Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
The first single from Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band's upcoming album is a drooping cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train," a song Rod Stewart already distilled for people who find Waits' voice too abrasive. But you're not going to a Bob Seger concert to hear new songs. You're going to hear "Night Moves." And "Turn the Page." And "Rock and Roll Never Forgets." And "Old Time Rock and Roll." And you'll hear them — plus many more from his 40-plus-year career — when the Detroit rocker hits the road for his first tour in four years. It's been five years since his last album, so you'll probably hear a few songs from the new record (which is still untitled and doesn't have a release date yet). But don't let them get in the way of your cheers, overpriced beers, and flashbacks to 1978. — Michael Gallucci
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7. Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets: $37 and $65; call 888-894-9424 or go to theqarena.com
Ra Ra Riot
While possessing an elegant sweep thanks to a pair of string players, Ra Ra Riot's spunky indie-rock undercurrent keeps their baroque pop from become too appeasable. It's their most extraordinary quality. As peers indulge their taste for swooning pastoral sway and orchestral grandeur, this Syracuse sextet is propelled by the taut rhythms and wiry post-punk guitar beneath the ornate grace. It's a sound well-suited to Wes Miles' sidewinding croon. The highlights of their 2007 self-titled debut EP, "Each Year" and the absurdly catchy "Dying Is Fine," also show up a year later on their first album, The Rhumb Line. Last year's follow-up, The Orchard, falls short of those first two sterling efforts — their increasing refinement and melodic warmth diminish and dampen the dark rock churn. But there's still enough polished beauty to Ra Ra Riot's songs that the complaint seems slight. — Chris Parker
With We Barbarians and Scars on 45. 9 p.m. Friday, April 8. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $14; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
Chip Tha Ripper
Chip Tha Ripper is Cleveland's undisputed mixtape king. Need further proof? The Washington Post recently wrote, "If you listen to one new recording this week, make it Gift Raps," Chip's new mix. We totally agree. Gift Raps is one of the freshest slices of hip-hop to come out of Cleveland in quite some time. In the beginning, Chip was just Kid Cudi's bud, a dude from the block who would hop on a track here and there. These days he's steering Midwest hip-hop in new directions. He's got a slightly southern delivery, complete with drawl, but there's also something totally Cleveland about his style. His flow moves from fast to slow, before dipping into a choppy double rhyme. But he can also fall back and let you enjoy the ride. Chip is hitting the road soon for some dates with Cudi. But he has a few solo headlining gigs first, including this much-anticipated show at Peabody's this weekend. — Jara Anton
9 p.m. Saturday, April 9. Peabody's. Tickets: $15; call 216-776-9999 or go to peabodys.com.
Sharon Van Etten
In her own quiet way, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten has been generating a buzz over the past year. Her haunting voice projects both strength and vulnerability, a distinct blending of Joni Mitchell-style airiness and Neko Case-like earthiness. As the title of her 2009 debut album, Because I Was in Love, suggests, Van Etten's songs often deal with romantic wreckage. She typically addresses an unnamed "you," adding an extra layer of intimacy and directness to her already personal songs. On her second album, last year's terrific Epic, she begins to move on, chanting "Never let myself love like that again" in the opening "A Crime." The album reveals musical growth too: A subtle lushness supplies a dreamlike quality to her songs, which should open up even more on her next album — a record she's already started working on with the Nationals' Aaron Dessner. — Michael Berick
With Uno Lady and Mike Uva & the Bad Eyes. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $12, $10 in advance; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
Jessica Lea Mayfield
Jessica Lea Mayfield sometimes sounds like she's thousands of miles away from her songs. Not physically — producer/bandmate/Black Key Dan Auerbach supplies an intimate warmth to her new album, Tell Me — but emotionally. That distance suits the songs on the 21-year-old Kent singer-songwriter's second album, since most of the cuts are about breaking hearts and doing bad, bad things. You don't want to cozy up to a girl like that. But you do want to sit in as she works out the kinks in her short life. There's plenty of heartbreak on Tell Me — Mayfield gives a lot more than she receives — and there are many late-night confessions about what lurks inside the often-dark heart of this girl. Still, there's an inviting vulnerability here, one she conveys so well with a twangy ache in her voice. Don't miss this show, her first local one since playing Late Show With David Letterman and South by Southwest. — Gallucci
With Daniel Martin Moore and Shivering Timbers. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.