12 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

click to enlarge 12 Concerts to Catch This Weekend


While often lumped in with the late-90s alt-rock scene (thanks to breakout hit “Fa Fa”), Guster has actually spent most of its career firmly entrenched in the far more amorphous post-Y2K indie world. With 2015’s Evermotion, the band stretches its legs even further, drifting away from more straightforward rock riffs and into open-air chord progressions and, as at least one song titles hints, lazy, loving songwriting. “With every record, we lose some people and gain a bunch more,” singer-guitarist Ryan Miller told us last year. “There are people who have decided what Guster was and are now coming back. They’re like. 'Oh wow.' We’re a gateway drug for people in junior high and high school who went on to cooler music. I want those people to check in. I have a feeling that if you’re into Wilco or the Shins, we’re not that far away.” That much is as true as ever as the band skates into its 15th year. (Eric Sandy), 8 p.m., $38.50 ADV, $41 DOS. The Kent Stage.

The Travelin McCourys

With another wildly successful Delfest under the national bluegrass scene’s belt, the progeny of Del McCoury himself remain on the road, pickin’ and providin’ heady fun wherever they land, which, tonight, would be the banks of the Cuyahoga. The Travelin’ McCourys are a force unto their own, and they provide excellent entertainment wherever they wander. Del’s sons, Ronnie McCoury (mandolin) and Rob McCoury (banjo), continue their father’s work with dextrous aplomb, dishing up interesting setlists and endless surprises each night. While we’re at it, we’d also like to mention the band’s album with Keller Williams — 2012’s Pick — which is a delightful little ‘grass album if we’ve ever heard one. (Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $15 ADV, $19 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.


Curmudgeonly singer-guitarist Chuck Cleaver has such a long history of putting out great music and having little to show for it, you wonder how the guy keeps at it. With the Ass Ponys, the Cincinnati-based indie rock act that he formed in 1988, he actually did have a brush with major label fame when A&M inked him to a multi-album deal. But that arrangement didn’t last and those records didn’t sell particularly well despite receiving critical acclaim. With his latest outfit Wussy, which he formed in 2005, Cleaver has a terrific vehicle for his shimmering songs that alternately embrace a twangy, alt-country sound and then drone like a modern-day approximation of the Velvet Underground. Cleaver and guitarist Lisa Walker share singing duties, making for dynamic vocal interplay that really shines on the band’s recent release Forever Sounds. (Jeff Niesel), 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern.



Buckcherry is the band that just won't die. Initially, the hard rock group dissolved in 2002, but after that short hiatus, band founders Josh Todd and Keith Nelson reformed the group in 2005 and got a good second wind when the song "Crazy Bitch" went viral thanks to a racy music video. Just last year, the band issued its latest studio album, Rock 'n' Roll. Expect to hear songs from it along with all the "hits," or "hit" as the case might be. (Jeff Niesel), 7 p.m., $22. House of Blues.

Sam Hooper Group

With four CDs released on the FBJoy Records label, singer-guitarist Sam Hooper, who grew up in Shaker Heights, has assembled a significant discography. His songs have been featured on the daytime TV dramas All My Children and The Young & the Restless. The guys in his band are no slouches. Keyboardist Sakait N. Baksar plays with the local jazz-fusion band Horns and Things, and bassist Derrick James is the music director for the band. Produced by Hooper and Mike Null and recorded by James Kananen in Cleveland at Bad Racket Studios, Hoodoo Blues, the latest from Hooper and Null, features a classic blues sound. A song like "Messin' with the Hook" features a terrific mid-song jam punctuated by some back and forth between Hooper and Baksar. Mixing and mastering was handled by India.Arie producer/engineer Jim Lightman at JL Productions in Nashville. (Niesel), 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern.

Into The Blue

Grateful Dead Revival: Regardless of your take on the Grateful Dead, the band to which Into the Blue, an ensemble of local musicians pays tribute, the group maintains a damn important stature in the rock 'n' roll canon. Into the Blue revives that spirit and lends it the respect Jerry and Co. rightfully deserve. Anyone interesting in hearing — and seeing — great music flow from the stage should check out what these guys are doing. Fellow musicians and artists will glean inspiration. (Sandy), 9 p.m., $12. Beachland Ballroom.

Joe Jackson

British singer-songwriter Joe Jackson, 61, started playing piano in bars when he was 16. He hasn't looked back. His debut album, 1978's Look Sharp!, turned into a big hit thanks to the success of the single, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" The follow-up album, 1979's I'm the Man, delivered the hit "It's Different for Girls," a snotty single that had elements of Elvis Costello to it. Jackson would subsequently dabble in a number of genres, including reggae, classical and jazz. On his latest album, Fast Forward, his nasally vocals sound a bit more tempered (old age will do that to you) on tunes such as the somber title track and the tender "King of the City." Since Jackson has a reputation for telling audiences to shut the fuck up while he performs, it's a good thing that the current tour brings him to the intimate Trinity Cathedral. The show marks one of only ten stops on the current tour. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Trinity Cathedral.


About two and a half years ago, this local indie rock band hit a "bit of a rough patch" when many of its intended projects didn't come to fruition. When it came time to put together a new studio release, the group simply went through "a pile of songs" it had recorded for other projects over the course of three years to find tracks that would work on a new studio release. The resulting self-titled album, the band's second full-length release after 2013's Love In Danger, comes out later this month. It features a combination of combination of noisy No Wave and sludge-y Amphetamine Reptile stuff. Tonight's show serves as a release party for the album. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

Streets of Laredo

Streets of Laredo is a family band, based around siblings Daniel, Dave, and Sarahjane Gibson, and the sense of chemistry and confidence that arises from such a creative environment can easily be heard in their music. The talented group of New Zealanders are primarily inspired by mid-20th century folk rock, taking stomp-along percussion and layering it with a variety of instrumentation as well as slightly fuzzy vocals that drive each track forward with their old fashioned charm and sharp lyrical focus. Their recent single "99.9%" never stops to catch its breath throughout its sub-3 minute duration, an eighth note acoustic guitar groove and echoing brass keeping things lively and moving along. (Eli Shively), 8 p.m., $12. House of Blues Cambridge Room.


Hey Mercedes

Reunion and anniversary tours are currently in vogue in the realm of emo and punk music, and the legendary early 2000s four-piece Hey Mercedes are combining the two for a bill that reads like an emo lover’s dream. The group, which originally formed from the ashes of the also-revered emo band Braid, recently reunited to celebrate the 15th birthday of their 2001 LP Everynight Fireworks. The record took Braid’s trademark aggressive style and made it more accessible, writing poppier tunes with a bit of an edge a la Saves The Day or Jimmy Eat World — songs like “Eleven to Your Seven” and “Frowning of a Lifetime” combine quick power chord-based pacing with plenty of heart. They’ll receive support from modern emo revivalists the World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die and Prawn, who’ll surely draw their fair share of younger fans to the gig. (Shively), 8:30 p.m., $15 ADV $18 DOS. Grog Shop.

The Iguanas

A New Orleans band that doesn't necessarily sound like a New Orleans band, the Iguanas have been kicking around since 1989. With their most recent releases, 2013's Sin to Sin and 2014's Juarez, the band has hit a new creative high. The albums show off the band's extensive influences and dip into blues, Americana and jazz., 8 p.m., $13. Beachland Tavern.

Stephen "Ragga" Marley - The Fruit of Life Summer Tour

The second oldest son of reggae icon Bob Marley, Stephen "Ragga" Marley started singing professionally when he was only 7. Back then, he sang with his elder siblings Ziggy, Sharon and Cedella as the Melody Makers. His solo career has been a successful one; his albums have all reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard reggae album charts. The guy’s won eight Grammies too. Due out later this month, his latest endeavor, Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life, features collaborations with reggae stars such as Capleton, Sizzla and Bounty. Songs such as “Revelation Party” capture the positive vibrations for which is father’s music is known. (Niesel), 7 p.m., $25. House of Blues.

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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