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Shuffle: A Northeast Ohio Band Gets a Big Gig Thanks To Bon Jovi

The Ohio Weather Band
The Ohio Weather Band

The classic rock band Bon Jovi is back in Northeast Ohio this week. They’ll be at Quicken Loans Arena this weekend.

The gig is also giving a smaller local band a chance to reach a bigger audience. In this week's Shuffle, Akron Beacon Journal pop music writer Malcolm Abram talks about The Ohio Weather Band's big break. 

Abram says Bon Jovi still knows how to put on a good rock show. "They're the last of a dying breed. Professional, hard-working rock stars who give the people what they want." 

Bon Jovi has decided that part of what people want is a chance to see some local bands on a big stage. For years, Bon Jovi has held a contest for local bands to open for them in each city. 

A big break
The Ohio Weather Band submitted a video from a concert at Akron's Musica and won the chance to perform for about 30 minutes in front of about 15,000 people at The Q. 

Abram describes their music is rootsy and melodic and says the song they submitted,  'Feathers and Tar' is a groovy sing-a-long.

"I think the crowd is going to like them."


As for what the big gig means, Abrams says it's a nice moment in the spotlight.

"It should get them a bump on social media and a few more gigs in Cleveland. But it's not like record companies are going to beat down your door the next day."

Abram says the band The Strange Familiar won a similar slot on a Bon Jovi tour stop in Cleveland years back.

Rock Hall snub?
As for Bon Jovi, Abram explains why he thinks the band, which has sold 130 million records over it's 30-plus-year career, isn't in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

"Bon Jovi  tends to get lumped in to the arena-pop-hair-band-thing that was popular but not taken very seriously by the artsy-fartsy critical types."

But, Abrams believes they'll be inducted eventually. 

Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.