Livewire: The Best Concerts to Catch in Cleveland in July

Real music in the real world

click to enlarge Zach Bryan, see Friday, July 22 - Courtesy Warner Bros.
Courtesy Warner Bros.
Zach Bryan, see Friday, July 22

THU 07/14

Asia Featuring John Payne
Singer-bassist John Payne fronted this prog rock act from 1991 to 2006, and he's brought the band back out on the road to celebrate both its 30th and 40th anniversaries. The group performs tonight at 8 at Music Box Supper Club. Check the club's website for ticket prices and more info.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250,

Jack Johnson
Meet the Moonlight, singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s eighth studio album and first full-length release in five years, was produced by Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, Jim James) and recorded both in Los Angeles (at Sound City and EastWest) and the Mango Tree (Johnson’s studio in Hawaii). The album stemmed from one-on-one collaboration with Mills (whose contributions included everything from fretless guitar to Moog synth to steel drums). Expect to hear songs from it at tonight's show. The concert begins at 7:30 at Blossom. Consult the venue's website for more info.
1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard — The Stadium Tour
Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard team up for the long-awaited Stadium Tour. Postponed by COVID, the trek finally comes to FirstEnergy Stadium. Eighties rockers Mötley Crüe embarked on a farewell tour a few years back but have decided to come out of retirement for what we can only imagine will be one last go-around. Brit rockers Def Leppard, hair metal holdovers Poison and punky Joan Jett round out the bill. It all goes down at 3 p.m.
100 Alfred Lerner Way, 440-891-5000,

FRI 07/15

Duwayne Burnside
One of 14 children born to North Mississippi musician R.L. Burnside and his wife, Alice, Duwayne Burnside has regularly performed with the North Mississippi Allstars since the early 1990s. The young Burnside learned his first few guitar riffs and chords from his father and then began playing with local club owner Junior Kimbrough and the Soul Blues Boys. He comes to the Kent Stage tonight at 8. Check the club's website for more info.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005,

Inkcarceration 2022 Music & Tattoo Festival
This annual hard rock festival will again be held at the Ohio State Reformatory (made famous by the movie The Shawshank Redemption) in Mansfield. Headliners include Korn, Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin and Evanescence. Heavy hitters such as Lamb of God, Papa Roach, Seether, Falling in Reverse, Three Days Grace, I Prevail, Black Label Society, Theory of a Deadman, Black Veil Brides and Jelly Roll will perform as well. A partnership between independent festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents and the creators of Inkcarceration, the event will feature music, tattooing and “haunted attractions.” Check the website for more details.

SAT 07/16

Brett Dennen
West Coast-based singer-songwriter Brett Dennen has previously toured with the likes of Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Pete Murray and Michael Franti. His upper-register voice often resembles that of the late, great Tom Petty. A song like "See the World" shows off his smart folk-pop sensibilities. He brings his summer tour to the Kent Stage tonight at 8. Check the club's website for ticket prices and more info.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005,

David Gray
The singer-songwriter brings his tour in support of the 20th anniversary of his album White Ladder to Jacob Pavilion at Nautica. In conjunction with the tour, Gray has released White Ladder: The 20th Anniversary deluxe edition, a special remastered edition of the album plus White Ladder-era previously unreleased rarities, B-sides and demos. For tonight's concert, Gray will perform the album in its entirety as well as play a few of his greatest hits. The show begins at 8 p.m. Check the venue's website for more info.
2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080,

TRUSS Album Release Party
Last month, the local hard rock band TRUSS — Hannah Crandall (vocals), Eric Kennedy (guitar), Thomas Rastatter (bass), and Holden Szalek (drums) — released a new single, “Reset My Head." The heavy tune features a beefy guitar riff and bluesy vocals. The song served as a teaser for the album's that's just come out. The group celebrates the album's release with a concert begins at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 day of show.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588,

MON 07/18

Danny G & Michael Wavves
Nashville-based hip-hop artist danny G has paired up with rapper Michael Wavves for this trek they've dubbed the Content Overload Tour. Since the first of the year, Danny has made it his goal to create 10,000 pieces of content on social media via his #10Kin22 challenge. He's delivered daily LIVE’s and will continue to do so on the road. He also publishes a diverse array of music, comedy, sports and collaborative content, keeping current fans fully engaged. Tonight's show at the Grog Shop starts at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $12.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588,

TUE 07/19

Collective Soul/Switchfoot
These two '90s acts have teamed up for a joint tour that brings them to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica tonight at 7:30. Collective Soul is probably most famous for its pop-rock hit “Shine,” and Switchfoot’s big hits include moody numbers such as “Dare You to Move” and “On Fire.” Check the venue's website for more info.
2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080,

FRI 07/22

Jon Anderson with the Paul Green Rock Academy
While the prog rock act YES has had several different singers over the years, Jon Anderson takes lead on many of the band's biggest hits, including “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” Anderson and the Paul Green Rock Academy will perform tonight at 8 at the Kent Stage in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1972 album Close to the Edge. Check the club's website for ticket prices.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005,

Zach Bryan
Each of the singles from country singer-songwriter Zach Bryan's new album, American Heartbreak, have become fan-favorite audience sing-alongs during his live shows. His recent set at Stagecoach Festival was one of the festival's most talked events. Bryan comes to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica tonight at 8:15. Check the venue's website for more info.
2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080,

Boney James
Despite releasing his latest album, Solid, during the COVID-19 pandemic, jazz artist Boney Jam still managed to deliver his first Top 10 debut on the Billboard Top Albums Chart, a rare feat for an instrumentalist. He also stayed connected with fans throughout the pandemic by performing mini-concerts on Facebook Live. James performs tonight at 8 at the Akron Civic Theatre. Consult the venue's website for more info.
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488,

SAT 07/23

Brit Floyd
Brit Floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute act, comes to Cain Park tonight with a brand-new show that features highlights from The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Division Bell. It'll also include a 23-minute note-for-note performance of "Echoes." The concert begins at 8.
14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-371-3000,

SUN 07/24

Afi 'n the Mix
Last year, local musician Afi Scruggs won a Room in the House residency from Karamu House. She used the $5,000 grant to write several blues songs inspired by social and cultural events. Scruggs will debut those songs and perform other originals and covers tonight at 8 at the Beachland Tavern. Tickets cost $10.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124,

Night Moves
The Minneapolis rock outfit Night Moves comes to Mahall’s 20 Lanes tonight in support of its new EP, The Redaction. The band recorded The Redaction, a short cinematic collage, with generators in a friend's cabin without electricity over the course of three days. As a result, singles such as "Fallacy Actually" and "Vulnerable Hours" have a real immediacy to them.
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3280,

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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