By: Allison Kurtz – Staff Writer
Editor’s Note: While there are great local concerts in Dayton every weekend, some big acts are coming to nearby Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, this semester. Writer Allison Kurtz has tracked the best, and compiled a guide of the can’t-miss concerts near Dayton this semester.
CHERUB, aka those two guys that sing “Doses and Mimosas” are making their way to Columbus, and you don’t want to miss it. The duo has released a variety of music over the years and their debut album, “Year of the Caprese,” was released last May. While some argue 2012’s “MoM and DaD” is their best, I’m a big fan of “Year of the Caprese.” This album’s songs make you want more. At least they do for me; a year ago I would not have given CHERUB a chance due to my picky yet supreme taste in music. However, now I’m hooked thanks to the duo’s ability to make you want to dance. Since the dancing feeling is provoked while listening to all of their recorded songs, I’m sure seeing them perform live will result in the same urge.
CHERUB plays Friday at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio.
I personally think everyone should see Elton John play live at least once in their lives for several reasons. One reason being you’ll realize that you know way more of his songs than you thought you did (at least that’s what happened to me when I saw him back in 2011). Reason two: he has an awesome fan base and a wide selection of songs to choose from, resulting in a crowd that is more than grateful and extremely fun to hang out with. Finally, reason three, he’s getting old and he’s British and a sir – and despite all this, he’s still touring and having fun. Though good tickets are expensive, even with a seat in the nosebleeds you can dance your heart out to “Bennie and the Jets” and belt out “Tiny Dancer.” You’ll leave the concert with a smile on your face after hearing all the songs you grew up listening to.
Elton John plays Feb. 27 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
JASON ISBELL AND
THE 400 UNIT
If you’re looking for a loud show filled with dancing and upbeat songs, this is not it (try CHERUB). Previously a member of the band Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell broke away to start a solo career with his new band, the 400 Unit. Isbell is arguably one of the best songwriters of the 2010s. His songs are honest and painful while perfectly poetically written. If you know anything about his personal life, his lyrics take on a whole new meaning. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Isbell in 2013 at one of his more intimate shows where his talent is best portrayed. You’ll walk away from this show amazed, and he will forever be the artist you turn to when looking for straightforward comfort.
Jason Isbell plays Tuesday at The Southern Theatre in Columbus, Ohio.
THE APACHE RELAY
If I could pick one band to see live this year, it’d be The Apache Relay. Just look up their song “Katie Queen of Tennessee” (the music video is pretty cool, too), and you’ll be hooked, singing the song for days. The Apache Relay’s sound is similar to that of Mumford and Sons if you were to add a little more rock and a little more natural, less fame-seeking talent while substituting the Irishness for Southern charm. These guys are still playing small venues and touring with awesome bands like my personal favorite, The Weeks. So you better catch them while they’re hot! The Apache Relay have an arrangement of acoustic instruments and upbeat songs that showcase their talent in a way that is pretty unique. You will be guaranteed to leave their concert wanting more, and not just because of the varying levels of hair length and beardedness.
The Apache Relay plays Feb. 13 at Rumba Cafe in Columbus, Ohio.