9 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

click to enlarge 9 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend
Courtesy of the Kent Stage

The Accidentals

We last saw The Accidentals in Cleveland on their tour with Keller Williams in early 2016. The show was great, and, honestly, they’ve pretty much been touring ever since — with no plans to slow down. The trio returns to Cleveland this week to showcase their chops and show off the material from their latest album, aptly titled Odyssey. It’s worth noting, if only because it’s such an interesting and obvious fact about the band, that musicians Sav Buist, Katie Larson and Michael Dause are only in their very early 20s. And they’ve been relentlessly touring for several years at this point. As a result, Odyssey is a culmination of the past seven years of being a band. (Eric Sandy) 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS.  The Kent Stage.

Anita Baker

Singer songwriter Anita Baker was born in Toledo and grew up in Detroit. She began her career singing in nightclubs when she was only 16 years old. Baker found herself in a group called Chapter 8, which toured before securing their record deal. Ultimately the group was dropped when Arista bought the group's former label as they felt that the group had very little potential with Baker as the lead singer. She worked odd jobs until she was convinced to embark on a solo career. That solo career helped to shape the sound of quiet storm R&B in the '80s and includes seven platinum albums including The Songstress, Rapture and Giving You the Best That I Got. Baker has been nominated for 18 Grammy awards and has eight wins in addition to various other awards. Baker has continued to perform over the years, but as recently as January of last year had announced her retirement from recording. She's embarking on a farewell tour set to make a stop in Cleveland for two nights at the State Theatre. (Emanuel Wallace), 8 p.m., $59.50-$199.50.  State Theatre.

Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

Last year, Little Steven not only re-launched his long dormant solo career with Soulfire, but he also brought a gargantuan 15-piece band out onto the road to replicate what he had done in the studio for the album, a wonderfully retro trip through the back pages of his past work. The project grew out of something which was supposed to be a one-off gig in London. Instead, Van Zandt, in the process of rehearsing the retrospective setlist of material, heard something that “sounded like an album right away” and took advantage of the momentum and went straight into the studio to capture the album that he was hearing in his head. Expect to hear songs from it at tonight's gig. (Matt Wardlaw). 8 p.m., $39.50-$75. Hard Rock Rocksino.

The Sondies Release Party/Absinthe Father/Teamonde

This local band ups the ante with its new album, Modern Female Rockstar. Singer Willow Hawks' quivering vocals drive the undulating opening track, "Atom," on the new Modern Female Rockstar album, and the rollicking "Shoot 2 Kill" careens with the unbridled energy of a Paramore tune. In the album's first single, "Title," Hawks defiantly sings, "I don't wanna be your merch girl, I wanna be your goddamn idol/And I don't wanna work twice as hard for the same motherfucking title." The group cut the album with Steve Perrino of Compass Audio in Akron; it’s the band’s best-sounding album to date. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $10.  Mahall's 20 Lanes.


I considered Tauk’s 2014 Beachland Tavern show to be my favorite Cleveland show of that year. The band was magnetic, and I was most especially taken with drummer Isaac Teel’s chops, calling him in my review an “untamed robot from the future.” That still holds, as 2016’s Sir Nebula cranks up the energy from their earlier releases. Opener “Horizon” goes to frantic, interdimensional places. “Rainwalk” sounds like the ambitious offspring of something off 2013’s incredible Homonculus. Note, if you don’t yet know, that Tauk is all-instrumental. These are spacey, funky jams that tell wordless stories all their own. (Sandy)9 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS.  Beachland Ballroom.


10,000 Maniacs

The independent route is nothing new for 10,000 Maniacs — as their promotional biography notes, they were “the original indie band,” having released an EP and an album independently on their own prior to signing with Elektra to release their second album The Wishing Chair in 1985. But when they started laying the groundwork nearly three decades later to work on the album that would become their 2013 release Music From the Motion Picture, they were cautiously optimistic about how things might play out. They used PledgeMusic to fund the record, and when the Pledge team told them they could raise $25,000 to make the album, they didn’t believe it. But, in fact, they made that goal and then some, discovering in the process that there was still a sizable fan base out there that wanted to hear new music from the band. The band continues to celebrate its 30-year anniversary with the tour that brings it to town tonight. (Matt Wardlaw), 8 p.m.  Music Box Supper Club.

Cloud Nothings/Nap Eyes/Talons

Cloud Nothings, which started as a solo project in singer Dylan Baldi’s parents’ Westlake basement, is one of the hometown bands that continues to bring national attention to the local music scene. Three of the four of the guys even live in a house together in the Old Brooklyn area. Some portion of the crowd at tonight’s show will include the original fans who’ve been showing up to support the band since 2009. And then, there's Baldi’s parents. They have yet to miss a Cleveland gig. Cloud Nothings will play the raucous songs they’ve crunched through hundreds of times and most of the more introspective new ones from Last Building Burning. (Laura Morrison) 9 p.m., $17 ADV, $20 DOS.  Grog Shop.

Travis Haddix Blues Band (in the Supper Club)

A staple in the Cleveland blues scene — and in the American music circuit writ large — Travis “Moonchild” Haddix has always brought the heat to the stage. He also surround himself with great musicians — like a tight, tight brass section. What he has always done so well has been his steady merger of classic blues structures with smooth R&B-style singing. He makes the blues accessible to anyone willing to listen and, inevitably, dance. And having been playing guitar since he was 7, the dude can tear it up quite nicely. He once told a music writer, “I am the best that I can be, and since no one else can be me, there’s none better.” Right on. (Sandy) 7 p.m., $8.  Music Box Supper Club.


Lez Zeppelin/Olathia

When Lez Zeppelin formed some 15 years ago in New York, there weren't too many female hard rock cover bands on the touring circuit. The musical landscape has changed — now female acts pay tribute to acts such as AC/DC and Metallica. But back then it was a completely novel idea. Eddie Kramer, who worked with Led Zeppelin, even produced Lez Zeppelin's first album. In a world that's overrun with cover bands, this group still stands out as one of the best. (Niesel) 8:30 p.m., $18 ADV, $22 DOS.  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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