9 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

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Eric Church

When country singer-guitarist Eric Church last played in town in 2014, he delivered a compelling two-hour concert in front of a packed house at Quicken Loans Arena. Drawing on his rock roots, he put on an energetic show that came off as the country equivalent of a Springsteen concert. Church even sang a few riffs from Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” as an intro to his hit “Springsteen.” Church returns to the Q tonight on the heels of his latest album, Mr. Misunderstood. For the first time ever, there will be no support act on his tour. Rather, Church and the ECB will play two full sets with an intermission in between. (Jeff Niesel), 8 p.m., $25-$89. Quicken Loans Arena.

Chayla Hope/Madeline Finn/Kimberly Haffey/Shelby Lynn Sangdahl

Formed in 2012, the local indie rock act Seafair created lush soundscapes that drew apt comparisons to Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. Last year, Seafair sadly called it quits after a performance at the Burning River Fest. And yet, singer-keyboardist Chayla Hope has continued on with a solo career. Tonight, she headlines her first show as a solo artist. The concert, billed as “Chayla Hope & Friends,” features an all-local, all-female lineup, including the Whiskey Hollow’s Madeline Finn, guitarist Kimberly Haffey and cellist Shelby Lynn Sangdahl. Hope says she'll play newly written tunes that "lean toward electronica." A bassist and drummer will join her for a couple of the songs. 9 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Grog Shop.

Sisters in Song: Kristine Jackson/Rachel Brown/Becky Boyd

If you’re looking for awesome women to represent our kickass local music scene, this is the show you need to catch. Kristine Jackson, who recently released a new album, By Your Side, has long been a fixture at Cleveland shows. She brings a nice spectrum of influences, like hard rock and roots reggae, to this trio. And that’s what seems so interesting about this show to us: We’ve admired all three of these ladies for years; bringing them together for a night can only portend a fun and very danceable time. Rachel Brown harkens back to earlier times in America, performing saloon-style rock with her band, the Beatnik Playboys. Her stage presence is terrific. And Becky Boyd, who’s been running with Groove Train in recent years, is one of the most soulful, jazzy singers in Cleveland. Don’t miss this! (Eric Sandy), 8 p.m., $18 ADV, $20 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.


High School Rock Off Final Exam

When the annual High School Rock Off launched some 20 years ago at the Odeon, the promoters at the locally-based Belkin Productions (now Live Nation) saw it as a way to reach out to area high schools and provide students with the kind of outlet that they might not have. Two decades later, the event, which takes place again this year at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, continues to thrive. This year's incarnation of the event featured 41 acts. There were a total of 156 band members and seven solo artists from four states. In all, the performers represented 62 schools. Tonight, 12 finalists battle for top honors at the event's "final exam." (Niesel), 6 p.m., $10. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

WJCU Radiothon Benefit Concert

For 47 years now, WJCU 88.7 FM has delivered ad-free independent-minded programming. Since the on-air staff are unpaid volunteers, there are significant expenses involved in keeping the station running. This week, the station has entered fund-raising mode. It pledges that every penny of the money donated during its week-long Radiothon will go toward operating expenses. The station’s annual Radiothon Benefit Concert features Vulgar Devils, a local metal group that features members of Destructor and Sparrowmilk, Threefold Law, Hell and Back, and Live Evil. Live Evil will perform a tribute to the late great singer/wailer Ronnie James Dio. The band’s set will include songs from the various stages of his career, including tracks from when he played with Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio. Olathia’s Chris Emig will host the event. The show is 21 and over. (Niesel), 7 p.m., $8. Maple Grove.


Ariana Grande/Little Mix/Victoria Monet

Pop singer Ariana Grande has a vocal range that rivals that of Mariah Carey. Her 2014 album, My Everything, received a Grammy nomination for “Best Pop Vocal Album” and delivered the six times-platinum hit “Problem.” Upon the single's release, Grande became “the youngest woman to debut with over 400K sold first-week,” while the song ranked as the fifth “highest digital song debut for a female artist” and ninth highest ever. The tour that brings her to town tonight supports Dangerous Woman, which yielded a massive hit with the title track, a by-the-numbers soul/R&B number that finds Grande seductively crooning. (Niesel), 7:30 p.m., $30-$200. Quicken Loans Arena.

GZA/Meyhem Lauren/FreshProduce

Philosopher-MC and founding member of the revolutionary New York rap crew The Wu-Tang Clan, GZA is a fixture of the hip-hop ruling class. After the smash success of the group’s 1993 album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), GZA embarked on a solo career marked by lyrical dexterity and iconoclastic inventiveness, from 1995’s Liquid Swords to 2008’s Pro Tools. The 50-year-old rapper helped pave the way for New York City’s 90’s hardcore scene, presaging artists like Nas, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, and The Notorious B.I.G. Over the years, GZA has gravitated towards science and philosophy, giving TED Talks on science education and collaborating with professors at MIT, Oxford, Harvard and Columbia on education initiatives. He’s recently joined forces with Tom Morello and Greek composer Vangelis as he works towards his oft-delayed album, Dark Matter. Meyhem Lauren, the gritty Queens-bred Action Bronson affiliate, opens, along with Cleveland duo FreshProduce. (Lawrence Neil), 9 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Put-In-Bay Party for Ben Parker Featuring Ben Dover & the Screamers/Chris Allen

An island party band popular in Put-In-Bay in the '80s and '90s, Ben Dover & The Screamer had a huge regional following. Recently, lead singer Ben Parker has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease so tonight's show featuring the reunited band serves a benefit to help the guy cover medical expenses. (Niesel), 4 p.m., $15 ADV, $20 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

You Blew It!/All Get Out/Free Throw/Bare Walls

Get your PBR and skinny jeans ready — it's a night of emo and punk rock night at Mahall's. Show headliner You Blew It is a Florida based Emo outfit that released their third album Abendrot last November. You Blew It has been working the emo-revival circuit alongside bands like The Front Bottoms and Into It. Over It. for a number of years, but the band now seems to be more fine-tuned and aimed for a bigger breakout. Single "Greenwood" uses subdued, shimmering guitars and an aching vocal delivery without relying on a breakdown or a vocal overload to carry the emotional message. The toned-down nature of the song feels like a step in a more mature direction. Openers All Get Out and Free Throw feel a little more rock than emo, but all the bands essentially use the same tools to craft their music. (Johnny Cook), 7:30 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

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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