6 Concerts to Catch This Weeekend


Valerie June

Singer Valerie June’s career stretches back to the early 2000s when she performed with her then-husband Michael Joyner in the duo Bella Sun. She launched a solo career in 2006 and teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys for 2013’s Pushin' Against a Stone. Now, the soulful singer finally appears to be getting the credit she deserves. "Two Hearts," the single from the forthcoming studio effort The Order Of Time, features a bit of ominous sounding Hammond organ that gives the tune a stark beauty. June has described the album as a “meditation on mortality and family,” and its songs certainly carry a real weight to them. (Jeff Niesel), 8 p.m., $5.50. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Colin Dussault's Blues Project

While local singer-songwriter-harmonica player Colin Dussault has appeared as a guest/sideman with other acts over the last few years at the Music Box Supper Club, tonight’s gig at the club represents his first weekend gig with his own band. A 29-year veteran on the local scene, Dussault says the band will perform “older originals” as well as some blues and songs from the band’s most recent releases (it currently has two discs out, one electric and one acoustic). (Niesel), 8 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.


With another fine album in the books as of last fall, STRFKR continues to pick up a great following in the electronic world. Being No One, Going Nowhere presents an upbeat collection of tunes that we’re pretty sure will shine onstage tonight. Check out “Satellite,” with thumping bass syncopating against shimmering strings. Frontman Joshua Hodges slips into some slacker-fuzz vocals, keeping this dance tune from losing its chilled-out appeal. Elsewhere, “Maps” provides a slower, more sweeping sense of STRFKR’s capabilities. A while back, they covered Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” which picked up some nice press and still holds up well as a super fun dance tune. (Can’t really compete with Cyndi, but it’s a good time nonetheless.) (Eric Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $17 ADV, $20 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.


High School Rock Off Round 3

When the annual High School Rock Off launched some 20 years ago at the Odeon, the promoters at the locally-based Belkin Productions (now Live Nation) saw it as a way to reach out to area high schools and provide students with the kind of outlet that they might not have. Two decades later, the event, which takes place again this year at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, continues to thrive. This year's incarnation of the event will feature 41 acts. There will be a total of 156 band members and seven solo artists from four states. In all, the performers will represent 62 schools. Expect the competition to be fierce. (Niesel), 6 p.m. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Pepper/Less Than Jake

Two veteran ska-punk acts who first met each other about 15 years when they were both on Warped Tour, Less Than Jake and Pepper stand out as survivors. Currently on a co-headlining tour, the two acts each spent time on major labels before reverting to the indies for their latest releases. On their new album, Ohana, the guys in Pepper channel the spirit of Sublime with tunes such as "Start You Up" and "The Invite." Less Than Jake sounds particularly fired up on its new EP, Sound the Alarm. The album commences with the snotty punk number "Call to Arms" and includes several rousing, horn-driven tunes. St. Pauli, the Hamburg football club that welcomes refugees (imagine that!) and supports charities, is the tour's sponsor so expect to be able to buy some cool merchandise at the show. (Niesel) 7:30 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS. The Agora Theatre.

Punch Drunk Tag A Longs

We last saw Punch Drunk Tagalongs when they opened for Rubblebucket not too long ago. The pairing was apropos, which might give you a small sense of their sound. Veering from contemplative verses and atmospheric guitar work to head-bobbing, raucous choruses, the Tagalongs certainly command an exciting presence on the stage. Frontwoman Alisha Stahnke has a fantastic voice for this sort of music, and the band that’s assembled around her seems to be really gelling as they play more and more shows around Northeast Ohio. Their 2016 debut EP is a four-song romp that we highly recommend; “Alice” is an incredibly cool song that involves a lot of movement in its frenzied five minutes. (Sandy), 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.
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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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