If you're going to do a metal show on the Fourth of July, at least it should be by a band out of Massachusetts -- say, Shadows Fall.
The Springfield-based outfit has seen some lineup changes in its nearly 20 years, but the ferocity of its musical attack has not changed.
Shadows Fall is touring this summer with fellow New Englanders Dead By Wednesday and stops at the Alrosa Villa on Friday, July 4. The bill also includes sets by Sour Blood, Resistance 13, Echoes of Empathy, It Dies With Me, Infidel, Life Within and Mayhem Like Me.
Tickets are $10. Visit alrosavilla.com.
Not enough fireworks for you this week? How about capping off the celebration with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, which offers musical fireworks and then real ones after?
The CSO's annual Patriotic Pops includes lots of favorites, including perhaps the most rousing version of The Stars and Stripes Forever you'll hear this year. Albert-George Schram conducts.
Patriotic Pops is set for Saturday, July 5, at Columbus Commons. Adult general admission tickets are $23/$25. Table seating also is available. Visit picnicwiththepops.com.
Bret Michaels, despite his intermittent and serious health issues, still looks good and remains one of show biz's hardest workers. Couple that with his gift for hooky-if-vapid rock 'n' roll tunes, and you get why there's still demand for this '80s hair-band leader.
Michaels plays Scioto Downs on Saturday, July 5. Tickets start at $20. Visit sciotodowns.com.
Groundbreaking rock act 311 may be chronologically removed from the buzz it created 20 years ago, when it hit the rock scene, but the quintet's place in rock history is secure.
As is that of reggae band The Wailers, given the band traces its roots to Bob Marley and it's still fronted by Aston "Familyman" Barrett.
The pairing makes for a terrific summertime show at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion on Monday, July 7. Tickets are $39.50/$42. Visit promowestlive.com.
Trading rock 'n' roll for rocking chairs, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil are on tour one last time as Motley Crue.
OK, the latter part is true, as the quartet has signed some sort of legal document indicating its formal retirement as a band. The members, however, seem to show little sign of slowing down, depending on their varying interests.
Alice Cooper is the band's special guest for its The Final Tour, which plays the Schottenstein Center on Tuesday, July 8. Tickets start at $20. Visit schottensteincenter.com.
The Sugar Ray-led Under the Sun tour marks its third incarnation during the summer of 2014, harkening back to younger days for those who came of age in the '90s.
Blues Traveler (Run-Around) joins the fun this year, along with Uncle Kracker (Follow Me) and Smash Mouth (All Star).
The tour stops at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Tuesday, July 8. Tickets are $25. Visit promowestlive.com.
Gary Clark Jr. isn't hailed as the future of Texas blues for nothing.
The singer/guitarist got his big break courtesy of Clifford Antone, proprietor of Austin club Antone's, at which Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan got their start. Jimmie Vaughan succeeded Antone as Clark's patron, fascinated with Clark's blend of R&B, blues, rock 'n' roll and soul.
No surprise those gents knew what they were talking about -- dude can sing and shred. Clark is twice Grammy Award nominated and won in 2014 for best traditional R&B Performance with Please Come Home.
Gary Clark Jr. plays the Newport Music Hall on Tuesday, July 8. Tickets are $27.50/$30. Visit promowestlive.com.
When The Beat interviewed Nora Jane Struthers prior to her appearance in Columbus in 2013, she told us storytelling was her strong suit as a performer. A listen to her latest CD, Carnival, and you see what she means, as Struthers tackles the joyous and tragic, the seemly and seedy parts of life.
However, with her band, The Party Line, Struthers is right at home as a singer and player, as she and her mates weave tight harmonies and pick and strum with the best on the Americana scene.
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line will play Park Street Patio on Wednesday, July 9. It's a free show, folks. Visit patio.woodlandsproductions.com.
The three brothers in Missouri's Radkey couldn't get enough of their father's records growing up, so they formed a band that would continue the punk tradition, garnering inspiration from bands ranging from The Who through Misfits and Fishbone.
Dee, Isaiah and Solomon Radkey are young enough to push the tempo and 'tude all night long, something they plan to do Thursday, July 10, at Cafe Bourbon Street, with opener Dead Set Ready.
Tickets are $5. For more information, visit bencopresents.com.
Folk-punk singer-songwriter Griffin House is your standard Nashville-based modern folkie -- and yet he's not. The Springfield, Ohio, native is also your standard, say, Philly-based acoustic punk artist.
He is based in Nashville, but his songs are peppered with a brazen immediacy that belies his nice-guy-with-an-acoustic-guitar demeanor.
See House at The Basement on Thursday, July 10. Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band opens.
Tickets are $14/$16. Visit promowestlive.com.