1) The roots of rock ‘n’ roll in Memphis are well-documented, but The Beat’s first trip to that city last summer really brought the history to life for us.
The legendary Sam Phillips, rightly considered the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” not only launched the careers of nearly every meaningful rock and R&B artist of his time, but for one special night, he brought four budding legends together at the Sun Records Studio: Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
The story of that night is captured in the touring musical The Million Dollar Quartet, which features a plethora of rock, soul, country and gospel hits, including Blue Suede Shoes, Sixteen Tons, Folsom Prison Blues, Hound Dog, Great Balls of Fire and more.
The show plays the Palace Theatre through Sunday, Feb. 10. Tickets start at $28. Visit columbus.broadway.com.
2) The fact that The Beat gets vibes both Pixies-y and Breeders-esque from indie rock trio Eternal Summers leads us to believe that singer/guitarist Nicole Yun is a bit Kim Deal-ish.
Indeed, the ’80s post-punk ethic that infuses Eternal Summers’ newest record, Correct Behavior, leads to tunes both playful and heavy.
Eternal Summers plays Double Happiness Friday, Feb. 8. Tickets are $5/$8. Visit bencopresents.com.
3) Here we are, a few days past the Super Bowl, and The Beat is reminded we once suggested that country superstar trio Rascal Flatts would make for a good SB halftime show – country with crossover pop appeal and a nod to soulful R&B as well. Not like the NFL is going to ask us for advice. (They did play a related event in New Orleans the day before the big game.)
Of course, big stars all come from somewhere, but two of these guys are from our own backyard: bassist Jay DeMarcus is a Tree of Life Christian School grad and singer Gary LeVox is an alum of Olentangy High School.
But all of this you know already, given that RF has been atop the charts for more than a decade. Next-generation star trio The Band Perry, a Sugarland/Lady Antebellum-come-lately of siblings from Alabama who can play more than a bit, opens for Rascal Flatts at Nationwide Arena
Saturday, Feb. 9. Tickets are $25.25-$59.25. Visit nationwidearena. com.
4) Fans of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the ’80s rock movement characterized by bands such as Iron Maiden and Saxon, should find immense favor with Swedish quartet Sister Sin.
Eschewing the black-metal trappings often associated with bands from north of the Arctic Circle, Sister Sin hits hard with anthemic guitar work and the Dickinson-esque vocals of frontwoman Liv Jagrell. Dig the band’s latest, Now and Forever.
Sister Sin opens for Doro, fronted by singer Doro Pesch, who started as singer for post-NWOBHM German outfit Warlock, Saturday, Feb. 9, at Ace of Cups. Visit facebook. com.aceofcupsbar.
5) Cincinnati’s Buffalo Killers blends hard rock with boogie and psychedelia into a frothy modern-rock brew alternately suitable for grooving and fist-pumping.
Check ’em out at the Rumba Cafe Saturday, Feb. 9, with openers Total Navajo and Moon High. Tickets are $14.50. Visit columbusrumbacafe.com.
6) Rootsy chamber shredders.
That’s what we’ve decided is an ideal way to describe Punch Brothers, the quintet fronted by mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, formerly of Nickel Creek.
Thile enlisted friends/colleagues who’d played together in various combinations over the years to form Punch Brothers. The result combines traditional acoustic instruments (mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass), players with mad skills, and repertoire from extended, composed pieces to covers of off-the-wall rock ‘n’ roll tunes.
Touring in support of their new record, Who’s Feeling Young Now?, Punch Brothers will play the Southern Theatre Tuesday, Feb. 12. Anais Mitchell opens. Tickets are $31. Visit capa.com.
7) My goodness, the influence of reality TV.
Maroon 5 was already an insanely popular and talented pop act, but get singer Adam Levine as a judge/coach on The Voice, and it’s a whole new thing. Heck, the band’s latest record is titled Overexposed.
Joining Maroon 5 on the road are Neon Trees and Owl City. The tour stops at the Schottenstein Center for a Wednesday, Feb. 13, show.
Tickets are $29.50-$79.50. Visit scottensteincenter.com.
8) Post-Coldplay British quartet A Silent Film has plied its trade in sweeping, anthemic indie rock since its emergence from Oxford in 2005. For last year’s Sand & Snow, the band studied up on its dusty Americana pop, charting a slightly new course to fine effect.
A Silent Film, with openers Gold Fields and Blondfire, plays The Basement Wednesday, Feb. 13. Tickets are $10/$12. Visit promowestlive.com.
9) Shakespeare’s eternal love story Romeo & Juliet has been told and retold, adapted and updated – the ultimate “source material.”
BalletMet Columbus’ setting expresses the height of the tale’s romance and tragedy, courtesy of the choreography of former artistic director David Nixon, who created this version first staged by the company in 1998. An extra-special treat for BalletMet is the return of Nixon to restage the production for this year.
Romeo & Juliet will take the Ohio Theatre stage Feb. 14-17. Tickets start at $20. Visit balletmet.org.
10) Ah, infectious power-pop of the first order.
If you were already a fan of Brooklyn-based trio Jukebox the Ghost, or, like a Critic Crony, “discovered” them at the recent Motion City Soundtrack show, you know it’s the band’s hook-laden tunes that grab you. Our Crony told us that he was certain the records couldn’t match the brightness of their live shows, but he was proven wrong courtesy of Safe Travels and more.
Next @ Wex, the Wexner Center for the Arts’ indie music series, welcomes JtG, with openers Matt Pond and The Lighthouse and the Whaler, Thursday, Feb. 14. Tickets are $12. Visit wexarts.org.