With Riverbend as the hot spot for summer concerts, Cincinnati often is overlooked. Musicians know that the lawn in this venue is full of drunk high school and college kids who couldn’t care less about the music in front of them. Only musicians who appeal to that atmosphere come (mostly country stars). Other musicians such as Dave Matthews has been quoted bashing Cincinnati, but plays here year after year knowing it will make a lot of money. This year, the summer is looking up.

Dave Matthews Band is playing with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. This was the first show to catch my eye. The Chocolate Drops are an all black string band from North Carolina. They cite all forms of black music as their influence, so you can hear anything from hip hop to delta blues. I caught them last year in Dayton, and they blew me away.

Radiohead is also heading to Riverbend this summer. One of the biggest Rock bands in the world will provide a new audience this year. I never listened to them as much as I should have, so I don’t have too much to say.

The biggest addition to summer shows is in the middle of downtown Cincinnati. The Taft Theater has opened its doors to live music. They must know I live in Cincinnati, because the shows are right up my alley. With names like Dawes, Sara Watkins, Trampled by Turtles, O’Death, and my personal favorite Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, this new music venue will be turning some heads in the folk world.