Queen City Music Spotlight: Catch These 10 Cincinnati Concerts Featuring Local Artists in July | Local music | Cincinnati
Looking for the soundtrack of your summer? Lucky for you, plenty of local artists, from beloved Cincinnati Tweens to newcomers Louse, are happy to bring you sweet summer tunes, performed in a variety of cheerful joints around the Greater Cincinnati area. Here are some of the must-see shows featuring local artists in July.
Willie & The Cigs, John Hays and Rodeo Boys (MI) at Northside Tavern
Cincinnati band Willie & the Cigs are part country rock, part proto-punk and all rock ‘n’ roll. John Hays is a mainstay in the Cincinnati performing arts community, as a stand-up comedian, vocalist for the hardcore band Flesh Mother and, that night, solo performer, delivering a heartfelt, honest and stripped-down performance. Also featured are the grunge-influenced Rodeo Boys on tour from Lansing, Michigan. 9 p.m. July 1. Suggested donation of $5. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside. facebook.com/events.
Northside Rock & Roll Carnival at Hoffner Park
The Rock & Roll Carnival is a Northside tradition making a comeback for the first time since 2019 and featuring some of the city’s best local musicians. The first day of the festival, Saturday, July 2, features the rock and ‘n’ roll greats of Cincinnati Vacation (7 p.m.), as well as the perfectly pop “space ballads” of Quotah (5:30 p.m.) and the Psychedelic garage rock favorites The Harlequins (midnight) ending the night. Sunday, July 3 brings together the next generation of local music legends from the School of Rock (4 p.m.), longtime favorites Culture Queer (5:30 p.m.), dark wave dance punks The Serfs (11:10 p.m. ) and the experimental punk art of Fruit LoOops (midnight) closes the night. On Monday, July 4, after Northside’s overtly extravagant and fun 4th of July Parade, walk to Hoffner Park and catch the Carnival Day lineup, starting with the aptly named Freedom Nicole Moore (2 p.m.) and then next with innovative Cincinnati folk-pop queen Mol Sullivan (3:35 p.m.) and Cincinnati punk band Leggy (5:10 p.m.). The lineup also features a handful of other local and national acts each day, including headliners Sen Morimoto performing electronic pop and hip-hop soul (10 p.m., Saturday, July 2) and pop singer from Kaina Dream (10 p.m., Sunday, July 3), both from Chicago. 3 p.m.-1 a.m. July 2 and 3. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 4. Jacob Hoffner Park, 4101 Hamilton Ave., Northside. northsiderocks.com.
Blue Wisp Big Band at Caffe Vivace
After recovering from your 4th of July weekend, enjoy the vintage-inspired sounds of the Blue Wisp Big Band at Caffe Vivace. The hard bop big band was founded in 1980 and has toured nationally and released a handful of records over the years. Blue Wisp Big Band has played regular Wednesday nights in Cincinnati since the band’s debut – first at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Downtown before it closed in 2014, then at a few venues before moving to Caffe Vivace in Walnut Hills, where their Wednesday night residency continues. 7:30 p.m. July 6. $15. $10 minimum consumption. Caffe Vivace, 975 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills. caffevivace.com.
Pou, Chuck 2 and Supercrush (Seattle) at the Hub
The Cincinnati band Louse will make their debut at this July 10 show at The Hub. The gothic rock band will be joined by Chuck 2, a lo-fi band from Cincinnati. They appear with alternative rock band Supercrush, on tour from Seattle. 9:07 p.m. July. The Hub, 1209 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. totallythehubotr.com.
Mary Henry, Monsoon (Athens, Georgia) and Plug at The Comet
Find yourself in the neon lights of The Comet on July 13 for a performance by Mary Henry, one of Cincinnati’s newest bands. The all-female five-piece outfit creates vibrant and accessible bedroom pop/post-punk. Athens, Georgian alternative pop Monsoon and locals Plug will also play this show at The Comet. 9 pm July 13. Free. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside. happeningnext.com.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at the Corinthian Baptist Church
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be at the Bond Hill Corinthian Baptist Church for the next leg of the Andrew J Brady Neighborhood Concert Series, performing a mix of jazz compositions from Ragtime to Quincy Jones. The program is said to “showcase women in jazz,” with guest violinist Diane Monroe and Emmy-nominated jazz singer Kathy Wade both making appearances on the show. The evening will be led, as always, by John Morris Russell. 6:30 p.m. July 14. Free. Corinthian Baptist Church, 1920 Tennessee Avenue, Bond Hill. cincinnatisymphony.org
The Serfs, Pop. 1280 (NYC) and Gentle Leader XIV at MOTR Pub
Head to the MOTR Pub for a night of music from a dance party scene from a lost 80s horror movie, with heavy synth and drum machine-driven electro punk. Cincinnati’s The Serfs and Gentle Leader XIV will join New York punk band Pop. 1280 for this electrifying show at the MOTR Pub. 10 p.m. July 16. Free. Pub MOTR, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com
Tweens with Spirit of the Beehive (Philadelphia) at Northside Tavern
Cincinnati Entertainment Award winners Tweens, led by Bridget Battle, will support electronic pop group Spirit of the Beehive during a performance at Northside Tavern on July 17. Philadelphia band Spirit of the Beehive are currently touring to promote their album “ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH”, which has received acclaim from music publications such as twirl, Paste Magazine and Fork. 8 p.m. July 17. $15 presale/$17 at the door. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave, Northside. northsidetav.com
Ben Levin Three to Ghost Baby
Head four stories underground to the chic and lavish Ghost Baby, recently included in Esquire magazine’s “25 Best Bars in America” list, to hear some tunes from local musician Ben Levin and his band, called Ben Levin Three. The Cincinnatian is an award-winning traditional blues pianist and singer who has been something of a curator, in recent years, for pre-rock ‘n’ roll blues and R&B. His most recent album, “Still Here”, debuted in the top 10 on Billboard‘s Blues Charts. 2 sets at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on July 20. Free. Best to book in advance. Ghost Baby, 1314 Republic Street, Over-the-Rhine. ghost-baby.com/events
Bailey Miller, Brianna Kelley and Pete Fosco at Listing Loon
Head to Northside’s Listing Loon for an evening of ambitious folk, electronic pop and ambient compositions. July Artist-in-residence Bailey Miller creates dreamlike soundscapes with voices crashing like waves. This particular performance will also bring the chamber folk pop of Brianna Kelley and the ambient, improvised guitar tracks of Pete Fosco to Miller’s weekly Thursday shows. 8 p.m. July 28. Proof of vaccination required. Loon List, 4124 Hamilton Ave., Northside. theloonwinebar.com.
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