Dayton Music Insider: Phish destroys Dayton... again!

For any true music lover, there are those special shows that simply change you and never let you go back to "normal." One of those concerts for me was when I was 16 years old, seeing Phish for the first time at Hara Arena in 1994. It was absolutely one of the most mind-blowing spectacles I've ever seen or heard!

Phish relives epic Dayton show twenty years later, again at the Ervin J. Nutter Center on July 18th, 2017.

Phish returned again in 1995 and 1997, the latter going down in band history of one of the most epic shows of their career . Now Phish returns, finally, after 20 years, to relive the glory of that infamous show before they go on to do an incredible 13-show run at Madison Square Gardens later this month. (Fun Fact: They played Canal Street Tavern in 1990, too!)

If you don't already have a ticket for the July 18 Nutter Center show, well, get on it! There are not many left at all. There is always hope for a "miracle" but I certainly would not risk missing the most epic party of the summer. Yes, my friends, Phish is back to "destroy Dayton" once again, and we could not be happier!

The extra good news about this show is that there are loads of pre- and post-party shows around the entire area. Everyone is celebrating! So read on to find out about those fun events, all the sweet shows happening this weekend, and some deets about getting Phish tickets from Habitat for Humanity!

Friday, July 14

My friends, I hate to tell ya, but it's already mid-summer! Ah! It's going by fast! If you have not been getting your summah on yet, get on it! It's going to roll right by in a heartbeat! One of the fun things to do downtown, is enjoy the free music at Riverscape MetroPark.  This Friday night you can enjoy KICK-N-FLAVA, which is part of the R&B Hot Summer Music Series. Bring a lawn chair for seating and don't forget your dancing shoes! Five Rivers MetroParks Summer Music Series is presented by and Bridge Credit Union. Weather Dependent.  7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.  All ages.  FREE.


very special treat is in store for us late night in the Oregon District. You must get to Tumbleweed  Connection for the first  Jah Soul  show in 2 years! Oh yeah! Warning, you better not miss it because this is the only evening bar venue they have booked! If you miss the sweet sounds, and soulful funk of this hometown group, make sure you get out to this show! 9:30 p.m. $5 cover. 21+.

If hard rock / metal is more your bag, head over to Blind Bob's to check out  Grand Mammoth  (Dayton Proto Metal), Maharaja  (Dayton/Columbus Sludge),  Weed Demon - (Columbus Stoner Sludge Metal), and Black Sire - Dayton Doom Metal. Music starts at 9 p.m. $5 cover. 21+.

I'm curious to check out SYN : ReBooted, which is all about bring back the industrial music scene to Dayton, and Therapy Cafe will be that place. SYN : ReBooted will be held once a month on every 2nd Friday. DJ Chris Favorite will be your master controller for the entire night, with guest DJ's to be announced for future events. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $5 cover. 18+

Looking for something new? Check out indie band Giant Zero from Denver, Colorado at Oregon Express Friday evening. They'll be playing from 6-10 p.m., so it's a nice early show for those who need to be home early. Or a perfect place to pre-game before the late night shows!


Outside of Dayton, there is lots of fun stuff too, including the Springfield Summer Arts Festival, which is featuring an evening of Motown classics – MASTERS OF SOUL. All Summer Arts Festival shows are admission-FREE; tickets are not require, and donations accepted at intermission. All ages. 8 p.m. showtime.

North of town, check out Rite of Venus,  Fistful of Bacon, and  Kyleen Downes at Oscar's Bar in Vandalia. This up-and-coming venue has been host to some of the best shows in town recently, so please show them some love! $5 at the door, 21+ and up. 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 15

Music Connection Dayton, LLC is back at it again with their 3rd show in The Dayton Underground Series 2017: Get Up! Get Down! This installment of this unique local showcase features: The Mainline Funk,  Salvadore Ross, and Krunk Town Boogie - delivering a feast of local funk and groove to boogie to! Advance tickets are $8. Door sales $10. VIP Passes: $50 - provides entry to all shows in The Dayton Underground Series, plus VIP treats at the last show and more! More info here. Show 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 

NOTE: The Music Connection Dayton is also collecting  gently-used clothing donations for Helping the Homeless Dayton Ohio Making A Difference. Stop by their table at the Dayton Underground event with your donation, and they'll hook you up with a cool sticker and button as a token of appreciation!


A new band on my radar,  Levee (Cincinnati) is described as a unique soul, funk, and R&B trio that brings dance worthy grooves and tunes for an original, honest and wild experience. Sounds interesting! Head over to Oregon Express to check them out! $5 at the doorMusic 9:30 p.m. 21+.

Springfield Summer Arts Festival delivers again, this time with a free show featuring BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY. Ah -- brings back memories from Swingers! Classic movie! Get your swing dancin' on! Admission is free, however donations are accepted at intermission. All ages. 8 p.m. showtime.

Out west, in Englewood, Yirf is raging at the Courtyard Lounge again with their friends in Boxhead Monkey, Yardboss, and Bribing Senators. That's a certainly ragin' line up! 21 & up, $5 at the door. 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

Jackson Brown fans out there? If you are one, get down to Miamisburg to see acclaimed singer Tim Shelton present Jackson Brown Revisited, live at the newly restored Plaza Theater . This Tribute show will feature Shelton on vocals, with a full backing band doing classic recreations of Jackson Browne's live show, and will cover many hits spanning Browne's carreer. Doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. Limited seating! $15/advance and $20/day of show.

Sunday, July 16

Blues fans! It's that time of year again! The Dayton Blues Festival is back this weekend at  Riverscape MetroPark ! Enjoy some of the best blues bands this side of the Mississippi. Listen to the rhythms and licks from the guitar as the artists and bands wow you with a fantastic show. Weather Dependent. All ages. FREE! Event runs from 1-9 p.m.


Yes, LadyFest features the best of Dayton women, but they do get support from some of the men around town. This Sunday night at Blind Bob's head out for a special benefit by the Boys! Featuring:  GOON - DYT PUNK: good ol' sweaty punk rock n' roll from Dayton;  TAKACS: thrash band from Columbus; The Marcels: soul-soaked rock from Dayton starring the amazing Max Souders; and Dan Raridan : a fantastic singer-songwriter/solo artist from Dayton. $5 door cover goes to help fund Ladyfest Dayton, which takes place September 1 & 2 at Yellow Cab Tavern.

Monday, July 17

Loads of people are coming in from out of state for the Phish show this week. If you're all off work, and partying early, head over to the Phriends Jam - a Monday Night Phish Pre-Party at Hannah's. You can party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with some of the finest Dayton musicians around, from local bands such as The Maji, The Goods, Subterranean, Tony Red Band, Arrows of Neon, Cheezcake, TNT and others. No cover! 21+.

Tuesday, July 18

This the night of the aforementioned, the one, the only, Phish at Nutter Center. You either love em or hate em, but for those of you who are wary of this post, if you've never seen them live, you have no idea what you're missing. Trust me. Doors 5:30 p.m. Show 7 p.m.

Head's up that Habitat for Humanity has 4 tickets to the show in their silent auction at the Soiree this weekend! Click here for details!

In grand celebration of Phish's return, there are several pre and post show concerts going on throughout the area. Here is my comprehensive list of Dayton Phish Parties:

  • Pre-Party: Physh Fry at Wandering Griffin.  Brian Spirk and Jason Riley from Great Northern String Band, an acoustic tribute to the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band, will be performing from 2-7 p.m. before the show. This is a great place to meet up with friends to get your pre-game on! Lots of food (fish!) and drink specials planned as well! Get your fill before the party gets started!

  • Post-Party: Join local rock stars  Subterranean and their friends  800lb Gorilla (Indianapolis) after the Phish show to keep the jams rollin' over at One Eyed Jacks  (practically across the street!). I know it's hard to follow up Trey, but Chris Coalt does a mighty fine job! My advice, get there ASAP, because it's gonna get packed! Music 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. No cover!
  • Post-Party: Formula 5 Phish After Party. Check out Formula 5, an up-and-coming band from Albany, and local boys Krunk Town Boogie after the show at W.O. Wrights, another one that's super close to the venue! Admission is $7 at the door but only $5 if you are wearing Phish apparel, pins, etc. You can also ride on WO's bus service going from the Nutter Center to WO Wrights. Show 9 p.m.-2 a.m. 18+.
  • Post-Party: Phish After Party with The Litz, The Big Damn Jam and Sexbox at Therapy Cafe. Head downtown to check out The Litz and The Big Damn Jam, who plan to keep you dancing into the night! Sexbox will be getting the party started and keeping the seats warm. Special guests to be announced! $5 cover. Doors 8 p.m. Show starts at 10 p.m.
  • Post-Party: Phish After Party at Jimmie's Ladder 11 with Jahman Brahman (uplifting musical vibrations from Asheville via Columbus, OH) and Cycles (Denver-based power trio). Show is FREE with Phish ticket stub. $5 without stub. Ages 21+.

Also in town on Tuesday is evening is the one and only Elvis Costello & The Imposters, making a stop in Dayton on his "Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers Tour" at Fraze Pavilion. Tickets are $55 - Orchestra. $35 - Lawn & Terrace. All ticket prices increase $5 day of show. Show at 8 p.m.

Jazz fans – don’t forget about the live jazz every single night of the week at Blue Note Bistro & Lounge in Miamisburg. It’s a lush setting, with swanky live music. A great place for dates, or meeting up with friends!

Also remember, The Square is Where is happening downtown at Courthouse Square, all summer! A variety of performers will take the stagearound the noontime lunch hour on most weekdays during the summer months (through September). Entertainment will include bands, dancers, live trivia, arts groups, acoustic musicians and more.

Food vendors also will set up on Courthouse Square each weekday, allowing downtown workers and others to grab lunch and take in the live entertainment while enjoying the outdoors downtown. Fun tournaments and other events also are planned to help you enjoy taking a break from the office, meeting up with friends and coworkers, and enjoying the sunshine during lunch! For a schedule of performers and events, click here.


Hope you all "have a summah!" And as always, thank you for supporting live music!

Your Dayton Music Insider,

Libby Ballengee

Note to Readers:  The information above is for July 14th-18th, 2017. If I don’t list a price, I’m not sure what it is. Typically cover charges for local concerts are $5. Please click the hyperlinks to find out more about the bands, venues, and events, including start times, directions, and ticket availability.   Keep up with my live music adventures on Facebook, Instagram, or  Twitter. Enjoy the show! 


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