The concert scene has been a little quiet here lately here, but that’s about to change.
Thankfully, there are a handful of major acts that have decided to brave the elements in the Northeast in January, including Bruce Springsteen, Wilco and Lamb of God, and then February brings another nice mix that includes Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, and Kurt Vile and the Violators.
Circle the dates
Feb. 15: Grammy Awards in LA
March 17-22: SXSW festival in Austin, Texas
April 8: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions in Brooklyn
April 28: Pittsburgh Rock N Roll Legends Awards at Stage AE
April 15-17, 22-24: Coachella Festival in Indio, Calif.
May 12: The Avett Brothers at Stage AE
June 3-12: Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh
June 3-5: Governors Ball festival in Randall’s Island, N.Y.
June 9-12: Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
June 10: The Dixie Chicks at First Niagara Pavilion
July 2: Kenny Chesney/Miranda Lambert at Heinz Field
July 13: Justin Bieber at Consol Energy Center
July 28-31: Lollapalooza in Chicago
Sept. 23-24: Thrival Festival in Pittsburgh
There was a flurry of announcements before the holidays, and there probably will be another right after this list runs (that’s the way it goes), so stay posted.
Here are some of the early highlights:
Wild Child (Rex Theater, South Side, Jan. 14): The Austin band, blending pop, gypsy and folk, promises a show that’s “more like a house party than a concert.”
GABI (Andy Warhol Museum, North Side, Jan. 15): GABI is Gabrielle Herbst, an acclaimed New York composer and vocalist who puts “crystalline” falsetto harmonies over a chamber orchestra.
Lamb of God/Anthrax (Stage AE, North Shore, Jan. 15): The first big metal show of 2016 finds the roaring metalcore band from Richmond topping a bill with the ’80s thrash legends and black-metal shoe-gazers Deafheaven.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Consol Energy Center, Uptown, Jan. 16): You may have heard about this one. 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.”
Strip District Music Fest (clubs throughout Strip District, Jan. 16): The second annual event, conceived as an antidote to cabin fever, was a hit last year, and that shouldn’t change, even with Bruce the same night.
Eric Bibb (Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland, Jan. 23): The acoustic blues singer-guitarist draws comparisons to Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal.
Wilco (Benedum Center, Downtown, Jan. 25): The last time we saw Wilco was that memorable, 35-song marathon at Carnegie Music Hall in 2010. This show, following its ninth album, “Star Wars,” is the opening of a 12-date tour.
Graveyard (Mr. Smalls, Millvale, Jan. 26): The bluesy hard-rock outfit from Sweden created a buzz at SXSW in 2008 and has gained a following touring with labelmates Witch (featuring Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis), Clutch and Soundgarden.
X Ambassadors (Stage AE, Jan. 28): The band behind the catchy hit “Renegades” was part of X-Fest this summer, representing the pop-rock side of life at Stage AE with Social Distortion and Anti-Flag.
Voivod (Altar Bar, Strip District, Feb. 10): Fresh from the Deathcrusher 2015 tour, the Canadian prog-metal band returns on a tour timed with the release of a five-song EP, “Post Society,” that includes a cover of “Silver Machine,” a Hawkwind track originally sung by the late Lemmy.
Killing Joke (Altar Bar, Feb. 17): The British industrial/goth pioneers, formed in 1978 and best known for the 1984 single “Eighties,” returns with the original lineup of Jaz Coleman, Geordie, Youth and Big Paul.
Carrie Underwood (Consol Energy Center, Feb. 17): The former “American Idol” champ and seven-time Grammy winner arrives on The Storyteller Tour, supporting her fifth album, “Storyteller,” which debuted at the top of the charts in October.
Rhiannon Giddens, Bhi Bhiman, Leyla McCalla (Club Cafe, South Side, Feb. 21): The Swimming in Dark Waters Tour, topped by the Carolina Chocolate Drops frontwoman, delves into the history of protest by musicians of color.
Kurt Vile and The Violators (Mr. Smalls, Feb. 22): The Philly psych-rocker released one of the 2015’s best albums in “B’lieve I’m Going Down,” once again revealing his Dylan/Petty/Reed influences.
Julia Holter (Club Cafe, Feb. 27): The fourth album by the LA-based avant-pop artist, “Have You in My Wilderness,” was named the best album of the year by both Uncut and Mojo. She draws comparisons to “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”-era Joni Mitchell.
Kacey Musgraves (Stage AE, Feb. 27): Loved and acclaimed for charming vocals and songwriting that breaks the Nashville mold, the rising country star arrives on a tour supporting her second major label album, “Pageant Material,” which is nominated for the best country album Grammy. This will be her first show here since 2013, when she opened for Kenny Chesney at Heinz Field, not the best showcase for the singer-songwriter.
Coheed and Cambria (Stage AE, March 1): The Rush-influenced New York prog/alt-rock band returns to Stage AE, having put The Amory Wars saga on hold for a first non-concept album, “The Color Before The Sun.”
Jason Isbell (Benedum Center, March 2): If you missed his excellent show last year at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, here’s a chance to see the former Drive-By Truckers singer-guitarist in a plush setting.
The Dropkick Murphys (Stage AE, March 8): A week before St. Paddy’s Day, the boys from Boston roll in on a 20th anniversary tour.
Rachel Platten (Mr. Smalls, March 15): The New York singer-songwriter will demonstrate there’s a lot more to her than “Fight Song.”
The Who (Consol Energy Center, March 16): The last show here, performing rock opera “Quadrophenia,” proved that you can’t count out The Who — even at 50. This show, part of a farewell tour, was rescheduled from October, when singer Roger Daltrey was battling viral meningitis.
Dr. Dog (Stage AE, March 16): The Philly psych-rock band takes a break from reworking its 2001 debut, “Psychedelic Swamp,” for a winter tour.
Carly Rae Jepsen (Mr. Smalls, March 18): Although it didn’t repeat the success of “Call Me Maybe,” the Canadian singer drew universal acclaim and best-of-2015 nods for her ’80s-inspired third album, “Emotion.”
Blake Shelton (Consol Energy Center, March 19): The strapping country star and “Voice” coach, currently making headlines for his new romance with Gwen Stefani, returns for the first time since playing the First Niagara Pavilion in August 2013.
Titus Andronicus/Craig Finn (Cattivo, Lawrenceville, March 20): The rowdy New Jersey indie rockers don’t waste their time on small gestures. The fourth and latest album, “The Most Lamentable Tragedy,” is a sprawling, five-act, 92-minute rock opera that frontman Patrick Stickles has described as being a “complicated metaphor about manic depression.” The tour hits Lawrenceville with The Hold Steady’s brilliant frontman in tow.
Vance Joy (Stage AE, March 23): The 28-year-old Australian singer-songwriter, best known for the ukulele hit “Riptide,” wowed the fans opening for Taylor Swift at Heinz Field back in June.
Bonnie Raitt (Heinz Hall, Downtown, March 23): The beloved blues-rock Hall of Famer returns to Heinz Hall, this time supporting a 20th album, “Dig in Deep” (coming Feb. 26), that follows her 2012 Grammy winner, “Slipstream.”
Puscifer (Stage AE, April 1): After the January Tool tour wraps up, frontman Maynard James Keenan heads back out with his other band, promising “a multimedia performance unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed.”
Elle King (Mr. Smalls, April 4): The LA alt-rock singer who gave us “Ex’s & Oh’s” might be a Grammy winner by the time she gets here.
Gregg Allman (Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, Munhall, April 5): The rock legend has been touring solo since the Allman Brothers signed off in 2014.
Wolf Alice (Stage AE, April 7): The indie rock band from London, which has drawn comparisons to Hole and the Pixies, has a Grammy nomination for best rock performance for the single “Moaning Lisa Smile.”
Joe Satriani (Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead, April 12): The guitar slinger hits the road on a tour celebrating his 30-year career, promising to play material he’s never played live before.
Scott Mervis: email@example.com; 412-263-2576. Twitter: @scottmervis_pg.
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