Dayton Music Insider

This blog is for all the fans of live music, from the casual listener to the weekend warrior, so they can easily find great music in Dayton area.

Dayton is for Lovers

Dayton truly is for lovers. Whether you love another person, or are just lovin' life, this is a great place to be. Why? One reason is that there is never a shortage of date night options, especially if you are a music fan. This weekend is no exception.

The main event this weekend is the highly anticipated "Dayton is for Lovers" show Friday evening at Yellow Cab Tavern. This amazing all-local line up is sure to please and is going to be packed! Find out how you can get in on the action below.

Friday, November 20th

Hawthorne Heights

It's rare that local super stars Hawthorne Heights play a show in Dayton. They have been non-stop touring the world, and lucky for us, made room in the schedule for a hometown show. Dayton Is For Lovers is an all ages Gem City music festival, featuring an eclectic mix of stellar Dayton bands, including: Good EnglishCrosley CourtSecond Story AnthemViFollyYou vs YesterdayJasper the ColossalBribing Senators, and Goodnight Goodnight.

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All this fun can be found downtown at the Yellow Cab Tavern, which is located just north of the Dublin Pub. They do have a bar area with a great selection of local beer for those of age and with I.D.  The Wicked 'Wich of Dayton and Hunger Paynes Food Truck will also be on hand to serve up tasty treats.

Tickets are $15 and pre-sales are available here. Doors open at 6 p.m., and music starts at 6:30 p.m.. Hawthorne Heights will be on around 10:15 p.m. Organizers encourage you to come early and stay late, so you can catch all these amazing bands. I agree!


Lover of the classics? It doesn't get more classic than Madame Butterfly, and what a gorgeous production the Dayton Opera puts on! If you've never seen it, get some culture into your life. Plus there are tickets as low as $18. Yeah! Plus there is a pre-performance talk by Dr. Sam Dorf one hour before the performance, as well as pre-performance "Opera Bites" for purchase in the Wintergarden of the Schuster. Tickets range from $18-$94, and are available via Ticket Center Stage or at the Schuster box office. 8 p.m. performance. Special student price of $26 for all seat levels, and a $15 "student rush" may apply (if seats are available). Get all details here. Please note: There is also a Sunday 3 p.m. performance as well.

If you are ready to boogie down... there are a few simply fantastic options this evening. South Park has it going on tonight! Check out the famous Chicago AfroBeat Project at Jimmie's Ladder 11. Since their birth in Chicago's underground art and loft party scene more than 10 years ago, CAP has performed coast to coast at clubs and festivals across the United States. Special guest Ernie Johnson (Detroit) will be kicking off the evening. $10 at the door. Doors 9 p.m. 18+

On the other side of the neighborhood, at South Park Tavern, you will find the two-piece powerhouse known as ROAR! You ever longed to go to New Orleans for the music, but haven't made it down? Ever been there and miss it terribly? Either way, this will give you that fix of energetic, horn-centric, wildness that you can only find in the Crescent City. Don't miss this show, folks!

ROAR! performs at South Park Tavern Friday evening

Dayton promoter extraordinaire, Mick Montgomery, is presenting a show at Oddbody's Music Room, featuring Tim Shelton with special guest Mark Condurant. Country and Americana fans will be delighted by this show - promise! $10 advance, $12 Day of Show. Doors 7 p.m. Show 8pm. 18+

Oregon Express has two of my favorite local folk bands on the bill this evening: OldNews and The Repeating Arms . Nice! Both bands are talented musicians and excellent song writers. In fact, you can hear reviews of both of these bands in this week's "Guided by Noises" article, by yours truly, along with Vivienne Machi.

Folk fans have a tough decision this evening, as Josh Powell will also be performing at Trolley Stop. I'm a fan of trying to hit two shows in an evening, especially if they are both in the Oregon District (hint hint). He's got a lovely voice, an acoustic guitar, and a cozy bar. Sounds like a night for lovers to me! 9:30 p.m. show.


Punk, metal, rock fans, you are always at home at Blind Bob's, and tonight is no exception. Detroit's Downtown Brown are here to rock you, and word is this might be their last time in Dayton for quite awhile, so don't miss this opportunity to see them! Local bands Lot Lizard and Team Void literally kick off the evening. Warning...this show is going to be loud. In a good way! 9 p.m. 21+

A newer band on my radar, The French, are performing at Canal Public House. This band features a female lead singer and sax player. I'm intrigued! Love the name, love the vibe, so please show them some love and check it out.

EDM kids, Deep House Friday's is bringing in San Francisco's Miguel Migs, whose music you've heard even if you don't know it. His tracks have been featured on Six Feet Under, Sex in the City, and MTV's Road Rules and Real World, as well as internationally. He brings his love of funk, soul and current dance rythmns is sure to spice up Therapy Cafe this evening! $10-$20. 9 p.m.-3 a.m.


Oh Yellow Springs, you are in for a treat with TreeHouse in your backyard, at Peach's Grill. This reggae jam groove machine from Myrtle Beach is braving the cold temps to warm us up. Yeah, baby! You've got a great weekend of music in store this whole weekend, so get it while you can. 9 p.m. show.

As the cold weather starts to sit in, we can't help but think about the homeless in our communities. The Old Crow Bar in Middletown is putting on the first annual Discogiving, a benefit show for the area homeless. Eyeris Wide starts off the evening at 8:30 p.m., followed by Nevele, and ending with my reggae friends Elementree Livity Project. $10 admission. They are also collecting items listed in the event photo for the homeless in Dayton/Surrounding areas. Please click here for those items. Thanks guys! We need more people who care in our community!

Saturday, November 21st

Oh boy tonight gets real funky with Freekbass in the house! He is celebrating the release of his first album since signing with Ropeadope, entitled "Cincinnati." Sweet! Oh, and then let's throw in special guest, The Difference, a Dayton super group composed of Shauni Maque (from The Ohio Players), Norman Dimitrouleas (The Werks), Joshua Miller (The Maji), Ronald Frost (I'm BAD), and John Watson (D-Funk Allstars). Whew! This will be a fabulous to heat up your Saturday night! Jimmie's Ladder 11. Doors 9 p.m. $10. 18+

Diggin' the funk but you're down in the Oregon District? No worries my friend. The Gem City Get Down is doing just that over at Blind Bob's this evening. A mere $3 cover charge gets you in the door. Best part? That $3 is collected and given to a baby with a critically underdeveloped heart, whose family is facing major medical bills. Show the love all you lovers out there!

The effervescent and always entertaining, Mr. Todd the Fox is performing a free set over at Fifth Street Brew Pub from 9-11 p.m. This beloved local brewery is also releasing their holiday ale, Thin Mint Stout. OMG - someone finally combined Girl Scout Cookies and beer?? Sign me up!

Canal Public House has some simply gorgeous music planned this evening with The Hart Strings (Nashville, TN). Their name is more descriptive than you might imagine. Listening to their music certainly pulls on my heart strings, and then gets me energized all at the same time. Enjoy them, along with Matt Monta & the Haymakers (Columbus, OH) and Dayton-based singer/songwriter Scott Lee. 7:30 Doors, 9 p.m. Show.

By Light We Loom, a brand new husband-wife indie-pop duo from Cleveland, describes their style as "beautiful, mysterious pop tunes drenched in atmospheric guitars and soaring vocals." Listening to their single, "Mason Jars," I can't help but agree. Ethereal and definitely something special, this is going to be a show you won't want to miss!

Beloved Dayton band, Puzzle of Light, is at Trolley Stop as well. I know many people who mark their calendars well in advance for their Trolley Stop appearances. Stop by and find out why! I'll give you a hint... They're awesome!

I know, I know... where is the rock music? Oregon Express is one of two places I'm going to recommend. Here you will find "Lady Rockers" evening with  Far From Eden, Death By Fetish, and Georgia Goad. YES! Love the ladies! And these women know how to rock, so be prepared boys.


Hard core metal fans, Rock Star Pro Arena has you covered! Believe (come back show), Hunters Chase (cd release party), Plagues (cd release party), Juggernaut, and Hearts Like Shadows are all on the bill for this special show. The promoters are encouraging all attendees to please bring however many non-perishable food items you want. They will be donating it all! Beer Bar with Proper 21+ID! Presale: $10. 7 p.m. show.

Last but not least, my boys Subterranean are playing a FREE show at Peach's Grill in Yellow Springs, with special guest Love Alive. Can't say enough how special these guys are. And the Yellow Springs crowd will love them. Thank me later, I know you will.

Sunday, November 22nd

There is always something fun for Sunday Funday at Blind Bob's and this week it's the Welcome Back Dayton Music Showcase featuing: Freddie May, DDT, LGI, Trazy Snake, Faith Baby, Belle X, and College Rich. I'm not super familiar with these bands, but anyone out partying on a Sunday night is surely going to be entertained here!

And then there is The Heard, which might very well make me shake off better angel, and naughtily stay out on a Sunday evening. These guys bring it! They are a Chicago funk crew who has a killer horn section, slammin' keys, and bold sound. Gin-Soaked Angels start things off at Jimmie's Ladder 11. 9 p.m. $10.

Bonus Material:

Friends, check out a storyteller episode of The Gem City Podcast, featuring one of my most favorite Dayton original bands, The Nightbeast! They only have some of the coolest guys in Dayton in their group... find out why!

And unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the Dayton Music Video. If you have been living under said rock, it's here for your viewing pleasure. The point of this video was to bring the community of Dayton together, and that was certainly accomplished! I adore being silly and I got to do just that making this video. More than anything, this is a love song to Dayton! (See... Dayton really is for Lovers!)

As always, thank you for supporting the live music scene in Dayton.

Your Dayton Music Insider,

Libby Ballengee

Note to Readers:   The information above is for November 20th-22nd. 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.



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