Akron concert series kicks off at Jillian’s

Ben Plassard

Ryan Humbert is performing at the first Rubber City Review concert Saturday in Akron. COURTESY OF RYAN HUMBERT

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Downtown Akron is about to get a lot louder.

The Rubber City Review Concert Series, a new monthly local music showcase, begins Saturday at Jillian’s in downtown Akron.

The concert series is the creation of Ryan Humbert and Danielle Bergdorf, who agreed the shows are an effort to bring more local music to Akron.

“We are hoping that people will get to know local music,” said Bergdorf, who is in charge of promotions and booking at Jillian’s. “We want people in Akron to have something else to do downtown instead of drink at a bar and dance at a club.”

Both Humbert and Bergdorf said downtown Akron is lacking in live music. With the exception of the Lime Spider, Akron does not have a downtown forum that will consistently feature good, local live music.

“Our goal is to once a month have people hear four good quality bands,” said Humbert, who is also a performer and promoter of the concert. “We think Jillian’s is a great place to achieve this.”

Each concert will consist of four bands, each playing a 45-minute set. The first show will take place in the Blue Cat Lounge and during the summer months will take place outside on the patio.

Humbert, who has a history of putting together shows in Akron, will perform at each show, with each one rotating between acoustic and full-band. Humbert will also serve as event host as well as show producer, as he hand-picked the bands himself.

“The Akron music scene is strong,” Humbert said. “We want to showcase this talent and make people aware of great local music.”

Along with Humbert and his band, Saturday’s show will feature The Whiskeydrifters, a hard rock/rockabilly band who recently opened a show for Audioslave. Also featured will be Brian Lisik, a singer/songwriter formerly of Giants of Science.

Rachel Roberts and The Family Band will also perform. Roberts and her band are a funk/groove type band Humbert said. He said he thinks all four bands will bring something different to the stage when they perform.

Humbert said he thinks future shows look promising as well. Upcoming performers include Tracey Thomas, Anne E. DeChant, Chris Allen, Benjamin Payne, and The Speedbumps. Humbert also said that Jaded Era, a nationally touring band from Akron, may be a feature act in the future as well.

“We want to keep this going all year,” Bergdorf said about future shows. “We want it to catch on and become a constant thing.”

The Rubber City Review Concert Series begins at

9 p.m. this Saturday at Jillian’s in downtown Akron. Admission is $5 at the door.

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Ben Plassard at [email protected].