On Saturday, September 13, the Akron Civic Center (182 S. Main St.) will host A Very Barium Tribute to Josh Miktarian. The concert will raise funds for the family of Miktarian, the Barium guitarist and Twinsburg K-9 police officer who was shot to death during a routine traffic stop on July 13.
"Josh's death touched and outraged many different people from all cultures," says show promoter Gerard Dominick, a longtime fixture on the Akron and Cleveland scenes that Barium played. "Our police officers transcend race and religion, and he had so many different aspects of his own life."
Barium and friends will headline the show. Barium recorded its only album, 2004's Periodicals, with producer Matt Cleary. Cleary's bands Skin and Cyde - two popular modern-rock outfits with overlapping lineups - will both play. Barium will perform a set of favorites and newer material, with Cleary filling in on guitar. Other acts on the bill will include a reunited Lower G.I. (Miktarian's previous group) and cover band Seattle. The Akron & District Pipe Band will open the concert.
The show may include a new song, "Thea's Empty Hands," a tribute written by Barium frontman Jonathan Williams. If the song isn't ready, Williams says he'd still like to record it, in addition to the material the band wrote since recording the album. The group plans to continue but will retire the Barium name.
Miktarian kept order onstage and off. The guitarist was the player his band looked to when a song went off the rails. Nicknamed "Captain Justice," he was known for stepping into the crowd and defusing fights between sets. Miktarian was a heavy-metal devotee - one of his prized possessions was a polka-dot Randy Rhoads Flying V guitar - and his growling vocals gave his modern-rock group its harder edge.
"It's a celebration of his life outside being a police officer," says Williams of the show. "He was a cop, and he loved to tear it up onstage, and he was a father with a beautiful kid he loved."
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. All proceeds go to Miktarian's widow and four-month-old daughter, through the Twinsburg Police Association. Donations can be sent to Rock for Josh Committee, 1787 Clearbrook Dr., Stow, Ohio 44224.
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