The weather might not be looking and feeling like Christmas, but the Dayton music scene sure is! There are Christmas Extravaganzas, Solstice Celebrations and Holiday Cheer all around. The weather is great for running around, so no hibernating yet!
Going to see live music is also a great way to congregate with friends in town, and a way to avoid awkward convos with the fam. Just sit and listen and enjoy! Check out my “Top 10 Can’t Miss Shows This Holiday Season” for a run down through New Year’s Eve.
LOTS to choose from this weekend, especially for those of you outside the downtown center. You won’t have to travel far. Read on for details.
Friday, December 18th
Canal Public House is hosting a Christmas Extravaganza, featuring The Orphan, The Poet with special guests Come Wind, Jetty Bones and Weathervein. These are some of the most popular and polished bands in the area! Grunge rock fans will especially enjoy this, so grab old friends from high school and make a night of it. $10 day of show.
Blind Bob’s is the go-to spot for cool kids around town, and tonight is certainly no exception. Tonight is the Dayton debut of The Skulx (featuring some of your most beloved members of Cadaver Dogs, Foxy Shazam, Nightbeast and the ever-loving Dr. Josh Pilot). Very special guests include the rock goddesses themselves, Good English, and indie rock band Sleep Fleet. Show at 9 p.m. $5 admission.
I’m really loving what I hear from OldNews, and you have a chance to catch them this evening over at South Park Tavern. These guys have a really nice sound, acoustic but full, folksy but progressive. A must see for Americana fans in the area. Show at 9 p.m.
Country fans, I know I tend to neglect you. Local boys TRUK take the stage at WO Wrights, across from Wright State University. This is an early happy hour show from 6-9 p.m., so plenty of time to get home to the kids, or just to get some sleep!
Yellow Springs bluegrass fans, better get on out to Peach’s Grill early and save a seat for Ryan Judy, John Lardinois and Brian Spirk. These guys are wonderfully talented local mainstays and guaranteed to please.
Saturday, December 19th
Who is doing last minute Christmas shopping? (Sheepishly raising my hand.) Yeah, me too. To make the day more tolerable, and dare I say delightful, Todd the Fox is to the rescue. He exudes elements of Elvis and Hank Williams with a splash of rock’n’roll, and will certainly make shopping a whole lot more fun! He’ll be performing at the Dayton Mall from 1-4 p.m. It’s a free show, so just enjoy while you shop!
Have an early babysitter? Looking for more of an afternoon/early evening show? There are some really fun options, including the Third Annual Songwriters’ Solstice event, which runs both Saturday and Sunday at Ghostlight Coffee on Wayne Ave. from 3-9 p.m. This two-day show brings together over 30 area musicians, performing all original songs. Plus all proceeds go directly to the Foodbank. Win-win! Admission is 3 non-perishable food items or $5 cash. The complete line up can be found here. Our homegrown talent will truly amaze you.
Another option for the early crowd is swinging by Fifth Street Brew Pub from 6-8 p.m. for the sounds of Rick and Hillary Wagner. A duo on fiddle and guitar, they will bring even more merriment to this beloved neighborhood brewery.
Blues fans, you’ll love tonight’s lineup at Oddbody’s Music Room: Kelly Richey Band, The Doug Hart Band and The Beaumonts. All three of these acts are dynamite Blues acts, and all have years of experiences rockin’ the socks off audiences. Doors at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. $10 advance. $12 at the door. Ages 18+.
Blind Bob’s is serving up a night of melt-your-face-off metal with Neon Warship, Beggars, Kenoma and Zuel. Bands feature some of my old time favorite musicians in the Dayton scene. Gotta love that! Show runs from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Typically $5 cover.
A very fun night of rock and Americana style music is happening at Gilly’s this evening, featuring Tony Herdman and Friends, Charlie Tipton Band, and Buddy Danko and the Tokens. The cost is $7 and a canned good for the Dayton Food Bank to help those in need this Holiday season. Doors open at 8 p.m., music starts at 9 p.m.
Jam band friends, Grover is celebrating their four-year anniversary at the place it all started, One Eyed Jacks, right off 675 near Wright State. Will C & Family are joining in the fun too. Both bands are always entertaining and energetic. Great vibes. Best part? No cover! Music starts at 10 p.m. Get there early to try and snag a limited edition poster.
Up north of town in Troy, check out Jesse Henry and the Finnigan Denson Project, with special guest Fingers from Columbus. They’ll be performing at Square Roots Live. This room has first-rate sound and a wonderful setting for an evening of live music. Check it out. Cost: $10. BYOB. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.
Metal and punk fans, check out the rockin’ line-up Little York Tavern in Troy has booked for their Metal Christmas Party: 20 Year Crutch, Throttle, Menace 2 Sobriety, The Gringo, Legbone and Sometimes5. Wow! Pretty wild night for sure. Music starts promptly at 8 p.m. in order to fit all these sets in, so get there early and bring ear plugs if you’re going to mosh by the speakers. That damage is permanent, kids! $5 cover.
Reggae in Yellow Springs? Perfect! Check out local reggae rock star Seefari at Peach’s Grill tonight. Will for sure put a smile on your face!
I’m from Brookville, so I’m partial to the complaint that there is nothing to do out there. Typically I would agree with you, but tonight you’ve got a great show! Check out the Christmas Funk show with Mainline Funk at O’Reilly’s. I know we’ve got friends in town visiting, and now you’ve got the perfect event to go to! Nice! Show 8 p.m.
And lastly, even further out west of town, don’t be shy to drive out to Eaton for Taffy’s Christmas Party. They’ve got a huge line-up of musicians, including the talented Moriah Haven and Bob Dellaposta, among many more to be announced. Click here for latest updates.
Sunday, December 20th
The Dayton Art Institute continues its long-standing tradition of concerts at the museum with their Afternoon Musicales series. Check out David Wion and Friends Holiday Program at 2 p.m. in the NCR Renaissance Auditorium. Admission: free for museum members, $8/adult, $5/senior and student non-members, free for youth/children under 17.
Looking for the perfect Christmas concert? Handel’s “Messiah” has been the answer to that question for nearly 300 years. You can experience this epic English-language oratorio yourself, as performed by our own Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, along with the Chamber Chorus and special guest vocalists. The performance will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church (125 N. Wilkinson St.). General admission seating. Tickets: $29.
Party people who are still ragin’, check out Grand Mammoth, Enkiridian, Mess of Owls and The Pullouts at Blind Bob’s. They invite you to celebrate the holidays while wearing your ugly sweater or PJs. Rock’n’roll and PJs on a Sunday night? Yes please! 9 p.m. Typically a $5 cover. Bonus: Check out a recent Storyteller episode with Grand Mammoth on Gem City Podcast to get to know them better! Click here to listen.
And remember: the Songwriters Solstice Event at Ghostlight is going on all day again, too.
Monday, December 21st
Hugely popular rock band Pop Evil is almost sold out over at Oddbody’s. If you are interested in this show, get on it. Please note, this show had to be rescheduled due to travel difficulties and this is the current date for the show. Doors at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. $17 advance. $22 at the door.
Wednesday, December 23rd
Right before the holidays, a wonderful way to celebrate the season is with Straight No Chaser. No, I’m not giving you drinking advice! They are a super popular all-male A Cappella group that just released a Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree album. See them perform live as part of their “The New Old Fashioned” world tour, stopping in Dayton at Schuster Center this evening. Tickets start at $35 + applicable fees. 25% off for military. Get tickets and further details here.
As always, thank you for supporting the live music scene in Dayton.
Your Dayton Music Insider,
Note to Readers: The information above is for December 18th-23rd. If I don’t list a price, it’s because I’m not sure what the price is. Generally cover charges for local shows are $5. Please click the hyperlinks to find out more about the bands, venues and events, including start times, directions, 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. Check out the latest shows I’m promoting @theVenusChild. You can also keep up with my adventures on Instagram here.