The Irish are invading, and downtown Dayton couldn’t be happier! United Irish of Dayton’s annual Celtic Festival is the largest free music festival downtown, and boy, they pull this event off with style. If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor and GO! It’s easier than ever, because now you can park in different areas of downtown, and grab a Link bike and head to the festival site, which is right by Riverscape Metro Park. There are four stages of music, dancers, food, beer and merriment! You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy. It’s just an awesome way to enjoy the weekend downtown. Those who have attended are nodding in agreement as they read this!
Find out the details and all the rest of the great live music around town below.
Thursday, July 23rd
- If you are a Blues Rock fan, or it’s just been one of those kind of weeks, head over to see Chris Duarte at Gilly’s Jazz. Apparently he’s played so hard, his fingers bleed. Wowsa! Check this guy out! Show’s at 8 p.m., cost is $12.
- I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again… if you are looking for free music on a Thursday night, head over to Oregon Express for the fabulous sounds of Gem City. Catch them before you have to pay a lot to see them! 10 p.m. No cover.
Friday, July 24th
- Got the kids and running out of ideas to keep them entertained? Springfield is launching their Lunch on the Lawn series for the summer. Every Friday through August 14th, the Springfield Museum of Art is hosting free informal concerts on their front lawn. The performer this week is Bob Ford, who sings the stories of America’s past in a super entertaining way. A great educational opportunity! Note: $6 bagged lunches are available for purchase while supplies last. If there is rain, they will move the concert inside the museum. For a full list of who is performing this season, click here.
- The aforementioned Celtic Festival kicks off tonight around 6 p.m. Over the course of three days, you can see multiple sets by heavy hitters Gaelic Storm and Scythian, as well as straight-from-Ireland bands We Banjo 3, Socks in the Frying Pan, and more! Have fun and be safe. Remember: you can get a free Uber ride using the coupon code “CELTICFESTIVAL15.” Score!
- Sending a big Happy Birthday shout out to Oddbody’s! The new music venue is celebrating with a strong rock line up, including the super popular band Finger 11 along with Brent James & The Vintage Youth, Violent Kind, and local band Avareous. If you are a rock fan, get to this show! $5 pre-sale. $12 DoS. 7 p.m., ages 18+.
- Hardcore and metal fans will be buzzing to go see Karma to Burn, Crosley Court, Architects of Doom and Back Stabbath at Rockstar Pro Arena, 1106 E Third St. Show at 7 p.m., all ages.
- Shotgun Surprise with special guest Mel and the Guns will be lighting up the Oregon Express. Mel is making her professional debut, so show her some love. Show at 10 p.m.
- More of an indie fan? You’re in for a real treat. Ringo Deathstarr (from Austin), Oh Condor, R. Ring (featuring Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery) and Moria are all performing at Canal Public House. $7. Show at 9 p.m. In more of a folky mood? Check out The Repeating Arms at Tumbleweed Connection. They are great! Seriously.
- Reggae fans should head south to party with The Flex Crew, a popular and multi-talented reggae band from Columbus. They will be at JD Legends. Show at 7 p.m., $4 cover.
Saturday, July 25th
- The first ever Ribfest is kicking off in Huber Heights. There promises to be live music. Not sure what bands specifically, but it will be a mix of rock’n’roll and country. The $3 admission is good for both days. Ages 14 & under are free. Sounds like they have a lot of fun planned, so get to it!
- Celtic Festival continues! Check the schedule here.
- Rock fans couldn’t really ask for a better line up than The Motel Beds, The Phantom Six (from Morgantown, WV) and Andy Gabbard at Blind Bob’s. Show at 9 p.m. Such a solid show. Enjoy it!
- There is a fun Birthday bash for Gretchen doing on down the street at Oregon Express, featuring: Tiger Sex, Paige Beller, Absinthe Junk, The Sandwich, and Dark Backward. Another great rock line-up. This is a tough call. Maybe bounce between OE and Bob’s? Might not be a bad idea! Show at 9 p.m., cost is $5.
- If my jam band friends are wondering where they fit into the scene this weekend, you’ve also got two great shows to choose from. The Big Damn Jam is featuring keyboardist Todd Stoops, who until recently was with the ultra funky band Kung Fu. So much talent here. Really excited to check this out! It’s all going down at Jimmie’s Ladder 11. Music at 10 p.m., $5 cover. Ages 18+.
- Yosemight (from Cleveland) is coming through town after hitting it hard on the festival circuit. They will be jamming out One Eyed Jacks, across from Wright State University. Fun times! Show at 9 p.m.
- In the burbs? Earlier babysitter? Take yourself over to see Ryan Judy at Zetland Street in Bellbrook from 6:30-9:30 p.m. He’s great. Folky, fun and always entertaining.
- Across town in Clayton, you can catch Scott Lee and Whiskey River Boys performing a free show at 13 Stripes Bar & Grill (6556 Union Rd). It’s Scott Lee’s birthday, and it’s a big party before the venue moves locations. Plus there promises to be roller girls. Random, but that’s the way I like it! Ha!
- Rock fans north of town can catch local bands Killed by Art, Evil Eye Gypsy, Avareous at Club Panama in Springfield. Show at 10 p.m., cost is $5. Ages 21+.
Sunday, July 26th
- It’s the last day for the Celtic Festival, but it’s one of the best ways to spend your Sunday Funday! Do it!
- Ready for a style change from all the Celtic music? Just down the street you can see Blue Lou and the Mafia at Riff Raff Tavern. This is part of their Summer Blues & BBQ Series. From 2-6 p.m., cost is $10 advance, $12 DoS.
- Hip-hop fans have a big show coming through: Illa J and Moka Only, with additional hip-hop artists, are all performing at Canal Public House. There’s also a meet and greet at Omega Music day of show. Doors at 9 p.m., Cost is $8.
BONUS: As in-depth as this blog gets, there is even MORE music out there. I’d suggest checking out Music Connection Dayton if you want to dig in and get even more details on all the shows going on.
As always, thank you for supporting the live music scene in Dayton.
Your Dayton Music Insider,
Note to Readers: The information above is for July 16th-22nd. If I don’t list a price, that’s because I’m not sure what the price is. Generally cover charges for local shows are $5. 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