In a continued effort to unearth the music that inspires some of our favorite bands, we caught up with Cleveland rockers Midnight Passenger, who will be playing this Saturday at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern for “On The Road Again,” a free celebration for the end of the construction on Waterloo Road. Get to know the band–Tony Zaro (vocals), Jim Janek (guitarist), Ricky Zab0rowski (bassist) and Shane Zigler (drums)–before their show this weekend with Welshly Arms, Maura Rogers and the Bellows, The Commonwealth, Marcus Alan Ward and False Flag. Side note: this playlist is one band member short, as guitarist Dan Metyk was on his honeymoon when the band submitted. Congratulate him this weekend! Did we mention, the show is FREE?!


1. “World Waits” – Jeremy Enigk

Jim says: “The combination of Enigk’s voice and that cheesy keyboard he uses on this album create such an amazing vibe that I always find myself coming back. Just hearing the restraint in his voice as he sings this gives me chills.”

2. “So Real” – Jeff Buckley

Tony says: “‘So Real’ seems to be about a horrific dream that is so vivid you wake up almost believing it to be true. I can relate because a lot my songs are written from nocturnal experiences.”

3. “Beast of Burden” – The Rolling Stones

Shane says: “I have been greatly influenced by a number of classic rock drummers but none more than Charlie Watts. He is not a flashy drummer, but is always in the pocket and can grove like no one else. Not to mention this is just an all around incredible song.”

4. “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” – The Beach Boys

Rick says: “From one of my favorite albums ever, Pet Sounds. This happens to be my favorite track on it. It’s one of those albums I listen to from start to finish and love it every time.”

5. “Hear You Me” – Jimmy Eat World

Shane says: “I have always been a big fan of Jimmy Eat World, especially this song. Years back, I lost both of my grandparents within just a couple of months and this song was on replay in my car for weeks straight. To this day, this song still gives me chills!”

6. “Louise Louisa” – Mew

Tony says: “When I first listened to the album And the Glass Handed Kites I was in a pretty low place and I put the album on and started driving. I had no idea where I was going and after 45 minutes of driving, I got lost and the lyric “I’m in a car, and I don’t know where we are… headed for” came on and it hit me, like something out of a film. The album somehow directly spoke to me. Gives me chills, but in that I’ll-never-love-another-album-more-kinda-way.

7. “God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys

Jim says: “Rick mentioned the album Pet Sounds and there’s a reason people are still attached to it these days. I’m drawn to the playfulness of this song. The seemingly negative “I may not always love you” is grabbing. The song course-corrects itself to explain that, duh, of course I love you, and that “God only knows what I’d be without you.” This whole album is filled with calculated contradictions that make it one of the darker gems in the Beach Boys’ otherwise sunny discography.”

8. “One Life, One Chance” – H2o

Rick says: “It’s really hard for me to pick a song that’s “The Song” I always go to because I have soo many favorite songs, so I picked this because it takes me back to growing up, skateboarding, and just being a kid. From the F.T.T.W. album, another one I can listen from start to finish even if I haven’t listened to it in two years and it still holds up.”

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