirty and DJ Dent May, 9 p.m. Monday at Hal & Mal’s. It’s $5 at the door.
Meanwhile, across the parking lot, catch great blues music and seriously stellar rhythms at Martin’s Christmas Show with Juke Joint Duo Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcolm, 9 p.m. Monday.
Prolong the holiday with a Tuesday performance of “A Christmas Story, The Musical” 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. Tickets are $28 to $85 and up at ticketmaster.com.
Find family fun at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, 1-3 pm. Thursday, Dec. 28, as Bricks 4 Kidz leads the building of LEGO models of favorite winter friends (along with it, some engineering and architecture skills!).
Happy Hour Thursday, Dec. 28, at The Flamingo, entices the after-work crew with $2 PBR and Miller Lite plus a playlist, so drop in and hang out, starting at 4 p.m.
Turn a page as you turn from this year to next. For the Love of Reading: A Book Club of Sorts, meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, in the 3rd room at Cups in Fondren. The December book is “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” by Arundhati Roy.
A steady string of great draws at Underground 119 will have you swinging to great rhythms right through the end of the year with Chris Gill Dec. 28, Southern Komfort Brass Band Dec. 29 and Good Paper of the Reverend Robert Mortimer Dec. 30.
The Young & Fly Tour 2017, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, at the Mississippi Coliseum features YFN Lucci, Jacquees, Ms. Mulatto, Lil’ Lonnie and more for a rap and hip-hop celebration. Tickets are $22 to $49 and up on www.ticketmaster.com.
On Friday, Dec. 29, join the Kundi Kwanzaa Celebration, 7 p.m. at Kundi Compound, 256 E. Fortification. It’s a celebration of Kwanzaa’s fourth principle, Ujamaa — cooperative economics. There’s food and entertainment, and it’s free.
The Country Cousinz Concert Series continues Friday, Dec. 29, with Scotty ATL, Kissie Lee, Jay Dot Rain and Blk Crwn, Flywlkr & Beezie in the Red Room at Hal & Mal’s in an Atlanta vs. Jackson evening. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9.
Welcome New Orleans-based rock band, live show powerhouse and Louisiana Music Hall of Famers Cowboy Mouth back to Jackson Saturday, Dec. 30, for a weekend show that’ll help bring 2017 to a stellar close, at Duling Hall. The show starts at 8 p.m., doors at 7 p.m. and The Georgia Flood opens. Tickets are $15 advance (ardenland.net) and $20 at the door.
Join Noon Year’s Eve Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. when kids get a chance to build their own confetti cannon, create a party hat and dance into the new year with a countdown to noon!
Saturday, Dec. 30 at Offbeat, get Up Close & Personal with SIKA, in the year’s last live show with the music artist, along with video footage pertaining to her career and brand new, unreleased music and plenty of Q&A.
Soulabration 2017, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Mississippi Coliseum, corrals some of the genre’s best practitioners for a soulful close to the year with a lineup that includes legendary blues entertainer Bobby Rush, Peggy Scott-Adams, Calvin Richardson, Omar Cunningham, Adrian Bagher and Big Pokey Bear. Tickets are $32-$50 and up at ticketmaster.com.
Sunday, Dec. 31, join the New Year’s Eve Blow Out with Young Valley, El Obo and Cody Rogers at Martin’s.
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes brings the blues to the Iron Horse Grill, 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, for New Year’s Eve.
Sunday, Dec. 31, bid a delicious goodbye to 2017 with a New Year’s Eve celebration with Chef David Crews at The Apothecary at Brent’s Drugs, starting at 5:30 p.m. with Happy Hour. The awesome five-course dinner with cocktail and wine pairings is $125 per person (tickets on eventbrite.com) with limited seating. At 9 p.m., Crews’ “Late Night Delta Truck Stop Food” menu opens to the public.
Find additional fine dining ways to ring out the old and ring in the new at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar, Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro and the Hilton Jackson.
In 2018, you’ll still have a chance see New Stage Theatre’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” with holdover performances through Jan. 14. For times and tickets, visit newstagetheatre.com or call 601-948-3531. Take a look at my chat with cast member, Chris Roebuck.
Fondrenite Sherry Lucas, a feature writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a sampling of creativity and culture from Fondren and beyond. For additional Fondren-centric events, see our Fondren events calendar. Reach Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.