Is there a hotter country band these days than Lady Antebellum? The Nashville trio collected a truckload of awards (Grammys, CMAs, etc.) for 2010's mega-popular Need You Now. Last year's Own the Night, their third album, easily debuted at No. 1. It's easy to see why people love them: Charles Kelly, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood are attractive musicians making attractive music. Kelly and Scott's dual vocals radiate soft-focused warmth, while their smooth, melodic tunes dip their toes into the country and pop pools without causing too many waves. It's music that blue and red states can agree on. Where they go from here is up to them. They may just continue down the comfy path they've been traveling or head for more ambitious projects down the way. Right now, they seem more than happy to turn out easy-on-the-ear and lightly twangy country-pop about booty calls and late-night hookups. — Michael Berick
With Darius Rucker and Thompson Square. 7 p.m. Friday, June 1. Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets: $29.50-$59; call 330-920-8040 or visit livenation.com.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
After almost 30 years, people other than the Red Hot Chili Peppers' fans are starting to take them seriously. Last month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized the group as punk-funk-rap pioneers and not just a bunch of guys who used to play concerts with socks wrapped around their cocks. The Chilis' fifth album, 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik, made them stars and revealed a depth on the hit single "Under the Bridge" that was previously hidden on songs like "Sex Rap" and "Skinny Sweaty Man." Since then, the band has lived through its own personal soap opera, what with singer Anthony Kiedis' drug and alcohol struggles and the group's ever-revolving door of guitarists. Old-school fans may lament that the band no longer relies on groove-heavy but somewhat tuneless songs. But last year's I'm With You sounds like a record made by middle-aged guys who are still discovering new ways to rock without resorting to old gimmicks. — John Patrick Gatta
8 p.m. Saturday, June 2. Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets: $38.50 and $58.50; call 888-894-9424 or visit theqarena.com.
Dave Matthews Band
Call them a jam band or whatever you want, but the genre-hopping, seemingly indestructible Dave Matthews Band are the world's hardest working live act. Last year, they sent shock waves through the nation's frat houses by finally halting the tour bus — the group's first break from live performance since its formation back in 1991. Even when longtime woodwind master LeRoi Moore died following an ATV accident in 2008, they played a show the same day. In a number of ways, 2012 is a year of new beginnings. They're back on the road, and their still-untitled eighth album (on which the group reunites with veteran producer Steve Lillywhite) is set for release this fall. Assuming you can handle the sight of some shirtless swaying dudes and the odor of a few weed clouds, the Dave Matthews Band are a must-see group in a live setting, where the songs bloom and breathe, aided by groovy improvisation and more muscle. — Ryan Reed
7 p.m. Sunday, June 3. Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets: $40.50 and $75; call 330-920-8040 or visit livenation.com.
Bluegrass groups — either traditional bands or ones that promise to fuck things up with a little punk — aren't all that rare these days. Lots of reformed alt-country artists (or at least those who can't pay their electric bills) are making music with unplugged banjos, mandolins, and acoustic guitars. But few do it as well as the Punch Brothers, who also happen to be terrific musicians. Led by Chris Thile — who in his teens fronted Nickel Creek, which arguably started the whole bluegrass revival way back in the early '90s — the quintet sounds positively forward-looking on its third album, Who's Feeling Young Now? The centerpiece is a sprawling cover of Radiohead's complicated "Kid A," which the Brothers manage to make even more complex with their screechy fiddles, pulled mandolin strings, and violent guitar thuds. Their original material is tangled too, hurling bluegrass into the 21st century in ways those cowpunks never dreamed. — Gallucci
8 p.m. Sunday, June 3. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $22, $20 in advance; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
Go back and listen to The King of Limbs, the album Radiohead released online last year. Chances are pretty good you'll find a bunch of things going on in there you didn't hear the first few times you listened before dismissing it with a shrug. In a catalog filled with thorny and often impenetrable albums, the band's eighth is the easiest to give up on when the going gets tough. Not so coincidentally, much of this has to do with the way the album was released: without much notice, online as a discount download, and with very little promotion by the band. In a way, it doesn't seem like much of an album, at least at first. It's also the band's shortest LP. But go back and listen to it. Buried deep in the sounds of a band still playing at its peak is a record of intense warmth and raging inventiveness. The songs are based on loops and samples and traditional instruments filtered through new methods of recording. In a way, it's Radiohead's most intricate work — a rich and, yes, rewarding piece of music that isn't as disposable as it initially appears. The group brings the songs, reworked and stage-sturdy, to Blossom this week, along with some new cuts and old faves. — Michael Gallucci
With Caribou. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6. Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets: $43 and $69.50; call 330-920-8040 or visit livenation.com.
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