Monday, August 21, 2017

Locals the Angie Haze Project Celebrate the Release of New EP with a Show at Akron Pride

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 4:55 PM

Local rockers the Angie Haze Project feature eccentric singer-songwriter Angie Haze, an Italian-American who sings while wearing bells around her ankle and plays a handmade tambourine shoe, drums/percussion, a guitar, a cowbell, melodica and a kazoo.

In last year’s International Songwriting Competition, she became a semi-finalist and then a finalist with the song “Wave Goodbye.” That song appears as a re-mastered bonus track on her new EP, Catching Bees With Honey.

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Country Singer Sara Evans to Bring Her Holiday Show to Hard Rock Live

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:43 AM

Just last month, country singer Sara Evans released Words, her latest chart-topping hit album. A veteran musician who's a legitimate superstar, Evans is also an accomplished author, blogger and Red Cross ambassador (in 2008 she was presented with the national Crystal Cross award for her work with the disaster-relief organization).

Her latest tour brings her to Hard Rock Live on Dec. 8. Billed as Sara Evans at Christmas, the show will feature both her hits and “holiday favorites.”

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'Rock Box' Speakers Downtown Will Play 'Dark Side of the Moon' During Solar Eclipse

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:29 AM

Beginning at 1:50 p.m. or so, the Rock Hall will play Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon through its Rock Box speakers, located across downtown.

The album's final song, "Eclipse," will sync up with the darkest point of the partial solar eclipse, right around 2:31 p.m.

There's not much more to the news than that. If you have not yet procured your eclipse glasses or acid blotter, then you might just want to post up near a set of speakers this afternoon and enjoy one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Coldplay Put on a Joyous, Colorful Show Last Night at the Q

Posted By on Sun, Aug 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM

Chris Martin's voice was coming from somewhere. He wasn't on the main stage or the end of the walkway that went into the audience. Finally, I located the Coldplay frontman's body. There he was sprawled out at the start of the walkway, slowly singing "Fix You" while looking up at the ceiling, as if Quicken Loans Arena was his personal bedroom.

(See more photos from the show right here).

And that wasn't his only floor work of the evening. At the end of their big hit "Hymn for the Weekend," which came out on 2015's A Head Full of Dreams and is possibly the British band's most pandering tune, Martin straight up rolled around in a pile of paper confetti.

If anything, last night's show proved that Martin is one of the biggest hams on the planet. When he wasn't rocking at the piano, he was out marching or frolicking or spinning up and down the stage. He's that guy who can't actually dance but anytime he's out at a club he gets the crowd going.

And all of this fun dorkiness works to the band's advantage.

This is a group that has stayed together for 20 years by making pop-rock music that appeals to a large audience. Parents and teens alike were seen swaying and jumping together at last night's feast for the senses. Even those who were probably dragged by a girlfriend or parent, couldn't help but get sucked into the madness.

When there wasn't confetti spraying out in rainbow hues, there were fireballs going off in the back and big balloons dropping from above. The light show was blindingly enthralling and the backdrop videos dizzying. Audience members were even given lightup bracelets to wave around during the performance. If it was all too much, no one seemed to care.

At one point, Martin actually stopped in the middle of "Charlie Brown" to get the crowd to put down their cell phones, let go of their inhibitions and jump around.

"Goodness knows I've made a career out of jumping up and down like an idiot," he said.

While the show's visual quality was front and center, the band's full and joyous sound was commanding (if not a little too perfectly produced). These anthems were meant for an arena, and over the span of two hours the band wanted to play them all for us. That they played "Yellow" as the second song and "The Scientist" two tunes later just proved how much the show was for the fans.

The finale put the four-piece out on a platform at the back of the arena, to the delight of fans. They played more intimate songs like "In My Place" and "Don't Panic."

The most telling part of the show, was that the filled-to-the-brim crowd didn't start trickling out early. Most folks remained glued to their seats (not that anyone was sitting in them). People wanted to see what Martin and crew would do next. They wanted to stay to the end.
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Chris Stapleton's Blossom Performance Showed Real Country at Its Finest

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 12:46 PM

  • Photo by Scott Sandberg
He was mostly shadows and fingers up there on stage. At least that's what the packed-in audience could see of Chris Stapleton last night at Blossom. But it didn't matter that his face was obstructed by a sandy cowboy hat and a straggly-ass beard, you could still hear that voice and you could still see his fingers flying around his guitar — like guitar is the easiest thing to play, like he was born playing that instrument.

(Take a look at photos of last night's show right here).

And the instrumentation is important here, because so many bands these days, ones that even claim to be a two-piece or three-piece, seem to add to their ranks as soon as they get big and go on tour. Last night, Stapleton had a bassist, drummer and his wife Morgane on hand to play tambourine and sing harmony ... reminiscent of Johnny and June. And with only four bodies on stage, the whole place was somehow ignited with insane soulful Americana talent.

For most of the two-hour set, people did attempt to sing along with Stapleton's old-school country songs — the ones from 2015's Traveller and also this year's From a Room: Volume 1.

But let's breakdown one of his hits, "Tennessee Whiskey," right now. It begins simply enough, yet when he gets to the line, "You're as warm as a glass of brandy," that's where even Whitney Houston or the best of opera singers would need a minute.

He sings it like this:

"You're as waaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrammmm as a glass of brandy," running over seemingly every possible note on the "warm" like water. And these were the sorts of ostentatious vocal lines that caused the guy behind me to keep yelling out "fuck me up," which I can only assume he meant in a good way.

Some singers sound better or worse or at least different than their records. Not Stapleton. His wizened and chest-aching vocals howled to the moon last night just as righteously as they do on his albums.

Stapleton, thankfully, makes music for adults. He's not sidetracked by pickup trucks and red Solo cups, and playing to the teenage crowd. His music feels lived in, and it makes sense he was content being a Nashville songwriter for many years (read Billboard's oral history of making Traveller right here) before finally making his own record.

That's who was there last night, adults. And they rolled with all the punches Stapleton threw out. He played all the rousing hits and impeccable guitar solos, sure, but he also played a couple of the songs you'd be more apt to skip while listening in your car (that's when folks opted to hit up the beer line or the bathroom again).

Stapleton, who didn't talk much at all between tunes, carefully crafted a show that brought people together. He told the mostly standing crowd he was playing to both the hillbillies and the hippies. And with our country in such turmoil, he never got political — unless you count his short covering of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone."

At the end of the mostly on point night, after coming back out for the encore, Stapleton claimed this was one of his favorite crowds in years (like he doesn't say that to everyone), but the audience took the compliment in stride. The finale included the painfully brutal "Either Way," and closed with "Sometimes I Cry."

And for that last one, the crowd lost their minds. Some played air guitar, some lifted their hands to the sky. Stapleton went off the beaten track of his recording. He hit higher notes, he added more runs, it was all entirely unfair. He made you believe you might start crying from the wonder of it all.

"Sometimes I cry / Cry / Sometimes I cry / When I can't do nothing else."

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Steely Dan's Donald Fagen to Revisit His Past With a Little Help From a New, Young Band

Posted By on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 4:23 PM

  • Bon Jane
When singer-keyboardist Donald Fagen and singer-guitarist Walter Becker, the guys in the jazz/rock act Steely Dan, toured back in the 1970s shortly after the band’s inception, they quickly developed an aversion to touring and rarely hit the road prior to disbanding in 1981. Since reforming in 1993, however, they’ve toured with more regularity.

The band performed just two summers ago at Blossom and now Fagen brings his solo show to town. He and his backing band, the Nightflyers, will perform on Friday, Aug. 25, at Hard Rock Live.

“When we got off the road after touring for a couple of years – I think it was in ’74, and it really had to do with the conditions back then for touring were much more difficult,” he says during a recent conference call when asked about his newfound love for performing live.

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Locals Wrecking Crew Red Panda Bears Release New Music Video

Posted By on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 2:25 PM

  • Facebook.com
Local rockers Wrecking Crew Red Panda Bears formed some two years ago and issued an EP last summer.

Now, the band has just issued a new single, the power ballad “Young Medusa.”
The group filmed the accompanying music video in Lorain in the woods close to Lorain Port Authority.

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