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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

11 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 12:24 PM

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Arrested Development/Jahi of PE 2.0

A hip-hop group that formed in the late ‘80s and then rose to prominence in the '90s, Arrested Development aimed to provide a positive alternative to the negativity of gangsta rap. The group found an audience too, thanks for catchy tunes such as “Tennessee,” a breezy tune that features a combination of rapping and singing as well as a spirited horn arrangement. The group broke up in 1996 but reunited in 2000 and has toured and recorded ever since. A Cleveland native who now lives in Oakland, opener Jahi has become a successful rapper and author ever since relocating to the West Coast. A couple of years ago, he published Things I’ve Seen: A Decade of Hip-hop, Education and Life, a memoir about his career and the inspiration artist promotes using hip-hop to help teach life lessons. (Jeff Niesel) 9 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS.  House of Blues.

Dead Boys/Archie and the Bunkers

To mark the 40th anniversary of their seminal punk album, Young, Loud & Snotty, guitarist Cheetah Chrome and drummer Johnny Blitz have revived the Dead Boys for this tour in support of a new version of the album. Formed in Cleveland in 1976, the Dead Boys were one of the first American acts to play what would come to be known as hardcore punk. Young, Loud and Snotty, their 1977 debut, featured the blistering underground hit “Sonic Reducer.” The band broke up in 1979 but reunited for a few shows in the 1980s. After the death of singer Stiv Bators in 1990, the band members have rarely played together. Guitarist Jason Kottwitz, bassist Ricky Rat and singer Jake Hout, who performs in the Dead Boys tribute band the Undead Boys, will join Chrome and Blitz. (Niesel), 8:30 p.m., $18 ADV, $20 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Dead Letter Office

This five-piece R.E.M. tribute act from Western New York has been together for about three years now. The group has toured throughout the region and played shows from Boston to Columbus. Since the group is a five-piece, it can take on "a wider songlist" so expect to hear lots of late-'90s and early 2000s R.E.M. at tonight's show. This summer, the band is hitting the road hard and playing Philadelphia,  Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis in addition to playing local shows in the Buffalo/Rochester area. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $8-$12. The Winchester.


39th Annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland with Common and José James

Arguably the highlight of this year's annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, this concert features Common, one of hip-hop's most venerable acts, along with soul singer José James. Common, who has blossomed into an actor while still putting out records and touring, gave a show stopping performance at this year's Oscars, introducing the soulful ballad "Stand Up For Something" with an inspiring ad lib that spoke to our troubled times. James has been covering tunes by Rock Hall Inductee Bill Withers, so you can expect to hear tracks like "Stand By Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine" at tonight's performance. It's a great double bill. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $35-$90. State Theatre.

Aly & AJ/Rainsford

Last year, the pop duo Aly & AJ returned after a 10-year hiatus with the EP Ten Years, an album of introspective tunes laden with '80s-inspired synthesizers. Album opener “Take Me” features rattling drum machine beats and falsetto vocals; it sounds like Like a Virgin-era Madonna. “The Distance” is a breakup tune that nicely mirrors “Potential Break-Up Song,” the band’s big hit from 2007. Currently on a North American headlining tour that will hit only 15 cities, the duo will likely play a good mix of old and new tunes at tonight's show. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues.

Black Violin

Black Violin is used to defying the odds. Nobody expected two performing arts students from Florida that immersed themselves in hip-hop to become successful classical musicians with crossover appeal. Then again, nobody ever pursued the pairing of classical string instruments with bass drops and dance mixes as fiercely as Kev Marcus (violin) and Will B (viola) did. The duo’s fans are just as random as its influences; Black Violin shows are filled with millennial rap fans and Baby Boomer classical enthusiasts. The pair’s latest full-length, Stereo-types, offers a range of skilled instrumentals. “Runnin’” delivers a burst of energy that commands listeners’ attention. “Walk on By” has the beat of a Kendrick Lamar song, a choral vocal addition and the high-tension strings of the soundtrack to a chase scene in an action film. Every song that Black Violin has put out is unique, but they all carry the same signature stamp of composers that see a bigger picture than the rest of us can comprehend. (Halle Weber), 8 p.m., $35. Cain Park.

Ray LaMontagne/Neko Case

Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne got his start nearly 20 years ago when he recorded 10 songs for a demo album that he sent to out to music venues in the attempts to get gigs as an opening act. He succeeded and opened for John Gorka and Jonathan Edwards. That gig led to others, and LaMontagne would ink a record deal and issue his major label debut, Trouble, in 2004. Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Paul McCartney, Ryan Adams) produced the disc. LaMontagne has steadily issued never albums and toured in support of them ever since. Tonight's show supports his latest effort, the somber Part of the Light. (Niesel) 7:30 p.m., $32. Jacobs Pavilion.

Suzanne Santo/Leah James

Since forming in 2006, HoneyHoney has released three albums. Those albums have established it as a major act in the Americana/alt-country scene. But singer Suzanne Santo says the last HoneyHoney record really “burned” the band out, so she and bandmate Benjamin Jaffe decided to take some time away from the group. Since Santo knew producer Butch Walker (Taylor Swift, All Time Low), she thought he could help her whip some songs she’d written into a solo album. Her instincts proved correct. the disc features a terrific collection of songs that veer from HoneyHoney's alt-country approach.9 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Steven Tyler and the Loving Mary Band/The Sisterhood Band

Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler issued his country rock solo debut, We're All Somebody From Somewhere but only recently started touring in support of the successful album (it topped the country charts and landed in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200). Songs such as the title track have that Aerosmith glam rock swagger, albeit with a country twist. Nashville's Loving Mary Band, a group that features Aerosmith collaborator Marti Frederiksen, will accompany Tyler, and the Sisterhood Band (Ruby Stewart and Alyssa Bonagura) will open the show. 8 p.m., $119.50-$179.50.  Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.


Melissa Etheridge

Husky voiced singer-guitarist Melissa Etheridge, who grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas, likes to say that her voice always had a raspy quality. "I remember my choir teacher used to put me in the back row of the choir because I had such a strange voice," she told us in a 2014 interview. Her experience in the choir notwithstanding, she originally gravitated toward country music, and when she was a teenager, she cut her musical teeth playing with local country groups. After a short stint at Berklee College of Music, she moved to Los Angeles and hit the coffeehouse circuit. Her 1993 album, Yes I Am, became a huge hit, and she’s never looked back. Expect to hear songs from it as well as tracks from her latest offering, 2016's Memphis Rock and Soul. (Niesel) 7:30 p.m.  Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.


Also known as “Mr. Worldwide,” rapper Pitbull, the Miami-born hip-hop star who’s collaborated with acts such as Lil Jon, Christina Aguilera, Kesha, T-Pain, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Marc Anthony and others, will perform tonight at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. The stadium doesn’t often hold concerts. Pitbull’s performance will be the first one that isn’t a Concert for Legends (the shows that take place during the annual Hall of Fame enshrinement festival). As a side note, this year’s enshrinement festival concert scheduled to take place on Aug. 5 will feature Maroon 5. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $39.50. Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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