9 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

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9 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend
Courtesy of Erika Tooker

The Church - Starfish 30th Anniversary Tour

After a string of dates in the UK – including a sold-out fan convention in Shepherds Bush which saw the band perform its second album, The Blurred Crusade, in its entirety for the first time in that country – the Church arrived in the U.S. last month for a series of shows to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Starfish, the album that yielded the moody alt-rock hit, "Under the Milky Way." Ex-Remy Zero guitarist Jeffrey Cain will join the band; the group will play Starfish in its entirety. (Jeff Niesel) 9 p.m., $25-$99. Beachland Ballroom.

Minus the Bear: The Farewell Tour/Caspian

Together, Minus the Bear's core four-piece has crafted six albums, including last year’s VOIDS, but a final EP, Fair Enough, comes out the same day as this Agora show. In the meantime, there are a couple of singles fans can listen to — the disc’s namesake and “Viaduct.” This band has always made music that make people think, walking the fine line between repetitive/stop-and-go math rock and power ballad-filled prog rock. But while some may find their music boring, the crew has never prized technicality above all. There’s always been feeling at the core, something that should come across at tonight's farewell concert. (Laura Morrison) 7 p.m. Agora Theatre.

Whiskey Daredevils/The Torments/Lords of the Highway

One of our favorite local acts, the Whiskey Daredevils have just released their latest effort, American Songbook, and it’s another winner. The disc, the band's 13th album, commences with the Blasters-meets-Johnny Cash anthem “Big Wheels,” a tune that uses a gnarly guitar solo to show off their heavier side. Other highlights include the twangy surf guitar romp "101.1 Gram Man Bracelet" and the wacky "Bad Times," a tune that features some sweet pedal steel guitar and hiccuping vocals. The group recorded the tunes last summer in Detroit at Rust Belt Studios with producer John Smerek. It's the last record with guitarist Gary Siperko, who left the band in January, and singer Greg Miller maintains the album represents “a collection of songs seeped in the muck of Americana while maintaining the Whiskey Daredevils skewed vision of what rock n' roll is supposed to be in today's world.” They'll have physical copies on hand tonight for the release party. (Niesel), 9 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Grog Shop.


The Barr Brothers

Still touring in support of their 2017 album, Queens of the Breakers, the Barr Brothers have only deepened their stage presence and their reputation for awe-inspiring, introspective folk and bluesy songwriting in recent years. The band, spawned from the ashes of ca.-2000s avant-jam trio the Slip, is a delicate web of sonic landscapes, lush balladry and upbeat meditations on love and fun. As the story goes, guitarist Brad Barr heard harpist Sarah Pagé's music through the walls of his new place in Montreal; the rest is history, as she joined Brad and brother Andrew in forming a new band that leaned less on live improvisation and more on the sweeping inspirations of Western and Eastern musical traditions. Look no further than the opening sequence of 2014's Sleeping Operator for an example of the band's global perspective on music. “Static Orphans,” with its beautiful harp backlit by a clapping beat, bleeds into “Love Ain't Enough,” forming a duo that is pure exhilaration onstage. (Eric Sandy), 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

The Eagles

Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, the Eagles received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2016. The current lineup — Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit with Vince Gill and Deacon Frey — continues to be a major draw. Its 2014 History of the Eagles Tour broke numerous U.S. box office records and included five sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden and six sold-out concerts at the Forum in Inglewood. Given his Northeast Ohio roots, expect Walsh to be particularly pleased to be playing in Cleveland. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Quicken Loans Arena.

An Evening with Pete Yorn

Singer-songwriter Yorn recently released a cover of the Pixies “Here Comes Your Man,” and since his voice isn’t nearly as harsh as that of the Pixies’ Frank Black, the remarkably melodic song has a real tenderness to it. Singer-songwriter Liz Phair provides the cooing backing vocals on the track. Earlier this year, Yorn also released Apart, an EP he cut with actress/singer/model Scarlett Johansson. The album effectively shows off Yorn's songwriting chops. Beautiful harmony vocals characterize the album opener, "Iguana Bird," and the rollicking "Bad Dreams" finds Yorn and Johansson alternating lead vocal duties. The mid-tempo tunes have an ethereal, Luna-like quality to them. Expect to hear at least a few of them at tonight's solo acoustic show. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $35 ADV,$38.50 DOS. Grog Shop.


Croce Plays Croce

Nashville-based singer/songwriter A.J. Croce has recently has created a very special concert experience that celebrates both his own music and that of his father, the late Jim Croce. Entitled Croce Plays Croce: Two Generations of American Music, the show features A.J. Croce, who was only 2 when his dad dies in an airplane crash, performing his songs, his father’s tunes and music that influenced both of them. The idea came to him when he was digitalizing some of his father’s old tapes and came across a cassette filled with covers of old blues and folk tunes by Fats Waller, Bessie Smith and Pink Anderson. It was a revelation to him. Jim Croce, who died in 1973, remains as popular as ever. His record sales have surpassed the 45 million mark, and his songs have appeared on over 375 compilations. (Niesel), 7 p.m., $38 ADV, $45 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

Billy Gibbons

Producer Joe Hardy has been working with Gibbons and the members of ZZ Top since 1986’s Afterburner. He co-produced Perfectamundo, the initial solo excursion from Gibbons, which came out in 2015, and returns to reprise that role as co-producer on Gibbons' latest effort, The Big Bad Blues, while also playing bass on the new album. The album is a perfect mix of both blues standards and Gibbons originals. While it can sometimes feel like an awkward shoehorn job when artists try to mix the two, the songs from Gibbons fit seamlessly alongside the legendary covers. Gibbons will likely sprinkle tonight's set with songs from it. (Matt Wardlaw) 6:30 p.m. Agora Theatre.

Roots of American Music Benefit Featuring Terry Lee Goffee

A locally based non-profit organization that aims to facilitate learning in diverse communities by providing “customized” arts programs, workshops, residencies and performances through use of traditional American music, Roots of American Music (ROAM) provides arts programming to the community using traditional American music as a way to connect students to the past. Specifically, the organization aims to “promote and preserve traditional American music — old-time country, folk, gospel, blues, and early rock — to enhance educational outcomes and enrich people's lives.” For tonight's benefit concert, singer-guitarist Terry Lee Goffee, an Ohio native who plays throughout the region, will present his Johnny Cash tribute. Proceeds will benefit Roots of American Music’s education and outreach programs. (Niesel) 7 p.m., $25. 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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