5 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

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JOSHUA BLACK WILKINS
  • Joshua Black Wilkins
FRIDAY, MAY 18

Justin Townes Earle/Lilly Hiatt


Given that veteran singer-songwriters John Hiatt and Steve Earle both know each other, it only makes sense that their respective offspring, singer-songwriters Lilly Hiatt and Justin Townes Earle, would tour together. Both have terrific albums to promote. Produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit), Earle’s Kids in the Street represents the first time in his decade-long recording career that Earle has worked with an outside producer. The result is an eclectic album that shows off his literary-minded lyrical abilities. Hiatt, who has toured with alt-country acts such as Drive-By Truckers and Old 97s, comes to town in support of last year's Trinity Lane, an album that shows off her songwriting chops and supple voice. (Jeff Niesel) 8:30 p.m., $25. Beachland Ballroom.

Melvins/All Souls



Grunge icons who formed in the early 1980s, the Melvins continue to nurture their own particular brand of doom metal. On its latest album, Pinkus Abortion Technician, the band teams up with bassist Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) and bassist Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), both of whom play on all of the songs. Tracks such as the classic rock-informed "Stop Moving to Florida," tune that features constipated vocals and a riveting guitar solo, suggest a different side to the band's sound. Band leader Buzz Osborne says the band only appears prolific compared to "lazy musicians," but we disagree. These hard-working guys continue to impress with their level of output. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $22 ADV, $24 DOS. Grog Shop.

Sinatra Night with Michael Sonata (in the Supper Club)

Canton native Michael Sonata has always been involved in plays and choirs and was a member of the University of Notre Dame Glee Club. In 2004, he auditioned for a role in a Sopranos spoof that required a character based on Frank Sinatra. Sonata got the part and has been imitating Ol’ Blue Eyes ever since. He includes some 90 songs in his repertoire and covers all eras, including the Columbia years and the Capitol years. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $10. Music Box Supper Club.

SATURDAY, MAY 19

Todd Rundgren's Utopia


Singer-guitarist Todd Rundgren describes his prog rock band Utopia, which first formed back in 1973, as an “organic thing.” The band evolved from the group of musicians who helped him record his 1973 solo effort A Wizard, A True Star. The band's heady music often alternates between jazz fusion-inspired guitar and keyboard riffs and Rush-like prog rock jams. The band would split in 1986 only to reform six years later for a tour of Japan that Rundgren says he thought would be more expansive but didn’t because of “lingering issues” and the fact that some band members had to still hold down day jobs. The tour that brings it to town this weekend (he performs at Hard Rock Live tomorrow night too) represents its first major outing in decades. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.

SUNDAY, MAY 20

Helmet/Prong

When Helmet played the Agora two years ago on a politically motivated bill featuring Ministry, Helmet singer-guitarist Page Hamilton didn’t say anything explicitly about the Republican party but focused instead on leading his band through a rigorous set that included lengthy jams during which he’d often push his guitar up against his stack of amps to elicit noisy feedback from the instrument. Set closer "In the Meantime" sounded sharp as he delivered the refrain like he was some kind of drill sergeant. Expect another workman-like performance when the group visits the Beachland tonight with co-headliners Prong. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

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