Grohl Alley is perfect location for music

Assorted rambling from the world of entertainment:

I didn’t make it to the opening show of the River Rock at the Amp season Saturday at Warren Community Amphitheatre, and judging by the photos, I apparently was the only one who wasn’t there.

I did spend a couple hours earlier in the day at Fuzz Fest in David Grohl Alley.

Aaron Chine’s David Grohl Alley banner mural made for the perfect backdrop for the stage, and it would be great to see the space used more often for concerts. It would be the perfect place for Sleeper Agent, the RCA Records act featuring Champion native Alex Kandel on lead vocals, to play a hometown gig (somebody make this happen).

It would have been nice to have seen some more people in front of that stage, but it was a well-run event. Kudos to Brian Martinek, Thad Stephenson and the rest of Warren FOP No. 34 for pulling it off.

One thing I’ll remember about Fuzz Fest was watching Deadiron frontman Alexander Van Ness hop off the stage to bond with a young girl named Dakota, who said it was her first concert. As the band thrashed on stage, Van Ness, Dakota and another boy rocked out and ran in a circle in front of the stage.

I’m guessing Van Ness made a concertgoer for life out of that girl.

It’s also impossible to stand around David Grohl Alley and not think about all the work and all the volunteer hours so many people have put into that project, and the pride they continue to take in it. Fuzz Fest wasn’t his event, but Paul Clouser (who lives downtown and located his business there) was walking around between bands with a broom and a dustpan keeping the alley clean.

I know there are people who think it’s silly to dedicate an alley to someone who left the area when he was a toddler. Let ’em laugh. It’s always easier to make jokes than make a difference.

Speaking of Dave Grohl, HBO premiered the first promo spot for Grohl’s upcoming series “Sonic Highways” before the debut of Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony program (which showed Grohl’s induction into the Rock Hall as a member of Nirvana).

The Foo Fighters are traveling to historic recording studios around the country to produce its next album, and “Sonic Highways,” which will air this fall, chronicles that process. It sounds like a continuation of Grohl’s “Sound City” documentary, which is wonderful (Amazon Prime members can watch it for free, and it seems to run regularly on Palladia).

Actor Willem Dafoe will be in Cleveland Saturday for a special program with the Cleveland Cinematheque, located inside the Cleveland Institute of Art on University Circle.

The Cinematheque will screen the 2000 film “Shadow of the Vampire,” a fictionalized version of the making of the silent horror classic “Nosferatu.” Dafoe plays Max Schreck, the actor who played the vampire.

A Q&A session covering Dafoe’s career will follow the 7 p.m. screening. Tickets are $20 for general admission (those ages 25 and younger can get tickets at the door for $12 if the program doesn’t sell out in advance). Advance tickets are available at

Leading up to the event, the Cinematheque will show two Dafoe films on Friday – “Platoon” (arguably his best known role) at 7 p.m. and “Go Go Tales” (a 2007 Abel Ferrara film unreleased in the U.S.) at 9:20 p.m.

Audiences also can see Dafoe in “The Fault in Our Stars” as reclusive writer Peter Van Houten.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at