15 of the Best Concerts to Catch in Cleveland Through New Year's Eve

The Boys From the County Hell, Red Wanting Blue, holiday shows and more real music in the real world

click to enlarge The Boys From the County Hell - Courtesy of the Boys From the County Hell
Courtesy of the Boys From the County Hell
The Boys From the County Hell

WED 12/20

Ryan Humbert Holiday Extravaganza
In previous years, this series put together by local singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert has included a genre-crossing range of holiday music, including big band, rock 'n' roll, bluegrass, and more. For this, the final Holiday Extravaganza, the show will return to the main stage of the Akron Civic Theater tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 for an “up-close-and-personal cabaret performance.” A seven-piece jazz ensemble featuring Humbert and his longtime singing partner Emily Bates on vocals will perform.
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

FRI 12/22

Frosty Beats
Various DJs will perform at this event, which the organizer has dubbed a "Christmas rave." The music begins at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Music Lounge in Lakewood.
18206 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, mercurymusiclounge.com.

Into the Blue
The Grateful Dead's tenure spans 30 years, and much of that time is divided into various "eras" (different musicians, different modalities, etc.). This local tribute act can play music from all eras. It performs tonight at 9 at the Beachland Ballroom.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This year for its annual fall/winter tour, the progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra will revisit the Ghosts of Christmas Eve, a conceptual show that centers on a runaway who breaks into a vaudeville theater on Christmas Eve. The rock opera features tunes such as "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," "O’ Come All Ye Faithful," "Good King Joy," "Christmas Canon," "Music Box Blues," "Promises To Keep," and "This Christmas Day." Performances take place today at 3 and 7:30 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Welcome Home 024 Featuring Jon Dixon/Smooth Talk/Abstract Horn
The local DJ collective Smooth Talk celebrates the second anniversary of its Welcome Home series with Detroit-based Jon Dixon and local heroes Abstract Horns. The event begins at 9 tonight at Crobar.
3244 St. Clair, 216-771-4727, crobar1921.com.

SAT 12/23

Frank Amato’s Christmas Jam Featuring the Cleveland All-Stars
Veteran local musician and all-around good guy Frank Amato (Beau Coup/Thrills & Co./TaskMaster/Six Foot Separation) jams with some of his favorite musical friends at this annual benefit concert for the Autism Society of Greater Cleveland. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Music Box Supper Club.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

The Boys from the County Hell
When the Boys from the County Hell first got together in 2000 as a Pogues cover band, it was supposed to be just a one-night stand. But after selling out their first show at the Euclid Tavern, the group's popularity escalated. The guys bring their annual Christmas show to House of Blues tonight. The concert begins at 6. Singer-songwriter Jack Harris opens.
308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

The Modern Electric Presents Northcoast Christmas!
Taking its name from an EP this local indie rock band made in 2011, this special show at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights celebrates what it's like to live in Northeast Ohio during the holiday season. The Modern Electric headlines, and it handpicked Papi and the Smears and Dive Bombs to share the bill. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

MON 12/25

Annual Xmas Night Latke Party with Blue Lunch
The local blues/swing/jazz act comes to the Beachland Ballroom for its annual Christmas night latke party. Special guests Jerry Devivo (Mighty Blue Kings) and Tom Moore (Little Frank & the Premiers) will join the group, and Pete London will DJ at the start of the night. The show begins at 7:30 at the Beachland Tavern.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

FRI 12/29

Red Wanting Blue
The veteran regional rock act formed in Athens, OH in 1996 and has played Cleveland on a regular basis ever since. The band released its latest single, the rousing "Hey, '84," last year and plays an end-of-the-year party tonight at 6:30 at the Kent Stage.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005, kentstage.org.

SAT 12/30

Falling Stars
This local group that features veteran musicians Tim Parnin and Chris Allen comes to the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights tonight. Expect to hear songs from the band's just-released new album. Ray Flanagan and Dave Rich & His Enablers open.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

Hammy New Year
Local punks Heart Attack Man team up with indie rockers Cloud Nothings for this special New Year-ish show that takes place tonight at 6 at the Roxy in Lakewood. Live It Down, Vacation and Piss Me Off open.
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com.

The Legendary Soul Jam
The Manhattans, Bloodstone, Enchantment, One Way and Miles Jaye share the bill tonight at State Theatre for a concert dubbed the Legendary Soul Jam. The music begins at 7, and tickets start at $50.
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Packy Malley's Peace Corps Jamaica Benefit Concert
Ernie Krivda, Terry Lee Goffee, JR Blessington and Flex Crew play this special benefit concert that local reggae promoter Packy Malley has put together to benefit the Peace Corps' work in Jamaica. The music starts at 8 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

The Vindys
Over the course of a career that stretches back several years now, this Youngstown-based rock band has performed at various festivals including LaureLive, Winnetka Music Festival and Summeriest, where the band won the first day of the Emerging Artist Series selected by voters on Twitter. Additionally, the Vindys have shared the stage with the Drive-By Truckers, Judah & the Lion, Hunter Hayes, Reeve Carney and more. The regional rock band comes to House of Blues tonight at 7. The Commonheart and singer-songwriter Britny Lobas, a former Clevelander, open the show.
308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

SUN 12/31

Fleetwood Mac Tribute by Rumours
Hear all of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits when the tribute act Rumours plays this special NYE show at Music Box Supper Club. The event kicks off at 9 p.m.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

Noon Year’s Eve with Nitebridge! Motown Favorites & Much More
Local favorites Nitebridge play a set of Motown favorites at this Noon Year's Eve event that takes place at noon at the Music Box Supper Club.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

John Welton & the Awakening
Co-founder of local heroes the Waterband, singer-songwriter John Welton has kicked around the Cleveland jam band scene for the past 20 or so years. He plays a special NYE show tonight at 8 at the Beachland Ballroom. Johnny Markowski (New Riders of the Purple Sage/Drums) joins Welton and Co. on drums.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

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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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