Fall is generally the time when the outdoor sheds start to shutter and the clubs and indoor arenas get busy. And given that some of the larger tours (Metallica!!!) are bypassing Cleveland, the club schedule looks better than ever, especially with schlock-rock like Céline Dion (!!!) and New Kids on the Block (!!!) slated for Quicken Loans Arena on September 24 and October 3, respectively. Assuming that crap like Céline and NKOTB isn't your cup of tea, here's a rundown of some of the better shows coming to town between now and Thanksgiving.
First up in September is an indie-rock double bill featuring Ra Ra Riot and Walter Meego that stops at Case Western Reserve University on Wednesday, September 10. Both acts are touring behind terrific new albums that combine Death Cab-like moodiness with indie dance-floor grooves. Rapper Ice Cube is known more for his acting than his rapping these days, but the guy with the unforgettable scowl is still a hip-hop icon. He makes a rare local appearance at House of Blues on Sunday, September 14. The Rosewood Thieves have recently issued a fine album called Rise & Shine. They return to Wilberts on Wednesday, September 17.
With a new album, Feel So Good, due out next month, Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired blues guitarist Albert Cummings hits Brothers Lounge on Wednesday, September 24. Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices fame brings his new band, Boston Spaceships, to the Grog Shop on Friday, September 26. With a strange career path that includes a stint in Guns N' Roses, weirdo guitar freak Buckethead comes to the Agora Ballroom on Tuesday, September 30. And finally, jammy alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Adams is at the Palace Theatre on Tuesday, September 30.
October starts with what must be one of the last outdoor shows of the year as Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, the Gaslight Anthem and Thrice team up for a multi-band pop-punk bill at Time Warner Cable Amphitheater on Thursday, October 2. Texas blues comes to the Allen Theatre in the form of classic rockers ZZ Top, out on a short run of small-hall shows. Classic singer-songwriter Nick Lowe plays a rare local show on October 15 at the Beachland Ballroom, and ballyhooed indie-rockers Minus the Bear are at the Grog Shop on Monday, October 20. Coldplay's rerouted tour finally makes up a postponed date at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday, October 21, and David Byrne plays music he's recorded with Brian Eno on Thursday, October 23, at the Allen Theatre.
In November, American Idol alum meets old country icon when Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire share the bill at the Wolstein Center on Friday, November 7. Touring behind his heralded new album, Feed the Animals, laptop rocker Girl Talk plays the Beachland Ballroom on Monday, November 10. Laid-back SoCal singer-songwriter Jason Mraz plays the Lakewood Civic Auditorium on Tuesday, November 25, and tireless regional jam-rockers Ekoostik Hookah close out the fall concert season with their annual Thanksgiving thing at House of Blues on Friday, November 28.