What's not to love?
The Columbus Symphony Orchestra offers up a heart-felt program of emotive music based on the classic love story of Romeo and Juliet on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15, at the Ohio Theatre. Guest conductor Michael Stern will lead the CSO in a program that includes Berlioz' passionate "Love Scene" from Romeo et Juliette, Bernstein's fiery Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Prokofiev's romantic ballet music for Romeo and Juliet.
Tickets start at $25. Visit columbussymphony.com.
Country star George Strait represents a living connection to the earliest days of music-making in Nashville. A baritone warbler of the highest order, Strait is a hit-making machine (a monster 60 No. 1 hits) who defies the passing conventions of Nashville's flavor-of-the-month mentality.
Strait is on the road for what he says is his final formal tour (he intends to continue to write, record and play select live shows). The Cowboy Rides Away Tour hits Nationwide Arena Saturday, Feb. 15. Little Big Town opens.
Tickets are $72.50/$92.50. Visit nationwidearena.com.
Kings of Leon's Georgia Satellites-meets-T. Rex brand of "Southern" rock has turned increasingly anthemic over the years.
Mind you, this doesn't bother The Beat one bit, as the Followill fellows have proven adept at adding a bit of dramatic flair to the band's sonic palette. Indeed, the increased resonance and heft suits the band's established melange of soul, country, gospel and rock 'n' roll beautifully. Witness, if you haven't already, Mechanical Bull, the band's sixth full-length record.
KoL is on tour and stops at the Schottenstein Center Tuesday, Feb. 18. Austin-born singer/songwriter/guitarist Gary Clark Jr. opens. Tickets are $29.50-$55.50. Visit schottensteincenter.com.
The flannel-and-jeans country soul rock 'n' roll of Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers is fresh yet familiar, vibrant yet comfortable.
Perhaps most because of Bluhm's pleasant, warm mezzo voice, the outfit calls to mind the early days of Linda Ronstadt, or perhaps even the '80s country-pop of Juice Newton. Grace Potter is a non-inappropriate reference for those who need something less dated.
Bluhm and band play The Basement Tuesday, Feb. 18. Erica Blinn & The Handsome Machine open. Tickets are $13/$15. Visit promowestlive.com.
If you missed last week's Rebelution show at the Newport Music Hall, then you missed the valiant efforts of a young, SoCal outfit to add a sunny, reggae-inflected spirit to this endless winter.
The good news is, Santa Barbara's Iration continues the much-appreciated effort at The Basement on Thursday, Feb. 20. Iration is on tour in support of the quartet's latest release, Automatic, and joined by Natural Vibrations and The Movement.
Tickets are $14.50/$15. Visit promowestlive.com.