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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

5 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 11:35 AM

click to enlarge EKOOSTIK.COM

Ekoostik Hookah

The grandfathers of Ohio’s expansive jam band scene — culturally and musically — have always maintained close ties to the Cleveland area. From 1991’s Under Full Sail to 2013’s sweetly groovin’ Brij, Ekoostik Hookah have kept their fire burning across time. Check out “Whiskey Woman” for a fine example of the hookah-laden chops still hooked around each of the band’s compositional outings. Given the band’s personal history, rife with small shows and Hookahville festivals alike, every chance to be a part of the fun is a necessary diversion from life out there. (Eric Sandy), 7 p.m., $15 ADV, $20 DOS. Odeon.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Celebrating the Music of Queen with Uptight Sugar/Tim Moon

Given the popularity of the new biopic about Queen, the great British rock band, the Queen tribute act Bohemian Rhapsody should draw a big crowd to House of Blues tonight. Fronted by a mustached singer who looks like the late, great Queen singer Freddie Mercury, the group does a spot-on rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” complete with all the operatic gibberish and that terrific guitar solo that kick in during the song’s second half. (Jeff Niesel) 7:30 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. House of Blues.


Dave Smeltz Project/Steel Yard Soundsystem

Veteran local musician David Smeltz started performing in 1978 when he co-founded I-Tal, the first American reggae rock band in the area. He had played in small bands prior to that but had an epiphany when he heard reggae for the first time. Smeltz subsequently taught himself some chords, specifically G, C and D, which are used in lots of reggae songs. I-Tal would splinter, and Smeltz, who now runs the nonprofit Clean House Inc., went into recovery for addiction issues in 2001. But a year ago, he started writing songs that would make up his terrific new album, Recovered. A confessional song such as "My Life" has a Sublime-like feel to it as Smeltz sings "that's not the way I live my life today" over an undulating acoustic guitar riff. Expect to hear it along with other new tracks at tonight’s show. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern.

Welshly Arms/The Whiskey Hollow/The Blue Stones

This year, local rockers Welshly Arms have been plenty busy. They toured with Thirty Seconds to Mars and represented Cleveland at Lollapalooza, where the band’s rousing performance was one of many highlights at the festival that featured close to 200 bands. At Lolla, the band really benefited from having locals Bri Bryant and Jon Bryant on backing vocals. The husband and wife duo not only provided some great vocal harmonies, but they also danced in unison and provided a dynamic visual element as they smiled and laughed throughout the performance. Expect the group to be in fine form for this homecoming gig. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues.


Tech N9ne/Futuristic/Dizzy Wright/Krizz Kaliko

Tech N9ne (Aaron Yates), who began his career as a breakdancer, started rapping at an early age. He wrote his first rhyme in seventh grade, and even his teachers noticed his commitment to the art. Influenced by rapper Slick Rick and a few other old school acts, he developed his unique rapid-fire delivery. He's steadily recorded and toured ever since dropping his debut, The Calm Before the Storm, in 1999. Tonight's show supports his 20th studio album, Planet. The rapper puts his microphone skills on display right from the start, delivering the tongue-twisting lyrics of album opener "Habanero" with ease. That song will likely make its way into tonight's set list. (Niesel), 6 p.m., $30. Agora Theatre.

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