Whiskey Business returns to Red Space on Friday, November 9 - Limited Tickets Available Here!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Rick Springfield to Perform at Hard Rock Live on Valentine's Day

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 8:06 AM

A Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who has sold 25 million albums and had 17 U.S. Top 40 hits over the course of a career that stretches back decades, Rick Springfield explores the bluesy side of his sound on his latest album, The Snake King.

He brings his Stripped Down solo tour in support of the disc to Hard Rock Live on Thursday, Feb. 14, for a special Valentine's Day performance.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Pete Yorn Mixes Humorous Anecdotes Into His Solo Acoustic Show at the Grog Shop

Concert Review

Posted By on Sun, Oct 21, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn walked onto the tiny Grog Shop stage last night looking like he was a slightly disheveled character from a Wes Anderson film, his head hung low and his signature wavy hair threatening to hide his face from the crowd with every bounce and head turn. He began his solo, acoustic show with the haunted track "Vampyre" off his 2006 album Nightcrawler.

Yorn quickly engaged the crowd by admitting he had been backstage watching the Oregon Ducks game on his phone. They were losing, and he asked that someone please let him know if the game turned around in the Ducks' favor while he was on stage. He said he likes the Ducks because he likes birds, and ducks are birds. This statement made complete sense coming from Yorn.

He warned the crowd that he had been a “Chatty Cathy” the past week, which he felt could change at any moment. He gushed about how much he loves Cleveland, and that he always visits Cleveland during his tours except for the last one due to having a baby at home but joked that she is 3-years-old now, so he doesn't need to be home anymore. He reminded everyone that the Eagles were also playing in Cleveland last night, and said if he wasn't performing, he would probably be at the Eagles show, admitting he would understand if we all left to go see the Eagles instead. Yorn then performed a few bars of the Eagles' "Peaceful Easy Feeling," which flowed directly into the song that ignited his career, "Life on a Chain."

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Revised Eagles Lineup Receives a Warm Welcome at the Q

Concert Review

Posted By on Sun, Oct 21, 2018 at 1:54 PM

  • Scott Sandberg
The last time that the Eagles were in town at Quicken Loans Arena in 2013, one of the best moments of the night came at the very beginning as Don Henley and Glenn Frey came out with only a couple of acoustic guitars, sat down and delivered an intimate rendering of “Saturday Night” from 1973’s Desperado album. It felt like a trip back to how it must have sounded when they were writing the song and playing it together for the first time. The rest of the first set that night unfolded in similar fashion with the remaining band members joining Henley and Frey gradually as they continued to dig through the corners of their back catalog for similar obscurities that hadn’t been played as much in recent times.

The tragic passing of Frey just a few short years later at the beginning of 2016 made that night at the Q feel like a really special parting gift. Understandably, it was announced that the Eagles would not continue. And how could they? One of the great creative and vocal partnerships had been silenced with Frey’s exit. The subsequent decision to carry forward with Frey’s son, Deacon, stepping into the mix in place of his father and with longtime country singer/songwriter Vince Gill also joining up was met with some trepidation from fans. Their debut performance at the Classic West festival in Los Angeles in July of last year went well and they continued to book scattered dates before eventually announcing a full tour.

More than a year later, Cleveland fans got their first look at the revised lineup last night, and the band received a warm welcome. In fact, all they had to do was walk on stage where as they stood motionless for a moment in the shadows, the crowd, packed to the rafters, cheered at full volume. They began with the a cappella vocal opening of “Seven Bridges Road,” that demonstrated with no question that even with a shuffling of the lineup, that classic Eagles sound is still there.

You can see a slideshow of photos from the show here.

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20 Essential Cleveland Pho and Ramens to Warm Your Frozen Ass Up

Posted on Sun, Oct 21, 2018 at 11:48 AM

The Barr Brothers Weave Delicate Web in Masterful Beachland Ballroom Show

Concert Review

Posted By on Sun, Oct 21, 2018 at 11:20 AM

The Barr Brothers, a spacey, bluesy folk outfit from Montreal, have slowly been picking up what seems almost like underground global acclaim. Their tours are bringing them deeper into the States, and they're finding some room on satellite radio, yet audiences like last night's in Cleveland demonstrate that theirs remains a small and dedicated following. All the better for those of us who love this band, anyway.

Spawned from the avant-jam trio the Slip, the Barr Brothers blend old-world musical traditions with a knack for supreme rock 'n' roll songwriting. Brothers Brad and Andrew are masters of their instruments (guitar, drums, respectively), and they've surrounded themselves with energetic talent from up north. Harpist Eveline Gregoire-Rousseau joined the band after the departure of founding member Sarah Pagé; her performance last night beneath the Beachland disco ball was a marvel.

And that's really all you're left to say after a Barr Brothers show. It was marvelous.

I'd brought along two friends who'd never seen them before, and they attested: They were speechless even just a few songs in, and their jaws had cleared a sizable hole in the old, wooden floor of the one-time Croatian social hall. That's what you get when, say, a passionate band like the Barr Brothers opens with a haunting and quiet rendition of "How the Heroine Dies," with Brad, head wrapped in purple bandana, crooning above a mic wrapped in coiling light bulbs. Bands don't start sets with haunting introspection unless they mean business.

The rest of the show? Dynamite stuff. Highlights included the bluesy freneticism of "Half Crazy" and the sweeping, bucolic majesty of "Beggar in the Morning." Bass solos, searing slide guitar, enchanting harp work, the syncopated rhythms of Andrew's percussion and the pure vibration transference of Brad's dazzling "string bow" technique. It's all part of a grand story.

How the Heroine Dies
Look Before It Changes
Valhallas/Ooh, Belle
Hideous Glorious
Queens of the Breakers
Even the Darkness Has Arms
Half Crazy
Come in the Water
The Bear at the Window
Beggar in the Morning

Song That I Heard
You Would Have to Lose Your Mind

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Meet the Two Women Behind 'Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies),' Previewing Tonight at CPT

Posted By on Sat, Oct 20, 2018 at 11:23 AM

(L-R) Matt O’Shea, Caitlin Lewins, Melissa Crum, Joshua  McElroy, Madelyn Hayes. - PHOTO BY STEVE WAGNER.
  • Photo by Steve Wagner.
  • (L-R) Matt O’Shea, Caitlin Lewins, Melissa Crum, Joshua McElroy, Madelyn Hayes.

For the last three years, Caitlin Lewins and Melissa Crum have been developing a new musical called Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies), boasting song titles like, "No One I Love is Gonna Die Today," "Bathroom Love," "Laughter is Medicine," "Masturbation Song," "Keep Fucking Going" and "Falling Apart."

Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies) is a "hot mess musical" about a group of close friends struggling to navigate the tragedies of life, guided by poor decision-making and maybe too much alcohol. Together, these friends try just about anything to find happiness while the ties of friendship fray. It's a dark musical comedy celebrating of the not-so-happy ways in which we persevere, grow and change — whether we want to or not.

Despite the popularity of the medium with women, musical theater, especially composition is dominated by white men. Before 1991, there had only been six female composers on Broadway, total. For two women to compose and stage a full-fledged musical is highly unusual, but in Cleveland it's almost unheard of.
Lewins and Crum have known each other for many years and were trying to find the perfect opportunity to work together. In preparation for Cleveland Public Theatre's annual 'Pandemonium' celebration, the duo tackled that year's theme of "Transform" by writing songs about, as Crum put it, "the transformative power of lying to yourself."

"From when we first met, we were really drawn to each other because we have really similar dark senses of humor," Caitlin Lewins tells Scene. Over cups of coffee at Gypsy Beans in Gordon Square, the duo began writing out lists of songs they'd want to bring to fruition, and sharing stories of the similar upbringings and life experiences they'd endured that brought them together.

Above all else, the duo decided that the musical they wrote had to be funny, had to have an existential crisis and had to relate to things they were dealing with right now.

"We just kept writing these one-liner songs that were the lies we tell ourselves to keep going and to get us through our day to day lives when shit is falling all around us," says Lewins. Some of the original titles from their coffee-shop writing sessions made it to the final cut, like "Nobody I love is Going to Die Today," or "I'm Not a Slut, But You Are," Crum chimes in.

The show developed over time with the help of Cleveland Public Theatre's Catapult program, and both women held fellowship positions within the theatre as well. In particular, the women thank CPT's Executive Artistic Director, Raymond Bobgan, for his assistance in making this show a possibility.

"It was an interesting process because we're two different people, so we wanted to find ways to bring honor each other's voices while also finding a collective voice to tell a story that we hope will resonate with others," Crum says.

Stylistically, the music of the show covers a variety of genres and doesn't necessarily feel like traditional musical theatre. As Crum described it, the show feels more like a theatrical concert.

"There are moments where the nerdy musical theatre kid in us comes out, but there's influences of grunge, Italian arias and folksy singer/songwriters throughout the piece," Lewins says.

While the show is created by women and focuses on the journey of  women within their friend group, the duo firmly believes the transformative power of lying to oneself a universal appeal.

"Writing about women's issues from the actual perspective of a woman is critical, because we often hear stories about the women's perspective but they're not actually written by women, and that often feels like a contradiction in a same way because it doesn't feel authentic to our experience," says Crum.

"It's a story everyone can relate to, it's a coming-of-age story about being in your late 20s-early 30s and trying to figure out why the world is falling apart and how they're going to push through it," Lewins says. "And they do it in the wrong way, which I think is something we have all done at some point."

"I hate that we have to think of it as a 'woman's story,' because it's a story about human beings, and no one would look at a film or play that's male-centric and say 'this is a man's story,'" Crum says. "I'd love to break through some of those barriers of having to define it as one thing, but look at it more as the human experience we're all going through together."

Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies) is directed by Matthew Wright. It premieres at Cleveland Public Theatre tonight and runs through Nov. 10. For additional show and ticket information, click here.

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In Bittersweet Throwdown, Minus the Bear Says 'Farewell' to Cleveland

Posted By on Sat, Oct 20, 2018 at 8:53 AM

"That's Josh, and he lives here!"

After Minus the Bear threw down an absolute heater of a final set at the Agora last night, they walked off the stage to roaring cheers and applause. Just a total, ecstatic din. My buddy Josh—and we were standing about midway up the tiered theater—he started chanting "MTB! MTB! MTB!" Reveling in the moment, a few of us around him joined in too. "MTB! MTB! MTB!" Then, a few more people. Then, waves of chanting cascades down to the pit and across the other levels of the room. "MTB! MTB! MTB!" A chorus of enthusiasm.

The ripple effect was incredible. We'd been going to see Minus the Bear for years, and, now, with just one encore left, that was all over. This was the "farewell tour," and we all knew that the band would not be coming back to Cleveland—or anywhere—after this tour. You don't often get to see a show and know that you won't be seeing that band again. (Elton John fans will feel this in about two weeks.) It's strange. Bittersweet. Memories of past tours flood the brain, and it's impossible not to give in to sort of introspection about what this means in the context of your life. It's a chapter, in a way, and now you're slipping out of a distinct era.

Sometimes, all you can do is chant. Cheer. Bellow. "MTB! MTB! MTB!"

When singer Jake Snider came back out with the rest of the band, for one last encore in Cleveland, he stepped to the mic and said, "That's Josh, and he lives here!" And I swear, it seemed like he was pointing out my friend, one of the many people who've been coming to these shows for years, and the one guy who got the roaring MTB! chant going from the start. The chapter had come full circle.

He wasn't, though. Snider, of course, was pointing to drummer Josh Sparks, who joined the band as a touring member last year and who, yes, lives in Cleveland now. The crowd cheered in support, and Minus the Bear kicked off a thrilling encore that culminated in "Pachuca Sunrise," the 2005 single that got the band closest to what one might call a degree of mainstream success.

The entire setlist was a brilliant sojourn across 17 years of canon. New stuff, old stuff. The band even released one last EP yesterday, and they played one of those tunes.

Minus the Bear has always been an extremely tight band, and they displayed that keen, agile ability to syncopate riffs and beats with aplomb last night. Highlights included "Absinthe Party...," "The Fix," the languid "White Mystery." Honestly, it was all good.

The thing with Minus the Bear is that their catalog is consistent enough to produce great setlists no matter how they shake up their song selection. In recent tours, they've really maintained a focus on the early stuff, which is just terrific. During a farewell tour, I think, too, that it's entirely appropriate and important that the band keeps the pedal on the floor with the early music that jolted them from inside joke into actual band—an actual band with a story to tell.

Snider, bedecked in long, graying beard, grooved loosely while bassist Cory Murchy and guitarist Dave Knudson flailed wildly—ever a study in contrasts, this band. Knudson was often the visual magnet onstage, swinging his guitar around like a ribbon and kneeling, almost in prayer, above his effects board. Sparks, of Cleveland, kept the polyrhythms in line with steady, eight-armed percussion work. The percussion, after all, is the heart of Minus the Bear's appeal. Was the heart, I should say.

Last Kiss
Lemurs, Man, Lemurs
Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse
Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister
Diamond Lightning
My Time
Summer Angel
Cold Company
Fair Enough
The Fix
Fine + 2 Pts
I'm Totally Not Down With Rob's Alien
This Ain't a Surfin' Movie
The Game Needed Me
White Mystery
We Are Not a Football Team
Let's Play Guitar In a Five Guitar Band

Hey, Wanna Throw Up? (guitar intro)
Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo
Into the Mirror
Throwin' Shapes
Pachuca Sunrise

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