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.
Ideamen, Water Towers and Basic Cable Preachers — Jan. 14 at Bernie’s Bagels & Deli / The Distillery
If the cold persists throughout the month of January in a manner anything like what Columbus has been experiencing this week, ducking into Bernie’s for a live show might sound like the best way to spend a chilly Tuesday night. Luckily, some great acts are coming to the hole-in-the-wall bar this month. Ideamen is a Chicago-native alternative rock group, self-described as one “best seen live to appreciate.” The band is piano heavy and flits through original and cover songs in its sets, with really something for everyone.
Water Towers and Basic Cable Preachers are both young, local bands, one with an alternative rock feel while the other is self-described as “energetic pop-rock with heartache,” respectively. Both bands round out the show by offering something a little different and have been around just long enough to have truly found their footing as far as developing their signature sounds. As someone who has watched Basic Cable Preachers grow over the past few years, you’re not going to want to miss hearing these guys live.
The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., and entrance is available with a $7 cover for all ages.
Luke Bryan — Jan. 16 at the Schottenstein Center
Luke Bryan is one of the most prominent country stars of our time, and luckily for Columbus, he’s coming back to town this month. Last visiting in August 2012, Bryan’s That’s My Kind of Night tour is kicking off in Columbus next week. That means concertgoers to this Jan. 16 show will get a taste of the tour before anyone else — and it’s sure to be a good one.
Coming off a year in which he won four major music awards including Entertainer of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, Bryan is riding a high in his career. After seeing him live twice in the past three years, I can say from experience that he is an incredible performer, and any country music lovers looking to escape the winter blues in favor of the flavor of summer ought to find themselves at this show.
The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. with Lee Brice and Cole Swindell opening. A limited number of resale tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band — Jan. 18 at Newport Music Hall
Missing the King of Pop? For those who missed seeing Michael Jackson live before his death in 2009, settling for the next best thing will have to do. The band is the longest-running Michael Jackson tribute band, according to its website, and covers an extensive catalogue of his music.
While it’s impossible to deliver the way the original king did in his prime, Who’s Bad does fill Jackson’s shoes as well as a group could. For a night of nostalgia and time travel back to the time when Jackson ruled the world of pop, be sure to check out this show.
The doors are set to open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available for $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show.
Panic! At The Disco — Jan. 24 at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
For those with nostalgia that doesn’t quite reach back to the ‘80s, but instead settles more in the angsty 2000s, Panic! At The Disco is back on tour, delighting the middle school version of many 20-somethings. And don’t worry — the briefly absent “!” is back.
For more than just nostalgia, returning fans ought to check out this show to catch the evolution of Panic! as a band. The band always had sort of an odd distinction about it, and while its newer music is still accented by Brendon Urie’s ever-recognizable voice, it also has a more modern quality to it. Whether the changes to a more pop-driven sound is for the better is personal preference, but I recommend checking out “This is Gospel” from the group’s latest album to decide for yourself. And even if it’s just for nostalgia’s sake, consider checking out the live show when Panic! erupts in Columbus.
Opening artists are The Colourist and X Ambassadors, and doors are scheduled to open at 7 p.m. Tickets are sold out through Ticketmaster, but some are still available through Stubhub.