Prizm News / June 1, 2018 / By Erin McCalla

From the Indigo Girls to Janelle Monae, Boy George to Sam Smith, 2018 offers a summer of song.

By Erin McCalla

After a long, desolate winter, there’s nothing like drinking a cold beer at an outdoor concert. And after the winter Ohio had, we deserve two or three (beers or concerts, take your pick).

Here’s a roundup of the best LGBT and LBGT-adjacent concerts in Ohio this summer:

Indigo Girls With the Toledo Symphony Orchestra
Friday, June 1 at the Stranahan Theater
4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo, 43614
toledosymphony.com • $35-$65

 

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The only duo with Top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 each decade since the 1980s joins the Toledo Symphony for a seamless fusion of folk and symphonic music.

 

Brandi Carlile
Sunday, June 10 at LaureLive Festival
7420 Farimount Road, Russell Township, 44072
laurelive.com • $75-$115

Carlile will play the Sunday night headliner spot (8:45 p.m.) at this two-day festival about 25 miles east of Cleveland in Geauga County. While she may be the only out performer at the festival, there are plenty of other artists worth checking out, such as Fitz & The Tantrums, Foster the People, Tall Heights and Trombone Shorty.

Shania Twain
Saturday, June 16 at Quicken Loans Arena
1 Center Court, Cleveland, 44115
theqarena.com • $29.95-$149.95

Even after recently saying that she would have voted for Donald Trump—quickly followed by an apology—there are probably some faithful Shania-stalwarts in the community willing to forgive and forget. The country superstar is taking a page out of Cher’s songbook by going on the road again after her last farewell to support her 2017 album, “Now.”

Janis Ian
Friday, June 22 at Cain Park
14591 Superior Road, Cleveland Heights, 44118
cainpark.com • $15

The legendary singer-songwriter has been writing and recording music since she was 12 years old. In 2013, she beat out two fellow lesbians and a president (Ellen DeGeneres, Rachel Maddow and Bill Clinton) for the Best Spoken Word Grammy for her autobiography, “Society’s Child.” Ian is on tour with another lesbian folk singer, Susan Werner, and this show is the deal of the summer at $15.

 

Sam Smith
Saturday, June 23 at Nationwide Arena
200 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, 43215
nationwidearena.com • $35-$300

Smith is a Tony away from an EGOT, but instead of hunkering down to write a genderqueer musical, the out singer-songwriter is touring to promote his sophomore record, “The Thrill of It All.”

Melissa Etheridge

Friday, June 29 at Jack Cincinnati Casino
1000 Broadway St., Cincinnati, 45202
jackentertainment.com/cincinnati • $35

Sunday, July 1 at Hard Rock Rocksino
10777 Northfield Road, Northfield, 44067
hrrocksinonorthfieldpark.com • $42-$75

She’s one of rock’s icons and one of the LGBTQ community’s greatest heroes.

Patriotic Pops, featuring the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus
Saturday, June 30 at Columbus Commons
160 S. High St., Columbus, 43215
columbussymphony.com • $25-$85

The annual installation of all things stars, stripes and Sousa will include rainbows and glitter this year. It’s the first pairing of the two local institutions.

Taylor Swift

Saturday, July 7 at Ohio Stadium
411 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, 43210
taylorswift.com • $79-$426

Tuesday, July 17 at FirstEnergy Stadium
100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland, 44114
taylorswift.com • $45-$319

Tay’s Reputation tour will include all the drama and girl power that Swifties have come to expect from their favorite pop singer.

Janelle Monae
Tuesday, July 10 at the Taft Theatre
317 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, 45202
tafttheatre.org • $36-$77

The singer, songwriter, actress and model released her third album in April and in May came out as bisexual and pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Being a queer black woman in America—someone who has been in relationships with both men and women—I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf*****,” she said.

Kesha & Macklemore
Wednesday, July 11 at Riverbend Music Center
6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, 45230
riverbend.org • $36.50-$112.50

We still count Macklemore as an ally for “Same Love,” right? He’s teaming up with “Rainbow” singer Kesha (not Ke$ha anymore, apparently), and a dollar from every ticket  sold will be donated to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and M Plus1, an organization that advances racial and social justice through the M&RL Equity Fund.

 

Patti LaBelle
Sunday, July 15 at Rose Music Center
6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, 45424
rosemusiccenter.com • $23.50-$78

The Godmother of Soul is taking a break from selling sweet potato pie to grace the Dayton stage to sing hits like “New Attitude” and “Lady Marmalade.” Giuchie, giuchie, ya ya dada, indeed.

Dave Koz & Friends

Friday, July 20 at Fraze Pavilion
695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, 45429
davekoz.com • $46.50-$61.50

Saturday, July 21 at Cain Park
14591 Superior Road, Cleveland Heights, 44118
davekoz.com • $25-$78

Sunday, July 22 at Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest
Scioto Mile, Columbus, 43215
davekoz.com • freebie

The gay saxophonist usually jingles through Ohio for his annual holiday concert, but he’ll play back-to-back-to-back shows in Kettering, Cleveland Heights and Columbus over one July weekend.

 

Jay-Z and Beyoncé

Wednesday, July 25 at FirstEnergy Stadium
100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland, 44114
beyonce.com • $49-$771

Thursday, Aug. 16 at Ohio Stadium
411 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, 43210
beyonce.com • $54-$775

This is not a drill: BEYHIVE ASSEMBLE! You have two—two!—chances to see Queen Bey in Ohio this summer.

Culture Club

Tuesday, Aug. 7 at Centennial Terrace
5773 Centennial Road, Sylvania, 43560
cultureclub.co.uk • $40-$88

Wednesday, Aug. 8 at Hard Rock Rocksino
10777 Northfield Road, Northfield, 44067
cultureclub.co.uk • $67.50-$89.50

Wednesday, Sept. 5 at Fraze Pavilion
695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, 45429
cultureclub.co.uk • $45-$95

Finish the summer with Boy George and Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey for a throwback of ’80s jams.
Erin McCalla is an editor, writer and concert-goer in Columbus. She previously worked as the managing editor for Live Local! Columbus and Outlook Ohio.