FRIDAY, JULY 31
Best known as the lead singer of the Las Vegas alternative rock band, the Killers, Brandon Flowers has put his own name up in lights as well as a successful solo artist. His second solo album, The Desired Effect, came out earlier this summer to critical acclaim and features appearances by Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys, Danielle Haim of Haim and Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. of the Killers, among others. His live performances have also been widely praised by fans and reviewers and during the European leg of his current tour, he even had a few legendary, surprise guests performing with him: Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and Bernard Sumner of New Order. His live set will feature, several songs from his new album like the pop-filled “Can’t Deny My Love” and the slow build-up, “I Can Change,” as well as some sing-alongs that all fans of The Killers will know and love. (Elizabeth Manno), 8 p.m., $27.50 ADV, $30 DOS. House of Blues
When country singer Tim McGraw played at Blossom two years ago, he braved the rain to strut from the side of the stage and cut through the crowd, slapping high fives along the way. Wearing a black cowboy hat and a tank top that exposed his beefy, well-toned arms, the guy looked like he was on his way to a wrestling match as the Imagine Dragons anthem “Radioactive” played over the PA system. What a way to kick off Blossom’s summer concert season.
McGraw opened with the poppy “Where the Green Grass Grows” and inserted a choice shoutout to Ohio along the way. He was clearly enthused that the torrential downpours that kept coming throughout the night hadn’t dampened the audience’s enthusiasm. Expect the guy to put on a great show tonight, rain or shine. 7 p.m., $32.75-$71.50. Blossom
As Graham Nash describes it, his concerts offer fans the opportunity to hear their favorites from his catalog, but there’s also an opportunity to learn, discover and become aware. Social and political commentary have long been a key element of the songwriting and Nash, as is the case with many of his fellow legendary peers, has never been shy about expressing his views in his music and unlike some songwriters that might hold back new songs for an album release, he has no problem with introducing a song onstage that is as fresh as the current headlines.8 p.m., $43.50-$62.50. Hard Rock Rocksino
SATURDAY, AUG. 1
Named the No. 1 Artist to Watch by FoxWeekly after winning the “Kick it with the Band” competition, Jake Miller has quickly risen to stardom. He's opened for acts like Mac Miller and Snoop Dog, and has performed along side of Sean Kingston, Asher Roth, and Jason Derulo. His music is a mix of EDM, pop, rap, and R&B and sounds like a mix of Mac Miller and Jason Derulo. His most popular hits, “Rumors” and “Dazed and Confused,” feature pop-heavy beats and vocals with rap verses thrown in between. His music is juvenile but is sure to get anybody up and moving. (Hannah Wintucky), 8 p.m., $23 ADV, $26 DOS. House of Blues
The Nick Moss Band
With a robust career always broadening, Nick Moss keeps on trucking. His latest album, Time Ain’t Free, kicks around the high-octane Chicago blues that’s baked into his music for years. Among the notable highlights in his work are the screaming guitar solos he churns into his songs. Album opener “She Wants It” merges the tail end of one of those solos with a gospel-style verse and a bridge back into the song’s heavy chorus. Masterful licks abound, and it’s clear that Moss is a terrific songwriter. The latest album closes out with “(Big Mike’s) Sweet Potato Pie,” a funk-laden stew complete with psychedelic leads from both the keys and the guitar. It’s an incredible finale. (Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $15. Beachland Tavern
Singer-songwriter Kimm Rogers took one helluva hiatus. Rogers, who put out a couple of acclaimed albums back in the ’90s, recently released Where the Pavement Ends, her first new studio offering in two decades. “To be perfectly honest, I am just learning the ropes again,” says Rogers, a native Clevelander who plays a rare hometown show tonight. “I feel like Rip Van Winkle. I lost my record deal and slept for a long time and work up to a new music business world. I’m trying to figure out how to tour. I hope to do some touring. I love to play live. When you can feel the energy coming off poeple in a room, it’s an incredible feeling.” Rogers has really been everywhere. As a kid, she moved from Cleveland to California and then to Nashville before moving back to California. She's also done time in Idaho and New Mexico. In California, she spent some time busking on the Venice Beach boardwalk and established a rep as a songwriter. For Where the Pavement Grows, she teamed up with ace multi-instrumentalist Julian Coryell (son of jazz great Don Coryell). Her nasally vocals are well-suited to mid-tempo rock tunes such as “Twenty Three,” an introspective song with Joni Mitchell-like qualities to it. (Niesel). Jilly's Music Room.
At 66, singer-guitarist Richard Thompson is still a force to be reckoned with. Yet another masterpiece, his new album, "Still," opts for a starker sound, something that's apparent from the opening number "She Could Never Resist a Winding Road," a simple sound that starts with nothing more than Thompson's gruff vocals and a gently strummed guitar riff. The somber ballad has a real sadness to it. Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who produced the album, lets Thompson have his way as songs generally stretch past the four-minute mark. Tonight's show will be an acoustic solo affair. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $30-$40. The Kent Stage
The Under the Sun Tour with Sugar Ray/Better Than Ezra/Uncle Kracker/Eve 6
Sugar Ray might’ve seemed like an overnight sensation when “Fly,” a snappy Sublime-like tune that featured breezy vocals and deft turntable scratches, became a hit back in 1997. But that certainly wasn’t the case. Band members had played together since the late ‘80s before making their debut in 1995 with Lemonade and Brownies. In fact, that album was a bomb and the band should have probably been dropped in the wake of its release but it rebounded with a handful of hits. A few years ago, Sugar Ray singer McGrath and Everclear singer Art Alexakis launched Summerland, a tour that paid tribute to bands from the ’90s. Alexakis wanted that tour to get a bit heavier and McGrath wanted the tour to broaden the horizons. As a result, McGrath launched his own tour, Under the Sun. Now in its third year, the tour comes to Hard Rock tonight. Nostalgia never sounded so good. 7 p.m., $35-$55. Hard Rock Rocksino
SUNDAY, AUG. 2
A while back, we named Bombino’s Nomad one of our 10 favorite albums from 2013. It’s been holding up nicely. Just imagine the sheer awesomeness of a virtuoso Tuareg guitarist (from Agadez, Niger) combined with the attitude of the Black Keys. Sounds great, right? That's precisely how Nomad sounds because that's precisely what the album is. Dan Auerbach produced the African musician's second solo album, blending traditional Tuareg instrumentation and melodies with the scratchy boot-straps rock ‘n’ roll of our pals from Akron. Album opener “Amidinine” captures that vibe perfectly. Check out “Adinat” for a sense of that northern African percussion winding its way through electric guitars and American production values. Bombino hasn’t been around Cleveland too much, so tonight’s show offers a really great opportunity to catch a unique and stellar musician right here in town. (Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $18. Beachland Ballroom