When people ask me what my favorite season is, I enthusiastically say “Festival!” Why? Because it encompasses all the nice weather months and is absolutely packed with amazing live music.
This weekend, the local music festival season kicks off with the annual May Daze Music Festival. Located in Franklin, directly off I-75 S, it is super easy to get to, and what a great time it is! Music starts at 4 p.m. Friday and runs till 4 a.m., and cranks back up again at noon Saturday and closes with a 4:30 a.m. drum circle. Wowza! Musical offerings range from jam bands, progressive, rock’n’roll edging on metal, acoustic and bluegrass — including Magic Jackson, Subterranean, Glostik Willy, Aqueous, Boogie Matrix Mechanism Tropidelic and many more. It’s a music lover’s paradise for sure! Ticket price for the entire 2-day festival is $65 pre-sale, $85 DoS.
Thursday, April 30
It’s an unusually busy night of music around town tonight! Really some of the best live music options of the whole weekend are this evening, so if you have the bandwidth to start your weekend early – do so!
Let’s start with an especially exciting show at Canal Public House, featuring hometown favorites Good English, Smug Brothers, Pale Angels (from Wales) and a new band, R.Ring. The latter is a new project from the Breeders’ Kelley Deal and Ampline’s Mike Montgomery. Super stoked for this show! This is rock ‘n’ roll the way Dayton does it best. (P.S… I personally love that her About page says: “The first thing you need to know about Kelley Deal is that she’s from Dayton, Ohio. The rest is inconsequential…” Awww we love you back!)
If this show is packed or sold out, or you want pizza with your rock show, check out South Park Tavern, where you will find an indie/punk show with The Ex-Bombers and Suicide Hill. Ex-Bombers are a two-piece from Charleston, IL and are perfectly suited for SPT’s vibe.
In the mood to shake it on the dance floor? Well get used to seeing Gem City at Oregon Express on Thursday nights. I’ve heard some awesome reports of their funkilicious shows around town, so this is a safe bet for a fun time. Or if you’re in the southern suburbs, Old Crow Bar in Middletown is hosting Toledo’s progressive funk band JoJo Stella. I haven’t checked them out yet, so let me know how the show is!
Friday, May 1
It’s First Friday downtown, so if you’re out celebrating, check out some live music! You absolutely cannot go wrong with Trey Stone and the Ringers at Trolley Stop. Between the awesome musicians and the sublime patio, you’re in store for a pretty, pretty, pretty good night! Ready to rock a little harder? Blind Bob’s has a stacked bill of local bands to check out, including Sport Fishing USA, Where the Nameless Dwell, Pop Goes the Evil, Moira and Forage.
Outside the Oregon District, there are some very cool shows going down as well. Just a hop & skip down the street you’ll find the Sideshow X Preview Party at the “Old” Yellow Cab Building. It promises to be an enigmatic evening of art and music previews that will whet your appetite for Sideshow X the following weekend! In the Cannery District at Therapy Cafe, there is a bumpin’ night of electronic dance music in store from 3DMensional Entertainment.
Saturday, May 2
Any afternoon in Yellow Springs is always a delight, but even more so with daytime drumming by Soul Tribe Drum Circle. Starting at 2 p.m. at the Spirited Goat Coffee House, this is a great opportunity to get involved with the music yourself!
In Dayton, I’m curious to check out Cincinnati’s folk group Willow Creek Carolers, with Great Wide Open and Dawg Yawp at Oregon Express. Folk, bluegrass and acoustic music lovers will definitely enjoy this evening’s lovely lineup. Brixx is hosting the Wham Bam Road Trip show, which features Mainline Funk and Far From Eden, among others – and NO cover! If you want to see music and get some grub – this is your ticket!
Last but certainly not least, the Aria Marie Foundation Benefit is being held at Middletown’s Old Crow Bar. Modern Superstar from Cape Coral, Florida is headlining this show, with local rockers Shotgun Surprise, among several other bands. This is for hard rock and metal fans for sure, but also going to support a great cause, so show some love. Miss Aria Marie helped me put up my very first Christmas tree in my first apartment, when she was a wee little thing, and her tragic death still startles all that knew her. Proceeds benefit college funds for children who have lost their parents. Music starts at 5 p.m. and is only a $5 cover for the whole night of music!
As always, thank you for supporting the live music scene in Dayton. Cheers!
Your Dayton Music Insider,
Note to Readers: This lineup is for April 30 – May 2, 2015. Please click the links to find out detailed information about the bands, venues and events, including start times, directions and pricing. I try to link band names with samples of their music. Always check with the venue about start times and ticket availability. As you can see, I try to promote as many shows as possible, but there will be some I miss. Keep me in the loop: @LibbyBallengee