I’ve walked the East 9th pier area in Cleveland, OH many times through the years, and I’ve watched it change dramatically as Cleveland has made great strides to make the city a desired place to live and visit. Plenty to see and do, including the stadium, the USS Cod, Great Lakes Science Center, or just a walk along the shore and inner harbor. Most noticeable at the corner of East 9th is the unmistakable Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, drawing travelers from across the country and around the globe. While I’ve wandered around outside the rock hall, taking many photos contrasting the building’s strong angles against the Science Center’s unique curves, I’ve yet to pass the visitors lobby (no idea why)- and that wasn’t going to change on this hot, sunny Saturday afternoon on the shoreline!
Just beyond the giant red “Long Live Rock” lettering and next to I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid, Lords of the Highway shook the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s outdoor stage, giving a proper sonic welcome to museum visitors. The local 3-piece “Psychosurfpunkrockabilly” outfit, featuring Dennis A. Bell (guitar, vocals, stompin’ stage mayhem), Matt Sauer (beatin’, bangin’ drummin’, and vocals), and “Action Al” Pizanno (strummin’, thumpin’ upright bass and vocals) were a bit dwarfed by the large stage and Cleveland skyline, but the band’s aural blast easily filled the plaza. The large entry patio has plenty of space to enjoy the sounds, and plenty of folks sat, stood or walked on by tappin’, clappin’ swayin’, and even singin’ along with covers they recognized. The band even got a request for their original “King of the Ville”, in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- how cool is that? One of my faves of the day was a terrific cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” played on a stage directly in front of the Man in Black’s tour bus, on display outside the Rock Hall- a perfect tribute!
Lords of the Highway played about two hours, still heard as we enjoyed a walk to the inner harbor seeking snacks and cold drinks from local venders (cold bottled water in exchange for a donation to the local Vietnam Veterans chapter seemed a worthy means of hydration for this son of a Vietnam Vet). When the Lords wrapped up, they hung out and chatted with folks stopping by the stage. From Painesville, playing hundreds of cool venues (including CBGB!), and now the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, keep watching (and listening) to see where Lords of the Highway will turn up next. In the meantime, I need to do something about visiting the inside of the Rock Hall!
Superhero Trivia: If you come visit Cleveland by driving in on the east shoreway (Route 2), you’re traveling pavement used for fight scenes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.