8 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend


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Bela Fleck & the Flecktones/John Scofield's Combo 66

They’re back! The iconic bluegrass fusion outfit returned to the road in 2016, and tonight’s gig as part of Tri-C JazzFest is sure to be a fun time. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (Victor Wooten, Roy Wooten, Howard Levy) built a strong catalog of tunes and live performances throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and this show gives them and their fans a chance to revisit all that they’ve accomplished. These cats are masters of their instruments — see “Big Country” and “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo,” for instance — and it’s hard to imagine a more blissful way to spend a Friday night. (Eric Sandy), 7:45 p.m. State Theatre.

Self Taught No Lessons Album Release/The Torments/The Venus Flytraps

"Time Waste," a track from this local band's new EP, Packin' Up, features a gritty guitar riff and primitive drums as singer Anna Fullmer adopts a menacing sneer. The cowpunk-y album opener "Slow Song" finds Fullmer adopting a drawl. The band has almost met its Kickstarter goal to cover the costs of printing the vinyl version it'll have for sale at tonight's Happy Dog release show. It'll also issue the album on cassette, which is appropriate since the band recorded it to tape in the first place. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $6. Happy Dog.


Dressy Bessy/Potty Mouth/Colleen Green

Dressy Bessy, an indie rock band out of Denver, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a tour behind its seventh studio album Fast Faster Disaster. Oddly, the album starts out slow. But it soon picks up with “Fearless,” a striking, upbeat electric tune landing somewhere between indie and pop while still holding onto rock. “Mon Chéri” highlights a smoother sound with lead vocalist Tammy Ealom’s Joan Jett-like vocals on display. The punk trio Potty Mouth opens the show. The band’s latest album SNAFU features guitar-led, driving songs. (Alexandra Sobczak), 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $14 DOS. Beachland Tavern.


ITEM, a local indie rock band, will showcase its latest album Sad Light at what will most likely be its last show as members part ways. Listening to Sad Light means immersing yourself in dream-like synth and guitar sounds that seem like they should be listened to in the middle of the foggy woods. “Somersault” draws listeners in, blending a light sound with sad descriptive lyrics into something you can almost both see and feel. Expect to feel the energy at its farewell show. (Sobczak), 9 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Tribute to Bobby Womack Featuring Christian McBride

Jazz bassist Christian McBride says he first heard Bobby Womack's music when he was a kid. Later, he’d delve deeper into the music of the man he refers to as a “triple threat” because he can sing, write and play guitar. Womack, who grew up in Cleveland, lived in abject poverty while he was a youth. That upbringing is reflected in tunes such as “Across 110th Street,” a song driven by Womack’s soulful vocals and a funky guitar riff. For tonight’s show at the Ohio Theatre, McBride says he and a backing band that includes vocalists Nona Hendrix, Avery Sunshine and Nigel Hall and Akron-based guitarist Dan Wilson will play “every hit Womack ever had.” (Niesel) 6 p.m. Ohio Theatre.


Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

When Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, a Cleveland native, performed at Hard Rock Live a couple of years ago, we wrote that they played nearly all of their hits during a show that opened with the harmony-soaked, synth-driven “Shadows of the Night” and included numbers such as "Promises in the Dark" and "Everybody Lay Down." Our review noted that "Benatar had and still has the powerful lungs and Giraldo has no shortage of riffs — seeing the pair do their thing, it comes through that while they could have easily gotten dragged down by an overload of successful sappy ballads, they instead kept things generally in a more guitar-focused direction." Expect a similar performance when the duo returns to town tonight. (Niesel), 7:30 p.m. MGM Northfield Park – Center Stage.

Reggae Sundays

Umojah Nation (in the Supper Club): This special Reggae Sunday Happy Hour Concert series began earlier this month and continues every Sunday through Sept. 1. The indoor/outdoor concert series will take place rain or shine with live music from 4 to 7 p.m. Music Box will also offer food and drink specials exclusive to the series. Today, local heroes Umojah Nation will perform. (Niesel), 4 p.m., free. Music Box Supper Club.

Young the Giant + Fitz and the Tantrums/COIN

Two bands from Southern California known for their high-energy live shows, Fitz and the Tantrums and Young the Giant have teamed up for a co-headlining tour that brings them to town tonight. A neo-soul group, Fitz and the Tantrums are currently finishing a new album and have just issued "123456," a jittery pop gem with a propulsive bass line. The alternative rock act Young the Giant is touring behind last year’s Mirror Master, a well-crafted album that veers from atmospheric pop tunes like "Superposition" to heavier, guitar-driven tracks such as "Oblivion." (Niesel) 7 p.m., $29.50-$54.50. Jacobs Pavilion.

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