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Commentary: Avoid finals week blues with December holiday concerts

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Drake performs at the Galen Center in Los Angeles March 5, 2012. He is scheduled to perform Dec. 13 at Nationwide Arena. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Drake performs at the Galen Center in Los Angeles March 5, 2012. He is scheduled to perform Dec. 13 at Nationwide Arena.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Columbus has a lively, budding music scene, with dozens of places to hear live music that draw in a range of talented artists. Each month, The Lantern will highlight some of the best acts to come through the city. Stay tuned to see what we think is worth the ticket price.

Over the Rhine — Thursday at Lincoln Theatre 

I fell for Over the Rhine one winter in high school — and that’s exactly the kind of sound the band has. It’s an old school, wintry sound that makes you want to curl up with hot chocolate near the fireplace of your childhood home. The group is possibly the oldest Ohio-born band you’ve never heard of, but it is a hidden treasure of the Midwest. Over the Rhine formed in 1989 and is named after the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati.

The band has a mellow, Americana sound, which will be perfect for students looking for a bit of a change of pace from the common, throbbing Thursday night club music. So if you’re looking for a study break this Thursday that won’t leave you with a hangover and pages of texts you regret, check out Over the Rhine instead of hitting up the bars to blow off some steam and de-stress.

Over the Rhine is set to take the stage at 8 p.m., and tickets are available online starting at $34.80, including fees.

Holiday Pops — Friday-Sunday at Ohio Theatre

If you need a little Christmas cheer to get you through finals week, a trip to see the Columbus Symphony Orchestra might be just the ticket. It can be easy to lose sight of the season when buried in study guides and final paper research. Some of the most magical holiday music comes from strings alone, and experiencing the swells of holiday music live is perhaps the best way to beat finals week blues. The Christmas tradition is conducted by Ronald J. Jenkins, and accompanied by the Columbus Symphony Chorus, Columbus Children’s Choir and BalletMet Dance Academy for the complete holiday experience.

Santa is even scheduled to appear onstage, so for anyone who still loves the childlike magic of Christmas, this show will be just right to celebrate a little early.

Shows are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available online starting at $31.25, including fees.

Drake — Dec. 13 at Nationwide Arena

One of the biggest shows of the season is likely to be this smash of a headliner: Drake. The tour was originally set to come to Columbus in October, but was rescheduled “due to an intense rehearsal schedule and technical production requirements that will be part of the show,” according to a press release. This likely just built up already growing anticipation for Drake’s show, and in a season that has seen a score of other canceled shows, including Kanye West in November and the Jonas Brothers in October, at least Drake is coming back.

For anyone sticking around Columbus post-finals week or those who can return for a one-tank trip, Drake is a must-see.

The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and feature opening acts Miguel and Future. Tickets are available online starting at $36.85, including fees.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra — Dec. 26 at Nationwide Arena

Nothing epitomizes Christmas music quite like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The group is widely known for the sounds of the season as well as wild theatrics accompanying its shows onstage. Think of a combination of blazing light shows and powerhouse Christmas staples with a twist — that’s what TSO shows are made of. While the group isn’t set to visit Columbus until the day after Christmas, we’re lucky to have them so near the holiday at all, and the show is sure to not lose any of its wonder even coming a day late.

Seeing the TSO is a can’t-miss experience that is more than just an average Christmas concert. Making a trip back to Columbus or just downtown, wherever you’re heading in from, is well worth the time and expense.

There are two TSO shows scheduled in Columbus for 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. that day, and tickets are available online starting at $40.05, including fees.

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