Tag Archives: rock concert photographers

50 Best Concert Photos by Music Photographer Mara Robinson

Internationally published Akron and Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson has been photographing bands and concerts for over 10 years. She lives near Akron but travels worldwide. Mara is a portrait photographer at heart who specializes in music photography, concert photography, band photography, portrait photography, headshot photography,product photography, event photography and wedding photography.  

Mara honed her skills as an Akron and Cleveland music photographer and concert photographer, with the goal of capturing iconic images of the bands she loves. She attended concerts almost every week, photographing in the poorly lit venues peppering northeast Ohio. She jokes that she literally learned how to shoot in the dark.  She’s crossed state lines to attend shows in Chicago, Detroit, Pennsylvania and New York. She’s been a press photographer for several music festivals, including Nelsonville Music Festival, Brite Winter, and Pitchfork Music Festival and Riot Fest in Chicago. 

It wasn’t long before she became known throughout various music scenes as one of the best music photographers around. As we begin 2019, we wanted to look back at some of Mara’s best concert photos. We hope you enjoy them! 

Matthew Houck by Akron music photographer, Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Phosphorescent at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Boardman High School by Youngstown portrait photographer Mara Robinson
Project Mayhem concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Boardman High School by Youngstown portrait photographer Mara Robinson
Project Mayhem concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Michael Fitzpatrick music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Fitz and the Tantrums at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography of Michael Fitzpatrick, Noelle Scaggs by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Fitz and the Tantrums at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Jesse Keeler, Sebastien Grainger music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Death From Above 1979 at the House of Blues, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Keith Morris (OFF!. Black Flag) at Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Luke Spiller (The Struts) at the House of Blues, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Luke Spiller, The Struts, at the House of Blues, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Brit Floyd at the Akron Civic Theatre concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Boardman High School music photography by Youngstown portrait photographer Mara Robinson
Project Mayhem concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
The GOASTT music photography by Akron music photographer,
Sean Lennon, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (The GOASTT) at Nelsonville Music Festival, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photogrphy by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Charlotte Kemp Muhl, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (The GOASTT), at Nelsonville Music Festival, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
The GOASTT music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Hugh Mallard, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (The GOASTT) at Nelsonville Music Festival concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Boardman High School, music photography by Youngstown portrait photographer Mara Robinson
Project Mayhem concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Tallmadge portrait photographer Mara Robinson
Project Mayhem concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Youngstown portrait photographer, Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Project Mayhem concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Matthew Houck, band photo music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Phosphorescent at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Ishmael Butler music photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Butterfly, Digable Planets, at Musica concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
keytar, music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Howard Jones, Retro Futura tour, at Northfield Hard Rock Rocksino concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
band photo, music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Pavement at Pitchfork Music Festival 2010 concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
J Mascis, Dinosaur Jr, at Riot Fest Chicago, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Howard Jones, Retro Futura 2017, at Northfield Hard Rock Rocksino, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Stu Mackenzie, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, at Beachland Ballroom concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Shaun Fleming, Diane Coffee, at Beachland Ballroom concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Luna music band photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Dean Wareham, Britta Phillips (Luna) at the Grog Shop concet photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Yuck drummer music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Jonny Rogoff (Yuck) at Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Squeeze music photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Squeeze at the Goodyear Theater, concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Ezra Furman at Nelsonville Music Festival concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips) at Nelsonville Music Festival concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Sia dancer Maddie Ziegler, music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Sia at the Wolstein Center, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
band photography by Akron portrait photographer Mara Robinson,
Reeve Carney at Beachland Ballroom, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
band photo music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Modest Mouse at Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music potography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Bob Mould, Jon Wurster, at Riot Fest Chicago, concet photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Charles Bradley at Nelsonville Music Festival, concert photo by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Ted Ex Cleveland event photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Cloud Nothings concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Pet Sounds 50th anniversary 2017 tour by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) by concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
music band photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Paul Sprangers (Free Energy) at Pitchfork Music Festival concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Neko Case singer music photography by Akron portrait photographer Mara Robinson
Kelly Hogan, Pitchfork Music Festival 2011, by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
band photography by Akron music phortographer Mara Robinson
Kurt Vile at Pitchfork Music Festival 2011 by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Kurt Vile and the Violators music band photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Kurt Vile at the Grog Shop, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Lightning Bolt music photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Lightning Bolt, Brian Chippendale, Brian Gibson, at Pitchfork Music Festival, concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
band photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Mucca Pazza at the Nelsonville Music Festival concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
BRMC music photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Peter Hayes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, at the House of Blues, by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Black Francis, Pixies, music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Frank Black, Joey Santiago, Pixies, at Blossom Music Center, concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Free Energy guitarist music photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Scott Wells, Free Energy, at the Happy Dog concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Andrew Scott, Patrick Pentland, Chris Murphy, Jay Ferguson at the Grog Shop by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Sloan concert photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
band photography by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Scott Terry (Red Wanting Blue) and Will Hoge at Goodyear Theater concert photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Dean Dinning, Glen Phillips, Jonathan Kingham, Todd Nichols, band photography by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Kent Stage by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson

 

 

Mara enjoys good music from every genre and style. She’s a fully independent portrait and event photographer with a fully insured LLC. Whenever we need photography, we use Mara.  

All photos shown here are available for purchase. Prints, wall art, canvas, velvet metal prints and products are available at www.MaraRobinson.com. Simply click the images you want to purchase and add the sizes you want to your cart. 

Learn more and see much more of her wonderful photography at www.MaraRobinson.com

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Sloan Live at the Grog Shop, Cleveland

Canadian rock band Sloan has been making music together with the same lineup since 1991, and Blown Speakers recently caught them on the latest leg of their tour at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. 

Sloan released their 12th full-length album on April 6, simply called 12, and it’s every bit as strong as their prior releases. In fact, I think they keep getting better, and I find myself reaching for the more recent releases more often than even their most acclaaimed earlier material. 

Sloan by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson Photography
Sloan by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

It’s not lost on me to be incredibly grateful that Sloan continues to make Cleveland a stop on their tour schedules. Whereas Blown Speakers has been forced to cross state lines for other bands who don’t come closer than New York, Chicago or Detroit, Sloan thankfully keeps coming back to the Grog Shop regularly. 

Tonight, the front row is peppered with teens and pre-teens; budding musicians commenting on the band’s gear and oohing over the pedal boards. Athough we still feel 21 — and you can’t convince us that we’re the same age as those middle-aged grey-beards at the back of the house — it’s nice to see that Sloan still resonates with today’s kids. As Sloan said their goodbyes for the night and exited the stage, Chris Murphy gave high-fives to the kids in the front.  

Chris Murphy of Sloan high-fives the crowd by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson Photography
Chris Murphy of Sloan by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Patrick Pentland of Sloan by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson Photography
Patrick Pentland of Sloan by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Sloan band live in concert by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Sloan by Mara Robinson

All photos by internationally published Cleveland / Akron music photographer Mara Robinson. See more photos at MaraRobinson.com 

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Red Wanting Blue, Will Hoge, The Building at Goodyear Theater

Internationally published music photographer Mara Robinson visited Akron’s Goodyear Theater last night and captured Red Wanting Blue, Will Hoge, and The Building live in concert.  

First up was The Building, featuring quiet and pretty songs by Boardman’s own Anthony LaMarca (The War on Drugs) and his brother, Angelo, who wasn’t playing.  His band featured Andrew Carlson on bass, Jason Lawrence on drums and guitar, Sam Buonavolonta on guitar and organ, and Nathan Phillips on piano.

Anthony LaMarca by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
The Building by Mara Robinson
Anthony LaMarca by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
The Building by Mara Robinson
Anthony LaMarca by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
The Building by Mara Robinson
Anthony LaMarca by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
The Building by Mara Robinson
Anthony LaMarca by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
The Building by Mara Robinson

 

 

 

Next, Will Hoge took the stage for a solo acoustic set, save for one last song where he was joined by Red Wanting Blue. It really would have been nice to see more of that go down.

Will Hoge by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Will Hoge by Mara Robinson
Scott Terry, Will Hoge by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Scott Terry, Will Hoge by Mara Robinson
Scott Terry, Will Hoge by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Scott Terry, Will Hoge by Mara Robinson

 

 

Lastly, Red Wanting Blue took the stage, giving an outlet to a crowd  that had become increasingly more restless as they chattered nonstop through the first two mellow acts. People took to their feet, and by the third song huddled into the space between the stage and the first row. Apparently that’s a no-go at the Goodyear Theater, but people quietly complied as police ordered everyone back to their seats. 

Red Wanting Blue by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Red Wanting Blue by Mara Robinson
Red Wanting Blue by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Red Wanting Blue by Mara Robinson
Red Wanting Blue by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Red Wanting Blue by Mara Robinson
Will Hoge sings with Scott Terry of Red Wanting Blue by Cleveland music photographer Mara Robinson
Will Hoge, Scott Terry by Mara Robinson
Red Wanting Blue by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Red Wanting Blue by Mara Robinson

All photos by internationally published Cleveland / Akron music photographer Mara Robinson. See more photos at MaraRobinson.com

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Photo Recap: Toad The Wet Sprocket at Kent Stage

The threatening skies over Kent held off just long enough to have a clear evening leading up to show time. The downtown area surrounding The Kent Stage was already abuzz with early fans waiting to see Toad the Wet Sprocket in their original glory. In the years since their prominence in the ’90s, the enduring foursome have continued to periodically travel and pack venues to maximum capacity, and tonight is no exception. 

Megan Slankard by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Megan Slankard by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Megan Slankard by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Megan Slankard by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

The sold-out crowd was first greeted by the impressionable talents of Megan Slankard, joined on stage by Adam Nash on slide/rhythm guitar and percussion. The San Francisco duo brightened early concert-goers with friendly and inviting banter and an acoustic guitar style that combined the flair of modern Nashville with radio-friendly folk rock. Her powerful voice blended country soul with distinct clarity that gave each song a certain strength and personal touch.

Megan Slankard and Adam Nash by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Megan Slankard & Adam Nash by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Adam Nash by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Adam Nash by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

In a touching moment, Megan and Adam paid special tribute to Aretha Franklin and celebrated her legacy by performing an intimate rendition of I Say a Little Prayer. The Toad fans in the audience really appreciated her expressive and energetic style, and were brought to their feet several times during her set to praise her outstanding gifts. Megan’s performance captured the attention of the crowd and provided the necessary shot of energy in preparation for the coming of Toad.

Adam Nash by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Adam Nash by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Megan Slankard by Akron rock photographer Photography Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Megan Slankard by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

After a moving audio tribute to The Queen of Soul on an empty stage, Toad the Wet Sprocket stepped out to bring the same love to the capacity crowd.  Joining lead vocalist Glen Philips at the front stage mics was Todd Nichols on guitar and Dean Dinning on bass. Atop the back risers was long-standing support from Jonathan Kingham on keyboards, mandolin, and lap steel guitar (you may remember him from our coverage of Glen’s solo show last year at Cleveland’s Music Box) and a talented stand-in drummer Josh Daubin, who looks like a more handsome, better-coiffed Bo Burnham. 

Glen Phillips Toad the Wet Sprocket by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Glen Phillips, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

Glen — with his trademark bare feet — remarked that he and the band were glad to be back in Kent again. Even though it’s been about seven years since the last time the full band was in town, Glen mentioned he’d usually visit during his solo tours in the winter, with the cold snow and no one walking around. But now, in the summer, “it’s a different place, it’s green, there are people. You tricked me!”

Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Todd Nichols, Glen Phillips, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Todd Nichols, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Todd Nichols, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

Toad started their set with This Moment from their latest release, New Constellation, a great example of the modern approach to their classic style, with signature harmonizing and an upbeat and catchy chorus. From there, they rolled into a trio of songs through their decorated ’90s catalog: endearing Crowing from DulcineaWhatever I Fear, the energetic opener from Coil; and then a crowd-rising sing along of their breakout hit from Fear, All I Want. They even featured a duo of their more memorable songs from In Light Syrup: Good Intentions, the irresistible tale of poor choices and bad experiences, and the uplifting and heartfelt Brother. Before long, the entire crowd finally got out of their seats and started rocking out on their feet.

Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Jonathan Kingham, Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Jonathan Kingham, Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Jonathan Kingham, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Jonathan Kingham, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

The bulk of their set list covered their current sound from the New Constellation and Architect of the Ruin releases, including Architect of the Ruin, Golden Age, Enough, and their ode to the west coast, California Wasted. They still capture the chemistry that makes their songs connect so well with their fans. Their sound keeps the core elements of inspired and emotional songwriting, infectious pop phrasing, and harmonic depth, but now with a modern polish and process.

Glen Phillips, Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Glen Phillips, Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

They also offered a large selection from their standout albums from the ’90s, Fear and Dulcinea. Within the first few notes of each song, the individual reaction from the die-hards in the crowd was incredible to behold. It remains their strongest musical work and is home to many fan favorites, like Windmills, Fly From Heaven, and Nightingale Song. They closed out the night with the big riff energy of Fall Down, and rewarded the cheering crowd for an encore with two of their biggest hits, Something’s Always Wrong and Walk on the Ocean.

Glen Phillips, Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Glen Phillips, Dean Dinning, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

But the crowd wasn’t made up completely of die-hard fans; there were some newcomers as well. Before the show began, a gentleman and his wife took their seats next to us and asked if we knew “whether the bands tonight are any good.” He admitted he’d never heard of either act, but I assured him he’d most certainly heard several Toad songs over the years. So what brought them to the show? Well, the answer will rekindle your faith in the goodness of humanity. Earlier that day, the gentleman inadvertently met Glen at a pizza shop. When Glen realized he’d forgotten his wallet, the gentleman graciously paid for him, and Glen gave him two tickets to the show in return. 

Glen Phillips, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron rock photographer Mara Robinson Photography www.MaraRobinson.com
Glen Phillips, Toad the Wet Sprocket by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

Since Toad’s reunion, they have achieved a renewed success that few could have predicted. After reclaiming songs from their early catalog with All You Want in 2011, and the vinyl reissues of Fear and Dulcinea, they released New Constellation independently as a crowdfunded project on their own label. Toad the Wet Sprocket is poised to continue bringing their stories to the world long into the foreseeable future, and we can only hope they will choose to do so.

For more details on tour dates and venues, and more news from the band, visit Toad the Wet Sprocket’s official website.

All photos by internationally published Cleveland / Akron music photographer Mara Robinson. See more photos at MaraRobinson.com

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Photo Recap: Matthew Sweet at Beachland Ballroom

After releasing two new albums in two years, Matthew Sweet and his trusted musical crew of Ric Menck on drums, Paul Chastain on bass, and John Moremen on solo guitar made their way back to Cleveland and ready to bring tunes from Tomorrow Forever and Tomorrow’s Daughter to the masses.

During our interview with Matthew for his last visit to Cleveland, he mentioned that this latest batch of songs could be more than just one album, with a possible bonus disc of demos. Considering the energetic burst of writing and recording that Matthew’s done since his move back to Nebraska and re-establishing his home studio, it carries little surprise that there were enough complete extras to form another full album. 

The songs from Tomorrow’s Daughter and last year’s crowdfunded release, Tomorrow Forever, mark a new creative milestone in Matthew’s musical journey and certainly his most prolific and exciting period of songwriting since the Altered Beast period. The plethora of B-sides, demos, and live cuts, along with the Son of Altered Beast EP could equal out to a full album worth of material. With Tomorrow’s Daughter, it’s like getting all those hidden gems in one package. Don’t think that these songs wouldn’t have the same quality as the songs that were chosen for Tomorrow Forever; they definitely merit a separate release as a complementary volume to this musical chapter. It’s better to have a full album like Daughter than to let these songs never get heard. 

John Moremen, Matthew Sweet, Ric Menck by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
John Moremen, Matthew Sweet, Ric Menck by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Matthew Sweet & Ric Menck by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Matthew Sweet, Ric Menck by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

Matthew and the band started the evening with Time Capsule, one of his most popular tunes from the critically-acclaimed Altered Beast. The connection with fan base from the Girlfriend and Altered Beast anniversary tours showed that his most popular albums from the early-to-mid-’90s still have a lasting impression with fans. Matthew’s live set is best-known for heavy hitters like Girlfriend, Evangeline and I’ve Been Waiting, and heartfelt ballads like Winona and The Devil With The Green Eyes, which blend beautifully with the raw sound of his current releases.

Ric Menck by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Ric Menck byCleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Paul Chastain by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
Paul Chastain by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

For the next song, he launched into Byrdgirl from 2010’s Sunshine Lies. It’s a treat to hear rare songs that don’t often appear live on stage. These deep cuts and personal faves perfectly bind the current vibe of the new songs with the classic Girlfriend guitar rock that signifies Matthew’s sound. He still includes songs from the fantastic 100% Fun like We’re The Same and Sick of Myself with multiple fake-out big rock endings to keep the crowd going for more.

Ric Menck, Matthew Sweet, Paul Chastain by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Ric Menck, Matthew Sweet, Paul Chastain by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com
John Moremen & Matthew Sweet by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
John Moremen, Matthew Sweet by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

Following that, the band kicked off with Pretty Please from Tomorrow Forever, a stomping rhythm rocker that recalls the attacking riff style of Altered Beast and Kimi Ga Suki Raifu. The Tomorrow Forever songs really match well with big hits and crowd pleasers from Matthew’s vast catalog. Songs like Trick bring back the hook-laden power pop of 100% Fun, with an interesting mix of slower songs that show a deeper and darker side to Matthew’s songwriting. Songs in the set like The Searcher from Tomorrow Forever, with its Dinosaur Act pedal feedback leading into the drifty sway of the ocean, and Show Me from Tomorrow’s Daughter, keep an even driving rock beat with the emotional and down tempo feel.

Ric Menck,, Matthew Sweet, Paul Chastain by Akron music photographer Mara Robinson
Ric Menck,, Matthew Sweet, Paul Chastain by Cleveland rock photographer Mara Robinson www.MaraRobinson.com

Throughout the evening, the entire group delivered the goods with a cool and relaxed spirit, and it seemed that Matthew’s performance was more at ease than in previous years. The torch bearers for the ’70s stadium guitar power pop of Cheap Trick, Big Star and ELO are few and far between in today’s music environment, but Matthew’s enduring style evokes their energy in ever evolving ways. Now that he can produce music independently with the support from his devoted and generous fans, he has no reason to hold back on his next creative effort. The next era of Matthew Sweet has a lot to offer, and it’s guaranteed to rock.

For more details on tour dates, latest releases, and more news, visit Matthew Sweet’s official website.

All photos by internationally published Cleveland / Akron music photographer Mara Robinson. See more photos at MaraRobinson.com

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