11 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 23

Jason Aldean: Six String Circus Tour 2016


One of modern country’s biggest stars, singer-guitarist Jason Aldean has another hit on his hands with his new album, They Don’t Know. The album opens with the hard rocking “Lights Come On” and then delivers the usual quotient of ballads (“A Little More Summertime”) and rockers about hard-drinking nights out on the town ("They Don't Know"). Aldean regularly includes Cleveland on his tours and draws capacity crowds whether the show is at Blossom or Progressive Field. Expect his rowdy fans to be in good form at tonight’s show, the last of the summer season at Blossom. (Jeff Niesel) 7:30 p.m., $31.50-$71.50. Blossom.

Book of Love

Ted Ottaviano, one of the art-students-turned-musician in the new wave electronic group Book of Love, has a strong connection to Cleveland. About five years ago, he developed a class on electro-pop and taught for a semester at Case Western Reserve University. He and the group, which also includes Susan Ottaviano, Jade Lee and Lauren Roselli, bring the band's 30th anniversary tour to town tonight. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $25. House of Blues.

Alice Cooper

“I’m your choice” shock rocker Alice Cooper snarls in his 1972 hit “Elected,” a song that satirizes the political system with Who-like guitars and a spoken word segment. Every four years, Cooper brings the song back out, and this year is no exception. Cooper even staged a fake presidential campaign earlier this year to go along with the reissue of "Elected." His slogan: "I can do nothing as well as they can do nothing.” His ten-point platform includes getting singer Brian Johnson back in AC/DC and adding Motorhead's Lemmy to Mt. Rushmore. (Niesel) 8 p.m. Akron Civic Theatre.

Dark Star Orchestra

There are a lot of Grateful Dead tributes out there — so many in Northeast Ohio alone! — but Dark Star Orchestra gets audiences closest to the main nerve of the band’s legacy. Each show draws on an actual Dead show from the past — that night’s unique setlist — and sort of replicates it for the present. (The jamming, of course, diverts from the original show, giving audiences new landscapes of improvisation to enjoy.) And, yeah, DSO can jam. They bring a fun and nostalgic show, a flashback to easier living and sepia-tinged wild nights. “One amazing thing about the Dead is the fact that they have these songs: These are highly evolved narratives that tell these incredible stories,” keyboardist Rob Barraco told us in 2015. “Without that, they never would have stuck around like this. It's a body of work that will be around forever.” (Eric Sandy), 7 p.m., $30. House of Blues.

Nada Surf

After releasing 2012’s The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, power pop indie rockers Nada Surf, which now includes guitarist and former Clevelander Doug Gillard, took a bit of a break. Last year, they returned with You Know Who You Are, another sharp collection of power-pop tunes. Singer Matthew Caws worked on some songs with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, a guy who now makes his living writing songs. Expect to hear those new tunes along with a collection of tracks from the band's extensive back catalog at tonight's show. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $22 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 24

The Clarks


For nearly 25 years, The Clarks have sustained a career as a better-than-average alt-rock act that’s innocuous enough for a first date. At their peak a few years back, the group could pack mid-sized venues throughout the region (and they regularly played here in town to capacity crowds at the now-shuttered Odeon). Their popularity has declined some, but the guys are still at it, as well they should be. Singer-guitarist Scott Blasey has a raspy voice that’s equally suited to country and rock, and the band often successfully mixes the two genres together. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $20. Musica.

New Salem Witch Hunters

Cleveland heavy metal band Boulder once asked the existential hypothetical in the song "Who Care, Baby?" off of their 1999 debut The Rage of It All, "How much rock do you have to live to really live rock?" You can look at any one of the New Salem Witch Hunters at any point in time during the last 30-plus years and find your answer. The New Salem Witch Hunters live rock. Period. And every time that that they play a gig, it's a gathering of the faithful — band and fans, true believers in rock 'n' roll as art form and rock and roll as way of life. (C.J. Klassa) 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.

Railroad Earth

These guys have been holding court at the intersection of bluegrass and the jam scene to some degree since the early 2000s. They quickly became known for an exciting live show that stretches the boundaries of whatever genre they happen to be tapping at the moment. Elko, Railroad Earth's first live album, is mandatory listening. Top-tier versions of some of their best tunes appear on this one, and it's the perfect entry point for the uninitiated. "Mighty River," in particular, is just incredible. Andrew Altman weaves a groovy bass line beneath the band's dynamic strings team (acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin). This song, like so many others in their repertoire, blossoms into a full-throttled shakedown with Tim Carbone throwing feral violin riffs into the mix with abandon. Lastly, props are due for one of the coolest band names on tour these days (culled from Jack Kerouac's short story "October in the Railroad Earth"). (Sandy), 7 p.m., $23. House of Blues.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 25

An Evening with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood


Arguably, Chris Robinson Brotherhood's new album, Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel, is the band's most comfortable album yet — one that finds the musicians totally in the zone and looking forward with relaxed eyes and ears. The CRB finds itself wholly in its element now, a few years after frontman Robinson’s alma mater, the Black Crowes, called it quits for good. (Robinson’s adamant about the finality, and he’s pleased that it’s in the history books.) (Sandy) 8 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Sonic Sessions: Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest singer-guitarist Will Toledo re-recorded a number of his older tunes for his latest offering, Teens of Style, an album of ramshackle indie rock tunes that shows off his brittle vocals and sharp pop sensibilities. Having expanded from a solo project to a full band, the live show should be plenty dynamic when the buzz worthy act plays the Rock Hall tonight. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $5.50. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Thrice

After reconvening in 2015 to play a few festival dates, the post-hardcore act Thrice started working on new material. The resulting album, To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere, came out earlier this year. Album opener “Hurricane” features parched vocals and heavy guitars. Gang-style vocals distinguish the cascading “Blood on the Sand,” and “Wake Up” includes a spoken word segment that makes it come off as something like U2’s “Bullet the Blue Sky.” Expect to hear plenty of material from the new album at tonight’s show. (Niesel) 6 p.m., $21 ADV, $25 DOS. The Agora Theatre.




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