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Live and Loud! 

From punk to pop, this summer brings shows for all tastes.

Darkest Hour
  • Darkest Hour
Whether you're a punker who never misses the Warped Tour or a giggling schoolgirl who spent the last three months glued to American Idol, nothing says summer like live music. This year's crop of tours has something for everybody, so make sure to reserve those tickets in advance.

The Pixies
At CMJ/Rock Hall Music Fest
Two shows, Wednesday, June 8:
7:30 p.m. at the Rock Hall
9:30 p.m. at Scene Pavilion
The Pixies actually lived up to the hype surrounding their 2004 reunion, and the college radio stalwarts had such a good time that they're making a year of it. Featuring Frank "Black Francis" Black and sultry Breeder Kim Deal, the alt-rock all-stars storm through a catalogue of favorites and new soft-loud-soft material. Gen-Xers can catch the early show and still make it home to tuck in the kids.

An Evening With James Taylor
Wednesday, June 22, 8 p.m.
Blossom Music Center
James Taylor is the man with the hits, and he'll play them all tonight. "Fire and Rain." "Sweet Baby James." "Carolina on My Mind." 'Nuff said. Taylor brings his six-string, some carefully chosen friends, and his mile-deep back catalogue of timeless favorites for a long night under the stars.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers/ The Black Crowes
Thursday, June 30, 7 p.m.
Blossom Music Center

Old-time rock and roll never sounds better than during a summer night at Blossom. The Black Crowes are reuniting to tour with Tom Petty, who takes long breaks, but never disappears. This is the summer's the-whole-crowd-knows-all-the-words-to-every-song concert.

Sounds of the Underground
Tuesday, July 5, noon
Scene Pavilion

Ozzfest is playing Columbus and Pittsburgh this year, but not Cleveland. Worry not, headbangers: Some of the most brutal bands in the land are playing the Sounds of the Underground tour, an affordable alternative with teeth. The hometown headbangers of Chimaira share the bill with High on Fire, Clutch, Terror, and a dozen other hard-and-heavy comers.

Toby Keith/Lee Ann Womack/ Shooter Jennings
Friday, July 8, 7:30 p.m.
Blossom Music Center

Toby Keith's career shot into orbit with his 9/11 response, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" -- you know, the "put a boot in their ass" song. With the new Honkytonk University, T.K.'s raucous country is still shockin' y'all (that's Oklahoma-talk for "you guys"), and he'll headline the summer's biggest country show. You'll hear his many hits from the last few years, including "Beer for My Horses" -- but with brews costing around $8 a pop, the nags probably won't get too many.

Strhess Tour 2005
Thursday, July 14, 6:30 p.m.
House of Blues

Cleveland's own punk poster artist Derek Hess sponsors the annual Strhess Fest, a night of emo, screamo, and metalcore that's like a Warped Tour for the big kids. This year's lineup includes Bleeding Through, Zao, Darkest Hour, Fight Paris, and Misery Signals. Smart money has the already massively popular Darkest Hour pegged as the breakout stars -- look for material from their very metal new LP, Undoing Ruin, to turn heads.

Vans Warped Tour
Thursday, July 21, noon
Tower City Amphitheater

Bigger than ever and showing no signs of stopping, the Vans Warped Tour is now in its 11th year. Nonstop punk rock plays all day on five stages for under a dollar a band. Headliners include All-American Rejects, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Dropkick Murphys, Fall Out Boy, Matchbook Romance, the Offspring, and Transplants. The post-hardcore rockers of Oreon and a handful of other Cleveland bands will play side stages.

American Idols Live
Tuesday, August 2, 7 p.m.
Wolstein Center at CSU

The American Idol class of 2005 will strut their stuff live all summer long. Shaker's own Scott Savol shares the stage with the rest of the Top 10: Bo Bice, Anthony Fedorov, Constantine Maroulis, Anwar Robinson, Jessica Sierra, Nikko Smith, Vonzell Solomon, Nadia Turner, and Carrie Underwood. The fast-paced production keeps the costumes and sets rotating, with new selections, old favorites, and new versions of old favorites.

Def Leppard/Bryan Adams
Saturday, August 6, 6:30 p.m.
Eastlake Stadium
These two great '80s rock acts are unlikely tourmates, but they're an inspired pairing. Still hailed in these parts as the band that saved rock, Def Leppard took popular metal to unprecedented success, scoring a streak of smash singles with the multiplatinum Pyromania and Hysteria LPs, all of which will be on display for this greatest-hits tour. Also look for Adams' many radio staples, from "Summer of '69" to "Kids Wanna Rock." So let's get rocked, kids.

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