While the term “rock ‘n’ roll” was coined back in the 1950s here in Cleveland, you believe that the true sound of rock originated in the late 60s, 70s and early 80s. You’re no stranger to guitar riffs, gritty acoustics, big hair, metal and Americana. You’re the ultimate classic rocker.
So, if you’re not already in town for a legendary rock band that’s playing at one of Cleveland’s large-scale music venues like Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Wolstein Center or Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, then it’s best to ‘Carry on My Wayward Son’ (or daughter) with this Cleveland itinerary.
Day 1: Rock Roots
BREAKFAST: The coffee craze has moved beyond talls and ventis thanks to establishments like Rising Star Coffee, which offers discerning customers free trade coffee grown in sustainable ways.
MORNING: At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, journey through the storied history of this turbulent music that forever changed the face of music and the world. Hear 'em all: Clapton, Springsteen, Hendrix, Jagger and friends.
LUNCH: You thought you knew a grilled cheese sandwich, but with one look at the menu at Melt Bar & Grilled, you’ll have to re-think that idea. Added bonus: The owner is a huge music fan, which reflects in the awesome tunes heard overhead and the original menus being printed on record covers.
AFTERNOON: In Ohio City, Great Lakes Brewing Company is spinning yet another beer-y hit with its reissued Turntable Pils. Don’t stop there. Take a tour (and try some samples) at this historic and eco-friendly brewery and brewpub.
DINNER: Dine along East 4th Street at the House of Blues, featuring a Southern-style menu. Plan your trip accordingly and you might just get to see a great live musician or cover band playing in the attached concert venue.
THE SHOW: While not all the rock churning out of Music Box Supper Club is classic, this place is no stranger to the sound—especially when it comes to some serious classic rock tribute bands. Above and beyond that, we recommend getting familiar with this music joint, as they’re booking some legit talent.
LATE NIGHT: Want to step foot into the actual building where Bruce Springsteen performed his famous 1978 live concert in Cleveland? Then get yourself to the Cleveland Agora for a show. Throughout its storied history, this place helped catapult the careers of legendary rockers like David Bowie, Metallica, the Clash, Neil Young, Lou Reed and Patti Smith.
Day 2: Play All Day
BRUNCH: Not only is The Winchester Music Tavern a great spot for shows from local and national touring rock acts, it also hosts legendary brunches every Saturday and Sunday featuring themed music programming and frequent drag brunches.
AFTERNOON: It’s time to blow off some steam and find the wizard within at Superelectric Pinball Parlor, where you can choose from more than 20 machines. Whether you're a fan of 1950's vintage classics or today's freshly minted faves, grab a drink (and maybe even an afternoon snack of fried chicken) and get clickin'. Afterwards, lace up a pair of bowling shoes at Mahall’s in Lakewood for some strikes and spares (and great music).
DINNER: Tucked away in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood sits a local gem known as the Parkview Nite Club. The menu goes far beyond traditional bar food with popular options like country-fried asparagus, chipotle pork tacos and the salmon BLT. It’s just got that rock and roll vibe.
THE SHOW: MGM Northfield Park is what happens when casino gaming and live harness racing meet great food and some serious rock and roll. REO Speedwagon, Tesla, Bret Michaels, Styx, The Michael Stanley Band and Skid Row have headlined previous classic rock concerts at this all-in-one entertainment scene.
LATE NIGHT: Take a cool dive bar and toss in up-and-coming/experimental music, two stages (and one in the basement), some amazing vegan fare and a solid punk vibe. The result: Now That’s Class.
Find a Concert
Want to plan your trip around an upcoming concert? Search our events calendar for ongoing opportunities to rock out.