7 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

Concert Preview


Brian Auger's Oblivion Express

Widely recognized as a pioneer in the jazz-rock and acid-jazz movements, keyboardist Brian Auger started his career on a different track. He began performing at jazz piano bars in his native England in the early ’60s and even won a Melody Maker award for his playing in 1964. But then he discovered the organ and started dressing differently. Once he began wearing Carnaby Street clothes, he fit in more with rock crowds. After playing with guys like Sonny Boy Williamson and Jimmy Page, Auger formed Oblivion Express to further break down the boundaries between rock and jazz. He eventually disbanded the group and planned to support Eric Burdon on a tour, but that didn’t last long. Auger re-launched Oblivion Express in the mid-’90s with son Karma on drums and daughter Savannah on vocals. He makes frequent appearances in Cleveland, which has always supported him, and enjoys sharing stories from his classic-rock past. For tonight's show, former Santana singer Alex Ligertwood joins him. (Jeff Niesel), 8:30 p.m. The Tangier.

The Fab Four

The Beatles remain one of the greatest and influential rock bands of all time and are the best-selling band in history. They experimented with a variety of different genres like psychedelia, hard rock, and Indian music during their monumental 10 year run. Throughout the mid-to-late 1960s they continuously churned out hit albums like Rubber Soul, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album and their final studio album Abbey Road. After breaking up in 1970 John, Paul, George and Ringo each went on to have very successful solo careers as well. The Fab Four is one of the country's best tribute acts. They'll undoubtedly play the Liverpool acts biggest hits at tonight's shows. Maybe Paul McCartney, who'll be in town, will jam with the guys. Now, that would be weird. (Kaitlin Siegel), 8 p.m. Hard Rock Rocksino.


This symphonic metal band out of Finland was formed nearly 20 years and has persevered despite numerous lineup changes. The band's newest album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, finds the band on familiar musical ground. Album opener, "Shudder Before the Beautiful" starts with a bit of spooky spoken word before the strings (or synthesizers that sound like strings) kick in. The soaring vocals sound like something you might hear at a church but songs such as "Weak Fantasy" and "Yours is an Empty Wish" are heavy enough to keep the band's metalhead fans happy. Be sure to arrive early enough to see Sweden's SABATON, a hard rock band that sings almost exclusively about historical wars and battles. (Niesel), 7 p.m., $30. Agora.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees' Greatest Hits

Local musician Chris Allen leads a who's who of local musicians as they pay tribute to the iconic rock acts such as Lou Reed, the Clash, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King, Sex Pistols and many more. The concert is the last of the Music Box Supper Club's week-long tribute to artists who have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $22 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.
Sweetwater 4/20 Bash Featuring Wanyama and Yosemight

Good music pairs well with any sort of 4/20 celebration, and both Wanyama and Yosemight bring the heat when they hit the stage. They’ve each got fairly devoted followings — fans who are well aware that crowd interaction and open-ended improv make for exciting shows. Wanyama, fronted by the laid-back rap flow of Brandon Lowry and sax man Charlie Wilson, blend funk with 90s-era hip-hop vibes. Yosemight couches their sound in similar territory, while also reeling in Middle Eastern sounds and even bluegrass compositions (“Blind Seeing Eye Dog,” for instance). Come as you are, and know this: You’ll be dancing. (Sandy), 9 p.m., $5 ADV, $7 DOS. Mahall's 20 Lanes.


Jesse Malin

Formerly of the glam punk outfit D Generation, singer-guitarist Jesse Malin shows his softer side on the just-released New York Before the War. The album opens with a tender piano ballad that finds Malin singing in a tense whisper. The tempo quickly picks up with "Addicted," a catchy tune that sounds a bit like something that Elvis Costello might have penned back in the '70s. Several songs here — the rowdy rocker "Turn Up the Mains" — have a real swagger to them. The gnarly sax solo in "Turn Up the Mains" certainly helps give that impression. Malin has described the album as "metaphor for surviving in an ever-changing, rapidly desensitized world." It's an apt description of a truly solid album. (Niesel), 8:30 p.m., $15. Beachland Tavern.

Sweetwater 420 Party with Big Leg Emma/Tropidelic

With a handful of top-notch shows in Northeast Ohio over the past few years, we’ve come to know and love Big Leg Emma’s sound. The band’s latest album, 2012’s Revival, showcases a talented group of musicians filtering a traditional roots-rock vibe through contemporary production and composition structures. The harmonies are wonderful throughout the album, and album opener “Back to NY” gives the listener a terrific starting point. The instrumental breakdown during “Rain’s Gonna Fall” will have anyone with ears and a couple of feet hitting the dance floor and getting down all night. The whole album, in fact, carries that sense of motion. It’s a great collection of tunes to toss in the center console for a road trip out west. And if you’ve got a co-pilot, cue up “The Two of Us” for a happy little love tune for the outstretched freeway. (Sandy), 8 p.m., $12-$15. The Kent Stage.


Charlie Hunter Trio

Jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter embraces change as do few of his contemporaries. Over the course of the 15 years or so that Hunter — who originally played guitar in the seminal Bay area hip-hop group the Disposable Heroes of Hiphopcrisy — has been on his own, he has employed a number of different musicians in different contexts. And while the music he plays gets categorized as jazz, it's hardly an easy fit, as it has elements of rock and R&B tossed in. After the Disposable Heroes broke up in the early '90s, Hunter started his own bands, and he has employed a number of musicians in different contexts to back him up. He continues to push the boundaries of music with his inventive playing. 7 p.m., $20. Nighttown.
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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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