8 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

click to enlarge 8 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend
Justin Bettman

Jason Mraz/Brett Dennen

Much like Jewel, singer-songwriter Jason Mraz got his start on the San Diego coffeehouse circuit. Now, with a few Grammy awards and a Songwriter Hall of Fame Hal David award under his belt, Mraz has become a househould name. Tonight, he kicks off his Good Vibes summer tour with a show at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. His forthcoming album, Know, has already yielded the catchy single "Have It All," a reggae-tinged tune that finds Mraz alternating between singing and speaking. Brett Dennen, a talented singer-songwriter with a respectable catalog, will open the concert. (Jeff Niesel) 8 p.m. $34.50-$75. Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica.

Lynyrd Skynyrd/Blackberry Smoke/The Marshall Tucker Band/Tom Hambridge

When Lynyrd Skynyrd performed at Blossom a few years ago, we wrote that singer Johnny Van Zant, younger brother of late Skynyrd vocalist Ronnie, continued to capably carry the torch vocally for the group, which includes guitarist Gary Rossington as the band’s lone remaining original member. Now, the veteran Southern rock band has decided to call it a day. Tonight's show comes as part of a farewell tour. With openers Blackberry Smoke, the Marshall Tucker Band and Tom Hambridge sharing the bill, this blowout concert should have a party vibe to it. Consider it your chance to hear the band deliver "Free Bird" one last time. (Jeff Niesel), 6 p.m., $39.50-$209.50. Blossom.


Lucy Dacus/Deau Eyes/Holden Laurence

Although she had been writing since age 10, singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus had never recorded any of her songs until her friend Jacob Blizard requested her help with a college project. The resulting album, No Burden, was picked up by local Richmond label EggHunt Records. Leading track “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” started to gain traction, and indie labels clamored to sign Dacus. She chose Matador, the long-time label of Yo La Tengo, one of her personal favorite artists. Her second album, Historian, was released this past March. Dacus’ sumptuous, mature contralto switches between sweet ballads and fuzzy yet tame indie rock with ease, and Historian has the extra boost of a full backing band. (Bethany Kaufman) 9 p.m., $15. Grog Shop.

Morris Day and the Time/the Ohio Players

When he was still in high school, singer and multi-instrumentalist Morris Day played in a band with Prince. He would go on to have a role in the development of the Twin City dance/club sound that became so popular in the '80s. A founding member of Prince's band, the Time, he remained with the group until 1984 when he launched his solo career. Expect to hear '80s hits such as "Jungle Love" and "The Bird" at tonight's show. The Ohio Players, a street funk and underground R&B act that dates back to the '70s, shares the bill. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $25 ADV, $28 DOS. Cain Park.

Engelbert Humperdinck

One of the last of the old school lounge/soft rock singers who sings about romantic love like it’s something precious, Engelbert Humperdinck hammed it up when he appeared at Hard Rock Live at Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park back in 2014. Humperdinck devoted most of the second half of that 2014 show to playing material from 2014's Engelbert Calling, an album of duets that debuted in the UK Top-40 Album Charts at No. 31. The album features duets with Charles Aznavour, Elton John, Il Divo, Johnny Mathis, Lulu, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton-John, Cliff Richard, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Neil Sedaka, Ron Sexsmith, Gene Simmons and Dionne Warwick. Expect to hear songs from it as the crooner returns to town tonight. (Niesel) 7 p.m., $58-$68. E. J. Thomas Hall.


The Alarm Featuring Mike Peters

Last year, the Alarm singer-guitarist Mike Peters spoke about his yet-to-be-released new album, Equals. He described it as “a series of songs that looked inward and were describing what was happening in my life and family life as the [leukemia] relapse unfolded." The project, which just came out, is divided into two sections, with the second half taking stock of “the life implications.” He said the album “looks out on the world and sees it changing so much with the dominance of the iPhone, with the new presidential incumbent in the White House, with Brexit in Britain.” Expect to hear songs from it at tonight’s show. (Matt Wardlaw) 8 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

Coheed and Cambria/Taking Back Sunday/The Story So Far

The hardest of the three bands on this metal-meets-pop-punk bill, Coheed and Cambria brings a progressive metal edge to the lineup. “The Dark Sentencer,” one of the highlights on their latest album, Vaxis — Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures, features a haunting whisper and ominous references the devil throughout the track. Taking Back Sunday brings some beloved early-2000s pop punk angst to the bill. “Cute Without The ‘E,’” the band’s 2002 hit, is dark and catchy at the same time, painting a picture of a toxic relationship. “MakeDamnSure,” another of the band’s signature tracks, expresses a desire to keep an estranged lover around, while simultaneously fighting for freedom. The Story So Far is the softest of the three bands, but still punk enough to match up, with their fair share of screamed complaints. “Clairvoyant,” a standout track, maintains the vocal whine of any pop punk song, while stripping things down to sing about the downside of love. (Halle Weber), 6:30 p.m., $39.50-$59.50. Jacobs Pavilion.

Snail Mail/Long Beard

Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan isn’t your typical 19-year-old. Sure, she grew up in the suburbs, played sports, went to parties, graduated from high school and plays in a band, but she couldn’t be further from your average American teen. Her full-length debut, Lush, is one of the strongest indie rock debuts in quite a while, and she was profiled by every publication from Rolling Stone to The New York Times. Jordan will bring Snail Mail’s raw, astute indie rock musings, melodic guitar know-how and bewildering level of emotional intelligence to Cleveland tonight for an anticipated show at the Beachland Ballroom. (Elizabeth Manno) 8:30 p.m., $14. Beachland Ballroom.
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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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