7 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend


Keith Urban/Kelsea Ballerini

A stellar songwriter and one of the best guitarists in the Nashville, Keith Urban is what country legends are made of. On his new album, Graffiti U, Urban goes more pop country than he’s ever gone before. On“Coming Home,” his collaboration with “Issues” singer and a big player in the pop songwriting game, Julia Micheals, Urban creates a catchy, heartfelt, perfect-for-radio track with cool bluesy guitar riffs. “Horses,” another collaboration, this time with the Canadian crossover country diva Lindsay Ell, goes even softer. It’s an anthem for finding the strength to let go of what’s holding you back and letting yourself run free. Opener Kelsea Ballerini is the fastest rising female in country music, and with the impressive lyrics and perfectly-assembled pop-country singalongs on her sophomore album, Unapologetically, it’s easy to see why. The title track is a beautiful love song for her husband and fellow country music artist, Morgan Evans. “High School” is another highlight about a boy who can’t let go of his teenage glory days. “Get Over Yourself” is the embodiment of who Ballerini is as an artist: confident, honest and unapologetic. Ballerini has all the makings of becoming the next Taylor Swift; she won’t be opening shows for long. (Halle Weber), 7:30 p.m., $37-$116.50. Blossom.

All Time Low/Dashboard Confessional/gnash

Earlier this year, indie rockers Dashboard Confessional released Crooked Shadows, their first album in more than eight years. The result of "a near decade-long period of immense self-examination," the album finds frontman Chris Carrabba writing highly personal songs and delivering call-and-response anthems such as “We Fight” and “Heart Beat Here” as well as tender pop ballads like “Open My Eyes.” Last year, the pop-punk band All Time Low returned with Last Young Renegade, a collection of righteous punk tunes propelled by the band’s sharp power-pop impulses. It's another triumph for the group, an Alternative Press favorite. This summer, the two bands have teamed up for a co-headlining tour that comes to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica tonight. Should be a good one. (Jeff Niesel) 7 p.m., $35-$39.50. Jacobs Pavilion.

Rally for RAICES Benefit Concert with Making Movies and Aku Aku

The Kansas City-based rock band Making Movies has been being advocates of DACA and for the past two tours has sought to create “a safe space for their community to come together and celebrate their political idea that we are all immigrants.” It even invites DACA recipients to attend its shows for free and to share their stories. When the band appears tonight at the Beachland Tavern, it’ll donate ticket profits to Raices, Texas, a nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas." Currently, the band is working on an EP with Las Cafeteras and Mariachi Flor De Toloache. The EP was inspired by their Carnaval tour that they just finished  with Las Cafeteras, Mariachi Flor De Toloache and Alex Cuba. (Niesel) 8:30 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern.

Marcus Alan Ward/Captain Kidd/Red Rose Panic/The Dropout

Marcus Alan Ward aims to melt your mind with his progressive and powerful arthouse pop. But he wants you to dance your ass off too. Take, for example, "BodyFeelGood," which melds groovy beats, goopy bass and techno. Listen to it long enough and you'll realize how much technically is crammed into the track, but no matter how complex all it makes you want to do is move. Since April, the much-buzzed-about artist has released a new song a month, and tonight's show represents his first headlining gig at the Beachland Ballroom. (Laura Morrison), 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.


Klipsch Fest

The veteran punk band Social Distortion headlines Kilpsch Fest, a day-long celebration happening from 3 to 11 p.m. today at the Rock Hall. The event will also include various live performances, DJ sets, demos and giveaways on the PNC Rock Hall Live! stage. Social Distortion will headline and play at 9 p.m. The event is free with the purchase of a general admission ticket to the Rock Hall. (Niesel), 3 p.m., Rock Hall.


The Psychedelic Furs/Liz Brasher

A cross between the Cure and the Cars, the Psychedelic Furs are also very much their own band. With '80s electro pop production infused with British accents and the sort of dance rock that can’t be easily replicated, the band has made its mark on the music industry. “Pretty in Pink,” a track originally released in 1981, then re-recorded for the soundtrack of the 1986 John Hughes film named after it, is the band’s trademark song. Upbeat but also cool and edgy, the song represents how '80s production can go right when the corniness is avoided. “The Ghost in You” is one of those songs that stays with you long after the first chord. It’s somehow cheerful and haunting at the same time. “Heaven” is another of the band’s highlights with a dreamy wistful vibe to it, blended with electric guitar and keyboards to jazz it up a bit. (Weber), 8 p.m., $42-$52. The Kent Stage.

Tacocat/Gym Shorts/Cotton Ponys

The Tacocat bandmates live in an old Seattle house together. There, they write feminist party punk songs and collect way too many clothes from thrift stores. The four-piece has been together since 2007 after meeting through friends and art school. At first, the band thing wasn't serious; it was just about learning their instruments and playing house shows. Then, they started booking bigger gigs like Sasquatch! Music festival after signing with the Hardly Art record label, and then the Washington state punk scene started paying attention. Cross country tours and albums followed — 2014's NVM and 2016's Lost Time — and now they're back on the road with new songs in tow. (Morrison) 9 p.m., $12. Mahall's 20 Lanes.
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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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