6 Concerts to Catch This Weekend in Cleveland


Holden Laurence Album Release/Bad Hounds/John's Little Sister

As a member of The Modern Electric, Holden Laurence has captivated many a Northeast Ohio audience over the years. Now, he hits the stage with tonight’s solo release party for Wild Empty Promises, a fantastic debut that blends (in his spot-on words) mope-rock, post-punk and New Wave deftly. “Broken Waltz” is a great place to begin, what with its bittersweet tone and cinematic delivery; you can tell that Laurence cut his teeth on Modern Electric songwriting and that he’s developer an even stronger voice here. (Eric Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern.

The Clarks/The Mason District

For nearly 25 years, The Clarks have sustained a career as a better-than-average alt-rock act that’s innocuous enough for a first date. At their peak a few years back, the group could pack mid-sized venues throughout the region (and they regularly played here in town to capacity crowds at the now-shuttered Odeon). Their popularity has declined some, but the guys are still at it, as well they should be. Singer-guitarist Scott Blasey has a raspy voice that’s equally suited to country and rock, and the band often successfully mixes the two genres together. (Jeff Niesel) 9 p.m., $8-$18.  Grog Shop.

Dennis DeYoung: The Music of STYX

Though he can't legally tour and record as Styx, Dennis DeYoung, who wrote and sang lead vocals on seven of the band's eight Top 10 hits including "Babe,” "Mr. Roboto,” "The Best of Times,” "Show Me The Way,” "Lady,” "Don't Let It End,” "Come Sail Away" and "Too Much Time On My Hands,” promises he’ll play all the band's hits as well as some “deep tracks” at tonight’s show. His voice still sounds as sharp as it ever did and he loves performing the old stuff, even if he holds a grudge about the way the Rock Hall has snubbed Styx. 7:30 p.m., $32.50-$95. Goodyear Theater.


Consider tonight a throwback night at Hard Rock Live with Southern California legends, WAR. Known for the infectious and socially conscious hits, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” and “Low Rider” (both of which appeared on the Grammy nominated album Why Can’t We Be Friends) and for bending and blending genres, War has long since solidified its place as musical legends since they released their first album in 1970. War, which always had a revolving door of back up and featured musicians, has gone through some serious lineup changes since a dispute between band members and their management in the mid-1990s. Leroy “Lonnie” Smith, the only remaining original member, picked up the pieces and carried on the music and the message with a worthy backing band. Despite the changes, Smith reminds fans old and new to “love War.” (Tucker Kelly) 8 p.m.  Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.


Guided by Voices/Mirrors

As the reconstituted indie rock group Guided by Voices toured last year, guitarist Nick Mitchell left the band in the middle of the tour. In the wake of his departure, singer Bob Pollard recruited former Clevelander Doug Gillard, who had played with him back in 1997. The group has carried on with new energy in the wake of Gillard's rejoining the band. For the just-released August by Cake, Pollard recorded five of the songs on his own before bringing the band together to complete the disc. He wanted each member to write at least two songs for what would become the band’s first double-disc. The riveting Who-like “5° on the Inside” opens the 32-song album with a bang as Pollard then continues to exploits his British Invasion obsession with songs such as “Fever Pitch” and “What Begins on New Year’s Day.” Expect to hear a handful of new tunes at tonight's show, which promises to be another epic affair. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $32 ADV, $35 DOS. Grog Shop.

Ottawa/Surrounding Cities/Sweepyheads/Paper Morning

Singer Dale DeLong and guitarist Tim Czajka formed the local indie rock act Ottawa in 2013 after their previous band, the Royaltons, dissolved. They had a good run with the Royaltons, which played around town from 2007 to 2010. But they've had an even better run with Ottawa, which has built a bigger local following and produced more material. At tonight's show, the group celebrates the release of its new EP, Small Talk, a sharp collection of Strokes-like indie rock tunes. (Niesel) 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

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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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