9 Concerts to Catch This Weekend



Friday, Aug. 29

DIana Chittester CD Release

Singer-songwriter Diana Chittester moved to Cleveland from Pittsburgh, and started playing open mic nights at places like the now-closed Winchester. She released her first EP in 2008 and followed that with 2012's In This Skin, which features local Cleveland blues musicians. Chittester has always performed solo but usually puts a band on her albums. And yet, fans would tell her that they couldn't hear her guitars on the records. So she decided to make a solo album. "The feedback I got was that the guitar playing wasn't shining through," she says. "I wanted to set aside the distractions." She launched a Kickstarter campaign in February and met her fundraising goal. Chittester had been shopping studios for quite a while when she happened upon Andrew "Goat" Gilchrist, who's known for his work with folk singer-guitarist Ani DiFranco. Chittester's new album Find My Way Home reflects her newfound confidence as a solo artist. She performs at 8:30 p.m. at the Beachland Tavern. (Jeff Niesel) $10

Summers@Severance: Franz and Brahms

This weekend closes out the Blossom Music Festival for the summer and sends the Cleveland Orchestra off on tour with a bang. At Severance Hall tonight at 7 p.m., Franz Welser-Möst conducts Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, and two works by Jörg Widmann, Lied [Song] and Flûte en suite (for flute and orchestra) with soloist Joshua Smith. Tomorrow, the action returns to Blossom Music Center with fun for the whole family, beginning with family-friendly activities throughout the Blossom grounds from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Those are followed by the 7 p.m. concert featuring music from The Little Mermaid and The Wizard of Oz, plus Casey at the Bat with narration by Pat Sajak, all conducted by Richard Kaufmann. Finally, on Sunday at 7 p.m., Welser-Möst returns to Blossom to conduct Widmann’s Con brio, Concert Overture for Orchestra, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 4. A fireworks display concludes the Saturday and Sunday concerts. Tickets are $23 to $85. (Eric Gonzalez)


The preeminent end-of-summer jam returns to Nelson Ledges this weekend, with Lotus holding down dual Saturday and Sunday night headlining slots and the Werks cooking up sets before them both nights. The rest of the lineup is fleshed out with the likes of BoomBox, Moon Hooch (two saxophones and a drum set; these guys are incredible), Cosby Sweater, Nunchuck, Higher Learning, Broccoli Samurai, Break Science, Luke the Knife and IndigoSun. And that’s just the musical offerings. It’s Labor Day Weekend, and the season’s quiet slumber is upon us. Summerdance is the only spot to celebrate the day in all its glory. Can’t we live while we’re young?! (Eric Sandy)

Jo Dee Messina

Currently touring in support of her terrific new album Me, which came out at the end of March on her newly formed label Dreambound Records, Jo Dee Messina is an icon in the country music world. But unlike many of the scene’s biggest stars, she didn’t grow up in the South. Rather, she was born and bred in the Northeast. She began singing when she was 13. As she emphatically says — “boom, that was my goal and what I wanted.” Moving to Nashville shortly after graduating high school turned out to be a wise decision. She released her self-titled debut in 1996 and the album was certified gold. Her second album, 1998’s I’m Alright, yielded three No. 1 Billboard hits, making her the first female country artist to score three multiple No. 1 songs from the same album. Her career continued at a good clip until 2005’s Delicious Surprise. After that album, she was stuck in a recording contract that wasn’t productive, and so she split from the label and started writing the songs that would eventually end up on Me. She performs tonight at 8 at Hard Rock Live. (Niesel) $27.50-$49.50

Saturday, Aug. 30

Signals Midwest

Last fall, Signals Midwest released Light on the Lake, a complex beast of an album that takes its time to explore both the well lit and formidably dark corners of life. In an interview with Cellar Door Cleveland last year, singer-guitarist Max Stern pointed to “the trilogy,” a cache of three tunes on the first frame of the album. If you want to hook into the main nerve of Signals Midwest’s vibe, cue up “St. Vincent Charity” and let it roll right into “The Desert to Denver” and “An Echo, A Strain.” The build in these songs is a pretty thing, particularly set against the thick, flowery chords in “St. Vincent Charity.” Then, the quick drop into “Desert” is a thing of beauty and one that plays real well while driving late-night across the burning landscapes of the Midwest. Also, for whatever it’s worth, we’re big fans of the band’s name. The group plays at 8 tonight at Now That's Class. (Sandy) $8

Colbie Caillat

In the early ’70s, Mattel introduced Malibu Barbie, a blonde and tanned version of the toy that came with several summery outfits. The litigious Mattel lawyers might have a case against Colbie Caillat. It’s as if the leggy SoCal-based singer-songwriter is the living embodiment of Malibu Barbie. The singer’s new album, Gypsy Heart, doesn’t hit shelves until the end of September, but the single “Try,” a commentary about conformity, is already a hit thanks to its clever video featuring a variety of different women lip-syncing the song. It helps that Caillat’s breathy vocals sound sharp and the song has a simple but memorable melody. She performs at 8 tonight at Hard Rock Live. (Niesel) $32.50-$49.50

Rich the Kid

An Atlanta-based rapper who's become a major player in the burgeoning trap scene, Rich the Kid has made a name for himself through the release of a number of well-received mix tapes. While his vocals tend to sound a bit mushy mouthed, the guy's got a distinctive flow and his personality comes through in songs such as "Trap" and "Crazy." Judging from the clips we've seen of live performances, which feature Rich the Kid "jumping' like Jordan," expect tonight's concert to be one big party when he plays at 9 at the Agora. (Niesel) $20 ADV, $25 DOS

Chet Faker

In certain circles of the music criticism game, Chet Faker’s been getting enough glowing praise that it wouldn’t be out of line to assume that Built on Glass isn’t his debut album, that maybe this cat’s been around long enough to have a nice, established rep. But it is: This is Faker’s first album, and it’s a good one. Faker’s downtempo electronic soul sound weaves through a number of incarnations on this album, and the interlude “/” divides Built into two distinct sides. The first frame features twilit Rhodes-driven beats that evoke foggy self-reflection. The number of instruments at play on “Talk is Cheap,” for instance, show off Faker’s clear interest in a wide gamut of musical styles (and that crooning saxophone!). Side B gets weirder. Go forth and discover this Australian import that you’ll surely be hearing more in the months and years to come. He performs tonight at 8 at the Beachland Ballroom. (Sandy) $14 ADV, $16 DOS

Sunday, Aug. 31

Clean House Benefit

Clean House, Inc. is a local nonprofit designed to “educate and empower recovering men through the practical application of ‘twelve step’ principles.” It provides both housing and “spiritual and mental” help for recovering men. The organization recently purchased a property it hopes to rehab and tonight’s Clean House Benefit will put proceeds toward that cause. Headliners I-Tal are one of the first American reggae bands, getting their start way back in 1978 in Cleveland. The band regularly sold out Cleveland venues in the ’70s and ’80s, and really pioneered the scene here. The classic reggae sound is apparent in their take on standards full of laid-back grooves, squealing sax and chant-like vocals. The song “Rockers” has all of the mentioned classic hallmarks of reggae and plenty of virtuosic guitar licks. Carlos Jones, Outlaws I&I, Primal Rhythm, Walking Cane, Joe Hunter Trio, the Nazz 3, the Flavor and Primal Rhythm will also perform. Errol Porter and Andre Pettis of VoiceItRadio.com will MC the event. It all begins at 8 p.m at the Beachland Ballroom. (Gonzalez) $15


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