8 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

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MEG QUISENBERRY
  • Meg Quisenberry
FRIDAY, APRIL 6

Michelle Romary/Kid Politics (Nashville)/Mallory SanMarco


Guitarist Brent Hamker arranged the songs on local singer-songwriter Michelle Romary's terrific new album, Grounded, which was engineered locally by Michael Seifert. Album opener, "Home," began as a poem and then became a children's song before Romary tweaked it into the mid-tempo guitar-driven rock tune that's on Grounded. "With Me" has a reggae vibe and "My Light" has a spaghetti-Western vibe. "One Last Drink" begins with soulful vocals before wailing guitars kick in. Expect to hear these songs and more at tonight's show. (Jeff Niesel) 8 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. CODA.

Front Porch Lights/Mimi Arden/Mich



Led by Conor Standish of Burning River Ramblers fame, local indie rockers Front Porch Lights draw upon "the grit of their Rust Belt roots to create a listener experience both lively and emotional," as it's put on their Facebook profile. Tonight's show aims to promote its new single, "All My Money." The concert will also feature a custom light show that has never been seen in the States. For the light show, the group has partnered with the Austrian lighting company MK Illumination, which will provide the group with special lights for the gig. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $10. Grog Shop.

Merle Haggard Tribute by Gringo Stew (in the Supper Club)

The locally based Tex-Mex/country/Americana band Gringo Stew will commemorate the second anniversary of country singer-songwriter Merle Haggard’s death with tonight's special concert. The day would have also been Haggard’s birthday. The band plans to play a full set of some of Haggard’s best songs, and then a set of its own material. Guests such as Sam Getz from Welshley Arms and Jimi Vincent, a popular blues singer-guitarist from central Ohio, will sit in with the guys. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

SATURDAY, APRIL 7

Punch Drunk Tagalongs/Nights/Venus Flytraps


Punch Drunk Tagalongs' new album, Hazy, reflects the influence of act such as Radiohead, the Cure, Bjork, Wolf Alice, and Angel Olsen. With its psychedelic interludes, the songs suggests the local band's more experimental side as a song like "Nervous Breakdown" begins with an accessible groove before erupting with distorted guitars and feedback near its conclusion. The band recorded the album locally at Superior Sound with producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank, Fiona Apple, Jack's Mannequin), and tonight's show serves as a release party. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $10. Grog Shop.

Thompson Square

Thompson's Square's first single, the rowdy “Let’s Fight,” caused a bit of controversy when it came out seven years ago because it seemed to endorse domestic violence. The group quickly cast it aside and issued "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not." It became a hit, and the band hasn't looked back. The tender ballad’s success set the band on the path to hit albums and Country Music Association awards. After 2013's Just Feels Good, it started to work on a follow-up album but “life got in the way" as the couple had a child. The band recently returned to the studio and has been working on a new album with award-winning producer Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum). Expect to hear tracks from it along with songs from the back catalog's at tonight's special acoustic show. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $27.50-$39.50. The Kent Stage.

Ann Wilson of Heart

For tonight's solo show at Hard Rock Live, Wilson plans to play at least a couple of Heart songs. Specifically, the set will include "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda." She’ll also include songs from her solo debut, 2007’s Hope & Glory. On that album, she teamed up with singers such as k.d. lang, Elton John and Shawn Colvin to cover tunes by the likes of Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and John Lennon. Her cover of Lennon's "Isolation," a song she describes as "primal," still often makes its way into her sets. She effectively whispers her way through her eerie rendition of the track. A Rock Hall Inductee, Wilson is also busy recording Songs for the Living, an album that reunites her with original Heart producer Mike Flicker. The disc will pay homage to the musicians who've died in the past few years and include covers of songs by Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Tom Petty, Chris Cornell and Amy Winehouse. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.

SUNDAY, APRIL 8

Common Deer/Hazard Adams


For its first release, last year’s EP I, indie rockers Common Deer worked with Laurence Currie (Wintersleep, Hey Rosetta!). The songs have an indie folk feel that recalls the power-pop/indie folk of New Pornographers. The band had less time to spend on the follow-up, EP II. It spent a week in preproduction and then had to knock out the album in two weeks with producer Gus Van Go (Arkells, the Stills). Songs like “WAIT!” and “Mistakes,” a lilting song which finds band members trading verses, have a bit more heft to them. The group intentionally tried to sound heavier on EP II so expect the live show to rock pretty hard too. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern.

San E & Mad Clown/Sobae/KJ's K Pop Planet

Also known as South Korean pop music, K-Pop draws from Western pop music, rock, experimental, jazz, gospel, Latin, hip-hop, R&B, reggae, EDM, folk, country and classical in addition to traditional Korean music. Two of the genre's biggest stars, South Korean rappers Mad Clown and San E, have teamed up to headline a U.S. they’ve dubbed the We Want You tour. They’re both successful solo artists who’ve recently collaborated on tracks such as the giddy “Sour Grapes,” a song that begins with some funky guitar and then features tongue-twisting raps, and the ballad “Lonely Animals,” a tune that begins with a somber piano melody before Mad Clown and San E start exchanging rapid-fire raps. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $30. Grog Shop.

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