Your Complete Guide to Cleveland Concerts (December 12 - 18)


Bad Boys Jam: 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Bee String Band/Greg Braun: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Tab Benoit/Sol Driven Train: Louisiana-born blues guitarist Tab Benoit started up "Voice of the Wetlands," a charity focusing on coastal preservation, back in 2003. Thing is, that moniker is also apropos for Benoit. With the grit of the delta blues in his guitar work and the thick atmosphere of his vocals, Benoit's commitment to the South's legacy of all things Cajun is quite strong. And it's all very exciting to listen to on the muggy days of summer. All we've got up here in Cleveland are bitter winters, so Benoit's blues will have to contend with that. Shouldn't be a problem. Pick up a copy of 1992's Nice and Warm or 2011's Medicine for perspectives on his early and late career points, respectively. 8 p.m., $20-$30. Beachland Ballroom. (Eric Sandy)

Burning River Ramblers/Scarlet & the Harlots/Boomslang: 8:30 p.m., $5. Grog Shop.

Sammy DeLeon/Jackie Warren Latin Jazz Sextet: 8 p.m., $10. Nighttown.

Gates/Worship This!/A Work of Fiction/Wolf Creek (in the Locker Room): 7:30 p.m., $6 ADV, $8 DOS. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Chris Hatton (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Jam Night with Tower City Blues: 8:30 p.m. Grillers Pub.

Alan Madej/99 Spirits/Bwak Dwagon: 9 p.m., $5. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Whitey Morgan & the 78s/Church of the Lazy Bastards/C.J. Gunn & the Exceptions: 8:30 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern.

New Soft Shoe: 8 p.m., free. Happy Dog.

Taproot/A Liar's Eyes/Cathercist: 6:30 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Agora Ballroom.

Justin Timberlake: 8 p.m., $45-$175. Quicken Loans Arena.


Artists for Akron Benefit featuring Shivering Timbers/Ahi-nama/Dave Hammer's Power Supply/Hayden Calling: 8 p.m., $10. Musica.

Big Dummy Xe La Residency (in the Locker Room): 9 p.m., free. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Cumulus Entertainment presents Winter Warm Up 2013: $25 ADV, $30 DOS. The Agora Theatre.

Art Garfunkel: 7:30 p.m., $65. Hanna Theatre.

Holiday Hip-hop Showcase with Bschors/Joey Long & Kjay/Thy Mule/Matt Campy/Circleside/Big Squeeze/Jloudz/Superjones/Saint Dank/Dude Sufi/Brandon Mims: 8 p.m., $6-$8. The Kent Stage.

Hoots and Hellmouth/Holy Ghost Tent Revival/The Luckey Ones: 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern.

Jimmy Jack: 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Jen and Liz B-Day Bash & Show with Cracked Cup/Mr. California/DJ Jackson the Cat: 9 p.m., free. Now That's Class.

Mellowhigh featuring Hodgy Beats/Domo Genesis and Left Brain/Dope Kulture/Analog Phantom/Mortar Team: It's fair to say that any project tied to the Odd Future family is worth a listen. But, then again, it's also fair to say that any Saturday afternoon is made more enjoyable by a few hits of LSD. The thing is, the guys from Mellowhigh and, ostensibly, Odd Future, twist and wrangle contemporary hip-hop in really weird ways. Sometimes, it's extraordinary ("Yonkers," for instance). Elsewhere, the OFWGKTA imprint leaves a sloppy and awkward trip ("Rella," really). Mellowhigh — rappers Domo Genesis and Hodgy Beats and producer Left Brain — leans more toward the former, thankfully, but falls short of blowing minds. The group's debut album, nary a month old now, is a strong collection of tunes. That much is true. But where the music and rhymes and beats could go deeper, they routinely don't. Anyway, "Yu" is a solid single, and "Roofless" has that distinct Odd Future weirdness. 9 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Grog Shop. (Sandy)

Miss Alexandra Huntingdon/Pinch and Squeal/Scarlet and the Harlots: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.

Mustang Sally: 9 p.m., $10. Thirsty Cowboy.

New Wave Rave: 9 p.m. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Ohio City Singers Holiday Cabaret/Roxxymoron: 8 p.m., $15. Akron Civic Theatre.

Smokin' Fez Monkeys/Max's Farm: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

The Spark Plugz: 8:30 p.m. Peppermill Pub and Grill.

Super Diamond: 8:30 p.m., $17 ADV, $20 DOS. House of Blues.

The Websters: 9:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.


DEC 14

Wesley Bright & the Highlites Christmas Show/The Mighty Soul Tornadoes: 9:30 p.m., $7. Musica.

The Commonwealth/Oldboy/Gomez Addams: 10:30 p.m. Grog Shop.

Disco Inferno: 9:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Exploding Lies/Filmstrip/Aircraft: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.

Alan Greene Band: 8:30 p.m. Peppermill Pub and Grill.

Chris Isaak: 8 p.m., $68-$90. The Kent Stage.

Katty Whomp Us/The Lenny Gray Jazz Trio: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Tony Koussa Jr. Duo (in the Wine Bar): 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Austin Lucas/Allison Weiss/P.J. Bond/Austin Craig: 8 p.m., $12. Beachland Tavern.

Moistboyz/Black Puddle Noise: 9 p.m., $14 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Kip Moore/Drake White/The Big Fire: 8 p.m., $25 ADV, $28 DOS. House of Blues.

Polkadot Cadaver "From Bethlehem to Oblivion" Christmas Show/Downtown Brown: 6 p.m., $10 ADV, $13 DOS. Agora Ballroom.

R. Stevie Moore: 9 p.m. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Rebel Yun: 9 p.m. Thirsty Cowboy.

Russian Duo: 8:30 p.m., $15. Nighttown.

Ryan Humbert's 5th Annual Holiday Extravaganza: 8 p.m., $15-$20. Akron Civic Theatre.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., $29-$68.50. Quicken Loans Arena.

Witchfeet/The Public/Cherry Cola Champions: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.


Adventure Club/DVBBS/Dallask/Hunter Siegel: 9 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues.

Anamanaguchi/Broken Keys: 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Hot Jazz Seven: 3 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Rock, Salt & Nails/Leah Marra: 6:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Bill Rudman's A Christmas Cabaret: 7 p.m., $22-$30. Nighttown.

Saves the Day: 7 p.m. Musica.

School of Rock: 12 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Spacehog/Sponge/Lionize/The Red Paintings: Some consider Spacehog's "In the Meantime" among the greatest rock 'n' roll tunes of all time. Others still will whisper in dark corners that it is the greatest such song. Leaving the highfalutin and mostly misplaced debate aside for now, Spacehog remains a killer rock band from across the pond. Reeling in glam rock influences to go with its '90s aural attitude, the band is true to its roots. And Sponge will round out the bill with them tonight, which is awesome. What a great pairing! Sponge recently cut their seventh studio album, Stop the Bleeding, which harkens back to their earlier material. The single, "Come in from the Rain," will have you longing for simpler times and nodding your head in agreement with singer Vinnie Dombroski's poetry. 7:30 p.m., $17 ADV, $20 DOS. Grog Shop. (Sandy)

Stevie Stone/Caskey: 6 p.m., $12 ADV, $14 DOS. Agora Ballroom.


The Breeders: It has been 20 years since the Breeders made a huge splash with Last Splash; the noise-pop group formed when the Pixies Dayton, Ohio-born Kim Deal started writing songs while the Pixies were on a European tour. Deal originally hooked up with Throwing Muses' Tanya Donelly, but eventually also brought her sister Kelley into the fold for Last Splash, the album that featured the band's most popular single, "Cannonball." To mark the album's twentieth anniversary, the group has reissued the disc as a three-CD package (and seven-disc vinyl box set) and reconvened the original Last Splash line-up for a U.S. tour that started earlier this year in Oberlin. Not quite grunge or riot grrrl, the band occupied a sort of musical middle ground. "We were all kind of not looking for an identity through music," says Kelley Deal. "We were very Midwest." A tune such as "Divine Hammer" has a great energy behind it. "Kim [Deal] and I started working on that when we were 17," says Deal. "We had a different version that was not called 'Divine Hammer.' I think it was called 'You Always Hang Around.' Then, Kim had changed the lyrics and rearranged it a little. It probably would have been pretty decent at any of those stages." Expect to hear it and a bunch of other tunes from Last Splash at tonight's show. 8:30 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Devon Allman: 8 p.m. Wilbert's.

Brian Henke/Jim Lesher & Rose: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Donny & Marie's Christmas in Cleveland: 7:30 p.m., $49.50-$125. Quicken Loans Arena.


Blu Monsoon: 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Classical Revolution Cleveland: 8 p.m. Happy Dog.

Hugh Cornwell/Rainy Day Saints: 8:30 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Tavern.

Anita Keys & Friends/Charlie Mosbrook: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Lyrical Rhythms: Poetry and Soul Open Mic: 9 p.m. Grog Shop.

Outlab: Experiments in Improvised Music (in the Locker Room): 9 p.m., free. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Bill Rudman's A Christmas Cabaret: 7 p.m., $22-$30. Nighttown.

Adam Warrock/Tribe One/2D6: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.


10 X 3 Hosted by Brent Kirby (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

AnimalxHouse CLE/Key!/Sted Lee/G4Shi: 9 p.m., $13. Grog Shop.

FM — A Tribute to Steely Dan: 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: Rocksino. 8:30 p.m. Hard Rock Rocksino.

Loves It!/Rodney & the Regulars/The Railshakers: 8 p.m., $8. Beachland Tavern.

Joe Rollin' Porter/Joe Garcia: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Wetbrain Baltimore vs. Wetbrain Cleveland/Drug Problem/Kill the Hippies: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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