Sublime With Rome
Besides No Doubt, Sublime are the most successful band to come out of the SoCal ska revival of the '90s. But they never had a chance to go on tour with their breakthrough self-titled album from 1996 because frontman Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose two months before the record was released. But like INXS, the Doors, and countless other groups before them, Sublime are back on the road with a new singer — in this case, 22-year-old Rome Ramirez (yes, he was eight years old when "What I Got" and "Santeria" were played on the radio for the first time). Nowell was the architect behind the band's seamless blend of reggae, punk, hip-hop, and pop, so Ramirez has some pretty big shoes to fill. If you ask Nowell's estate, he can't fill them. Because of a court ruling, the trio has to call itself Sublime With Rome (sounds like an awkwardly named vacation package, doesn't it?). Still, bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh were a killer rhythm section back in the day. So maybe we should trust their decision. — Matt Whelihan
Sublime With Rome, with Dirty Heads. 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 10. Time Warner Cable Amphitheater. Tickets: $32; call 216-522-4822 or go to livenation.com.
Can you remember what a single song from Kiss' 2009 album Sonic Boom sounds like? Didn't think so. But don't worry about it — Kiss are keenly aware that they're a retro band and have been since they put the makeup back on in the mid-'90s. That's why something like 80 percent of their live show is made up of songs recorded before 1980. (That song you don't recognize that they're opening sets with? That's "Modern Day Delilah," Sonic Boom's single.) Kiss have always known what their fans want and they slap it down in front of them, in super-sized portions. It's the musical equivalent of a giant greasy bacon cheeseburger served by a waitress in platform boots and a thong bikini. Sure, they've slipped a few times — Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, Music From the Elder, maybe the whole no-makeup era — but in a lot of ways they're the ultimate American rock & roll band. Bruce Springsteen might play for three hours, but does he breathe fire? No, he does not. Plus, he keeps breaking the mood with acoustic songs that bum everybody out. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and their support staff know better than to pull that kind of bait-and-switch. A Kiss show is about explosions, lasers, fire, blood, and songs you can shout along with. And when you leave, you'll do so knowing you've been entertained. — Phil Freeman
Kiss, with the Academy Is ... and the Envy. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 12. Blossom Music Center. Tickets: $36.50-$149.50; call 330-920-8040 or go to livenation.com.
Someone Still Loves You
Boris YeltsinDespite the laidback implications in the title of their third album, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's Let It Sway sticks to the playful and exuberant indie pop they've been playing since their 2005 debut. It's just that now the Missouri quartet sways as well as sweeps, twisting songs into melodic and beautiful slices of alt-rock. "Stuart Gets Lost Dans Le Metro" includes gently crafted acoustic guitars and memory-filled lyrics, and "Sink/Let It Sway" kicks with as much energy as the early favorite "Oregon Girl." Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin counter the occasional sappy harmonies and overblown pep with a sense of humor. Singer Philip Dickey taunts listeners in "Dead Right": "You're gonna lose it if you don't choose it." And in "All Hail Dracula," he declares, "I really think we could be friends/I'll let you suck my blood if you wanna know how I taste." Someone Still Loves You ...'s fan base is so solid, it recently pitched in to buy a new tour bus for the group. That shiny ride brings the band to town this weekend. — Danielle Sills
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, with Telekinesis and Nicky English. 9 p.m. Sunday, September 12. Grog Shop. Tickets: $10, $8 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
There was a time — oh, like five years ago — when it was popular to hate on Crosby, Stills, and Nash. The sugary harmonies, the hippie-dippy lyrics, David Crosby's freakin' mustache — all are longtime enemies of real rock & roll fans. Then Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, and a bunch of other likeminded acoustic-guitar-strumming bands started popping up, sounding like and giving props to CSN. (Cypress Hill even sample "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" on their new album, but that's a different story.) The trio's summer tour focuses on the sun-kissed soft-rock Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash have been playing together since 1969. Without occasional bandmate Neil Young on board to clutter their harmonies with his grinding guitar wails, CSN will keep their show on the more laidback side of things. Their last record as a trio came out 16 years ago, so you probably won't hear any new songs. What you will hear is a bunch of old favorites like "Long Time Gone," "Carry On," and "Teach Your Children." It's the sound of Woodstock-era survivors spreading their influence on a new generation of fans. — Gallucci
Crosby, Stills, and Nash. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 14. Time Warner Cable Amphitheater. Tickets: $31-$80.50; call 216-522-4822 or go to livenation.com.
Like Mayer Hawthorne, Jamie Lidell is a thirtysomething white guy who grew up on soul records from the ’60s and ’70s and can perfectly replicate that sound in his own songs. Hawthorne was raised in Michigan; Lidell is British. But the biggest difference between them is their levels of sincerity. While Hawthorne occasionally buries his voice in hipster trickery, Lidell is straight-up into paying tribute to his idols (Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, and Prince are at the top of the list). Lidell turns a bit from his influences on his latest album, Compass. Producers Beck and Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor drape oodles of sound over the rich arrangements, sometimes leaving Lidell a side player on his own album. But he sounds funkier, and the new dressing reveals deeper layers to the singer. There’s a gruff bite to some of the new cuts that wasn’t there before, and the album’s best songs (“Completely Exposed,” “Your Sweet Boom”) thrive on this experimental edge. Lidell is a romantic, one of those guys who sweats emotion during his songs’ big payoff moments. But he does it gracefully, and he means every single word. — Michael Gallucci
Jamie Lidell, with Tony Castles and DJ Charles McGaw. 9 p.m. Friday, September 10. Grog Shop. Tickets: $17, $15 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.