11 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

11 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

Colleen Green

Indie singer-songwriter Colleen Green vocalizes the plight of every maturing Millennial on her most recent full-length, 2015’s I Want to Grow Up. Through her struggles to do and be the right thing, Green recognizes that just when age grants true appreciation for the self-abandonment of childhood, conscience suffocates the last bit of freedom with guilt. Green’s relatively “bare beats” style, a sort of lo-fi bedroom recording approach executed with nothing more than a drum machine, synth, and guitar, is supplemented on this album by additional instrumentation and production from members of JEFF the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet. This May, Green followed up the album with a self-titled EP on Infinity Cat Recordings. Playing dress up with the sound of the Ramones, she delivers deadpan plays-on- words backed by chugging elementary chord progressions, a sound she dubs “Ramones-Core.” (Bethany Kaufman), 8 p.m., $8. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Zac Brown Band

Last summer as singer-guitarist Zac Brown and his nine-piece band strolled unassumingly onto the Blossom stage, Brown, decked out in a black top hat and faded blue jeans, simply nodded in approval to the revelers in the small pit in front of the stage. Brown clearly embraces his fans need to party hearty and that undoubtedly influenced the songs the band decided to play during a crowd-pleasing two-a-half-hour (with a 15-minute intermission) concert. Expect the same tonight from Brown and his terrific backing band as they pepper songs from their back catalog with a few choice covers (maybe even a rendition of Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole"). (Jeff Niesel) 7 p.m., $35-$71.50. Blossom.

Melissa Etheridge

This singer-songwriter, actress, and activist will perform songs from her latest album, 2014’s This is M.E., tonight at Cain Park. The record is an emotional journey of hope and love, all told through intimate pop music. She self-released it through her own label ME Records, and worked tirelessly with pop songwriting veterans to craft all eleven tracks. Expect a very personal, passionate performance from the two-time Grammy winner. (Hannah Borison), 8 p.m., $35-$65. Cain Park.


At this point, it’s hard to imagine that Turnover once embodied pretty much every typical pop punk cliché in the book. Since the release of last year’s Peripheral Vision, the band has completely changed their image and sound — from heartbroken teenagers to down-in- the-dumps twentysomethings as their music has shifted to the dreamier, reverb-heavy side of the spectrum. Don’t underestimate their still-sharp hook writing ability, however. Songs like “Take My Head” and “Humming” have massive earworm potential while still maintaining a bit of a lyrical edge. Their set tonight at Now That’s Class will have the audience’s feet moving whether they like it or not. (Eli Shively), 8 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Now That's Class.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic knows how to put on a show. During a two-hour concert in 2013 before a capacity crowd at Cain Park, the satirist did a bit of everything. He changed into a countless number of different outfits and played funny, home-made videos in which he took clips of celebrity interviews and inserted his own colorful commentary. That show, his last appearance in town, was a crowd-pleasing concert that catered to both the families and hipsters in attendance. With his latest effort, last year’s Mandatory Fun, he proves that he’s still at the top of this game as he turns Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” into “Word Crimes,” Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” into “Tacky,” Lorde’s “Royals” into “Foil” and Iggy Azaela’s “Fancy” into “Handy.” (Niesel) 8 p.m., $37.50-$55. Akron Civic Theatre.


R. Kelly The Buffet Tour

The troubled past of three-time Grammy Award winner and multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and producer R. Kelly includes sex tapes, lawsuits and criminal trials. Check his Wikipedia page to see all his dirty laundry. With those problems reportedly behind him, Kelly has hit the road for the Buffet tour; he performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Wolstein Center. Kelly's thirteenth solo studio album, The Buffet, commences with a raunchy poem and then finds Kelly crooning on tunes such as "Poetic Sex" and "Let's Make Some Noise." (Niesel) 8 p.m., $68-$153. Wolstein Center.

Rascal Flatts

A trio of big name country artists will take Blossom tonight — Rascal Flatts, in particular, is sure to draw a huge crowd. Their storied career dates back to 1999, with releases as late as 2014’s Rewind, which they’ll be performing from on this tour. Kelsea Ballerini is pretty new to pop music fame, as her first studio effort The First Time was released just last year. However, expect her to draw the crowd in with her compelling country-pop, including the radio single “Peter Pan” that’s just been everywhere recently. Rounding out the bill is Chris Lane, a singer/songwriter who’ll be performing songs from his new album Fix. (Borison), 7 p.m., $30.50-$61.25. Blossom.

We Were Promised Jetpacks

This Edinburgh, Scotland quartet made a name for themselves cramming the boundless tone and restlessness of a post punk band into a radio-ready indie rock package. Their latest, 2014’s Unraveling, adds a bit of a more introspective vibe to the formula, but the driving melodies and thundering rhythm section remain in place. The bouncy, cyclical groove of catalog standouts like “Quiet Little Voices” and “Ships With Holes Will Sink” illustrate the energy of their live show perfectly — yes, die hard fans will loudly sing along and those not completely sold will fold their arms and observe, but everyone’s head will undoubtedly be nodding along with the beat. (Shively), 9 p.m., $15. Grog Shop.


Against Me!

Several albums into a storied career, Against Me! has only gotten more in touch with what makes them love punk rock, and doubly as willing to burn the establishment to the ground. Openly transgender frontwoman Laura Jane Grace literally did just that at a recent show in North Carolina — after the now-famous “bathroom bill” was passed making it illegal for transgender people to use public facilities comfortably, she set fire to her birth certificate on stage in front of hundreds of fans. As much as their music is designed to make a statement, however, it’s also easy to see that no one embraces the fun of punk quite like Against Me! does. The sold out Grog Shop crowd will be jumping, finger pointing, and push-pitting their way through back to back nights of hits like “I Was A Teenage Anarchist,” “We Laugh at Danger and Break All The Rules” and “True Trans Soul Rebel.” (Shively), 8 p.m., $22.50-$25. Grog Shop.

Passion Pit

Formed in 2007, Passion Pit is an indietronica band from Boston with a keen understanding of what “good vibes only” means. Passion Pit’s music leaves all negativity behind in favor for light, happy, upbeat tunes that would bring sunshine even to Cleveland. With hits like “Take a Walk,” “Sleepyhead” and “Carried Away,” it’s not uncommon to walk into Urban Outfitters to the sound of Passion Pit permeating the store. The indie hipster following is understandable given the indie hipster nature of the music; the lyrics are great, the electronic instrumentation gives the songs some edge and the overall nature of the music is perfect year-round, but especially during the summer. To put it simply, Passion Pit’s music is just fun. It’s upbeat, high-energy and full of good vibes only. (Immerman), 8 p.m., $35 ADV, $45 DOS. House of Blues.

Joe Walsh/Bad Company

Anytime one-time Kent resident Joe Walsh plays the Cleveland area, it’s an experience that’s not to be missed, and that’s something that was immediately clear entering the parking lot for Packard Music Hall in Warren, where fans were tailgating and picnicking when Walsh played there last year. One group of fans had a selection of framed classic rock albums proudly on display, tiled across the outside of their truck’s back window like awards — including Walsh’s But Seriously, Folks album. Inside the venue, there were more James Gang shirts per square foot than you’re likely to see at any gig on the rest of the tour. Expect a similar reception when Walsh plays Blossom tonight with co-headliners Bad Company. (Niesel), 7 p.m., $20-$125. Blossom.

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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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