6 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

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Rick Springfield

Last year at Hard Rock Live, Australian-born singer/songwriter and actor Rick Springfield delivered a performance which really emphasized the levels of talent that he has both as a songwriter and performer. He focused in on the heavier side of his catalog early in the show, opening with the title track from his 1983 album Living in Oz, a signal that the set that night would feature a few deeper fan favorites in addition to the chart hits. Expect a similar experience when Springfield comes to Nautica for tonight’s show. (Matt Wardlaw) 7 p.m., $32.50-$75. Jacobs Pavilion.

Thor Platter CD Release

For his new album, Long Road Ahead, local singer-songwriter Thor Platter went to Blue Buddha Studio and worked with local producer Jim Wall, the guy who owns the Cleveland-based studio. The disc showcases his crisp vocals, which recall masters such as John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett or Willie Nelson. The song’s arrangements draw from bluegrass and folk but don’t strictly to traditional structures and allow his stellar band that includes bassist Matthew Charboneau and mandolin and fiddle player Bill Lestock to really shine. Two session players — Paul Kovac and Tommy Hannum — also contribute. It's a solid effort from one of Northeast Ohio's sharpest songwriters. (Niesel) 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.


Hippo Campus

Entertainment Weekly recently lauded Hippo Campus’ "shimmering pop-rock earworms,” which is a pretty good way of summing up their sound. Slick guitar melodies flit around tight, snappy percussion. (Two Door Cinema Club came to mind more than once while tripping through their EP.) “Sophie So,” for instance, sees guitarist Nathan Stocker cooking up a dazzling stew of rapid-fire arpeggios, all growing more frenzied as the song goes on. The band has a new EP coming out next month; until then, they’re pushing their new single, “The Halocline.” It’s an anthemic piece that musically recalls some of Justin Vernon’s Volcano Choir stuff at times. It’s also indicative of a young band wanting to push their music in bigger, deeper directions; we look forward to future releases. (Sandy), 6:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Grog Shop.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Based out of Baltimore, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have steadily garnered an exciting renown as they tour the region. Psychology builds off their original Funk EP, serving up funky instrumentation with swagger-laden lyrics and confidence. Much of their material alternates between blissed-out groovin’ and, y’know, in-your-face arpeggiating and wanton funk throw downs. The music is kind to all, so come to the show expecting to be welcomed into the band’s tight-knit community. Songs like “F.U.” guarantee a bustling dancefloor, what with theit tendency for tongue-in-cheek humor and shred-tastic solos. “Zydeko” flirts with its namesake musical tradition, while remaining close to the funk pocket that these guys are known for. Among the East Coast, third-tier jam bands (or however you want to classify the scene), these guys are absolutely worth watching closely. (Sandy), 10 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Grog Shop.


Kate Davis

Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kate Davis plays jazz for hipsters. MTV recently proclaimed that she’s one of “15 Fresh Females Who Will Rule Pop.” A crossover star in the making, she’s shared the stage with such diverse artists as Alison Krauss, Josh Groban, Michael Feinstein, Ben Folds, Joshua Bell, Wynton Marsalis, and Renee Fleming. Her rousing cover of the gimmick-y “All About That Bass” with PostModern Jukebox has received 13 million YouTube views. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, she just inked a deal with the locally based Concord Records. (Niesel), 7 p.m., $20. Nighttown.

The Sheepdogs

Mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White) in Nashville, Future Nostalgia, the forthcoming album from retro rockers the Sheepdogs, brings the band back to its ’70s-rock inspired roots. Big, beefy guitar riffs and husky vocals distinguish album opener “I’m going to Be Myself” sounds like one of those classic Allman Bros. tunes. The album has a whole features some great grooves and suggests these guys are in it for the long haul. (Niesel), 6:30 p.m., $15. 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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