Happy Hour Bonfire
Friday, Feb. 12 at Lock 3, from 5-9 pm (FREE)
Part of The Devil Strip’s “Drink Tank” series, this one requires some bravery for those involved because the temps finally dipped. Good news: We’ll have some liquid courage on hand with plenty of craft beer, plus some good time fun stuff for the last weekend of Winterfest: skating, sledding, shivering. Come meet some folks who love Akron as much as you do and hang out with some of the crew from The Devil Strip and Unbox Akron.
‘Love, Wesley’: Valentine’s Date Night with Wesley Bright
Sat., Feb. 13 at BLU Jazz, two shows: 7 pm and 9:30 pm
You may remember Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites from when they rocked the streets as the closing band for Porch Rokr last year. Now the eponymous front man is taking the stage and debuting his new sound just as he did in Sweet Mary’s Bakery last month. Rumor has it that he’s breaking out a few jazz licks with a talented ensemble of musicians will be joining him.
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Red Rose Panic
Saturday, Feb. 13 at Jilly’s Music Room
Established in 2013 by frontman/songwriter Luminari, and guitarist/producer Styxx, Red Rose Panic is an Akron alternative collective, whose live shows span the musical spectrum from hip hop to rock, jazz to blues. The band’s unique style is illuminated through diverse and improvised stage performances. The band includes Dinareo Hill on drums, Cody Mansfield on bass, Marquis Brown on keyboard and Vinny Mansfield on guitar. All hailing from Akron, Red Rose Panic is etching its own distinct impressions within the city and beyond.
Sad Bastard’s Kevin Junior Tribute
Sunday, Feb. 14 at Annabell’s
To celebrate the life and prolific career of Akron born-and-raised musician Kevin Junior, a collective of “sad bastards,” a.k.a. local musicians, will perform a special anti-Valentine’s tribute dedicated to their friend. All money raised at Annabell’s that evening will be paid directly to Kevin’s family. Anyone interested in performing a cover one of Kevin’s many inspiring songs can contact Jeff “Jck” Klemm via Facebook at facebook.com/thisisJCK.
The Fifth Wheel
Sunday, Feb. 14 at Thursday’s Lounge, 8 pm
Cleveland.com calls this Akron band “one of the mainstays of Northeast Ohio’s indie jangle-rock from the mid-’90s to 2000,” who lead singer Josh Stone says used to do 150 shows a year. Now they’re back for their first Akron show in 15 years, bringing an Americana-by-way-of-rock sound with Jeff Koval, Matt Coughlin, Ed Lewis, Joe McCormick and Jim Mizerock joined by special guest, John Finley from Party of Helicopters. Tickets for this all-ages event on Valentine’s cost $8 at the door.
Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Pub Bricco, 7:30 pm
This 1930s-style gypsy jazz quartet will bring their unique sound and great facial hair to Pub Bricco for a free show. Moustache Yourself has been honing their sound and has a busy upcoming spring.
Friday, Feb. 19 at G.A.R. Hall, 7:30 pm
After years of involvement with local acclaimed acts the Whiskeyhounds, the Magpies and the Hurt, Hoover returns to the area with his timeless blend of folk, blues and Americana as part of the Peninsula Foundation’s Voices in the Valley performance showcase. Hoover delved headfirst into recording his new album, “Pastures of Plenty,” last month and is sure to debut a few original tunes at the show.
Saturday, Feb. 20 at Akron Civic Theatre, 8 pm
Born out of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park artist-in-residence program, Hey Mavis shot to considerable popularity after being discovered by producer Don Dixen of REM and Smithereens notoriety. The group will serenade audiences with fresh Americana/Appalachian music at an intimate cabaret set up inside the Civic Theatre. Local favorite Cody J. Martin will open the night with a set of folk, blues and country jams. Tickets for the event are $20. Seating is limited.
Interstates (etc.), Scare Words, Moltar, Dicpic and Limbs Bin
Saturday, Feb. 20 at Hive Mind, 8 pm
Send your February off on a warm, relaxing note with a night of noisy ambient soundscapes at Akron’s prime DIY space. New York’s Josh Landes will join the lineup of four distinct local creatives and their corresponding musical projects, creating an eclectic sensory collage of drone, distortion, industrial, glitchy beats and found-footage video. A donation of $5 is suggested upon entrance, but none will be turned away for lack of funds.
Looking for a different kind of date night? Check out these ideas.
10 x 3 Songwriter / Band Showcase at Musica
Every Wednesday at 8 pm (except Feb. 17)
Brent Kirby may have moved around a bit, but he believes in bringing good ideas with him. Starting a showcase by the same name in Cleveland nearly five years ago, he modeled it after those he attended while living in Nashville. Performers register beforehand for 10 time slots. Each performs three songs, but at least two have to be their original work. “There’s so many great people doing great things, each night is a completely unique musical experience,” says Kirby. Performers can register at brentkirby.com.
Rethinking Race Trolley Tour boarding at the College Street Circle off E. Buchtel Ave.
Feb. 12 at 2 pm
We are taught lessons in school, build knowledge through our experience and grow by challenging what we thought we knew. The Summit County Historical Society is once more sponsoring the Rethinking Race Trolley Tour at the University of Akron as part of Black History Month. According to The University of Akron Department of Student Life, “The Trolley Tour will highlight African American landmarks around the City of Akron, while exploring the legacy of abolitionist John Brown.” History was written by many and influences us all.
Tribute to Heinz Poll at Akron Civic
Feb. 19 at 8 pm
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is some sort of ketchup or steak sauce show. Heinz Poll founded Akron’s Ohio Ballet back in 1968, then retired as the artistic director in 1999. In honor of what would have been Poll’s 90th birthday, Verb Ballet is presenting this concert of his work. The executive artistic director of GroundWorks DanceTheater, as well as the producing artistic director have worked with and danced under Poll’s leadership. Although the Ohio Ballet no longer exists, Poll’s influence continues to resonate throughout Northeast Ohio.
Hey Mavis! with opening act Cody J. Martin at Akron Civic
Feb. 20 at 8 pm
Creating a cabaret setting, the Civic has pulled Hey Mavis, a group from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park artist-in-residence program, for an evening of Americana-folk. They’re opening with Massillon-native, singer-songwriter, Cody J. Martin, whose skillful guitar playing and imagery weaving abilities wow crowds across Northeast Ohio.
The Electric Pressure Cooker XIX at none too fragile theater
Feb. 20 at 8 pm
It might be hard to believe, but this thing is knocking on the door of 20. In 2014, the anything goes open mic outgrew the basement of a flower shop and in 2015, it soon stretched the seams of the None Too Fragile theater in Pub Bricco. This past January, it gave Aqueduct Brewing a go, but the Pub Bricco annex missed it. Performers begin registering for time slots at 7:30 pm.
It’s a Wild World Animal Show at Akron Civic
Feb. 21 at 2:30 pm
Programming at the Civic has gone to the dogs! Or on this night, you might say to the monkeys, tigers and snakes. Akron Children’s Hospital is rounding off a packed weekend by having the Akron Zoo showcase some of their creatures on the big stage. They’re saying you can “discover amazing animals… combined with music, video and audience participation.” The stagehands had better have shovels.
Chapatti at Greystone Hall
Feb. 25 – Mar. 13 at 8 pm (2 pm on Sundays)
What would you call a story about a woman, a man, a dog and 19 cats? You might just call it romance.