7 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

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Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears/Vug Arakas/The Outside Voices

Last year, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears went back to their grunge-y garage blues roots with Backlash, and the Austin-based band's new album, The Difference Between You & Me, continues in that vein of things. The album commences with the riveting “Nothing but a Cliché,” a song that features hiccupping vocals and a grunge-y guitar riff., Other highlights include the swinging "Suit or Soul," a tune that benefits from a spirited horn arrangement, and "Handshake Drugs," a song that features distorted vocals and some nasty slide guitar. Expect to hear them tonight as Lewis and Co. play what Lewis refers to as "the real blues." (Jeff Niesel), 9 p.m., $15 ADV, $17 DOS. Grog Shop.

Crystal Bowersox

An early bloomer, singer Crystal Bowersox started performing at age 10. She played at bars in the Toledo area, busked at train stations and hit the open mic circuit even though she only knew about 10 songs at the time. In 2010, she placed second on American Idol — not bad for someone who didn't really feel compelled to compete and only auditioned at the request of friends who suggested she had the talent to do well on the program. Since American Idol, she has performed alongside acts such as Harry Connick Jr., Joe Cocker and Alanis Morrisette. The songs on Bowersox's 2013 album, All That for This, run a wide gamut. Tunes such as the harmonica-and horn-driven "Home" possess a Blues Traveler vibe, and Bowersox's supple voice — she sounds a lot like Jewel — packs a real punch. She comes to town tonight in support of last year's Alive. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $20-$25. The Kent Stage.

Carbon Leaf/Freddy & Francine

If you went to college in the eary '90s, chances are you attended at least one keg party. Campus regulations were looser back then, and students took advantage. Studying at Randolph-Macon College at the time, the guys in Carbon Leaf benefited from those conditions. They put together a cover band regularly gigged at backyard parties and frat events. These days, the band is known for playing an eclectic mix of original music that draws from blues, folk and rock. The current tour supports its latest album, Gathering: Volume 1, a nice collection of traditional sounding ballads and mid-tempo tune. The tour also celebrates the band's 25th anniversary. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Music Box Supper Club.

Mod Sun/Caskey/CHXPO/Jimmy Bennett/Lost in Vegas/Forget Brennan

Mod Sun (an acronym standing for "Movement on Dreams, Stand under None") has a lengthy musical history. Formerly a member of post-hardcore bands Four Letter Lie and Scary Kids Scaring Kids, he began issuing music under his own name a few years ago. His latest effort, BB, commences with the frivolous “#noshirton,” a reggae-fied tune that finds him alternating between rapping and singing. The rest of the album pretty much follows as Mod Sun capably delivers a blend of music that he calls hippy hop. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues.

Pete RG/ M. Moody

Earlier this year, indie rocker Pete RG announced the dates of a fall tour with a backing band that includes original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen, who was inducted into the Rock Hall last year with Pearl Jam. Pete RG's talented backing band will also include Candlebox bassist Adam Kury, former Skillet guitarist Kevin Haaland and keyboardist and engineer Brina Kabler. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $8. CODA.


Wish You Were Here

For a decade now, Wish You Were Here, the locally based Pink Floyd tribute act that started way the hell back in 1995, has taken on some of the British prog rock band’s most difficult material. Tonight, it will play Live At Pompeii in its entirety and mix in a few Pink Floyd classics as well. Expect a full house as the guys often attract a capacity crowd to House of Blues. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $18.50 ADV, $21 DOS. House of Blues.


Emily Kinney/Paul McDonald

A songwriter, singer and actress, Emily Kinney has somehow found the time to regularly tour and record despite the escalation of her acting career. Kinney, who has starred on The Walking Dead for the past few years, just released Oh, Jonathan, an album of synth-pop tunes about a long-distance relationship. For the live show, Kinney has assembled a four-piece band to bring the songs to life. She also enjoys interacting with the audience, so you can bet this concert will be an intimate affair. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $20-$90. Beachland Ballroom.

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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