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Greg's Top Ten
For 2021


December 21, 2021

After only attending about fifteen events last year, things got a little more back to normal as I was fortunate to attend over fifty events this year.

This makes it much more difficult to come up with my Top Ten Concerts for 2021.  There were so many artists that came through town this year, some for the first time and some who haven’t played in the area for years!


Here is my list for the Top Ten Concerts that I attended for 2021.


10.  Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Robins Theatre (Warren)  

This young man has the blues oozing through his body.  He can play any type of blues that you want, traditional 12 bar blues, slow blues jams, and more rockin’ up tempo blues, he can do it all.  Like he said in his song, “there’s something in the dirt” in Mississippi that makes great bluesmen.  Be on the lookout for this great artist. 


9.  Judas Priest, Covelli Centre (Youngstown) 

Celebrating “50 Heavy Metal Years” Rob Halford and company put on an outstanding show.  He can still hit the screams and the band is still tight, even though the only long time members are Halford and Ian Hill.  Richie Faulkner has taken over for KK Downing since 2011 and Andy Sneap is playing for an ailing Glenn Tipton. 

8.  The Nielsen Trust, Robins Theater and The Vinoski Winery (Warren and Pittsburgh)

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick decided to make it a family affair this summer when he took out his son Daxx, his other son Miles and Miles' wife on tour to play some classic Cheap Trick tunes.   Miles' voice is very similar to Robin Zander's and to bea able to hear so many Cheap Trick songs that they don't normally play was a treat.  They were so good, I decided to see them twice in two weeks! 

7.  Wonderstruck Music Festival, Lakeland Community College (Kirtland)

The former LaureLive concert was renamed last year, but due to Covid, it had to be postponed.  This years festival got a new name and a new venue at Lakeland Community College.  The two day music festival featured headliners Portugal. The Man, Walk The Moon, AJR, Third Eye Blind as well as several up and comers like Trombone Shorty and DayGlow.  I am looking forward to this years festival.


6.  Hella Mega Tour, Historic Crew Stadium (Columbus)

What a great triple bill of pop-punk.  Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Green Day made a stop at the Historic Crew Stadium for five hours of great rock and roll.  This was one of the first big rock festivals in Ohio and one could just feel the pent up energy of the crowd.  When Green Day hit the stage, it was a huge release of joy and happiness as we got a sense of normalcy and community that only concert going fans can experience.  


5.  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse (Cleveland)

Part awards show, part concert, this years Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions brought out the big names for performances.  And we got some iconic ones.  From Taylor Swift opening the show, to hearing Carole King perform and play the piano, to LL Cool J and Eminem stealing the show with perhaps the best performance, to a reunited GoGos and finally the Foo Fighters playing with Paul McCartney.  It's a once in a lifetime concert.  Unfortunately, the inductions will be in LA next year.  Cleveland will get to shine in 2024 even though it should be in Cleveland every year. 


4.  Bruce Springsteen, St. James Theatre (New York)

Bruce on Broadway.  Yes, please!  I was fortunate to snag a $100 ticket to one of his June performances.  Updating his show from his earlier run, Bruce was able to  weave his life story between fifteen songs.  I'm a sucker for a storytellers type of show, and Bruce is the best storyteller around.   Laughs, goosebumps, tears and smiles.  Not many performers can get those emotions out of me, but Bruce can. 


3.  Sammy Hagar and The Circle, The Agora (Cleveland)

The Red Rocker and The Circle were supposed to play at The Rock Hall in the fall of 2020.  But you know what happened.  This time, he played to a sold out audience at The Agora and played several Van Halen songs from his era as well as many of his solo hits.  The man still knows how to put on a show!

2.  Mammoth WVH, House of Blues (Cleveland)

Something very special happened at the House of Blues in August.  Over 2000 fans got the witness one of the best new, rock and roll bands.  They also saw a man come into his own as the leader of that band.  His name is Wolfgang Van Halen.  Even though he sang and played every instrument on his debut album, this band was tight, confident and having fun!  This was close to being my number one show, it was that good!  I can not wait to see what the next few years holds for Mammoth WVH.  I will be there to follow them every step of the way. 


1.   Foo Fighters,  Andrew Berry Music Center (Cincy)

What can I say?  They are my favorite touring rock and roll band.  Dave Grohl and company never fail to put on a kick ass rock and roll show!  This was no exception.  Touring behind the new album, Medicine At Midnight and the just released record story day Dee Gees album that features Bee Gees covers, the band played tunes from both of those albums as well as tons of hits and even a couple deep cuts.  This concert alone proved why they got inducted into the Rock Hall on the first year of eligibility. 

2021 was the year that somewhat got us back to normal.  Many venues and artist still required vaccines and masks, but to me, it was all worth it to be able to rock out together.

Here's to hoping that 2022 will lead us back to pre-pandemic ways.  There are already a lot of concerts that have been announced!  I know I'm looking forward to seeing the Foo Fighters and Iron Maiden again.  I hope your favorite artist comes to town and if they do, I will be there to cover the show!  

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