The return of Nelly, party for Swifties & more 2023 Delaware concert highlights
One of the best ways to start the new year on the wrong foot is to neglect your own self-care.
That’s a dangerous thing to do because nobody really wants to be around miserable, grumpy people for too long unless it’s a Cowboys fan after their team took another “L.”
Nonetheless, you’re important and should treat yourself by creating as many fun memories as you can in 2023.
That’s why we have a sneak peek of some can’t-miss concerts and comedy shows coming to Delaware that should be on your radar in 2023:
Taylor Swift DJ party at The Queen, Wilmington
It’s safe to say you Swiftie fans are out of luck if you haven’t already scored tickets to see Taylor Swift play the tristate area on her “The Eras” stadium tour next year.
But it’s not all gloom and doom, at least not if you’re 18 or older. Adult Swifties can fill that “Blank Space” in your hearts together by rocking out to a DJ night full of your favorite songs at “The Taylor Party: Taylor Swift Night” (18+).
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These DJ shows are increasing in popularity and come in handy when you can’t go to a stadium gig to see superstars like Taylor and Bad Bunny. DJ concerts also are much friendlier to your piggy bank than stadium shows, too.
Just bear in mind that this show might sell out. Unless you’re fine with that and can easily “Shake It Off,” you might not want to wait too long before grabbing tickets.
The Queen (500 N. Market St., Wilmington) at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. Tickets are $13. For more info, visit thequeenwilmington.com or (302) 400-7020.
Carl Thomas at The Queen, Wilmington
Folks craving that old-school R&B sound from the ‘90s and 2000s can get their fix from the silky singer Carl Thomas.
But not only that, opening the show is comedian Tu Rae and R&B singer Case, known for his hit “Touch Me, Tease Me” featuring Mary J. Blige and Foxy Brown. That big tune from Case appeared on the soundtrack of “The Nutty Professor” (1996).
Carl Thomas made a name for himself when he joined Bad Boy records in the late ‘90s. He delivered the platinum-selling album “Emotional” featuring popular tunes “I Wish,” “Summer Rain” and, yes, “Emotional.”
Over the years the veteran singer has collaborated with major artists including The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Faith Evans, Diddy, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan.
The Queen (500 N. Market St., Wilmington) at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Tickets start at $45. For more info, visit thequeenwilmington.com or (302) 400-7020.
Comedian Earthquake at Bally’s Dover
Most comedians pride themselves on being off the hook. Yet one legend from D.C. has earned a reputation for being off the Richter scale.
Beloved comedian Earthquake, who has been cracking folks up for over 20 years, has been seen on everything from BET and HBO to “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”
In May, Earthquake was a guest and shook up the set of the popular podcast “Club Shay Shay,” hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
Earthquake’s unapologetic brand of comedy is sure to rattle the Capital City, so hang on for dear life.
Bally’s Dover (1131 N Dupont Highway, Dover) at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. Tickets are $50-$100. For more info, visit casinos.ballys.com or (800) 711-5882.
Trombone Shorty at The Grand, Wilmington
Armed with his brass tool of amazement, band leader Trombone Shorty has demonstrated countless times on Delaware stages that his lungs are as deep as a Maya Angelou poem.
Trombone Shorty, whose real name is Troy Andrews, is a NOLA icon who has gigged in all three counties of the First State, including a gig at Firefly in 2016. And it’s rare to see brass bands play that major festival in Dover.
But the Grammy-nominated Shorty isn’t your average brass showman. Since 2010, per his bio, he’s played five performances at the White House and dropped four chart-topping studio albums.
He’s also toured and collaborated with big names from Bruno Mars and Beatles legend Ringo Starr, plus fellow Firefly alum Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters.
Trombone Shorty & New Orleans Avenue approach each concert like a fireman’s hose because they want all the smoke.
Copeland Hall of The Grand (818 N. Market St., Wilmington) at 8 p.m. Friday, March 3. $65-$77. For more info, visit thegrandwilmington.org or (302) 652- 5577.
Gabriel 'Fluffy' Iglesias, Harrington
Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias is arguably the cuddliest comedian in the world. This jolly giant is coming back to Harrington this summer with more foolishness. Tickets go on sale at noon, Thursday, Jan. 26.
Fluffy, who headlined the State Fair in 2017, has over 20 million followers across his social media platforms. He also has over 1 billion views alone on his YouTube channel.
The comedian's ability to dish up clean while still making all ages laugh has separated him from the pack. Fluffy will squeeze big laughs out of the audience when he returns to the Small Wonder.
Delaware State Fair (18500 S. Dupont Highway, Harrington) at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 20. Tickets are $40 to $70 (plus service fees). For more info, visit delawarestatefair.com or (302) 398-3269.
Nelly at State Fair, Harrington
It seems like it was just last year that Grammy-winning rapper Nelly performed in Delaware. Because it was.
Nelly’s coming back this summer for a trifecta: his third straight concert in the Small Wonder since the pandemic started.
The “Hot in Herre” rapper, who is friends with Milton country star Jimmie Allen, began playing consecutive years in Delaware when he was tapped to make his debut at the Firefly Music Festival in The Woodlands of Dover in 2021.
The festival crowd fell in his love with Nelly’s “Country Grammar.” But that wasn’t enough for them. Delaware fans wanted to see him do more stomping in his “Air Force Ones.”
So this past July, Nelly returned to Delaware and held it down at the State Fair.
A lot of fans on social media have been gushing over his upcoming show, so don’t be surprised if it sells out in advance.
Delaware State Fair at (18500 S. DuPont Highway, Harrington) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, 2023. Tickets are $39-$74 (plus service fee). For more info, visit delawarestatefair.com or call (302) 398-3269.
Tyler Hubbard at State Fair, Harrington
Arena and stadium-touring country artist Tyler Hubbard is most famous for making up half of the Grammy-nominated duo Florida Georgia Line with Brian Kelley, a band that officially parted ways in September.
FGL, which headlined Harrington’s Delaware Junction Country Music Festival in 2015, has had one of the craziest runs in country music over the last decade.
Per the band’s bio, FGL is the first country act to achieve RIAA’s Diamond certification (10 million copies sold) and hold the longest reign on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart (50 straight weeks).
The band is responsible for the hits “This Is How We Roll,” “Cruise” and “Lil Bit.”
Fans will get a taste of Hubbard’s deep-fried solo career this summer when he returns to Harrington, the country capital city of the state.
M&T Bank Grandstand of Delaware State Fair at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29. Tickets are $39-$74. For more info, visit delawarestatefair.com (302) 398-3269.
Comedian Jackie Kashian at Arden Gild Hall
For nearly 40 years Jackie Kashian has been making people laugh on stage.
Her 2021 comedy special and album of the same title, “Stay-Kashian,” was No. 1 on iTunes and Amazon and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard’s Comedy Chart; and it has over 75 million listens on Pandora and Spotify, per her bio.
The comedian has two podcasts (“The Dork Forest” and “The Jackie and Laurie Show” alongside fellow comic Laurie Kilmartin, who was a longtime staffer on TBS show “Conan”).
While Jackie Kashian is prepared to keep boredom at bay for you in Arden, there’s no guarantee that you won't drown in laughter while she's on stage.
Arden Gild Hall (2126 The Highway, Wilmington) at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Tickets are $33.99. For more info, visit ardenconcerts.com.
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Andre Lamar is the features/lifestyle reporter. If you have an interesting story idea, email Andre Lamar at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Nelly, Trombone Shorty among 2023 Delaware concert highlights