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.

A World Premiere and Parlour Tricks

What a truly exciting time to be in Dayton! This weekend is not only filled to the brim with exciting entertainment options, which is par for the course these days, we are also hosting the World Premiere of a brand new opera, entitled "The Book Collector." The significance of this occasion can not be overstated. This is the first time the Dayton Opera has commissioned an original opera, and folks from all over the country are traveling here to experience it!

This epic event combines the world class talents of the Dayton Opera and Chorus, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, and the Dayton Ballet, in one unforgettable "Signature" event. As an Honorary Trustee for the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, I simply could not be prouder of this momentous accomplishment.

To learn more about this creative collaboration, as well as the interesting place you can witness some musical parlour tricks, keep reading!

Friday May 20th


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Three years ago the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was awarded a "Music Alive" grant by New Music USA to commission new pieces for all three branches of the Alliance: a short ballet performed as part of a repertory program, a score for the orchestra, and an one-act opera. During that time, composer Stella Sung has been traveling back and forth between Dayton and the University of Central Florida, where she works, to collaborate with the DPAA on these ambitious projects.

The final installment of those projects, the one act opera, is what debuts this weekend. "The Book Collector" is paired with Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana", a score you know, even if you don't recognize the name. Think back to the end of the intense blood ritual scene from The Doors movie. Yeah, it's that absolutely thrilling classical music you actually enjoy, but didn't know what it was called. That music is classic, but the problem is that it only lasts for one act.

"The Book Collector" is the solution to that problem, by creating a prequel story that leads into Act 2, which is the music of "Carmina Burana." Brilliant! The cutting edge 3D projected sets are equally imaginative. To learn more about this production, read on here.  For a fun podcast discussion about the process of creating this new opera, check out my interview with both the Conductor and Concert Master of the Dayton Philharmonic here.

How to go: Dayton Opera’s world premiere of “The Book Collector” followed by Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.” 8 p.m. Friday, May 20 and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22. Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center; 1 W. Second St., Dayton. Tickets: Range from $38 to $94 and are available at or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630. Senior and student discounts are available. ALSO: A short preview talk given by Stella Sung, Neal Gittleman and Tom Bankston will be presented an hour before each performance in the Mead Theatre.


Classic rock fans, you are in for a treat this evening too!  Former Creedence Clearwater Revival singer/songwriter/guitarist John Fogerty is bringing his fervent vocals and modernized rockabilly songs to Huber Heights, Ohio at Rose Music Center on Friday, May 20. Doors 6pm. Show 7pm. Tickets start at $53+


Another mixed entertainment downtown event is happening just down the street in the Oregon District at the Live! at Nucleus Co-Share event. It's a free evening of live music, live painting and spoken word poetry, running from 7-10pm. The folks over there are so energetic and inspiring, you'll be sure to be buzzing along with great vibes!

Team Void is celebrating the release of the 4th CD "Mexican Bus" at Trolley Stop tonight. Hear the album in its entirety live, as well has new songs from their upcoming album "Cursed To Rock The Living." Music gets started at 9:30pm. *I assume there is a $5 cover.


Must be a Blues kinda night. Catch Noah Wootherspoon at Oregon Express or Doug Hart at Tumbleweed Connection. Typically there is a $5 cover and music starts around 9:30pm.

Another blues act, but this one is young, can be found at The Joe Tellman show at The Dublin Pub. The evening starts off with Celtic music from 8-8:30, followed by jersey joe with some rock-n-roll until 9:15 (with guest artists), and then Joe Tellman gets going at 9:30. He's a 16-year-old from Springboro, who started playing the guitar when he was just 8 years old and hasn't put it down since! Despite what his age would imply, he's been in a few bands before creating his own.

Grateful Dead fans, you'll want to check out The Great Northern String Band at Jimmie's Ladder 11 this evening. This all-acoustic tribute band features some of Dayton's most talented musicians who came together over the love of Jerry. I feel ya - and I'll see ya there! What better way to party after an opera? Tonight there are count 'em - 3 sets! Starts at 9pm with a $5 cover.

Just wanna dance? Head over to Therapy Cafe for Vol 9 Deep House Fridays for an official Movement Pre-party with a 3 hour set from Chicago's DJ SNEAK. Self-proclaimed House Gangster, Sneak has helped shape the course of dance music since the early 90s; his early music influencing the likes of Daft Punk, Bassment Jaxx and Armand Van Helden.Tickets available here.

Meghna & the Majority is back from a hiatus with a super special show at WO Wrights. For the first time ever, Meghna invites her WSU students - along with her loyal fans and the general public - to join her as she steps out of the classroom and onto the stage for a show facetiously titled 'Office Hours'. Meghna has planned a unique and unforgettable live performance for this special event, featuring some of her own original music. Music starts at 9pm. $5 cover. Free drink before 10pm.


Are you in the suburbs? There's LOTS if your neck of the woods too. First off, my favorites, Subterranean are performing for free at Peach's in Yellow Springs. If you are a YS resident and have not seen this band, buckle up! You are in for some mind blowing music. 10pm.

South of town, U2 fans are rejoicing! One a U2 Tribute is performing at JD Legends in Franklin, from 8:30-11:30pm. $6 General Admission. VIP option available. For more information on tickets, click here, or get at the door.

Middletown is Taking it to the Streets quite literally with Bob Dellaposta and the Open Jam Band. Bob will host an open mic/jam once a month, all summer long, at the designated outdoor refreshment area in downtown Middletown, outside Murphy's Landing. Sound and lights are provided, so bring an instrument and jam and/or sing a song or two! 8pm.


Last, but certainly not least, the show my title alluded to... C.Wright's Parlour Tricks is playing a fiery brand of instrumental guitar-wrangling that gets toes tappin', heads turnin' and ears a'buzzin'! The fun part? It's a free show at Miami Valley Gaming! A reason to get down to the new casino in Lebanon. Even better? They are playing Saturday night too!

Saturday May 21st


Whew! After all that, we just got through one night! Saturday kicks off in a major way with the 7th Annual Big Brews and Blues for Diabetes Dayton. This event is the group's signature fundraiser to help generate revenue so that they can continue providing vital programs and services for children living with diabetes.

This event, held at the beautiful Riverscape Metro Park, offers a unique selection of draught craft beer for sampling and full tasting, along with an array of local blues bands live on stage and local cuisine. 4pm start time for the $50 VIP ticket. 5pm start time for regular admission, which is $35 advance, $40 at the gate. Ends at 9pm.

Want more Blues? Right across the street you can see Ira Stanley and the Dixie Peach at Riff Raff Tavern.  8:30pm-midnight.

Reminder: American Idiot at Victoria Theatre is also presented at 2pm and 8pm today!

Fifth Street Brew Pub is one of my favorite places downtown, and today there is live music in the biergarten! Steve King, a solo keyboardist who plays mostly 60’s and 70’s classic rock, will be performing from 7-10pm.


I'm fascinated to check out the psychedelic band Future Modern at Trolley Stop. Music starts at 9:30pm, and typically there is a $5 cover. I don't know a lot about this band - so if you love it - let me know!

A weird and wonderful line up at Bob's tonight: Weathervein (Dayton ambient grunge), The Flips (Chicago rock), Oceans Over Airplanes, (Indiana alternative), and Roco (Nashville indie rock). I'm assuming $5 cover, at least. 9pm. 21+ Enjoy!

For the jam band crowd, the Wham Bam Road Trip comes to Jimmie's Ladder 11, with music and festivities beginning at 9pm with the Mainline Funk followed by Electric Orange Peel. You can get your pre-sale ticket for the 7th Annual Wham Bam Thank U Jam there too! $5 cover

Ready to rock? Rockstar Pro Arena is hosting Pinkish Black  from Fort Worth, with local support from EnkiridianCricketbows, and ZUEL. 7:30pm doors. All ages show. Beer available with ID.

Out in Fairborn, Music Connection Dayton, LLC's 3rd installment of The Dayton Underground Series is being presented at WO Wrights. This month's showcase is packed with fantastic music from To No End, A Shade of Red, and ThunderTaker. There will also be a very special surprise duet between 2 of the sets. They are also collecting more donations for Helping the Homeless Dayton Ohio Making A Difference. $8 Advance Tickets - Available from all performing bands. $10 Day of Show Tickets. 18+ w/ ID. Doors at 8;30pm; Show at 9:30pm.

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The  Star City Bluegrass Jam is happening once again in Miamisburg at Star City Brewing. Mixing two great things, beer and bluegrass, is one sweet idea! Performers can sit in with others on the new stage, or if you're in a bluegrass group we would love to hear a few tunes. Sign up starts at 6pm at Star City. Music from 6-10pm.

Two fun Dayton characters in the music scene, Todd the Fox and Eric Jerardi, are taking their substantial talent to Springfield's Buckeye Sports Lodge. The lodge is open to the public, so don't be shy! 9pm. $5 cover. 21+

Sunday May 22nd

Reminder: Last chance to see the World Premiere of the Dayton Performing Arts Allicance's "The Book Collector" paired with Carmina Burana. Performance starts at 3pm.

Sunday Funday alert! Stop by the Songwriters Showcase at Jimmie's Ladder 11 from 3-6pm. This week's featured artists are Denny Cottle, Gregory Bogard, and Todd Clemmer. Free entry! Along with food and drink specials.

If you can swing some late night revelry, check out Army of Infants, The Harlequins, and SKRT, at Blind Bob's. *I cannot find start time or cost, unfortunately, but I'd assume 9pm $5 cover.

As always, thank you for supporting live music!

Your Dayton Music Insider,

Libby Ballengee

Note to Readers:  The information above is for May 20th-21st. 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 .

*NOTE TO MUSICIANS: Help me help you. When you make a FB event, or the event info on your page or website, can you be so kind as to state what the cover price is, what the ages allowed (all ages, 18+, 21+) and the *actual* start time of the show. Please and thank you.

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