As a band, Paramore have been coasting on last year's Brand New Eyes for most of 2010, playing overseas festival shows and now headlining a U.S. tour. But frontwoman Hayley Williams has been busy. She contributed a solo song to the soundtrack of last year's box-office stinker Jennifer's Body, and followed that up this year with a terrific spot on rapper B.O.B.'s "Airplanes," one of 2010's biggest and best singles. But like Gwen Stefani and Debbie Harry before her, Williams insists she's just one small fraction of a larger group. Whatever. We all know who the star is here. However you want to look at it, Williams is the spunky catalyst for Paramore's super-hooky pop-punk. Without her leading the charge (and writing their best songs), they'd be just another Cobra Starship or Panic! At the Disco. They're playing a lot of cuts from Brand New Eyes and 2007's breakthrough Riot! on this tour, so their show will sound an awful lot like a greatest-hits set. You can thank Williams for that. — Michael Gallucci
Paramore, with Tegan and Sara. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 10. Time Warner Cable Amphitheater. Tickets: $36; call 216-522-4822 or go to livenation.com.
A lot of times when bands break up, fans can't understand why. When Creed splintered in 2004, there was no mystery. During their peak in the late '90s, frontman Scott Stapp went on and on about how he sang his band's hit song "With Arms Wide Open" as his wife was giving birth to their son. No wonder she later divorced this self-important blowhard. So it was hardly shocking when Stapp's bandmates left him too and formed the hard-rock band Alter Bridge. Last year, Creed got back together — apparently because there are some music fans nostalgic for angst-without-a-cause rock. The songs on Creed's first album since the breakup, and their first in eight years, Full Circle, are as heavy-handed as its title. You can expect to hear a sizable dose of new material when the band plays Blossom Music Center this weekend. But more than anything, you'll get hits like "My Own Prison," "Higher," and "My Sacrifice," which still log plenty of airtime on frat-rock radio. Just don't call this tour a reunion; Stapp refers to it as a rebirth. Because that's the kind of sanctimonious jackass he is. — Ed Condran
Creed, with Red and Theft. 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 6. Blossom Music Center. Tickets: $10, $20; call 330-920-8040 or go to livenation.com.
Authenticity has never been a problem for Anthony Hamilton, who was cast as a soul singer in the 2007 movie American Gangster (the true story about a guy who ran Harlem during the golden era of soul music in the '70s). Despite having one of the most convincing voices in the business — at his best, Hamilton recalls Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and Bobby Womack — the 39-year-old barber-turned-backup-singer-turned-R&B-virtuoso has remained below the radar for most of his nearly 15-year career. First gaining national attention in 2003 with his platinum-selling second album, Comin' From Where I'm From, the North Carolina singer is also an in-demand crooner among hip-hop artists. Known for his spiritual bent — he first discovered his chops when he was a 10-year-old singing in a church choir — Hamilton's relative anonymity could be attributed to his lack of sex appeal, R&B's bread and butter since the start. In place of the cinematic, candlelit coitus celebrated by many of his better-known contemporaries, Hamilton regularly taps into real-life pain and pleasure. In "Cool," his 2008 collaboration with rapper David Banner, he sings, "If we ain't got enough for a movie, we can just sit at home." Later, he suggests that he and his lady just watch cartoons. It doesn't get more real than that. — Jeremy Henderson
Anthony Hamilton, with Kem, Jaheim, and Raheem Devaughn. 7 p.m. Thursday, August 5. Time Warner Cable Amphitheater. Tickets: $39.75-$79.75; call 216-522-4822 or go to livenation.com.
Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith writes about what he knows only halfway. He doesn't quite understand feelings. He may not be an expert on his own emotions, but he sure knows how to use them to draw audience reaction. It also helps that Dawes' live shows are more plugged in than their 2009 debut, North Hills, a mellow record of plaintive alt-country strummers. Acoustic guitars are replaced by electric ones onstage, and the quartet aims for a more aggressive tone. "When My Time Comes" sounds like vintage Springsteen, and "Love Is All I Am" is a timeless late-summer song that's right at home under a sunset-drenched cattail field. But if you're like Goldsmith — and have a thing for Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Jackson Browne — you won't need the picturesque settings to feel at home. You'll find comfort by just sitting back and chilling with the band. — Danielle Sills
Dawes, with Young Man. 9 p.m. Wednesday, August 4. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $12, $10 in advance; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
Lady Antebellum went from minor country breakouts to major pop stars this year thanks to a song about horny drunk-dialing at 1:15 a.m. The Nashville trio's "Need You Now" is one of those songs that comes around maybe once a year and transcends genres. Pop, country, and especially adult radio have embraced the track, playing it at least 15 times a day since its release at the beginning of the year. No matter that the album — the group's second, also called Need You Now — plays it safe every step of the way: The twang is kept to a minimum, everything caters to an audience looking for a little inspiration in dismal times, and there's not much bite to the songs — even the drunken, horny ones. Still, it's smooth country-pop made by three young and good-looking singers (two guys and a gal) designed not to offend. If only all drunk dials were so harmless. — Gallucci
Lady Antebellum and Tim McGraw. 7 p.m. Thursday, August 5. Blossom Music Center. Tickets: $33.50-$69.50; call 330-920-8040 or go to ticketmaster.com.