German rock writer Ironingo couldn't be more excited about returning to Cleveland this weekend. Last year, he hosted Auburn Records' 25th-anniversary concert, and he's back at the Beachland at 4 p.m. Saturday to host another free metal blowout. This one features local bands Black Death, Breaker, Destructor, Eternal Legacy, Ground Zero, H.A.T.E., Lick the Blade, Shok Paris, Soulless, and Venomin James. Iron Maiden cover band Maiden Voyage will also perform. Since meeting Auburn owner Bill Peters in Germany 10 years ago — when the Cleveland metal band Breaker played a club date to warm up for their gig at a huge metal festival — Ironingo has stayed in touch with the host of WJCU's long-running Metal on Metal program. "Bill was wearing an Iron Maiden shirt, and you know who my favorite band is," laughs Ironingo. "We talked to each other and met again at the festival, and that was the beginning of a deep friendship between metalheads." Ironingo is a huge fan of Cleveland's metal scene, which he says is on par with Germany's. "I like the unique style every band from Cleveland has," he says. "They are very true to themselves and don't need to copy someone else. There are a lot of talented bands rehearsing in garages, basements, or somewhere where they are allowed to turn up the Marshall [amps]." Ironingo has been a metal fan ever since he heard Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" when he was a teen. But Iron Maiden is his all-time favorite. "I remember very clear the day I listened the first time to The Number of the Beast," he says. "I was electrified by the cool cover and the great music."
Formerly known as Amplexus, Akron indie rockers Hawks & Wolves (hawksandwolves.com) celebrate the release of their new album at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Grog Shop. Squid the Whale, Wake the Lion, and Cadence Delicate open. Tickets are $8, $6 in advance.
Veteran sax man Ernie Krivda (erniekrivda.com) hosts a CD-release party for his new Live at the Dirty Dog at 7 p.m. Sunday at Nighttown. The Detroit Connection will play with him. Tickets are $20.
The Crooked River Blues Band, Wooly Bullies, Madame & the Moist Towelettes, and Founding Fathers play the Beachland Tavern at 9 p.m. Saturday as part of Justice Rocks, an annual benefit concert for local social-justice organizations. Tickets are $10. You can find more information at beachlandballroom.com.
Michael Stanley & the Resonators (michaelstanley.com) will play their annual holiday shows on two consecutive Saturdays at House of Blues. The first one is this weekend; the other one takes place next Saturday, December 18. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $31. A portion of ticket sales benefits the local nonprofit Cornerstone of Hope.
It's not quite Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but Neil Zaza's One Silent Night (neilzaza.com) has become a yuletide tradition around here. The guitar virtuoso brings the eighth annual outing of his holiday show to the Palace Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets range from $30 to $75.
Akron hard rockers Red Sun Rising (redsunrisingmusic.com) celebrate the release of their new album, The Making of Kings, with a show at the Akron Civic Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15.
Akron singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert (ryanhumbert.com) hosts his second annual Strung Out Holiday Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Akron Civic Theatre. He'll be backed by a 15-piece acoustic band. Humbert will also celebrate his 30th birthday with an informal party in the lobby after the concert. Tickets for the show are $15 and $20.
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