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Friday, January 15, 2016

8 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 10:36 AM

click to enlarge AMBER PATRICK
  • Amber Patrick


Local indie rockers Ottawa cite acts such as Portugal the Man and the Talking Heads as influences. You can hear their influence on the band's recent EP, 2014's Random Lights. It offers a nice distillation of its influence. The title tracks careens like a Strokes song on steroids, and "The Good Kind" features a bit of Black Keys-inspired garage blues and has a real swagger to it as its beefy bass riff propels the track. The guys are working on new material so expect to hear some unreleased songs at tonight's show. (Niesel), 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Thor Platter

For his new album, Long Road Ahead, local singer-songwriter Thor Platter went to Blue Buddha Studio and worked with local producer Jim Wall, the guy who owns the Cleveland-based studio. The disc showcases his crisp vocals, which recall masters such as John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett or Willie Nelson. The song’s arrangements draw from bluegrass and folk but don’t strictly to traditional structures and allow his stellar band that includes bassist Matthew Charboneau and mandolin and fiddle player Bill Lestock to really shine. Two session players — Paul Kovac and Tommy Hannum — also contribute. It's one of our favorite local releases from last year. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.


2016 Tri-C High School Rock Off

As a way of nurturing and supporting the talent native to Northeast Ohio, the folks at the concert promotions behemoth Live Nation devote what is traditionally a slow time of the year for concerts to this annual event, a battle of the bands that pits high-school bands against one another in a competition to crown one final winner the best high-school band in the land. Last year, the event returned to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where a handful of bands battled it out each weekend before one winner was crowned in the Final Exam. This year, the event will also take place at the Rock Hall. Every Saturday in January (and one Saturday in February), regional bands will compete before a panel of judges for the right to move on to the "Final Exam," which takes place on Feb. 13 at the Rock Hall. Now in its twentieth year, the event will also feature special appearances by alumni acts who'll perform at the end of each round. (Niesel), 6 p.m. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Travis "Moonchild" Haddix

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), 8:30 p.m., $15. Nighttown.

Holy Holy US Tour

The core quartet that recorded David Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World parted ways after the record, with the late Trevor Bolder replacing Tony Visconti on bass and Ken Scott producing Bowie's next LP, 1971's Hunky Dory. As a result, that band configuration never had the chance to play the album live. That's all changed thanks to the live project Holy Holy, which finds drummer Woody Woodmansey and Visconti reuniting to perform the album (and a second set of other early Bowie classics such as "Ziggy Stardust," "Life on Mars?" and "Changes") with an impressive cast of musicians: guitarists James Stevenson (The Cult, Gene Loves Jezebel) and Paul Cuddeford (Ian Hunter, Bob Geldof); keyboardist Berenice Scott (Heaven 17); saxophonist Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk, Lydia Lunch); and backing vocalist Jessica Morgan, who's also Visconti's daughter. (Annie Zaleski) 7 p.m., $20. Odeon.

New Salem Witch Hunters

Cleveland heavy metal band Boulder once asked the existential hypothetical in the song "Who Care, Baby?" off of their 1999 debut The Rage of It All, "How much rock do you have to live to really live rock?" You can look at any one of the New Salem Witch Hunters at any point in time during the last 30-plus years and find your answer. The New Salem Witch Hunters live rock. Period. And every time that that they play a gig, it's a gathering of the faithful — band and fans, true believers in rock 'n' roll as art form and rock and roll as way of life. (C.J. Klassa), 9 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern.

The The Band Band

Complete with horns and husky vocals, the The Band Band's cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" captures the rootsy rock vibe of the original and their rendition of "The Weight" is every bit as epic as the original version. The tribute band takes its repertoire largely from The Band's seminal period and mixes well-known hits with obscure gems. They have performed "album shows" (Music From Big Pink, The Band, Stage Fright, Basement Tapes), recreations of historic concerts (The Last Waltz, Woodstock, Watkins Glen Music Festival), and a special tribute to the songs of Bob Dylan. They even do a show of Basement Tapes material. 8 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.


Dustin Lynch

A fast-rising star, country singer Dustin Lynch had some noteworthy success last year. He played Crash My Playa 2015, a blowout country music bash held in Cancun, and he toured with singer Luke Bryan as the guy hit the nation's stadiums. The success stems from last year’s chart-topping Where It’s At, a terrific collection that veers from hard rocking anthems like “Hell of a Night” to poppy tunes such as “To the Sky.” Expect a big crowd to turn out for tonight's gig. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $25 ADV, $27 DOS. House of Blues.

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