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VOL. 27, NO. 1 FREE

Sugarland Dragon Con Invades Atlanta!

e g e l l o C

l l a b t o o F Preview

Our Preseason Poll A Look at the GSU Panthers


Pictured-Left to Right: Peter Capaldi, Mike Colter, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Evangeline Lilly

Paul Amos Demore Barnes Steven Barnes Carole Barrowman John Barrowman Ed Binkley Brom Tom Cavanagh Erica Cerra Mary Chieffo K.C. Collins Brett Dalton Felicia Day John de Lancie Emilio Delgado Lou Ferrigno Ric Flair Victor Garber Patrick Gilmore Erin Gray Jon Heder Joel Hodgson Kris Holden-Ried Rick Howland Jason Isaacs Peter Kelamis Tom Kenny Walter Koenig Dichen Lachman Bruce Langley Pearl Mackie China McClain

Eddie McClintock Bob McGrath Graham McTavish Robert Duncan McNeill Kenneth Mitchell John Noble Dean O’Gorman Denis O'Hare Roscoe Orman Max Osinski Zoie Palmer Craig Parker Adrian Pasdar Lou Diamond Phillips Mitch Pileggi Jonah Ray Michael Rosenbaum Brandon Routh Allison Scagliotti Anna Silk Rachel Skarsten David Soblov Ksenia Solo Jennifer Spence Caroll Spinney Tara Strong Courtenay Taylor Emmanuelle Vaugier Tom Welling Ricky Whittle Allen Williams and many more!

Saturday, August 25 Woodruff Park • 2-7pm Atlanta’s Best German Cultural Celebration

40+ German Beers

German Food

Live Music

Sports & Games

Tickets $35 advance / $40 door Includes all the beer samples you can safely consume. No alcohol consumption under 21.


Coming Next Month!

Fall Festivals Issue Pictured-Left to Right: Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Jennifer Morrison, Benedict Wong, Ian Ziering

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Entertainment Monthly

Call Steve Miller at (404) 308-5119 or email steve@insiteatlanta.com to advertise PG 2 • August 2018 • insiteatlanta.com




Entertainment Monthly



09 Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo 11 Chuck McDowall of ESOEBO 13 Ian Ziering at Dragon Con 14 Sugarland’s Kristian Bush 15 Ann Wilson 15 of Heart 16 Terri Nunn of Berlin 16 GSU Football Coach Shawn Elliott

* TROLLS AUG 11 • 2:00PM



AUG 25 • 2:00PM

AUG 23 • 7:30PM





AUG 25 • 7:00PM

10 ATL’s Best Pizza 17 NCAA Football 18 Travel: Asheville Grove Park Inn


COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 08 08 12

Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights Station Control New Releases Movie Reviews



insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller steve@insiteatlanta.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton nick@insiteatlanta.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith lee@insiteatlanta.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller marci@insiteatlanta.com Movie Editor Steve Warren s.warren@insiteatlanta.com

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Kept all your favorites, brought back some classics & added several new fresh creations!

Music Editor John Moore john@insiteatlanta.com Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr, Demarco Williams

Stay Cool with our New Summertime Tequila Cocktails!

MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • ads@insiteatlanta.com Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility Sugarland should such advertising or editorial appear. No Dragon Con Invades Atlanta! content, i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from publisher. AUGUST 2018


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VOL. 27, NO. 1 FREE

C ol le ge


Voted Best y tl n te is s n o C Margaritas & n r te s e w South in Atlanta!


Our Preseason Poll A Look at the GSU Panth ers


insiteatlanta.com • August 2018 • PG 3

Around Town FRIDAY, AUGUST 10

Special Olympics Duck Pluck Post Chastain Apartment’s Pool

Contribute to a great cause with an opportunity to win great prizes! Support the 27,115 athletes in Georgia by adopting your duck. The event takes place Friday, August 10 at the Post Chastain Pool. Visit DuckRace.com/atlanta.


Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Harmony Park in Oakhurst

The 18th annual Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival takes place Saturday, August 11th and has a musical lineup that features something for everyone. Eight bands and two stages will include local, regional and national Blues, Bluegrass, Folk and Rock acts. Headlining this year’s event is the Texas Blues Guitar Legend Chris Duarte. For more information visit Decaturbbqfestival.com.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 Atlanta Wine Festival

City Winery @ Ponce City Market

The second annual Atlanta Summer Wine Fest will be held on Saturday, August 11th. There will be two sessions to choose from: 12-4pm or 6-10pm. Sample over 50 wines

Events and Performances taking place this Month

as well as a selection of beer to choose from. There will be live music upstairs, DJ Q-tip downstairs, and City Winery will have food available for purchase. The wine list will be added to the website the week of the event. Visit AtlantaWineFestivals.com.


Branford Marsalis Quartet

Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center

Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. Under his leadership, The Branford Marsalis Quartet, one of the most innovative and forward-thinking jazz ensembles around today, brings its considerable musical expertise to bear in the first ever concert performance in Byers Theatre. Visit CitySprings.com for tickets.



The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop's Fables Center for Puppetry Arts

The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop's Fables offers classic stories and morals for young audiences. Featuring famous fables, such as “The Lion and the Mouse;” “Country Mouse and City Mouse;” “The Fox and the Crane;” “The Ant and the Grasshopper;” and “The Tortoise and the Hare;” the family-favorite musical show is sure to engage even the youngest family members. The performance includes life lessons presented as short stories in order to introduce these concepts to toddlers in a fun, comfortable and positive environment. Visit puppet.org for show listings and tickets.


The Electromatics

Taste of Helen

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Enjoy a date night in nature with the Sundays on the River concert series at the Chattahooche e Nature Center in Roswell. The 2nd Sunday of each month through September. This month, dance with the jazz and blues sounds of The Electromatics. Show from 7-9:30 p.m. Doors open at 6. Chattnaturecenter.org

Festhalle, Helen, GA

Take a short drive up to Helen, GA, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, for Taste of Helen. Enjoy culinary tastes from top area restaurants, live music and libations! Event takes place Wednesday, August 15 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. Go to helenchamber.com or call (770) 878-1908 for ticket information.

e d i R T

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 I Am Free Music Festival

Heritage Sandy Springs Lawn

The atmosphere in Sandy Springs is going to be electrifying as the "I Am Free Music Festival" kicks off its inaugural ground breaking show this month. Enjoy culturally diverse music including Folk Jazz, NeoSoul, Afro-Trado Jazz, Raggae and R&B. This all-day event will feature live music, performance poetry, food trucks, vendors, and more. For tickets and information, visit IAmFreeMusicFestival.com.


Departure: The Journey Tribute Band Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre

Departure: The Journey Tribute Band rocks the Fred Amphitheater in Peachtree City this month. This is an epic tribute to one of the best rock bands of all time. Departure brings Journey’s greatest hits to life. Only a 45 minute drive from Atlanta gets you to one of the coolest venues nestled in the woods. Other shows this season include: Phillip Phillips (September 8) and Yacht Rock Revue (September 28). Tickets may be purchased through the Fred website at amphitheater.org or by phone at 877-725-8849.





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On Tap this Month



Thursday, August 16: Cobb Energy Centre


Audiences around the world all say that ABBA e Concert is the closest to ABBA you’ll ever get. e riveting show brings one of the greatest pop phenomena back to life. See the most iconic hits from ABBA performed live including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” and “Dancing Queen.” Dance, sing and have the time of your life at the ultimate tribute celebration! Tickets at CobbEnergyCentre.com.

August 21 - 25: East Lake Golf Club


For the 16th consecutive time, e Tour Championship comes to East Lake Golf Club showcasing the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings. Atlanta hosts the Tours season finale, where both the winner of the Tour Championship and the season-long FedExCup will be crowned. is season schedule was moved up to conclude in August to accommodate the lull in the sports calendar. Visit TourChampionship.com

Saturday, August 25: Woodruff Park


2018 Concert Season

Peachtree City’s Favorite Diamond in the Woods!





Performing the music of the Beatles & Your Favorite Smooth Sounds of 70’s

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 Check website for additional shows or follow us on social media for updates!

www.amphitheater.org PHONE: 877-725-8849

e 15th Annual Atlanta German Bierfest is back for an incredible day filled with authentic German beers, music and food. Festival fans will receive a commemorative glass to use to enjoy unlimited samples of more than 35 authentic German Beers. Atlanta area German restaurants and food vendors will serve up authentic cuisine. ere will be live music and plenty of family activities. Visit GermanBierfest.com

Saturday, August 25 7:00pm: The Fox Theatre


roughout the summer modern and vintage movie classics are shown on Fox eatre’s big screen under the “stars”. e festival offers both early and evening shows for all to enjoy. Capping off the 2018 Summer Film Festival is the Disney Studios breakout hit “Black Panther.” Also playing this month are Trolls (Aug. 11); Grease Sing-A-Long (Aug. 23); and Moana Sing-ALong (Aug. 25). Visit Foxeatre.org

August 30 - Sept. 3: Downtown Atlanta


Celebrating their 32nd year, Dragon Con returns this Labor Day weekend. Dragon Con is the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film in the world. Dragon Con boasts close to 40 fan-based tracks, a film festival, parade, art show, comics, pop art exhibits and displays, nightly concerts and parties. Visit DragonCon.org for more details.

September 1: Mercedes-Benz Stadium


is season opens with a top-ranked matchup of the Washington Huskies vs. Auburn Tigers. e 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will mark the first-ever meeting between Washington and Auburn on the gridiron. is year’s game will also be the first-ever Pac-12 vs. SEC matchup for a Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Kickoff for the projected top-10 matchup is slated for 3:30 p.m. Visit Chick-Fil-AKickoffGame.com insiteatlanta.com • August 2018 • PG 5

Saturday & Sunday August 25 & 26



Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com Friday, August 10


High Museum of Art $5 Admission; High.org

As teens come back to school, the High is offering a great event, Teen FriHIGHday is a night of art making, music, and mingling on the second Friday of every month. Enjoy a laid-back atmosphere and fun surprises, all programmed for teens by teens.

Saturday, August 18


Free Admission; Chattahoochee High TheTasteofJohnsCreek.com Taste of Johns Creek returns for all you foodies out there. Sample more than 25 local restaurants on the campus of Chattahoochee High School. ere will be an Art Walk with shopping abound, live music, local entertainment, kid’s activities and taste some of the best food the Johns Creek-area has to offer at this exciting event for the whole family. Admission is free; food tastings range between $1- $4.

Saturday & Sunday, August 18 & 19


By Marci Miller Free Attendance; Piedmont Park piedmontparkartsfestival.com

e Piedmont Park Arts Festival is a two day outdoor event focusing on the visual arts. is event features up to 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalwork, glass blowers, jewelers and crafters. e Festival will also offer artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, a Street Market, children's play area plus festival foods and beverages with healthy alternatives.

Thursday, August 23


Chattahoochee Nature Center Free; ChattNatureCenter.org Sunset Sips is a laid back, family friendly event taking place on the 4th ursday of the month, 6:30 - 9:30pm in the summer through September. No Solution, a blues and rock band comprised of high school students based in Atlanta, GA, perform this month. e band won the Atlanta Blues and the Teen Battle of the Bands. Sunset Sips is included with General Admission and Free to CNC Members. Come out and enjoy live local music, cash bar and feel free to bring a picnic dinner.

Grant Park Free; SummerShadeFestival.org

Held in Atlanta’s oldest park, celebrating their 16 Year Anniversary, the festival will once again feature an impressive lineup of live music throughout the weekend on two stages. e artist market has doubled in size and the farmers market now takes place both days. Open to all ages and free to attend; the festival will also have a diverse selection of local food trucks with offerings for all tastes, craft beer, a Kids Zone, a 5K run, and much more.

Friday, August 31 - Sunday, Sept. 2

DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL Venues around Decatur Free; DecaturBookFestival.com

Founded in 2006, e AJC Decatur Book Festival strives to bring together writers, publishers, booksellers, and book-lovers to celebrate the written and spoken word. Taking place over Labor Day weekend, it

is the largest independent book festival in the country and growing. Internationally acclaimed director and actor of stage, film and television, Kenny Leon is the 2018 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (DBF) keynote speaker on Friday, August 31. is year, Leon is releasing his first memoir Take You Wherever You Go.

Saturday, Sept 1 - Monday, Sept 3

MARIETTA IN THE PARK Marietta Square Free; ArtparkMarietta.com

e 32nd Annual Marietta Art in the Park is back this Labor Day weekend. It showcases 175 fine artists, the Chalk Spot, a children’s art area, an art gallery tour, food trucks and entertainment for the entire family; all taking place amid a variety of dining options and historic sites. For the second year, Art in the Park includes the One Piece Project, a benefit for nonprofit organizations Art in the Park is Cobb County’s only annual fine art show. is three-day festival draws more than 45,000 attendees. Admission is free.


High Museum of Art • $5 • High.org

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Under The Lights




Performing Now thru August 19 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com Second in Horizon’s New American Dreams Series is How Black Mothers Say I Love You, a powerful story about a mother and her daughters. Hard-working Daphne left her two young daughters in Jamaica for six years to create a better life for them in America. Now thirty years later, proud and private, Daphne is relying on church and her nearby dutiful daughter to face a health crisis. But, when feisty activist Claudette arrives unexpectedly from far away to help out, her arrival stirs up the buried past, family ghosts and the burning desire for unconditional love before it’s too late.


Now Through September 2 Aurora Theatre (404) 733-5000 AuroraTheatre.com Inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, Disney’s Newsies kicks off the Aurora Theatre’s 23rd season with rousing dance numbers and non-stop fun for the whole family. In this high-energy musical, audiences will follow charismatic Jack Kelly and his ragged band of teenaged “newsies” as they strike against an unfair system in New

York City at the turn of the century. Newsies highlights publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst as they try to take advantage of newsboys to increase profits. However, everything changes when Jack Kelly and his group of “newsies” come on the scene.


August 15 - September 9 Theatrical Outfit / Balzer Theatre (678) 528-1500 theatricaloutfit.org 1619-1623. London and Stratford-uponAvon, England. Will Shakespeare is dead, and his legacy depends on a circle of devoted writers, actors, and friends. When a fishy Hamlet plays fast and loose nearby, the cohorts scramble to keep the Bard’s true words from fading into obscurity. The solution? A definitive collection of his plays. But to print it, they must overcome a ruthless publisher, an inebriated poet, and their own ticking mortality. Atlanta native Lauren Gunderson unfurls her trademark humor and smarts in this love letter to theatre’s timeless superstar.

Now thru AUGUST 19

Join the Club • Become a Member


S E P T E M B E R 1 2-2 3 FoxTheatre.org 855-285-8499

More info at www.cinemoms.com


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insiteatlanta.com • August 2018 • PG 7


Station Control



By John Moore

E ARE IN THE MIDST OF television’s golden age, which has led to an array of quality programming including some shows that can be described as truly bizarre, zany, even revolutionary. Three of these experimental programs are definitely worth a look.


WHO IS AMERICA? (Showtime)


Storytelling and comedy itself are dissected with near surgical precision by New Zealand stand-up comic Hannah Gadsby in her must-see Netflix comedy special. It is a searing, hour long triumph that will make you both laugh and cry. There hasn’t been anything like it on television before and it may change comedy forever. It is one of the year’s best programs. Gadsby, who originally performed the show as part of the international fringe festival circuit is an unexpected presence to find within a comedy special. She presents herself as a shy, large butch lesbian who would rather be at home with her cats than onstage. But within the monologue, which starts simply as a comedy routine with self-effacing jokes, the comic begins to deconstruct the nature of jokes - and what makes punchlines effective. Gadsby asserts that she should quit comedy because the nature of

Who is America?

the business means that she must humiliate and misrepresent herself in order to release the tension within moments she describes. Because she is a maestro at manipulating that tension she is able to turn the show into an examination of why we tell stories at all.


Stephen King is no stranger to television. His novels have been adapted into movies and miniseries before. In fact, his novels The Colorado Kid, 11/22/63 and Under the Dome were all used as the basis for full series in recent years. But the new Hulu series Castle Rock - from King and producer J.J. Abrams - isn’t an act of adaptation. The idea at its center is wilder, spirited and experimental. Using King’s full body of work as an inspiration and jumping-off point, Castle Rock - set in the fictional Maine town wherein many of King’s best works took place - evokes the spirit of King while telling an entirely original story. Elements feel familiar, a little bit scary, but there is no guide to help you determine where the show is going. Starring Andre Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Melanie Lynskey, Jane Levy, Sissy Spacek, Scott Glenn, Terry O’Quinn, and Frances Conroy, Castle Rock is a slow-burn mystery thriller with a very talented cast that should soon take a turn for the scary. A young man imprisoned in a tiger cage deep within a hidden wing of Shawshank Prison has been discovered. His name and history is unknown. He barely speaks yet there is something ominous about him. A lawyer with his own questionable history returns to his hometown of Castle Rock to find justice and help the prisoner. From the first three episodes, it feels as though all hell is about to break loose. Bold approaches to television are the future. And the future is here.


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Sacha Baron Cohen’s brazen, hilarious and sometimes terrifying new program on Showtime has already dropped a bomb in local politics. Because of his racist rhetoric and naked, homophobic antics on Cohen’s prank / mockumentary show, Georgia state lawmaker Jason Spencer has already quit his job. And that was just the impact of the second episode. Cohen has done this sort of show before with his characters of Borat, Ali G and Bruno on Da Ali G Show. But Who Is America? tackles modern politics from a variety of angles and has no set format unlike his previous program. Cohen pretends to be a leftist college professor, a right-wing blogger, an art critic or a weapons expert - managing to ensnare a variety of guests and politicians into nightmare interviews and scenarios. How on Earth did former Vice President Dick Cheney think it was remotely acceptable, even in jest, to autograph a waterboarding kit? Ted Koppel ended his interview when it took a turn for the ridiculous. Others haven’t been as savvy. Other targets reportedly include Sarah Palin in a future episode. Because the show is so daring and so insane, it’s possible that Spencer is but the first of many careers ruined by Who Is America? Its comedy is more than funny. It’s savage.


Over the years, the music documentary genre has become fairly predictable. VH1 set up the template years ago with Behind the Music and a whole generation of filmmakers seems to be on autopilot recreating it again and again. But, thankfully the British ska band Madness, who’ve bucked convention from the very beginning, continue their streak of non-conformity and bring it to this doc. One Man’s Madness, a documentary about Lee Thompson, band co-founder, sax player and one of their chief songwriters, dresses in various costumes and wigs and lip synchs (sometimes horribly) the audio of everyone interviewed for this doc. The ridiculousness of this spectacle is enjoyably compelling, and perfectly in line with Madness as a band – irreverent, creative and above all else, fun.

THE AWESOMES: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Mill Creek) It would seem The Awesomes had all the right elements to be another adult-themed cartoon in the molf of Bob’s Burgers or Archer; The show was co-created by Seth Myers and included voices by a slew of

former SNL cast members like Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Andy Samberg. Unfortunately, that talent never translated easily into the series about a group of young, inexperienced superheroes taking over for a band of retiring superheroes. The jokes are simply predictable and largely uninspired. The fact that the Hulu series was initially passed over by both Syfy and MTV before landing at the streaming service was probably an obvious sign worth paying attention to.


The Sex Pistols and The Clash may have soaked up most of the international press when British punk rock first took off in the late- ‘70s, but The Slits were just as subversive with even more obstacles to overcome: an all-female group fronted by a 14-year-old singer. This doc does a commendable job of telling their story through surviving members and plenty of grainy black and white footage from their early days. While the bulk of the movie’s focus is rightfully on the band’s initial run up until 1982, the last 20 minutes or so are devoted to their reformation – with mostly new members – from 2005 to 2010. A great look back at one of the underrated pioneers of the British punk movement.


SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SOLEIL Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo is a Carnival of Emotions



the arena where you’d have a bad view of the stage.

INCE 1984, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL HAS been upping the wow factor The storyline is definitely unique. with an impressive series of Yes, the story is a clown’s own funeral and visually stunning productions, often all the performers who reenact moments staged in unusual venues. The Canadian from his life and show all the amazing entertainment company continues the skills they have. It’s very inspiring and tradition with Corteo, an unusually emotive the timeline is a tribute to the history story which is anchored by the death of a of the circus, but not with creatures, clown named Mauro. Centered around the these are human beings in a story set in funeral, the show celebrates his life with the 19th century. It’s certainly different a series of scenarios of his life and circus than any other show we’ve done. Since career. it’s a tribute to the memory of a circus It’s not the typical circus show and with performer, there are both this edition of the popular traditional and nonattraction, even the site traditional circus acts that has changed. Corteo are featured throughout will be presented as an the performance. arena show, not in the August 29 – September 2 familiar big-top tent that In the wrong hands this Infinite Energy Arena is a familiar sight for many could be a very depressing cirquedusoleil.com downtown commuters. show, due to the central Instead of the usual intown theme of the funeral. location, this production There are a number of kinetic emotions will be presented at suburban Infinite in this production. The storyline of the Energy Center. show goes through so many feelings. Yes, A visual and aural treat, Cortero doesn’t it is a funeral but it’s not a sad ceremony, wallow in the sad aspects of death, the it’s a celebration of life. A funeral is about ensemble of amazingly agile acrobats, remembering all the great things the person contortionists and tumblers present the did in their life. The main idea of a funeral many aspects of the late clown’s life as a is to gather and remember. And in this literally uplifting parade of fond memories. case, the performers are remembering all The Quebec-based company, once funded the greatest moments of a life. In Corteo, by a government grant from the Canada you see all of his greatest moments. When Council for the Arts, tours the world he was a child, you see him playing in his with multi-cultural troupes of superlative backyard. Then you see him on his bed, performers, adapt in not only traditional using it as a trampoline as we all have circus-style entertainment but truly artistic once in our lives. So the beds become physical expression. trampoline. Then we see all the love he’s INsite spoke with two members of the had in his life, flying over the stage on a company, spokesman Maxwell Batista and chandelier. So the feelings in the show go performer Alexendr Yudintsev by phone the whole range of emotions. When you from a recent tour stop in Florida. leave the arena after two hours of Corteo, you leave moved and touched, so it’s an Every production of Cirque du Soleil seems uplifting experience for people of all ages. to outdo the previous one. What is the It’s a lifetime happening in two hours of most exciting aspect of Corteo? a show. Maxwell: This is a unique viewing experience. For some shows, the audience Getting the show from city to city must be is sitting around the stage, but for Corteo, an extraordinary challenge. there are no walls hiding the backstage. The It is indeed. We travel with all of our creator wanted the audience to feel what its equipment in 21 trucks. 110 people like to be onstage and see the reactions of travel with us and 51 are performers of people who was seeing the amazing things different nationalities, about 60 people going on, also on stage. It’s a much more work backstage, 34 technicians for sound, intimate experience and there’s nowhere in


lighting, rigging, props, carpenters and wardrobe. We hire 100 people in every city to help us put the show together. It takes about 12 hours to put everything together, the day before the show begins in each city. It’s a very intense routine and with the arena shows, we can go to even more cities and locations that we could with the big top show. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of preparation that goes into every performance. Alexendr, what is a typical day like on tour with the show? Alexendr: It’s all day. I’ll have breakfast and then it’s on to work. I’ll warm up for an hour. Then an hour and a half of conditioning for my trampoline act, then another hour of jumping. Then another hour of preparation. After that, another hour of make-up. When did you begin the path that led to being a performer in this show? When I was six, really. In Kazakhstan, I loved to jump and started tumbling when I was in school and competed in World Championships in 2003 and 2005. At age

20, my coach and I decided to make a video tape and I sent it Cirque. I mailed it to Montreal at the headquarters and I got a phone call the week after. That was 2007 and I joined as teeterboard and cyr wheel artist. Then I went to trampoline act and doing characters. Three years later, I began the Bouncing Beds act and start performing as Clown August. As a clown, can you do your own stage business, or is everything strictly choregraphed? I’m lucky. As a clown, I have the right to do all sorts of different things. I can go into the audience and sort of mess around with them. I have no restriction. For Corteo, we don’t have choreography, except to know that at a certain point I have to be here and at a certain point, I need to move to there. But the moves are up to me. It keeps it always new and it keeps us awake and fresh from day to day.

insiteatlanta.com • August 2018 • PG 9

Taste of the Month - Pizza!

are able to seat over 200 patrons comfortably. They can accommodate large parties and private events while take-out, delivery and catering are available. Nancy’s Pizza is celebrating 18 years in Midtown.

Mellow Mushroom

1341 Clairmont Rd. 404.636.1100 AthensPizzaAtlanta.com

Where to Go for the Best Pizza in Town 4058 Peachtree Rd. Brookhaven 404.266.1661 1770 Peachtree St. Buckhead 404.687.4766 mellowmushroom.com Mellow Mushroom is a great place to gather with friends this fall. They offer an affordable menu with extensive selection of pizzas, hoagies, salads and calzones. The Brookhaven location holds events each weeknight. So grab the gang and head up to the Brookhaven Shroom to watch all of your favorite sporting events on one of their many HD screens. The Buckhead location features 35 beers, many American craft beers and others from all over the world. Have a drink on their shaded patio or meet up with friends on their inside patio with fish pond and big HD TV. Bring in the kids and let them watch the suspended train travel across the tracks around the private dining room.

Nancy’s Pizza

265 Ponce De Leon 404.881.0111 NancysPizza.com Chicago has arguably the best pizza in America and that great pizza can be found in midtown Atlanta at Nancy’s Pizza. Nancy's serves up authentic Chicago style thin, their famous stuffed deep dish and Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza as well as a full menu including great appetizers, sandwiches and signature salads. During the month of August they are offering Summer Specials on Sangria, Margaritas and Coronas. Nancy’s in Midtown is a great place to gather with friends and family to watch the big game. They offer multiple TV screens in their two dining rooms and

Athens Pizza House

Since 1966 the Papadopoulos family has been serving up great Greek and Italian cuisine to the Emory / Decatur area. They offer many terrific pizzas at various sizes and over 25 toppings to choose from. You will also find great specialty pizzas like the Mediterranean, Santorini and Athens. But don’t let the name fool you, there is much more here than great pizza. Some of the favorite recipes on their Greek dishes go back over 50 years! Try the Veal Parmesan, Roasted Lamb or the Oven Baked Chicken. Athens Pizza offers daily specials for lunch and dinner and has an extensive catering menu. Athens Pizza is Zagat rated and winner of several awards including Best Greek Cuisine. The restaurant can also accommodate parties large and small with their private dining room.

Savage Pizza

484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. 404.299.5799 SavagePizza.com This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale Estates. Savage prepares all their menu items using only the freshest vegetables and first quality meats, cheeses, breads and pastas. You'll find homemade sauces, fresh dough and thoughtfully prepared dishes made from scratch every day. In addition to their famous pizzas they also have great calzones, salads, subs and pasta dishes. Both locations offer the same great menu with ample seating inside and out with delivery to the area.


7 Area locations FellinisAtlanta.com Fellini’s Pizza is an Atlanta icon. The fact that all seven locations are always bustling can be attributed to the great pizzas they make here. They have kept their menu simple, and focus on what they do best. Fellini’s pizzas can be ordered by the slice or as medium, large and Sicilian sizes. Try the classic Fellini’s special; which consists of pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, onions, meatballs, green peppers, green and

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PG 10 • August 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

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black olives, and extra cheese. Another popular menu item is the White Pizza with mozzarella cheese, fresh garlic, oregano, and ricotta cheese. They also have a great Spinach and Mushroom pizza, and a Vegetarian pizza filled with meatless toppings. Fellini’s also offers Calzones and great Salads. Fellini’s uses only the freshest ingredients. All their locations have large patios to enjoy the outdoors and the view. So come to one of the Fellini’s locations today and you will see why they are the landmark of Atlanta pizza.

Johnny’s NY Style Pizza

Over 50 Atlanta area locations: Order online @ JohnnysPizza.com Johnny’s Pizza is synonymous with great pizza and subs in Atlanta. The secret to their success is in the preparation. They always use the finest ingredients. Johnny’s specializes in NY style pizza, They have several house specialties including the Johnny’s Deluxe, Italian Special, Veggie, Steak & Cheese, Pesto and Buffalo Chicken. Johnny’s also offers plenty of individual toppings to create your own masterpiece. In addition Johnny’s offers subs, salads, sandwiches and other popular Italian dishes including calzones, strombolis, and lasagna. Johnny’s restaurants offer dine-in, take-out and delivery and now online ordering. Go to JohnnysPizza.com to find the location nearest you.

Mo’s Pizza

3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.com Feel at home at Mo’s, your neighborhood eatery offering a wide variety of lunch and dinner specials to please any palate. Mo’s has been serving up great pizza in Clairmont / N. Druid Hills for over 30 years! Everything is made using the freshest ingredients including the dough built from scratch every day. Menu highlights include Mo's Special, Meat Lovers and BBQ Chicken pizzas and you will love Mo’s traditional American fare like hamburgers, salads, sandwiches and more. Come to Mo’s this fall to watch the big game from one of their HD Flat Screens or hang out on their large outdoor deck. Mo’s is dog friendly. Stop in Monday nights and get a Large Cheese Pizza for just $8.50. Mo’s is one of the longest running and favorite pizza joints in Atlanta.



Singer-Songwriter Chuck McDowall of ESOEBO Works and Plays in the Moment



N ACRONYM FOR ECLECTIC Sections Of Everything But Opera, ESOEBO is the centered around the guitar, vocals and cello of singer-songwriters Chuck McDowell and Gail Burnett. Their improvisational Timbuk 3-meets-The Beatles-atthe-Ryman sound has been cultivated over the past decade at venues across the country with regular local stops in and outside the perimeter. With a catalog of four decidedly eclectic albums, the band often includes - but isn’t strictly limited to - Jonathan Cullifer (steel guitar), Kirk Sarkisian (drums), Ryan Robertson (bass) and Scott Ehly (woodwinds, brass). INsite spoke with the easy-going McDowell before a show last month at the Red Clay Theater in Duluth. Tell us a little about the band name. It’s unique. About ten or twelve years ago, we were playing coffeehouses and restaurants and one owner in particular was very enthusiastic about us. He booked us at a Cajun restaurant in downtown Duluth. We needed a name and I just made it up on the spot. Since I’m from Louisiana, I was like, “Just pay Gail and let me eat for free.” Then, when people started asking us to play more gigs, Gail suggested we use that name so we stuck with it. So it wasn’t pay to play, it was play to eat. During crawfish season, it was great. So you went the OTP route and worked the

Gwinnett County scene? Yeah back in the ‘80s, there was a convenience store and bait shop in Duluth called Whitey and Eddies. People would go there on Friday and Saturday nights with their instruments. There might be 12 or 14 of us and we’d play until way past midnight. It was just friends playing music. From sampling your albums, your music seems more timeless than timely. I just write songs that I like. Fortunately, the members of the band are nice enough to play them, so we just do what we do. We’ve had expansion in our popularity but we’re still just kinda floating along. It steers us.

people can see these showcases around the world. And you know, Eddie still treats everyone the same. If they’re a touring professional or a 14-year-old playing for the first time, he treats everybody with the exact same respect and kindness. He truly loves music, songwriters and people. He’s as genuine as can be and I think people really react to that.

You wear your influences your guitar strap, not on your sleeve. ESOEBO Yeah I wrote a song on Michelle August 17 Malone’s album Slings and Red Clay Music Foundry Arrows called “Beast’s Boogie.” eddieowenspresents.com Her partner and percussionist Trish Land is an artist and she painted a strap for me that You’re back at Eddie Owens’ Red Clay Theater included the four cornerstones of my influences: this month. He’s a tireless music supporter. Elvis, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Jerry I met him when he moved out to Gwinnett to Lee Lewis. They didn’t just get up and sing, they do the Red Clay and he’s been so supportive. He brought their own reality to it. was very encouraging for the monthly web-based YouTube show [“Wednesday Writers Series”] I You go from duo to full-band shows, yet you wanted to do. He was all for it. I host it and we never rehearse. But it seems to work out fine. have national and local acts. We’re getting multiIf you get to the core of ESOEBO, it’s guitar, cello platinum songwriters coming in and we’re just and voices. We joke that since we don’t rehearse, enjoying it. The songwriters play and we all tell every show’s a practice for the next gig. It relieves stories. Just like with ESOEBO the band, we’re expectation and perfectionism because we really just steering it and seeing what happens. don’t know what it’s gonna sound like before we do it. I delight in what everyone plays. I know they You’re putting Duluth on the map because have great taste and amazing skills, so there’s no

way to do it “right,” because we haven’t done it yet.

That’s pure artistic expression and you don’t veer off into jam-band noodling. We just play music. If we had parts and all that, we’d have burned out on it by now. A lot of times musicians are asked to play by chart, but we’re all heart, no chart. We exist for the listener not for us, so every show is different. I just try to stay out of the way. You’ve had a few health issues but they certainly haven’t slowed your creativity. Three years ago last month, I was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. I’ve had 46 rounds of chemo, two rounds of radiation, pneumonia three times and had part of my colon, liver, lungs and brain removed. If I could say anything, I’d say to go get a colonoscopy and do it early. I waited. It’s a lot easier to deal with when it’s just a polyp, before it starts to spread to other parts of the body. How are you feeling now? Grateful. When I have chemo, I’m basically a vegetable all that week. I kinda come out of it by Friday night and we’ve played shows on Friday nights of chemo week. Does it affect your creative process? It does. I was brought up to love God and love people. I got cancer, but I have been very fortunate. I’ve realized that everybody goes through some kind of suffering. We just have to deal with it. insiteatlanta.com • August 2018 • PG 11




 After nine years and 206 episodes on television and now six feature films, how do they keep coming up with plots for Mission: Impossible? My theory, at least for the movies, is that they plan the stunt-packed action scenes first, then have a contest in a third-grade class to write material connecting them. I’m kidding, of course, although the average third-grader would have no trouble finding holes in this plot; while someone with a PhD in literature would be unable to keep track of who’s on whose side and why as the story unfolds. But none of that matters, once the vehicles start racing, the fists and bullets start flying, and the clock starts ticking on the longest 15 minutes in screen history as Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and friends (Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg) try to prevent a double-barreled nuclear explosion. Because Ethan has a heart, the CIA (Angela Bassett) has sent a heartless assassin (Henry Cavill) to help with the dirty work. In play are three plutonium cores capable of weaponizing nukes, and the founder of an anarchist organization, the Apostles, who’s been imprisoned in the U.S. He’s operating on a sort of Big Bang Theory, that it will take a major disruption to bring the world to its senses. Women from previous films (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) reappear in this one, one for mystery and one for grounding. Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote the script, becomes the first to direct more than one M:I film, and proves deserving of the honor okay, the paycheck. Having walked the streets of Paris, I enjoyed revisiting the scenery, this time at high speed. I can’t imagine Fallout competing for Oscars, unless they add a Logistics category; but if you enjoy a spy thriller, you won’t find one that’s much more entertaining.


1/2 Not having seen Teen Titans GO! on the Cartoon Network, I find myself in the awkward position of not fully understanding a movie intended for viewers a tiny fraction of my age. I don’t know what the five super-ish heroes of the title do on TV, but here their main battle is to get a movie made about themselves. The lack is especially bothersome for their leader, Robin (Scott Menville). Sure, he’s been in most of the Batman movies, but only as a sidekick; and he’s chagrined to learn the Batmobile will be getting its own movie before he does. Robin says it’s “every superhero’s dream – to have your own movie.” The other four haven’t been in movies at all: Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong)


and Starfire (Hynden Walch); so they go along with Robin to Hollywood to try to get their due. Besides running into Stan Lee, doing a cameo or two in the wrong comic universe, they meet Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell), the greatest superhero movie director, who considers their proposal. They find they need an arch-nemesis, and there happens to be one available in Slade (Will Arnett), who looks a lot like Deadpool. Of course our heroes eventually get a chance to save the world, onscreen and/or off. I suppose this movie will introduce some children to the concept of satire, as Mad magazine did me at an impressionable age. Others will ignore that and just laugh at the fart and poop jokes, of which there are many. The drawing style is crude enough that it took me a few minutes to realize the animation that moves the drawings is really good. I wouldn’t rank Teen Titans GO! over The Lego Batman Movie, but if it’s not super, it’s certainly not bad.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT for such a silly movie that has time for a dozen or so musical numbers. In the pre-digital days this movie would have been dismissed as a waste of celluloid, but I enjoyed every minute of it.



 This is the first movie I’ve ever considered for placement on both my Ten Best and Ten Worst lists at the end of the year. It’s cinematic cotton candy, with an irresistible flavor and zero nutritional benefit. Having used all of ABBA’s greatest hits in the first film, they repeat a few indispensables and augment them with songs from the bottom of the ABBArrel. The story bounces – no, often glides – between 1979 and the present, requiring double-casting for most major roles and keeping the audience alert during a movie that should allow – no, require - them to check their brains at the boxoffice. In the first few minutes the transitions are amazingly skillful, sometimes moving between periods with a pan of the camera in the same setting. It’s gimmicky but impressive. After that director Ol Parker relies on simple cuts, still with great editing. Donna (Meryl Streep) is dead. (Pardon the spoiler, but Streep will show up in something besides old photos before the movie’s over.) Her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is preparing for the grand reopening of her hotel on a Greek island. Donna’s best friends (Christine Baranski, Julie Walters) are there, but of the three men (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård) who may have been Sophie’s father, two can’t attend. Neither can Sophie’s boyfriend (Dominic Cooper), who’s been seduced by a job in New York that will keep them apart. And Sophie’s grandmother (Cher) hasn’t been invited. (Don’t worry – they’ll all show up.) That’s just the present. In the past we see how young Donna (Lily James) met and mated with Sophie’s potential fathers (Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner). That’s a lot of plot – and I haven’t mentioned Andy Garcia –


 While it’s not his action movies Denzel Washington will be remembered for a hundred years from now – at least one hopes not – he’s made some good ones with director Antoine Fuqua. Teamed for the fourth time, they deliver the first sequel of Denzel’s career. Out to prove he can still kick ass in his mid-60s, he again plays Robert McCall, a former government operative turned vigilante. He does more good deeds than a troop of Boy Scouts, many of them involving brutal beatings and killings of bad guys for whom he’s served as judge and jury. While the movie is largely a collection of effectively vicious action scenes, the star adds class with his portrayal. He’s also given a chance to be benign, steering a neighborhood youth (Ashton Sanders) away from gangs and into more positive pursuits. Melissa Leo is killed off too soon in order to give McCall a major case to work on, an international affair that makes no more sense than most of the screenplay. It culminates in a shootout in a little town on the Massachusetts coast during a hurricane. Cinematographer Oliver Wood deserves credit not only for making everything look so good but for finding odd angles and unexpected camera movements that give a freshness to scenes we’ve seen a thousand times before. Not a great movie by any means, The Equalizer 2 has enough above-average elements to make it worth recommending to fans of ultraviolence with a heart.


 “Real men” won’t want their wives to see Puzzle. The sadness of Agnes’ (Kelly PG 12 • August 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

Macdonald) life is conveyed quickly by a twist in the opening sequence, which also reveals her interest in jigsaw puzzles as she obsesses over a missing piece of a broken plate. Agnes cares less about a new iPhone than a 1000-piece map of the Western Hemisphere. The downtrodden housewife lives to serve her blue-collar husband Louie (David Denman) and their grown sons, Ziggy (Bubba Weiler) and Gabe (Austin Abrams). They take her for granted but they love her, in their way. After 40-plus years of living by the old rules, how much can a woman change in response to new opportunities? On a rare trip to New York from her Bridgeport home, Agnes discovers a new world of competitive puzzling that may let her rearrange the pieces of her life. She’s recruited as a “puzzle partner” by Robert (Irrfan Khan), whose previous partner (and wife) recently left him. Can Agnes resist a man who appreciates her for her suppressed inner self and wasted potential? The answer is neither as simple nor as obvious as it seems, in a brilliant screenplay based on a 2009 film from Argentina. Her lead performance should bring overdue recognition to Kelly Macdonald, whose career, which began with the original Trainspotting, makes her the acting equivalent of Agnes’ underappreciated housewife.


 If you want to see scantily-clad women serving beer and burgers without hearing about their problems, go to a real sports bar. If you don’t mind a little dramedy with your beef and brew, try Double Whammies, the Texas setting of Andrew Bujalski’s new film. Just as the bar provides skin and flirtatiousness while remaining family-friendly, Bujalski makes sure the drama doesn’t get too heavy and the comedy doesn’t get too light. It’s a rough day for Lisa (ever-reliable Regina Hall), the general manager. She comes in early to interview waitress applicants and finds a would-be thief stuck in the vent, the TV cable out and a couple of people who need firing. Oh, and a national chain opening across the highway to steal their customers. Meanwhile Lisa’s trying to help her depressed husband find an apartment to move to and holding a car wash for one of her “girls” who was arrested for fighting back against her abusive lover. She takes care of her girls like the house mothers in Pose and they love her for it, but the restaurant’s owner (James Le Gros) doesn’t appreciate Lisa and this could be her last day on the job. This may all sound soapy but the only soap comes during the car wash. It’s like Claws without the camp or criminal element. Bujalski serves the plot in mostly manageable chunks that don’t give you time to get bored. Haley Lu Richardson and Shayna McHayle excel as Lisa’s lieutenants. Besides the film’s other balancing acts, the women manage to appear natural while acting up a storm. See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp



Pop Culture, Actor-Businessman-Philanthropist Ian Ziering Comes to Dragon Con came around, it already had a billion Twitter impressions. I still sit back in awe of the way it’s happened, especially after reading the first script.



HE MELTING POT OF CULTURE, trends and social interaction that is Dragon Con returns for 2018 with an Initially, you must have thought Sharknado especially strong line-up of events and guests. was just a throwaway project or a mild One of the most popular attractions is sure to be diversion at best, right? special guest Ian Ziering. It began as an offer that was to commence The busy actor and businessman is pop shooting in less than a week’s time. So right there, culture personified. His decade on Beverly Hills I knew somebody fell out of it for some reason. 90210 made him a star, but the Of course, they don’t tell you fit, 54-year-old performer has that. But when I read the script, I enjoyed a number of appearances could see why somebody stepped on reality TV (Dancing With The Aug. 30 – Sept. 3 out of it. There were a lot of holes Stars, The Apprentice) and game in it that were left to be filled by dragoncon.org shows (Family Feud). Additionvisual effects. I didn’t even know ally, he oversees signature lines of if the production company had clothing and health and beauty enough funds to provide quality content for it. aids. Since 2013, he’s starred as Fin Shepard in Halfway through, I told my wife, “I can’t do this.” the wildly popular Sharknado sci-fi/horror/comBut I took one for the team, did it and then didn’t edy franchise. The Last Sharknado: It’s About really talk about it after we shot it. I was kinda Time, the sixth and (probably) final episode of hoping it would just go away. Then, when it aired the campy SyFy Newtork show is scheduled to in July of 2013, Twitter blew up! debut on August 19. INsite spoke with Ziering as he corralled his It hit at just the right time. family for a “staycation” on Catalina Island. Right time, right place. It had just enough ingredients for success and it had that one special I was hoping to talk with you during Shark ingredient, that “secret sauce.” And we don’t even Week recently, but then I realized every week is know what that is. Major motion picture studios shark week for you now. spend millions of dollars hoping for the secret It’s been shark years for the past six years, sauce but it’s illusive. Like you said, it was just now, actually. But let’s call it what it really is for the right movie at the right time. For whatever me, it’s a phenomenon. This success has been reason, people love it. The sci-fi fans love it and like a meteor shot. The movie caught fire in they’re the most important fans you can have. 2013 - overnight. By the time the second one When they find something exciting, they talk


about it on social media. When that happens, there’s just no stopping it.

The sci-fi fans really latched on to the movie and to you personally. They are the most proactive, supportive fans, across any kind of entertainment. Sci-fi fans will go the extra mile and put on a cape or hold a toy chainsaw in their hand and walk proudly because they love the films. At the cons, you can interact with fans from all ages, all walks of life. Right, whether it’s parents or grandparents who remember me from 90210 or whatever and even the little kids look at me with astonishment. Kids who have my face on their pajamas at home! It’s just a mind-blowing experience. So you understand the fan mindset. Oh yeah, having worked in this business for 40 years, even I still get it. I get that way around people I’ve always been a fan of. I got that way around Judd Hirsch on Sharknado 2. I totally had to hold it together because I was geeking out! Dragon Con represents all the best aspects of pop culture and you seem to personify nearly every aspect of it. Have you made an album? If you did a record, you’d be in the William Shatner stratosphere. Um, maybe Ian’s Greatest Hits? [Laughs] I just don’t know about that. Not to say I don’t sing. I sing to my kids. When I was younger, I sang on Broadway. And you know, they’re talking

about doing a musical production of Sharknado in Las Vegas, so I might have to take some singing lessons. Thanks to the Sharknado franchise, you’ve been doing the convention circuit for a while. What is the most unusual item a fan has has brought for you to sign? A lot of people show up dressed as Fin Shepard. Kids will have plastic chainsaws and I’ll sign them. There are even people who dress up as if they are in the middle of a tornado, with sharks flying around. It gets pretty elaborate and I appreciate it. I’m not weirded out by it at all. If someone brought a dismembered arm, now that would be weird, but I haven’t had that happen. Not yet, anyway. Dragon Con runs August 30 - September 3. For tickets and more info, visit dragoncon.org. For more info on Ziering’s projects, go to @IanZiering. Be sure to look for the expanded version of the Ian Ziering interview on insiteatlanta.com coming soon.


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Sugarland Delivers First New Album in Eight Years with a Supersized Summer Tour




ORN IN THE CREATIVE INCUBATOR of Decatur’s fertile folk-rock scene, Sugarland quickly grew from a popular local draw to an influential major-label act during an incredibly productive twoyear period. By 2004, they were headlining shows and beginning an impressive catalog of successful albums and popular radio singles. After an eight-year break in pursuit of solo projects, the band is back on the scene with an effusive new album called Bigger. The disc, a co-venture with Universal and Nashville’s trendsetting Big Machine, finds founders Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush surveying the uncertain landscape of today’s volatile climate from a refreshingly humane point of view. The band is currently celebrating the new release - which includes contributions from longtime fan Taylor Swift - with an ambitious tour. As they cross the country, the hit-makers arrive this month at Duluth’s Infinite Energy Arena. During a recent break from the massive trek, INsite spoke with effusive singer-songwriter-producer-multiinstrumentalist Kristian Bush by phone from his home in Atlanta. It’s been eight years since The Incredible Machine was released. Since then you and Jennifer have been busy with your own projects. Was it hard to get back to a group mindset for Bigger? It has been a while, but you know what? Once we got started, we wrote it in nine days and recorded it in four! Did you have some backlogged material ready for it? It’s funny, I thought we could pull from some stuff I’ve been working on for the last five or six years and maybe use those as building blocks. But we didn’t use any of it. We just started writing from scratch and it was so cool.

because I couldn’t believe it was going as well as it was. But it was also inspiring because it was going as well as it was! By now, you must have a familial shorthand with both writing and performance. Yeah but I have to think about who we are now rather than what we might have have written before. It’s more about, ‘What do we want to write now?’ That means the album is very current. Most of the songs on country radio may be around three years old. You know, from the writing to the recording. It could be even more, becase that’s just on average. But for this album, we wrote two songs in September or October and then we wrote the other ones in January and February of this year. So you’re listening to what is as ‘right now’ as we can make it.

You’ve been writing for the band for a long time now. How has the process changed over the years? I think it’s the skills that we’ve each Friday, Aug 3 • 7pm developed along the way. It changes the This is about as close as you can get to pace at which you can create. So I find that Infinite Energy Center posting songs online, but you’ve got the the more I write, the better the songs are infiniteenergycenter.com Big Machine behind you, quite literally. and that makes sense to some degree. But (Laughs) right and I’m truly grateful part of it - for me at least - is kinda tucking for the trust of the label, our fans, our away the editor in my own mind and having a little more confidence in walking out on the ledge. co-producer and everyone who’ve supported us in making these choices and making them quickly. The more I do that, the more confidence I have.


Plus, you have a partner that you know very well at this point. Jennifer and I have a creative flow that has a lot of trust in it. We’ve developed it over many years now. I’ve never experienced this much skill and trust, ever. So we were able to accomplish great things and cover a pretty large range of topics very delicately and over a very short amount of time. It was a tad-bit crazymaking at first

When you’re writing in and of the moment, does the current atmosphere of the world play a part, or do you aim for more timeless scenarios? Obviously with country music, you have to be careful to balance it all. Right, but I’d say this album is speaking to exactly what we see out the window. I don’t think we even knew it until we got five or six songs into it, but it started to form a point of view of looking out at the world - while you’re now a parent. It became a conversation we were having over and over again, ‘How can we explain to our kids what’s happening?’ Because I think somewhere in that point of view lies a non-political way to look at it. You are looking at a child and you can see them trying to process it all. As a parent, you’re watching them. You want to explain things, but how? It’s difficult because some of the situations and behavior that we may be trying to explain to a child right now, might be something that’s not very human. So you have to somehow explain the darkness of humanity. How do you do it? Well for me, it’s like, ‘Look, it might be hard right now, but there is hope. It might be confusing right now but trust me, I’m confused, too.’ I never try to have conversations with my kids where I think I know the answer. We just have a lot of questions. That’s what we are saying on the album, too. I think everybody’s already in their corner, so I don’t think anything we say is gonna convince anyone to move one way or the other. But what music does well is it

PG 14 • August 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

offers a conversation that can come from the middle. As the past has shown, artists may feel the need to walk a very fine line with any sort of cultural commentary in country music. I understand that. I’ve seen what goes down when we just talk about social issues. Even things that are purely about just being nice to each other, you know? It’s a pretty loaded climate right now. But I don’t think we’ve ever been someone who’s gonna come over and shove you against a wall. We’re just not gonna do that. We’re very passionate people, but I think the thing we’ve always at least tried to do is write from a place of love. I know that’s an easy thing to say, but it’s a really hard thing to do. How do you tackle these questions and how do you see it through that lens? That’s an incredible challenge for any artist. Well one way to react to things is to not say anything. But I think we’ve tried a different tack because we are willing to talk about it. But you can’t get anything done by screaming. That’s the quickest way to get people to shut down on you. I think music has a beautiful way of getting inside you, even when other things can’t. For us, we just had to be aware and yet we couldn’t shy away from what we were feeling. So you really start to ask, ‘Why are we doing this?’ I know I need my daughter to hear the song “Bigger” because she’s got to know that she is valuable as a female. And I want her to know that no matter how weird it gets, just listen to the song, it’ll work like a compass. That’s the incredible power of music. It has ways of healing that other things just can’t heal. We’ve always tried to do our best with putting messages into music. Whether it’s to make you feel better and dance or whether it’s to commensurate, empathize and weep. Some of the songs on this album are dealing with trying to turn some of this pain that’s going on around us into hope. It’s a weird alchemy to ask of a song, but it’s what music can do. That’s what music or any kind of art should do. But you’ve always had a particularly positive approach. Well it changes the way you feel about waking up and leaving home. I’ve always maintained that Sugarland was never about us. That’s why we didn’t have our pictures on the cover, you know? And as we were kicking around ideas for a title for this album, it always came back to “Bigger” because this is really bigger than us. We’re just here to deliver the thing. I’m so excited we get to go back out and tour. I’m excited that people get to hear new music from us and I’m excited to hear what that new music is myself. It’s super cool to me. But it’s not about me or Jennifer, it’s about how many people can we reach with this music.


THE IMMORTAL ANN WILSON Heart’s Powerhouse Vocalist Shines as the Stars Align



HILE HEART IS ON A LENGTHY hiatus, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson continue to be busy with their own projects. Officially billed as Ann Wilson of Heart, the powerhouse vocalist of the band has been touring the states for the past couple of years backed by a group of veteran players and former collaborators. Likewise, Nancy has been occupied with Roadcase Royale, a rock and soul revue which also features some Heart musicians. This summer Ann is touring with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck and former Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers on a classic rock package called Stars Align Tour. Opening act is Deborah Bonham, sister of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. With around 200 years of combined rock history, the show stands out as one of the must-see rock and roll events of the summer. Wilson will be spotlighting her upcoming album Immortal, inspired by the recent spate of deaths of musical icons. INsite spoke with Ann Wilson before a show in Houston last month.

album. For Tom Petty, I was pleasantly surprised to hear “Luna” from his first album. It’s not one you’d hear very often, but it’s a great track. I’m finding a lot of people that tell me they really love that song. It was kinda undeveloped and very early, but I think it’s really cool.

Not only are the choices deep cuts, they’re surprisingly timely. A tribute set can seem dated for whatever reason, but the tracks really speak to today’s issues. Yeah, you mean like [David Bowie’s] “I’m Afraid of Americans” and [Cream’s] “Politician?” Yes and Leslie Gore’s hit “You Don’t Own Me” is incredibly strong. It’s just as powerful as your own “Barracuda.” I think so too! They’re kinda cut from the same cloth. Your version is the bookend of the original. It’s a definitive statement, especially knowing the backstories of both songs. And the arrangement is incredible. Yeah, [guest guitarist] Warren Haynes really laid it down, didn’t he?


There are some odd bills That song has resonated WITH JEFF BECK, PAUL touring this summer, but with me for years, and RODGERS AND this one makes sense on her albums in the ‘60s DEBORAH BONHAM so many levels. mostly produced Quincy It’s a really good Sunday, August 22 • 7pm Jones - were really wellcombination of artists. made pop records. The audiences are coming Chastain Park Amphitheater Yeah and she had a in and they’re ready to go. chastainseries.com really interesting life. She It’s not a great big, overhad those pop hits back the-top pop spectacle. It’s in the ‘60s, in the era interesting because it starts with Deborah where being a gay person was completely Bonham doing a half-hour, acoustic. Then incompatible with having a successful my set is mostly all about my new record. career. You had to stay in the closet back It’s only 45 minutes, but I try to pack then if you wanted a career and she did. it with as much of the new music in as Then a certain number of years passed and possible. Then Paul Rodgers and Jeff Beck she came out and she lived for thirty-plus have been switching off as to who closes years with a committed partner, in the the show. It’s been really good because open. When she did “You Don’t Own Me” they’re both at the top of their game. way back then, she meant it. She was a representative of things to come. Let’s talk about the new album. Obviously, many of us have been moved It’s so applicable to so many situations. by the passing of all these incredible As an artist, of course, but also as any musicians. It’s a crazy time in general, citizen of the world, just trying to live but losing these people that we’ve both from day to day. admired - and in your case known - is an That’s one of the reasons I wanted to extra punch. put it on the record. We’ve come so far Yeah, it does make for an emotional forward and it is way more universal now. chaos. Every day there’s something new It could be sung by anybody at this point. coming out that’s challenging. Then all these people take this moment to say, I’m very excited to see that this album ‘Nope, I’m not gonna hang around for this.’ is produced by your old friend Mike Flicker. [Astute fans will recognize the Was losing your friend Chris Cornell the name as producer during the ’75 to ’80 spark that ignited the album concept? era of Heart, including their iconic early Yeah, I think so. I was thinking, ‘Wow, hits.] Talk about history, not only are this is too weird.’ The timing of all these you on this tour with so much classic departures is really intense. Right about rock history, but you and Mike have an the time Chris Cornell jumped, I thought, incredibly storied past. ‘Well, I have to do something besides just Yeah, we just wanted to see what it sitting around and wringing my hands would be like. He really knows how to and mourning.’ Because that isn’t really get things to sound good. So it was fun the point. When people die, they’re free. and we had a lot of old jokes and a lot of It should be a joyful thing for them to be memories. I travel so much that my brain, able to move on. So I thought, ‘Let’s think my hard-drive, is pretty well full at this about their expressions.’ Because what point. He had to remind me of some of the they’ve left lives on. old stuff. There are some great surprises on the

What an incredible period to be working

as an artist. From ’75 to ’80, music was in a creative renaissance. Yeah and a lot of it was all pretty lowtech by today’s standards. Whatever you did that was unusual or exciting, you had to figure it out in a more analog way. I think that’s what made it different, to do it yourself rather than assign the heavy lifting to computers. The last time we talked, you were going from sporadic shows with The Ann Wilson Thing and ready to embark on a full-on solo career. You said you felt like you were starting over. Yeah and I still feel that way. So solo Ann Wilson is the norm now. Yes but not the norm in a bad, numb way. It’s definitely the level that I feel comfortable now. I feel comfortable calling the shots and deciding what songs we’re gonna do and how we’re gonna do ‘em. I’m designing the show myself. It makes me wonder what took me so long. The previous tour was an aural and visual treat in cool old theaters, but now you are playing these sweltering sheds in decidedly unflattering daylight. I go on at 7 and the sun doesn’t go down until 8 or 8:45. So yeah, I’m on in daylight and there’s no real production, it’s just me playing. It’s different, really different. It’s hot in a lot of these places, but I think this tour was worth saying yes to.

With this much history on stage, do you think there’s a chance of collaboration at some point? You and Jeff Beck obviously go way back. I hope so. I met Jeff Beck in the late ‘70s but we just shook hands. I was so young that I didn’t even really understand the true gravity of Jeff Beck. Now of course, I really do. I’ve met him a few times over the years and he’s just a cool guy. He is what he says he is. For this tour, none of you are just replicating hits; this isn’t a jukebox show by any means. It’s an adventurous journey. It’s an evening of music, basically. Some of the known songs get touched on, especially in Paul Rodgers’ set, he does a lot of Bad Company and Free stuff. It’s really for people who want to come and listen. It’s timeless in a way. Speaking of immortality, way in the future when we aren’t around anymore, and some artist is doing their own version of an Immortal album, which of your songs should they include? I would hope they would go deeper into the catalog. There’s some interesting things that went down along the way. Especially on the Desire Walks On record and even some of the later ones like Red Velvet Car. There’s a lot to choose from. But you know, my opinion would be extremely biased. insiteatlanta.com • August 2018 • PG 15



LOST ‘80S LIVE, REVIVED! GSU PANTHERS OPEN Berlin Returns with Original Founders WITH MOMENTUM



0S RETRO SHOWS ARE MORE popular now than ever but often the bills include groups with only one key member. Indeed, several acts on the current “Lost ‘80s Live!” tour feature the founder/ vocalist, backed by recent recruits. And yes, for nearly 20 years, that was also the case with co-headliner Berlin. Singer Terri Nunn joined Berlin in 1979, abandoning a burgeoning acting career in Los Angeles that included appearances in movies (“Thank God It’s Friday”) television (T.J. Hooker, and almost the role of Lucy in Dallas) as well as a now-legendary audition reel for the role of Princess Leia in some obscure science fiction film. By 1981, Berlin was signed to a major label and relishing substantial MTV, college radio and dance club play, due to Pleasure Victim, their definitive debut album. With hit singles that eventually included “The Metro,” “Sex (I’m A…),” “No More Words,” and the massive “Take My Breath Away” from the Top Gun soundtrack, Berlin rode an impressive sevenyear arc of commercial and artistic successes. A decade later, Nunn reclaimed the name and performed with revamped line-ups for nearly have before. I was scared all the time, ‘Oh my 20 years. God, people are gonna find out I’m a fraud Fast forward to 2016. While commiserating and I don’t deserve this job’ and on and on. I over a series of personal setbacks, the original lived in that fear because I loved it so much core trio (Nunn, guitarist John Crawford and I was so afraid it would end. Now I’m and keyboardist David Diamond) began more tolerant of myself. After having kids and working on new material and sporadic live living through so many twists and turns of the collaborations. The revived outfit is currently music world, it makes this so much sweeter. mixing a full-length album All three of us are that way while touring with an official, now. We’ve gotten way more LOST ‘80S expanded edition of the group. tolerant and compassionate and INsite caught up with the LIVE! that makes everything better. vivacious Nunn by phone at her Sunday, August 5 • 7pm home in southern California. Chastain Park That wisdom comes with age. lost80slive.com And I love it! I love pretty Your Twitter page teases that much everything about aging an album is on the way. except that I don’t like the There’s actually two! We’re working on feeling that time is speeding up. I don’t like two albums at the same time, which is a the feeling that about every three months it’s first for me. One is a studio album with the Christmas again. That’s what it feels like now. original Berlin guys, John Crawford and David Diamond. But tell us more about this album. On your site, it says it’ll be out in September. That’s about as original as you can get, since Well, we’re still mixing it. You do what you the three of you are pictured in the only can to impose deadlines on these things, but group shot in the first album package. How’d there’ll probably be a single in November and all this come together? then we’ll release the album in January. By chance, really. John was going through a divorce and contacted me. David had a You’ve seen so many twists in the industry breakup with his partner at almost the same since 1981. It changes daily at this point. time. We all just kinda commensurated The playing field is so different now. The because I’ve been through a divorce, too. artists can create their music on their own It’s awful, it hurts. But in the process terms and you don’t even need an expensive of reconnecting over crisis, we started studio anymore, you just can do it in your getting creative. bedroom if you want to. Yeah, it’s still hard in some ways, but I really like the fact that This is great news and the first I’ve heard I don’t have to be pushed around anymore about it. by a label. I can do whatever I want, on my Well it all came out of nowhere. I had no own schedule. idea this was coming into my life again. But now we’re doing the live shows and it’s Yet as the industry and consumer tastes have just incredible. changed, the popularity of the music and fashion of the ‘80s has somehow endured. Obviously you know what it’s like to go back It has, and I was fortunate because I grew up into any sort of creative partnership. You mad that my brother got the ‘60s. To me, the guys tried it on the Bands Reunited show early-to-mid-‘70s period just didn’t have the back in 2004. What was it like working same excitement. Of course, now I appreciate together again, well over a decade later? the ‘70s, with glam rock and Bowie and T. Rex Way better! Because I’m way better. I don’t and Roxy Music and all that. There was so just sweat the small stuff like I used to. I’m not so much going on, and it was all over the map. as scared as I used to be, so there’s more of a relaxation about the process that I didn’t Please see BERLIN on page 17 PG 16 • August 2018 • insiteatlanta.com



OMING OFF THEIR MOST successful season in the short history of the program, a 7-5 finish and a win over Western Kentucky in the AutoNation Cure Bowl, Georgia State Football heads into the 2018 season with a lot of excitement and optimism. With seven starters returning on offense, including First-team All-Sun Belt Conference receiver Penny Hart, and five on defense, secondyear head coach Shawn Elliott and his staff will still embrace stiff competition at most positions during fall camp. Panther fans are keeping an eye on the battle at quarterback to see who replaces Connor Manning, who passed for 3,146 yards and 14 touchdowns. In the running will be returning players Aaron Winchester (102 yds, 1 TD), Jack Walker, Jacquez Parks and new-comer Dan Ellington, who passed for over 3,200 yards and 27 touchdowns at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi in 2017. A challenging early non-conference schedule for the Panthers includes the opening game vs. Kennesaw State on August 30 followed by road games at N.C. State and Memphis. Coach Shawn Elliott spoke with INsite’s Dave Cohen. Certainly, after winning seven games, including a bowl game, in your first season here you’ve got to like where you’re starting from now heading into fall camp and your second season. To some degree I do. We did lose a lot of pieces from last year’s team but we’ve got guys in place to step up and manage those positions. We’ve still got a quarterback battle that is going to go into our fall camp and as everyone knows that’s very important to our football team. You’ve got to have a guy there that can lead and manage the team. We do have some pieces in place but we also have some uncertainty at some positions. You’ve been emphatic that the running game is going to improve and it has done that. Along with the returning backs you also signed three highly regarded prospects during Signing Day last February. Actually, you overhaul the running beginning with the offensive line and we’re trying to do that with our last two signing classes but you also have to have some guys that can carry the football. I think we have the tools to open up some holes up front but sometimes those special backs can make things happen on their own and really develop so we had a big emphasis this year on signing running backs and we’ve had them here all summer. We’re going to see how it all shakes out but I’m excited about the freshman that we have here as well as the guys returning. Tra Barnett and DeMarcus Kirk coming back and Taz Bateman coming off the injury from last season. There’s going to be a lot of competition among that position group vying for one or two spots depending on what formation we’re running.


Whoever wins the quarterback battle will have no shortage of options at receiver when the football has to go in the air, Penny Hart and Devin Gentry among them along with some younger guys like Tamir Jones and some new faces as well. Yes, I thought Devin Gentry had a fine year. Tamir Jones, as a true freshman, for what he could do for us, really came in and played well. We’re adding some big bodies. Something we did not have a year ago. 6’-5” Christian Owens, who transferred in from the University of South Carolina, 6’-3” Diondre Champaigne and freshman Sam Pinkney. These guys have height and athleticism and they’re strong. The defense will be anchored up front by Marterious Allen, Dontae Wilson and Terry Thomas. Wilson and Thomas were two of the freshman who received significant playing time last year as true freshman. That pays dividends going forward. You take a guy like Dontae, who plays with great effort, energy and enthusiasm, but he was a true freshman. There’s a lot of things to learn and it’s hard to go out there and be thrown into the fire and understand the nuances of the offensive line play and the schemes that they’re trying to block you with. Now he has a lot of knowledge because he played a lot of snaps so you’re going to see him have another banner year. He will anchor the middle. Terry Thomas and Marterious Allen, those guys up front, they’ve got to be the mainstays for us to make things happen. We’ve got some newcomers coming in as well so we’re excited to see that group. This team showed signs of its character early last season following a rough two game start. To everyone’s credit they dug in and ended up winning seven games and earned a bowl bid. When we took over and we looked at past games it was the faltering in the fourth quarter that really got the team in years past. Right away I knew we had to change that so there wasn’t any question about what we were going to do. It’s now who we are. We’re a bunch of blue collar guys who like to go out there and work until that whistle blows and the games over and that is how we are going to continue to be. GEORGIA STATE RECEIVER PENNY HART




F YOU DON’T LIVE IN TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, or Clemson, South Carolina, you’re probably tired of this movie by now. For the past three seasons, the Crimson Tide and Tigers have played in the College Football Playoff. And as much as we hate being the bearer of repetitive news, with the immense talent that both schools enter the new campaign with, that may be the main feature again this year. AlabamaClemson IV will be on the marquee at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 if the following 18 teams don’t say enough is enough with all the sequels. 1 CLEMSON It doesn’t matter if you’re talking QBs (Kelly Bryant or highly touted freshman Trevor Clemson’s Lawrence), DTs (Dexter Kelly Bryant Lawrence) or Xs and Os (head coach Dabo Swinney), these Tigers get an A across the board. 2 ALABAMA On July 27, Nick Saban signed a contract extension with the Tide for eight years that’s worth at least $74 million. The school can cut a check like that with a clear conscience because it knows that, when it comes to recruiting (No. 7 class according to Rivals.com) and play-calling (Saban’s QB switch in the ’18 title game will be remembered for decades), the man is money.

around that rugged schedule, the school’s travel department might as well go ahead and make plans for a trip to the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis. 5 MIAMI We’ll see if the Hurricanes are able to forget last year’s late collapse — after starting 10-0, Miami lost its last three games by a combined 96 to 41 — really quickly as their first game is against the always-ferocious LSU Tigers on Labor Day weekend in Arlington, Texas.

6 WISCONSIN The Badgers only allowed 13.9 points a contest last year. With so many departures on defense, the team may be more porous this season. But with sensational RB Jonathan Taylor (1,977 yards, 13 TDs) pounding the ball, they’ll still be a force come bowl season. 7 WASHINGTON With one of the country’s top offensive lines in front of them, senior QB Jake Browning and superb RB Myles Gaskin will be tough to get a hold off by Huskies opposition — and yes, we’re including Auburn (September 1) and Stanford (November 3) in that statement.

3 GEORGIA What do you do when you fall just three points short in OT from a national championship? Well, if you’re the Dawgs’ Kirby Smart, you hop in the recruiting van and sign as many four- and five-star athletes (Justin Fields, Brenton Cox, James Cook) as humanly possible, that’s what.

8 NOTRE DAME We love that the Irish chose to keep some continuity on D (hiring linebackers coach Clark Lea as its new defensive coordinator), but we can’t say that we’ve quite seen enough out of sophomore QB Brandon Wimbush to believe that all is well on the other side of the ball.

4 OHIO STATE By the time October 1 gets here, the Buckeyes would have already played the likes of Oregon State, TCU and Penn State. If J.K. Dobbins and Co. maneuver

9 USC They say that if you have three QBs (Matt Fink, Jack Sears and Sports Illustrated cover

BERLIN – Continued from page 16 But I grew up wanting to be Paul McCartney because there just weren’t that many women who did it like he did. I wanted to do it all! I didn’t want to just be pretty and play a guitar. I wanted to strut around the stage and sing about real stuff. I wanted to be sexy and I wanted to be loud. I wanted to be what all the guys got to be.

decidedly non-commercial at the time. Yeah, it was all power pop here. We were trying to do our thing but it just didn’t fit in to what was popular, but we kept working at it, got better and it started to happen.

And you succeeded. Punk and New Wave came along and changed everything. That’s what made it explode! At that point, I was old enough to try to make music myself. By then all the stuff I was into could finally be heard. Stylistically, Berlin took a bit of a different route for an act from the States. The whole New Romantic, Synthpop, experimental electronic wave was on the fringe, it was still considered very European and

Georgia’s Justin Fields

Now here you are, all these years later. I still can’t believe it. Next year is the 40th anniversary of when I joined Berlin. I’m very lucky because you really don’t know just how long anything’s gonna last. Berlin certainly has longevity. In ’97, you reignited the project that you’d put aside ten years before. That was hard because I was running it for the first time. In the beginning, when I was heading it and the buck stopped with me, I remember being freaked out a lot. I had to lay down every day for 20 minutes just to calm down. I was trying to learn everything about the business that I didn’t have to know before. It was mine now and that was really intense.

boy JT Daniels), you don’t have one. But what’s the word for having an allworld trio (Cameron Smith, Marvell Tell, Christian Rector) on defense? Oh yeah — scary. 10 MICHIGAN STATE After a bumpy 2016 (3-10), the Spartans got back on the horse last year (10-3). They’ll continue galloping towards a Big Ten title game appearance if QB Brian Lewerke (2,793 yards, 20 TDs) keeps his stride. 11 STANFORD With Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love slicing up the middle, the Cardinal will be must-see TV all season. With QB K.J. Costello’s steady improvements tossing the ball, Stanford could look like a sneaky playoff candidate by late October. 12 OKLAHOMA Head coach Lincoln Riley is one of the country’s best young offensive minds, so we aren’t terribly worried about how he’ll replace Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. What is a bit troublesome is a defense that surrendered 30 or more points on six occasions a year ago. 13 AUBURN Per usual, the Tigers’ D is stout (Deshaun Davis, Derrick Brown). But if they’re to truly compete with Bama in the SEC West, they’ll need promising QB Jarrett Stidham to standout.

15 MICHIGAN We know that QB Shea Patterson is a big-time talent, but we also realize that road games against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State are no small obstacles. 16 FLORIDA STATE Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke

We love that new head coach Willie Taggart is bringing that old Noles fire back to Tallahassee. We just hope that smooth QB Deondre Francois is fully back from his knee injury as well. 17 CENTRAL FLORIDA Coach Scott Frost ain’t walking through that door. He can’t. He moved to Nebraska. But with offensive juggernauts like QB McKenzie Milton (4,037 yards, 37 TDs), RB Adrian Killins (1,115 rushing yards) and WR Dredick Snelson (10 TDs) still here, he won’t have to.

18 TEXAS The Longhorns made their first postseason game (Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl) since 2014 in Tom Herman’s first year as head coach. They’ll make a bowl that you’ve actually heard of this season if QB Sam Ehlinger handles his business. 19 TCU It’s no surprise that the three times the Horned Frogs scored 20 points or less last season were their only loses. If coaching wiz Gary Patterson can figure out how to keep the offensive fire going (hint: let dual-threat QB Shawn Robinson do his thing), TCU will be a-OK.

14 PENN STATE If you think alleverything Saquan Barkley’s shoes are gonna be hard to fill, just imagine trying to stuff all the cleats on defense, where the Nittany Lions return only two starters.

20 BOISE STATE If the Broncos can eek out a victory against Oklahoma State on September 15, they’ll not only position themselves nicely for a fourth 10-win season in five years, but they’ll be sitting pretty for a New Year’s Six bowl invite, too.

So you’ve grown along with Berlin and your fans. Yes and I still love all the configurations because they’ve all added something to it. Some people like Pleasure Victim the best, some love “Take My Breath Away” and some people love [Berlin’s 2016 release] Animal. There’s just so many different expressions of it. But for me, the best thing about music is the collaboration. Trying things together with different people and seeing what happens. And yeah, sometimes it doesn’t work, but a lot of times it does. It creates a magic that you just can’t make by yourself.

shows with orchestras last year and oh my God! We played and the orchestras played behind us. It sounded like God, basically, to hear my own music that way.

You said you have two albums on the way. What is the other one? The next one will come after we release the one in January. There’s a British company that’s patiently waiting for the first one to run its course. The next one will be a Berlin orchestral album. It’ll be our music with a Philharmonic Orchestra and I am so stoked! We did a few


So this still beats acting, right? Do you ever regret leaving that career? I left acting because I wanted to give music everything I had. By turning down Dallas, I knew I could give it everything I had because I lost everything else when I turned it down. I lost my agent, my manager; they were all like, ‘Are you crazy? If you don’t want this, then we don’t want you.’ I was completely alone after that decision and it gave me the freedom to try music. That led me to meet John Crawford and you know how it all turned out from there. That freedom of losing everything meant having nothing left to lose! There’s a song in there somewhere. (Laughs) Yeah, I think so.

insiteatlanta.com • August 2018 • PG 17



A Mountain Getaway That is Only a Short Drive Away BY BEN MILLER


OOKING FOR THE PERFECT getaway this fall? Then treat yourself to a stay at the Omni Grove Park Inn, the historic mountain retreat in Asheville, NC. Nestled between five mountain chains that include the Great Smokies, the Appalachians and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has long been recognized as a place for arts, culture, wellness and healing. Edwin Wiley Grove, known as the “Father of Modern Asheville” purchased the property in the early 1900’s and in 1911 Grove began to plan the development of a grand hotel on his beloved Sunset Mountain. Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, massive granite boulders were unearthed from the mountain to build the hotel. The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913, three days shy of one year from its ground breaking. Modeled after the grand old railway hotels of the West, it is listed on the national register of historic places and has been host to many famous guests including ten American presidents. It’s also been a favorite spot for America’s most famous statesmen, poets, artists and musicians. Upon entrance is the Great Hall which measures 120 feet across and features 24foot ceilings and two gigantic 36-foot stone fireplaces. The resort’s grand lobby is famous for the elevators hidden in the chimneys of the fireplaces, which transport guests to their rooms.


The Omni Grove Park Inn has 513 guest rooms: 142 in the original Main Inn; 204 in Sammons Wing; 167 in Vanderbilt Wing, including 14 suites; 28 rooms and 1 Penthouse Suite on the private Club Floor. All are graced with cottage-style windows that open onto spectacular views of the mountains and courtyard with vintage details including original oak Arts and Crafts-style furnishings. Mountain View Rooms are surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and expansive greens of the historic golf course with king, queen or double beds and modern amenities. Resort View Rooms are located in the historic Main Inn, overlooking either the Spa gardens or the historic courtyard in front of the Main Inn. Classic Rooms are cozy with king or queen bed and views of the gorgeous resort landscape. These rooms are perfect for value conscious travelers who want to experience the charm and intimacy of the historic Main Inn.


Since its inception, The Omni Grove Park Inn has been a health and wellness destination for those looking for rest and rejuvenation in the pure mountain air of Asheville, NC. The Spa focuses on the area’s prominent natural surroundings by bringing the outdoors in with mineral water, natural light and rock formations. The $50 million, 43,000-squarefoot subterranean Spa features cavernous rock walls, arches and tunnels, with numerous water features throughout the facility and 16,000 square-feet of amenity space. There are indoor and outdoor pools, steam, sauna and spa services like massages, body and skin therapies. As the sun sets, fireplaces, starlight, candlelight, and moonlight add a warm glow to the breathtaking stone facility. Embracing its prominence as a premier destination for well-being, The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn is consistently voted as one of the top resort spas in the world.


After the spa you can check out the resort’s other activities including tennis, golf, swimming, aerobics, work out room and much more. The Sports Complex offers complimentary access to all guests. The 50,000-square-foot facility features cardio and weight rooms, instructor-led yoga and fitness classes, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and an indoor swimming pool. Personal trainers and tennis professionals are available for private and group instruction. Framed by the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the historic Grove Park Inn Golf Club celebrates the spirit of mountain golf. The par-70 course is contoured out of the rolling landscape with tree lined fairways, challenging bunkers and receptive bent greens. The elevated tee boxes assure that you get amazing views with each drive. The course is considered one of the top golf courses in North Carolina and in 2015 the course was been recognized by Golfweek as one of the “Best Resort Courses”.


Asheville, NC is recognized as having one of the strongest, most innovative culinary scenes in the country. At The Omni Grove Park Inn you will find four of the finest, locally sourced restaurants in town as well as four bars and lounges serving cocktails, beverages and light fare. PG 18 • August 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

Vue 1913 is an American Brasserie offering guests a comfortable and stylish setting for a leisurely meal designed only with the love of food in mind. This blend of American and French cooking is highlighted by a marvelous selection of wine from an abundant French cellar cultivated over the years. With its art deco decor and panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Vue 1913 is the perfect fit for your everyday dinner plans and your special occasions. Sunset Terrace, located just off the lobby, offers majestic views of the city and spectacular mountain sunsets. Here you will find the finest hand cut steaks, premiere chops and fresh seafood. Partnering with local farmers, their chefs and staff provide a truly memorable dining experience as you look out over the mountains. The restaurant is the iconic spot for dinner in Asheville and is a winner of the 2014 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Sunset Terrace is a covered al fresco dining option and is open March through November and as weather permits in the colder months. EDISON, craft ales + kitchen is an inventive bar and restaurant that brings together the food culture and local flavors of Asheville, with expansive indoor and outdoor seating and spectacular views of the Mountains. Named for frequent historical visits from Thomas Edison and his “Vagabonds” (Edison, Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford), EDISON serves NC craft beers, small batch bourbons, handcrafted cocktails, and regionally inspired food in a contemporary, fun, and artistic setting. Several renowned artists who celebrate the creativity of the area and call this community home are showcased in the indoor dining room, offering patrons a true Asheville experience. Blue Ridge is a farm-to-table artisanal buffet overlooking the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. The Art of Breakfast served each morning will redefine all that you imagined breakfast could be. Two massive rooms are filled with amazing breakfast options, including a yogurt bar, doughnut buffet, and great gluten free options. Don’t miss the award winning Friday night Seafood Buffet, Saturday night Prime Rib Buffet and phenomenal Sunday Brunch. It’s the perfect way to end any week.

including the magnificent Skyline Room with floor-to-ceiling windows, the historic Country Club, rich in romantic charm offering two westward facing outdoor terraces. The Inn also provides a Wedding Professional to assist you throughout your experience, along with a strong culinary staff and in-house floral design team that will customize menus and arrangements utilizing the freshest local ingredients and flowers.



The Omni Grove Park Inn is a truly romantic destination for weddings. Choose from numerous reception and wedding venues that each offer stunning city and mountain views,


Presidential Libations is featured in Presidents Lounge throughout 2018. Celebrating the southern heritage of the art of conversation over great iced tea, these cocktails incorporate various teas to create complex, well rounded beverages to please both northern and southern palates. The Inn now boasts three handcrafted Beer Walls that allow any event to offer local craft brews. An additional soda wall will also join the lineup this summer showcasing local soda from Waynesville Soda Jerks.


The OGPI Pastry Shoppe now has master chocolatier, John Cook at the helm as Executive Pastry Chef. An award winning chocolate artist and pastry chef, Cook has added a Warm Gourmet Cookie Bar to their resort lounge, house made “Pastry-Tarts,” and his personal Truffles of varying seasonal flavors to pair with dining menus or to create a flight of truffle decadence.


The Omni Grove Park Inn offers a wonderful selection of kids programs and camps with arts and crafts, swimming games, sports, snacks and lunch, as well as a playground for little ones. Children’s Programs supervised by qualified staff are available for guests ages 5-12. Grove’s original vision of a place of rest and comfort continues to evolve to serve a modern audience and today his Inn remains one of America’s most beloved destinations. Only a few hours away from Atlanta by car, this is one road trip that has something for everybody. 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804 (828) 252-2711, www.omnihotels.com/ hotels/asheville-grove-park Reservations (800) 438-5800



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