6 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

6 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend
Jade Ehlers

Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers/Mom Jeans/The Philharmonik/Nate Curry

After he got kicked out of his parents’ house at age 19 and had to live in his 1994 Corolla, singer/rapper/poet Hobo Johnson (aka Frank Lopes) decided to do something with his life. He got his act together and self-recorded and self-released his debut album, The Rise of Hobo Johnson, three years ago. The band’s popularity escalated after “Peach Scone,” an entry in NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, went viral (over 26 million streams to date) despite not winning. Last year, Warner Bros. signed Lopes and reissued The Rise of Hobo Johnson with only minor tweaks. For the follow-up album, The Fall of Hobo Johnson, Lopes again turned to witty wordplay, and the disc has only increased his popularity. The half Azorean Portuguese, quarter Mexican and Native American vocalist has continued to build his grassroots following via viral homegrown style videos that show off his sharp sense of humor. (Jeff Niesel) 8 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS. House of Blues.


For its first tour in 14 years, the industrial rock band Pigface, which formed way back in 1991 under the leadership of Martin Atkins (Ministry,Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Public Image Ltd) and William Rieflin (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM), features Aktins at the helm and along with members of Pop Will Eat Itself, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, KMFDM and more. The band’s debut, Gub, stands as an abrasive affair characterized by hoarse vocals, distorted guitars and pounding drums. We imagine the band will revisit at least a song or two from it for tonight’s show. The concert will feature special guests Randy Blythe of Lamb of God and violinist Gaelynn Lea. (Niesel), 8:30 p.m., $35. Beachland Ballroom.


Luke Combs/Morgan Wallen/Jameson Rodgers

Earlier this year, CMA and ACM Award-winning singer-guitarist Luke Combs announced that he’ll extend his Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour through the fall. As a result, the tour comes to town tonight. Combs recently made history as the first artist to simultaneously top all five Billboard country charts for multiple weeks. His new album, What You See is What You Get, is another winner. The album opens with the righteous honky tonk anthem "Beer Never Broke My Heart," a tune that features wailing guitars and snarling vocals. Expect it go over particularly well at tonight's show. (Niesel) 7 p.m. Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Booker T. Jones

Earlier this month, Booker T. Jones released his first album since 2013. Note By Note, the companion to his new self-penned memoir Time Is Tight. It includes his vibrant take on the blues anthem “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which he co-wrote, and a rendition of Willie Nelson’s “Stardust,” a song he produced. With the album, Jones essentially tells his life story, from playing piano with Mahalia Jackson at age 12 to recording at Stax Records and producing key albums for Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana. Expect to hear songs from it at tonight's show. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Music Box Supper Club.


Kris Kristofferson & the Strangers

Born in Texas and raised in a military family, Kris Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxer who studied creative writing at Pomona College in California before he moved to Nashville to pursue his music. Over the course of a career that stretches back decades, the singer-songwriter has recorded 28 albums, including three with pals Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. Expect to hear songs from his incredibly deep catalog at tonight's show. (Niesel) 7:30 p.m. MGM Northfield Park.

Nellie McKay

A British-American singer-songwriter who made her Broadway debut nearly 15 years ago in The Threepenny Opera, Nellie McKay has amassed numerous accolades during her career. She’s seven acclaimed albums, won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the aforementioned The Threepenny Opera, co-created and starred in the award-winning off-Broadway hit Old Hats, and has conceived and performed musical biographies of Barbara Graham, Rachel Carson, Joan Rivers, & Billy Tipton. Recently, she had a featured role in Ethan Coen’s A Play Is a Poem. She plays a special solo show tonight at Nighttown. Should be a good one. (Niesel) 7 p.m., $30. Nighttown.

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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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