Akron's EJ Thomas Hall brings fans a lot closer to the music in its Stage Door concert series, which lets fans sit onstage and watch artists perform. There's no fuss or fancy backdrop going on here, making it an ideal and intimate showcase.
The best show on the monthly schedule happens next Saturday, September 26, when the Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller plays a solo set.
With alt-country shitkickers the 97's, the prettiest man in rock makes a twangy racket. But his solo records — including his latest, self-titled one — are poppier. It's really not that big a deal, since Miller's best work with his band are as equally rooted in Big Star-style power-pop as Johnny Cash-like hoedowns.
Tickets for the Stage Door show (which starts at 8 p.m.) are only $10 (it's half that if you're a student at the University of Akron). It's general admission, of course, so you may wanna get there early to get really close to the guy. —Michael Gallucci