Music venues: By foot and by car

Kate Bigam

The Kent Stage, located on East Main Street, is a Kent-area landmark. It features a variety of genres, such as folk, jazz and even blues. TIM MAGAW | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The Locals

• Club Khameleon

626 N. Water St., Kent

(330) 673-6606 or

Part bar, part dance club and wholly music venue, Club Khameleon is a favorite among local music snobs. This fun, funky bar features upcoming local artists from across Northeast Ohio and serves a full menu from Mugzee’s, the neighboring wing joint.

• Kent Stage

175 East Main St., Kent

(330) 677-5005 or

This historic landmark is quintessentially Kent – its quirky, eclectic lineup features jazz, folk and blues artists from abroad and at home, and draws crowds of old hippies and young students alike.

• The Outpost

4962 state Route 43, Kent

(330) 678-9667 or

Students who’ve been at Kent State for years oftentimes don’t know this off-the-beaten-path venue exists, but it’s worth noting that many of the area’s most popular local acts play here, including Sanity Fare and local legend The Numbers Band.

• The Robin Hood

503 E Main St., Kent

(330) 677-0008 or

Billed as “the first stop, the last stop, the only stop” for music in Kent, the freshly renovated Robin Hood is open under new management with an ear for local talent. Locals favorites such as Tropidelic, The Dr. Teeeth and Unicron regularly play gigs at this 18+ bar.

By Car

• The Agora

5000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

(216) 881-6700 or

Plan to make a trip to Cleveland this fall, because Dropkick Murphys, Motion City Soundtrack and Regina Spektor are all making their way to the Agora. Once voted Billboard Magazine’s number one rock club in the country, the venue’s lineup of both new and established acts rarely disappoints.

• Beachland Ballroom and Tavern

15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland

(216) 383-1124 or

Fans of the super-indie underground scene frequent this former Croatian social club to admire the likes of Nickel Creek, Matt Nathanson, and Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips. The free jukeboxes and pinball machine are an added bonus.

• Blossom Music Center

1145 West Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls

(330) 920-8040 or

Just down the road in nearby Cuyahoga Falls, Blossom is an 800-acre outdoor venue with expansive lawn seating and a massive pavilion. When the weather’s nice, big names such as Fall Out Boy, Nickelback and the Dave Matthews Band take to the stage.

• Cleveland State University Wolstein Center

2000 Prospect Ave., Cleveland

(216) 687-9292 or

You name it, the Wolstein Center’s got it – big-name pop, county, metal and hip-hop acts have all graced this stage. With 12,000 seats, it’s basically a smaller version of Cleveland’s other big-name venue, Quicken Loans Arena, but it still maintains that “I’m at an awesomely huge concert!” feeling.

• The Grog Shop

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights

(216) 321-5588 or

This place was indie way before indie was cool. A haven for national underground acts and budding local artists, the Grog holds large crowds but still feels intimate. If you see a band play the Grog, chances are good that it’ll become a big hit soon.

• House of Blues

308 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

(216) 523-2583 or

As the newest addition to Cleveland’s concert scene, the downtown House of Blues is notorious for hosting up-and-coming indie stars, a la Sara Bareilles, Copeland, Tegan & Sara and Ari Hest. It’s a corporate franchise, sure, but that doesn’t take away from its hipness.

• Peabody’s

2083 East 21st St., Cleveland

(216) 776-9999 or

If you’re a rocker, this is the venue for you. No longer located in the somewhat-shady Flats area, Peabody’s new location still has the same old philosophy – rocking out. Bring cash: There’s a $4 cover charge for anyone younger than 21.

• Plain Dealer Pavilion

2014 Sycamore Street, Cleveland

(440) 247-2722 or

Located alongside the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland’s formerly hoppin’ Flats district, the amphitheater (also known as Nautica or Scene) changes names more often than freshmen change majors. You’ll have to sit on bleachers, but it’s usually worth it – this outdoor venue is spacious and airy, and there’s not a bad seat in the house.

• Time Warner Cable Amphitheater

Tower City, 351 Canal Road, Cleveland

(216) 522-4822 or

Over the course of one August weekend, the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater (also referred to as the Tower City Pavilion) hosted Matisyahu, Meatloaf and O.A.R. – how’s that for a varied lineup? Be warned, though: It’s not exactly a comfortable venue, so wear comfortable shoes and plan to stand.

• Quicken Loans Arena

1 Center Court, Cleveland

(800) 820-2287 or

Bring out the big guns, because this is where the celebrities stop. Commonly referred to as “The Q” and sometimes even by its old title, Gund Arena, this massive stadium hosts everything from Cavaliers’ basketball games to Disney on Ice shows to concerts by big names such as BeyoncŠ and Maroon 5.

• Wilbert’s

812 Huron Road, Cleveland

(216) 902-4663 or

This self-described “restaurant-slash-roots music venue” serves affordable southern cuisine and books jazz, blues and reggae acts from around the country. Make a dinner reservation after you’ve purchased a ticket, or you’ll end up listening hungry.