Wilco will play the Benedum Center at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 25.
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Because touring the Northeast in January is generally not a whole lot of fun, there are plenty of gaps in the concert calendar.
What it lacks in quantity, though, is balanced by a few standout shows, including the Boss opening his River Tour in Consol, Wilco making a long-awaited return trip and a modern metal band hooking up with an old warhorse.
Jan. 14: Wild Child
“More like a house party than a concert” is how the Austin indie-pop group describes its shows.
Blending pop, gypsy and folk, Wild Child, led by singer/violinist Kelsey Wilson and ukulele player/singer Alexander Beggins, debuted in 2011 with “Pillow Talk” and recently released a third album, “Fools,” with a wider musical palette.
GABI is Gabrielle Herbst, an acclaimed New York composer and vocalist who puts “crystalline” falsetto harmonies over a chamber orchestra.
While training at Bard College she went from writing for chamber orchestra and mixed instrumentation to using a loop pedal to compose short-form, vocal-centric compositions. She released her debut album, “Sympathy,” earlier this year, working with Matthew O’Koren (percussion), Rick Quantz (viola), Josh Henderson (violin), and Aaron Roche (electric guitar / trombone).
With Sleep Experiments at the Andy Warhol Museum, North Side, 8 p.m.; www.warhol.org
Jan. 15: Lamb of God/Anthrax
The first big metal show of 2016 finds the roaring metalcore band from Richmond metalcore topping a bill with some ‘80s legends.
It’s a chance for a closer view of LoG, who were on the bill with Slipknot at the First Niagara Pavilion in August. The tour supports the release of the Grammy-nominated eighth album "VII: Sturm und Drang" (German for "storm and stress"), an aggressive, rage-filled record that deals in part with frontman’s Randy Blythe’s ordeal of being held in Czech prison dungeon, charged with causing a fan's death two years earlier by pushing him off the stage. He was acquitted of the charges.
Anthrax, one of the Big Four thrash bands (with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer) and famed for breaking down musical barriers in the late ‘80s by collaborating with Public Enemy on “Bring The Noise,” is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2016, preparing for the release of new album “For All Kings” on Feb. 26.
Not to be overlooked here is the appearance of Deafheaven, a San Francisco band that majestically melds black metal with melodic shoegazer rock. Also on the bill is Powertrip.
Bruce and the E Street Band will begin the 24-date The River Tour 2016 in Pittsburgh, dedicating a portion of the show to performing the entire chart-topping 1980 double album "The River."
The sprawling album, ranging from stadium rockers (“Hungry Heart,” “Out in the Street”) to mood pieces (“Stolen Car,” “Drive All Night”) has only been performed in its entirety once: Nov. 8, 2009, at Madison Square Garden.
The first E Street Band show here since April 2014, it supports the release of "The Ties That Bind: The River Collection," a comprehensive look at the era of the 1980 album.
Consol Energy Center, 7:30 p.m. Sold Out.
Jan. 16: Strip District Music Fest
The second annual event, conceived as an antidote to cabin fever, was planned long before the announcement of the Springsteen show just a mile away. It was a big success last year, generating long lines outside the Strip District clubs, and that shouldn’t change, as Bruce draws from an older fanbase.
Actually, it’s possible to do both, as the Strip Fest runs all day with more than 100 bands in 19 venues, from Altar Bar to tiny coffee shops.
Among the artists performing are Andre Costello and the Cool Minors, Balloon Ride Fantasy, Barons, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Bill Deasy, Chip Dimonick, Creta Bourzia (reunion gig), Dethlehem, Devin Miles, Donora, Fist Fight In The Parking Lot, Gene The Werewolf, Good Brother Earl, Grand Piano, Gypsy & His Band of Ghosts, Lady Beast, Mace Ballard, Meeting of Important People, Mia Z, Rachel B, The Cheats, The Commonheart, The Hawkeyes, The Red Western, The Semi-Supervillains, The Spacepimps and Wreck Loose.
There also will be reunions of Creta Bourzia, Tabula Rasa, Teddy Duchamp's Army and Voice In The Wire.
Clubs throughout Strip District, noon; donation at ticketfly.com.
Jan. 23: Eric Bibb
The acoustic blues singer-guitarist comes with an interesting pedigree, being the son of ‘60s folk/musical theater singer Leon Bibb, nephew of jazz pianist John Lewis and godson of Paul Robeson.
Although a New York native, he’s been based in Europe, having started his career at 19 playing in Parisian restaurants. Drawing comparisons to Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal, he’s been nominated for nine W.C. Handy Blues Music Awards and earned a Grammy nomination for his collaboration (with Taj Mahal and others) on the children’s record, “Shakin’ A Tailfeather.”
You don’t see the Nashville guys coming north all that often in January.
Chris Young, who made his name winning the “Nashville Star” competition in 2006, gets a jump on the big country touring season with a club show supporting his No. 1 country album, “I’m Comin’ Over,” led by the chart-topping title track.
Young wrote nine of the 11 tracks, including “Sober Saturday Night,” a collaboration with Vince Gill, and “Think of You,” a duet with opening act Cassadee Pope, the season three winner on “The Voice.”
Frontman Jeff Tweedy played the Three Rivers Arts Festival in 2014, but the last time we got the full Wilco treatment was that memorable, 35-song marathon at Carnegie Music Hall in 2010.
One of the most acclaimed bands of the last two decades, Wilco now hits the Cultural District for the first time touring on its ninth album, "Star Wars," which was released as a surprise, free download in July and then on vinyl in October. It made a bunch of Top 10 lists this year, and Rolling Stone called it the band’s “most concise, catchy, naturally songful album in at least a decade.”
This is the opening show of a 12-date tour for the Chicago band, arriving with the lineup of Tweedy, John Stirratt (bass, vocals), Glenn Kotche (drums), Nels Cline (guitar), Patrick Sansone (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Mikael Jorgensen (keyboards).
Sprung from doom band Norrsken, the bluesy hard-rock outfit from Sweden formed in 2006 and created a buzz at SXSW in 2008 after releasing a self-titled debut.
Since then, Graveyard has gained a following touring with labelmates Witch (featuring Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis), Clutch and Soundgarden. In September, Graveyard released "Innocence & Decadence," a fourth album, on Nuclear Blast.
This headlining tour is with female-fronted, MC5-inspired Swedish band Spiders.
Over the past few years, the frontman for ‘90s post-grunge band Creed has made more headlines in TMZ than the music pages, fueled by incidents relating to his bipolar disorder and struggles with prescription drugs.
In late 2014, he had posted a video to Facebook about being homeless. Now he’s on the rebound, having reunited with his wife, who joined him on the VH1 reality series “Couples Therapy.”
Stapp recently talked to Rolling Stone about wanting to reunite with Creed by 2017 for the band’s 20th anniversary. In the meantime, he’s out doing Creed hits and solo material, including songs from his second album, 2013’s “Proof of Life.”
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