Pittsburgh music and concerts
Fans pack the lawn at X Fest. (Richard Frollini)
Pittsburgh isn’t just a sports town. It’s a music town, too, one that has produced its share of legends, from Stephen Foster to Wiz Khalifa, and has played host to the greatest stars who ever lived.
The PG has been chronicling the scene since the beginning and continues to follow the artists and bands breaking out of Pittsburgh and the relevant national acts coming in. There are more than ever, thanks to the growth of quality venues and promoters, and the range of talent is as varied as we’ve ever seen.
These pages will keep you up to date with concert listings, breaking news, current reviews and previews, as well as pages dedicated to the top Pittsburgh acts. That list will be a work in progress, so keep coming back.
The Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, The Jesus and Mary Chain...yes, this is 2017, kicking off with albums by a number of vintage bands. There’s even a new Deep Purple album coming for you classic rockers.
Lots of new releases will be announced in the next week or two, and some of the dates are likely to change, but here’s a peek into the first quarter of the year.
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We haven’t gotten a concert announcement quite yet for 2018, but it wouldn’t be a shock. We already have two major shows on sale for September and October 2017.
The calendar is filling in quickly, even without a stadium show blocked in. What should excite concertgoers about 2017 is the number of artists who haven’t been here in ages.
Here’s what to look forward to.
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April marks the beginning of the outdoor amphitheater season, but first there will be a few big arena shows and some fine choices in the clubs and theaters.
When Andrew Taggart first came out on stage in a white T-shirt and light-washed, ripped skinny jeans, a spotlight followed him as he checked his cell phone.
The “boop” of a push notification was amplified for the filled PPG Paints Arena, and Mr. Taggart began the first of several staged interactions between himself and Alex Pall, the other half of The Chainsmokers duo. It was a little bit awkward, perhaps a bit corny, but it certainly set the tone for a night filled with teenage screams, cell phone flashlights and emoji-shaped confetti.
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This one here could go down in the books as the all-time indoor bro-country throwdown in Pittsburgh.
Eric Church pitched his tent at the PPG Paints Arena Friday intent on rewarding fans who put down their hard-earned money with darn near every song he's ever written.
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Thirty minutes was all it took for Jimmy Wopo to show why he’s the talk of the town.
With a short set at Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale on Saturday night, the 20-year-old rapper from the Hill District channeled vibes from coast to coast, across all genres of hip-hop -- a feat made more impressive by his unwavering energy and lyrical finesse.
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We may know it as the incline, but to Colin Meloy it requires a few more syllables.
“In Pittsburgh,” the Decemberists singer said Saturday night at the sold-out Stage AE, “I have to make some mention of the funicular.”
Such a term, one that we never use here, is not surprising coming from a man who can drop the word “prevaricate” into a song where others might just say, well, “front.”
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Bon Jovi, the band, was sounding a little off at PPG Paints Arena Wednesday night, and then Jon Bon Jovi put his finger on it.
He was almost halfway there, after doing “Runaway,” when he revealed that he’s had a cold since Saturday night: “I think I'm singing like s--- tonight, and I apologize… but I'm gonna keep pushin’ on and if you stick it out with me, I'll stick it out with you.”
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Bryan Ferry's first Pittsburgh show in 38 years was going beautifully — until it wasn’t.
Twenty-one songs into the set and four songs from the end of the show at Heinz Hall Saturday night, a technical glitch brought the 71-year-old British singer's U.S. tour to a premature finish.
The band was in the middle of the Roxy Music rocker "Virginia Plain," with the crowd on its feet, when the sound coming from the stage suddenly became nothing but a harsh buzz. The 10-piece band pressed on, seemingly unaware of the problem.
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Wasn't Stevie Nicks one of the quiet ones in Fleetwood Mac?
She isn't now. All that stage banter saved up over the decades is spilling out on the 24 Karat Gold Tour, where she talks for 24 minutes between songs.
Ok, not really. I kid the diva (at my own peril!). It’s more like four minutes, and despite her bewitching image, she's not a diva at all, in the negative sense. We hesitate to apply the term “down to earth” to Stevie Nicks, because she seems to be hovering above it, but she's actually very sweet (I spoke with her on the phone years ago and she’s the kind of person who asks YOU questions about yourself).
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“Who's been with me since ‘Hide Away’?” Daya asked her young crowd at Stage AE on the North Shore. “Who was with me when I performed over there by the merch table?”
On Thursday night, the merch table was the merch table (and it was busy one) and Daya was on the main stage, playing to nearly a full house, many of them elementary school girls trying to see over the big people.
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Even without the mysterious pink bunny serving as a hype man — who was running around, prompting the crowd to raise their arms while singing along to The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” — Green Day’s audience would have been raring to go.
After all, Billie Joe Armstrong is an act in and of himself. When he strutted across the stage at the Peterson Events Center, a black and white American flag guitar in tow, the audience reached near hysteria. He wasted no time phasing into “Know Your Enemy” from 2008’s “21st Century Breakdown,” riding the wave of energy.
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All of the ingredients for a hipster band’s success were on the table Thursday night at Stage AE.
It had a simple, floral backdrop and equally plain red and magenta lighting, an infusion of funky percussion pieces like the tambourine and the maraca, bandmates in understated clothing, seemingly as a hubris check, and an original sound somewhere between indie rock and the blues.
Yet something about the Cold War Kids’ performance felt immaterial, and the room lacked a certain energy.
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Should you find yourself in the market for a group to score your animated adventure film, do put Dungen near the top of the list.
The psych/prog band from Stockholm, Sweden, took fans at the Andy Warhol Museum on an amazing journey Saturday night through a netherworld of princes, sorcerers and demons, performing “Haxan” (“The Witch”), its new live score to the world’s oldest surviving animated feature film.
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By the time they played the smooth, buttery ballad “Slow it Down,” The Lumineers had already captivated their audience at the Peterson Events Center in Oakland. Halfway through the set on a snowy Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, the stands illuminated with cell phone flashlights, a mirage of summer fireflies befitting the band’s balmy tone, which is not dissimilar to the warm taste of whiskey.
And while this moment felt ironic — a band which arguably returns to the early roots of blues and folk by playing live instruments was honored with the technological equivalent of a sea of lighters — it also depicted the very simplistic, yet complex allure of the band.
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And the Punk-for-Life Longevity Award goes to … wait, punk rock doesn’t need any stinkin’ awards.
But if punk rock HAD awards, this one would go to Patti Smith, who showed up at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland Monday night as fierce -- no, more so than she was the day she first hit the scene in 1975. Smith hit the big 7-0 in December and when I say hit it, she probably punched it in the face.
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Brit Floyd, one of the world’s most popular if not best tribute bands, opened the North American leg of its Immersion World Tour Friday night at the Benedum on something of a holy day for Pink Floyd fans.
“Dark Side of the Moon” was released on March 10, 1973 (and the band was here to play it at the open-dome Civic Arena that June).
None of that was mentioned from the stage — Brit Floyd doesn’t bother with chatter — but the band from Liverpool, which formed in 2011, did scatter nine of the 10 songs from the album (all but the instrumental “On the Run”) into the three-hour set.
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Joe Bonamassa only spoke to the crowd once Thursday night — like he really needs to talk — saying that he remembers playing Moondog’s many moons ago.
“We played 14 sets a night for $15, good money back in those days,” he joked. Guitarists still pass through the Blawnox club every week and less than 1 percent of them ever make it to where he is, selling millions of records and playing two-night stands in the Cultural District.
Bonamassa is a savvy marketer, no doubt, and it doesn’t hurt that he looks like he stepped out of “Men in Black,” but he's also one of the greatest living guitar players, especially in his field of blues-rock where so many have passed on or slowed down.
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The band known for the single “Let’s Be Still” took the stage to “Let’s Dance” and a request from violinist/singer Charity Rose Thielen to get up out of the seats.
The Head and the Heart will never be mistaken for a dance band, but did prove to be worth standing for Wednesday night at the Benedum in its first theater show in Pittsburgh.
That single from the fall of 2013, when the Seattle band first broke out, suggests that “you can get lost in the music for hours,” and for a little over 90 minutes that’s what happened. There’s nothing remarkably innovative or adventurous about The Head and the Heart — it’s just another sweet take on folk-rock (although they don’t like the term) with pleasant guitars and rich harmonies from the three singers up front.
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“I could sing you a country tune/and carry the name Sweet Valerie June/But I got soul/yeah, I got soul/yeah, I got sweet soul.”Valerie June did do a country tune, some quiet, fingerpicking folk, a little dirty Southern blues. She strapped on an electric for thrashy garage rock, talked about her love life and her house plants, and probably could have stood there reading the decision from the Ninth Circuit Court.It would have had soul, too, because everything about Valerie June seems to have soul — and a beautiful, free spirit, to go with a radiant smile, wild dreadlocked hair and graceful moves.
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Music news and interviews
The Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters tour bus has pulled up at the Big House, the Allman Brothers museum in Macon, Ga., where the singer, drummer and Oscar-winning actor is sitting in on a panel discussion with some legends of Southern rock.
On the phone from the museum, Mr. Thornton, who grew up in Arkansas in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, says, “The Allman Brothers were kind of my bible at the time.”
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Circle the date July 23 on your calendar, because it’s going to be a party.
The Mavericks, one of the most festive rock bands on the circuit, will play a free show at Hartwood Acres as part of the Allegheny County Concert Series.
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Joe Grushecky and Bruce Springsteen have joined forces once again, this time on a passionate protest anthem called “That’s What Makes Us Great.”
It’s the first track that the singer-songwriters from Pittsburgh and New Jersey have worked on since Grushecky’s 2009 album “East Carson Street.” The two musicians, who have been friends since the mid ‘80s, first collaborated in the studio when Springsteen produced Grushecky’s 1995 album “American Babylon.” Springsteen won a rock performance Grammy in 2005 for a live version of “Code of Silence,” a song they wrote together in 1997.
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Maybe we were no experts on punk around here, but Carsickness certainly seemed to fit whatever vague definition of punk you wanted to apply, mostly because they didn’t sound like Pittsburgh.
Carsickness was what might have happened if The Clash and The Attractions had met Yes in a phone booth. It was delightfully weird and so far ahead of its time you had to think they were a little, well, crazy. Circle the date July 23 on your calendar, because it’s going to be a party.
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Talk about desert trips …
In the early ‘00s, Tinariwen emerged from the Saharan mountain region of northern Mali as a surprise indie sensation with a taut, intense sound blending traditional Tuareg polyrhythms with guitar-driven western rock.
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When Chris Theoret played “The Gift of Sound & Vision" at the Byham Theater, Downtown, in June, the singer donned blue eye shadow and a vintage red blazer, but there was no real attempt to resemble the evening’s late honoree, David Bowie.
It was more important that he capture the legendary glam rocker’s otherworldly vocal qualities, and on that front, the former singer for the Sponges and Leon excels like few others.
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Pittsburghers have known for decades that Billy Price is one of the finest soul men in the business, and that message was spread a little wider in 2015 when he hooked up with Chicago legend Otis Clay on “This Time for Real.”
In May, Price was in Memphis to pick up best soul blues album at the Blue Music Awards, sadly, a few months after Mr. Clay’s sudden death. With baseball season back in swing, it’s a fine time to reminisce about the night Spike Slawson played for the Pirates at PNC Park.
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There was no Malcolm McLaren-type in the Pittsburgh punk scene grooming bands for international stardom.
It was really just a bunch of college kids in a dying steel town going DIY and banging on some doors.
“It just happened very organically,” says drummer Dennis Childers. “We had no idea what we were doing. It’s weird to think back on it. It was a pretty cool scene that just happened out of nowhere — in Pittsburgh, of all places.”
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With baseball season back in swing, it’s a fine time to reminisce about the night Spike Slawson played for the Pirates at PNC Park.
Spike was a hometown kid — grew up in Shadyside in the ’70s and ’80s, went to Sterrett Middle School and Peabody High School — and in 2006, he was fronting Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, the world’s most famous punk rock supergroup/cover band. The Bay Area group led by Fat Mike of NOFX had been around for more than a decade, debuting in 1995 with a couple of hyper-speed John Denver covers, and by then had released its fifth album, “Ruin Jonny’s Bar Mitzvah.”
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It’s no coincidence that Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter Kayla Schureman has a touch of that Laurel Canyon folk rock sound.
The 27-year-old grew up in California’s San Fernando Valley, and even if it she was on the young side then, having moved up near Sacramento in high school, it was part of her DNA.
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By this point, a lot of the big rock bands from the ‘80s have swapped out their singers in favor of some younger stud.
Obviously, that could and never will happen in Bon Jovi, the band that more or less bears the name of frontman Jon Bongiovi. At 55, he remains “a force of nature,” according to David Bryan, keyboardist and second member to join the band.
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Get Hip Records, a pillar of garage rock excellence since 1986, is going acoustic.
At least in part.
The label, founded by guitarist Gregg Kostelich of garage kings The Cynics, has boasted an extensive roster that has included the Fleshtones, New Bomb Turks, The Beat and Gore Gore Girls as well as Pittsburgh's own Mount McKinleys, Breakup Society and Meeting of Important People.
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Gifted with matinee idol looks and a voice like butter, Bryan Ferry had a distinct advantage over the field when he set out in the early ’70s with Roxy Music, a glam band that came to worldwide attention in 1975 with the hit “Love Is the Drug.”
When New Wave emerged, Mr. Ferry was well-equipped for the transition from glam to glamour as a swoon-worthy New Romantic crooning, such heavenly ballads as “Slave to Love,” “Avalon” and “Don’t Stop the Dance,” either as a solo artist or in the latter of days of Roxy.
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There’s that old line about the Velvet Underground that they didn’t sell many records, “but everyone who bought one went out and started a band.”
Well, Green Day did sell a lot of records — 10 million alone of “Dookie” — and it only took a fraction of those kids to fill the planet with pop-punk bands.
Chris Daley, of the Pittsburgh band Mace Ballard, first heard Green Day’s 1994 breakout album when he was in middle school.
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Robert Christgau is known for being something of a crank. So when his first words are that he has a cold and is going without coffee (not sure why), I figure we’re in trouble.
Two minutes later, he bristles at a question about his start in journalism, saying, “Scott, you know, this is in my book. Understand?”
This interview is wasting valuable record-reviewing time, and, in fact, he’s listening to one as talks on the phone from his home in New York. Because that’s what Robert Christgau does. Since he started covering music in the late ‘60s, the 74-year-old self-proclaimed “dean of rock critics” has reviewed more than 14,000 albums.
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There was no better place to be in Pittsburgh on Sept. 6, 1957 than the Syria Mosque in Oakland.
On that night, Alan Freed's The Biggest Show Of Stars for 1957 road show rolled through town with Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, the Drifters, Clyde McPhatter, Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Paul Anka, the Everly Brothers and the man who defined rock ‘n’ roll, Chuck Berry.
It was one of four stops Berry made at the Mosque in 1957, the first year he ever came to Pittsburgh.
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Strand of Oaks made one Pittsburgh stop on the cycle for the last album, “HEAL,” and it was a beauty, playing the Thrival Festival alongside the wooded area around the abandoned Carrie Furnace in Hazelwood.
“We explored that giant building,” says frontman Timothy Showalter. “I don’t think we were allowed to, but we did. It was kind of borderline terrifying and awesome at the same time. It was unbelievable.”
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Patti Smith’s “Horses” is the rare album able to accommodate an opening line of “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” and come around to her singing “Do the Watusi!,” albeit not in a very festive way.
“Horses” hit the punk world like a stampede when it arrived in December 1975, and it kicked in for a lot of people with her bewitching and androgynous performance on “Saturday Night Live” on April 17, 1976 doing “Gloria.” (Pittsburghers did not witness that at the regularly scheduled time or maybe at all, due to “Chiller Theater” still being on the air here).
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When JJ Grey suggested four years ago that he wanted to do an acoustic tour, his manager quickly upped the ante.
“He said, ‘Why not put together a singer-songwriter-thing-in-the-round, and he just started naming off people.’ I was like count me in, let’s do it!” Mr. Grey says.
And so began the Southern Soul Assembly, starting in March 2014, which puts the singer-guitarist from Jacksonville, Fla., on stage with Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson to celebrate their Southern culture with songs and stories.
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With more people living and visiting Downtown and the restaurant scene booming, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership would like to see more of a soundtrack.
Currently, there are only a handful of Downtown bars and restaurants presenting live music, including NOLA on the Square, The Fairmont, the Backstage Bar, Olive or Twist and the newly opened Eddie V’s, and much of that is small combo stuff.
There needs to be more music and more variety, according to Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the PDP.
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One of the memorable moments at the Latin Quarter was the night Public Enemy tried to take Manhattan.
That day in March 1987, says Paradise Gray, who managed the talent at the Times Square club, the hip-hop crew members came in with their bags packed with fake Uzis they used in the show.
“My first memory of Public Enemy,” he said, “was having to run downstairs and save their lives because my security force had pistols on them, because they search everybody, and when they were going through the bags, they found these plastic Uzis, and the guns came out quick. I was like, ‘No, no, chill, those are stage props.’ ”
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Jimmer Podrasky’s comeback is about to enter phase two.
The frontman for alt-country pioneers The Rave-Ups, formed while the Natrona Heights native was attending Carnegie Mellon University in 1980, was all but absent from the music scene for almost 20 years before picking up right where he left off with a solo debut, “The Would-Be Plans,” in September 2013.
The album recaptured much of what people loved about the Rave-Ups — the clever songwriting, twangy vocals and roots rock energy — while offering the mature perspective of an artist who had been there and back.
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There has never been a voice quite like Valerie June’s, and it seemed to come out of nowhere in 2013.
But there was a reason it was so full of wonder and yet so seasoned.
She had a few years, clubs, coffeehouses and studios behind her before meeting Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and working together on her breakout album, “Pushin’ Against a Stone.”
The 35-year-old (born Valerie June Hockett) from Jackson, Tenn., grew up in a musical churchgoing family (her father also did some concert promotion) and made her first noise after relocating to Memphis at 19. She released two indie albums and then put her dreams (along with her day jobs) on hold for a few years in her mid-20s after being diagnosed with diabetes.
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Word that Twenty One Pilots would headline PPG Paints Arena in January felt a little like turning back time.
In the good old days, of rock ’n’ roll at least, young acts with hits, talent and charisma could move steadily from clubs to theaters to arenas.
These days, not so much.
But Twenty One Pilots have the flight plan and the ground support. When last in Pittsburgh back in June, the Columbus, Ohio, duo had teen fans camped out in front of Stage AE for three days to get a spot up front. Combine the hysteria with the high-energy show and it’s not a huge surprise that the duo, which blends hip-hop and electronic rock, is going the full 18,000 on the Emotional Roadshow Tour.
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In November 2011, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore — essentially, the royal family of noise rock — announced that they were splitting after 27 years of marriage, scattering the members of Sonic Youth in different directions.
“The couple everyone believed was golden and normal and eternally intact, who gave younger musicians hope they could outlast a crazy rock ’n’ roll world, was now just another cliche of middle-aged relationship failure — a male midlife crisis, another woman, a double life,” Ms. Gordon wrote in her 2015 memoir.
Although it came as a surprise and a devastating blow to the rock world to lose one of the most innovative bands of the past three decades, founding member Lee Ranaldo had been bracing himself for it.
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It’s hard to describe the new offering from Code Orange without tossing around words like “sick,” “brutal,” “punishing,” “extreme.”
Such adjectives fill the lively and argumentative comments section under the violent, blood-soaked video for the title track to “Forever,” the Pittsburgh hardcore band’s third album.
When Code Orange was just forming, back in 2008 at Pittsburgh CAPA, as Code Orange Kids, the mission was full-on hardcore chaos. Now, the quartet tinkers more with the dynamics, employing more breakdowns, tempo changes, textures and electronic elements.
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Anti-Flag didn’t pull its punches during the Obama administration, taking on the Democrat for drone strikes and bowing to corporate interests on their last album, 2015’s “American Spring.”
You can only imagine what the veteran Pittsburgh punk band is gearing up for now. And Anti-Flag is likely to have a lot more company from its musical peers, punk and otherwise, in the political arena.
But, as the Trump administration prepares to take office, Anti-Flag is in the midst of a tour, stopping at Stage AE Wednesday, with some fun-loving, lighthearted cohorts: California ska-punk band Reel Big Fish.
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Jimmy Wopo just collected his first million — hits, not dollars. But in the music world, a million hits on YouTube is currency and certainly on the path to more of it.
The rapper from the Hill District is over a million views each for the videos to “Elm Street” and “Walking Bomb,” a staggering number for an up-and-coming independent artist and one that’s sure to get the attention of the industry.
“Two singles over a million. Once you get up there, that’s an elite level. That’s the feeling you get inside,” he says.
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Pittsburgh’s favorite musicians
Christina Aguilera worked hard to become an overnight sensation. The Grammy-winning multiplatinum singer, ranked No. 58 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, started performing at backyard parties when she was 6 or 7, around the time she moved here with her mother from her native Staten Island, N.Y.
If you Google “political punk,” the first image that comes up is a picture of Anti-Flag, the Pittsburgh band that went from basement gigs to an international sensation. Anti-Flag initially formed in 1988 but hit the local scene in 1992 with riffs and attitude straight out of the ‘77 punk yearbook.
Of all Pittsburgh’s exports, few are more talented than George Benson, whose stellar career found him going from doo-wop singer to jazz master to R&B hitmaker. The Hill District native began performing at around age 7 or 8, playing the ukulele and singing on street corners.
While many of his contemporaries enjoyed only a few golden years on the charts, Lou Christie, one of the most successful artists out of the Pittsburgh area, stretched that success, charting a dozen Top 100 hits from 1963 to 1973 in styles ranging from doo-wop to country.
Guitar-rockers The Clarks were a product of the Graffiti scene. The Clarks formed as a cover band at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1986, playing for beer and bashing out songs by the Replacements, Hoodoo Gurus and R.E.M.
Since forming in the ‘80s, the Pittsburgh band has carried the torch for the garage rock of the ‘60s, taking its cue from bands like the Swamp Rats and the Sonics. To ensure they would never be at the mercy of a national label, they formed their own garage-rock label Get Hip.
Combining computer savvy, an infectious love of pop, rap and indie-rock, and a whole of lot of stage charisma, Girl Talk has become one of the leading electronic artists of the 21st century. The former biomedical engineer known as Gregg Gillis is known for knocking out servers when he uploads a new release and rocking festival stages all over the world.
The Decade was home to a bruising bunch of bar-rock bands, none more fierce than the Iron City Houserockers led by towering frontman Joe Grushecky. Rooted in the 1977 group Brick Alley Band, the Houserockers would come to embody the rough-and-tumble sound of Pittsburgh rock ‘n’ roll with local anthems like “Pumpin’ Iron (Sweatin’ Steel)” and “Junior’s Bar.”
In Pittsburgh, he needs only one name: Donnie. Pronounced Dahnie. Donnie Iris, the pride of Beaver Falls, gave Pittsburgh one of its most beloved hits with “Ah! Leah!” in 1981, from the album “Back on the Streets.”
On any given day, Jasiri is most likely traveling the country to speak on a panel, lead a workshop for students or appear at a political rally. If you’ve seen him, you know he’s the kind of potent performer who can put an electric charge into a crowd.
A hip-hop star out of Pittsburgh? Hadn’t happened. Rappers came from New York, LA, Atlanta, Detroit, even Cleveland, but not Pittsburgh. That was almost unheard of. Until Cameron “Wiz Khalifa” Thomaz came of age.
Mac Miller proved that lightning can strike twice at Allderdice when he followed Wiz Khalifa’s footsteps into international hip-hop stardom. In Miller’s case, it was more of a long shot, as a white, Jewish, middle-class upbringing is not the usual launching ground for a rap star. However, he was able to silence the doubters pretty quickly with his clever lyrical flow.
Billy Price (born William Pollak) grew up in suburban Jersey in the ‘60s glued to New York R&B stations and favoring a DJ named the Dixie Drifter, who spun Southern soul. Price’s first band, the Rhythm Kings, formed at Penn State around 1970 and then relocated to Pittsburgh to become a Walnut Street institution at the Fox Cafe.
In the space between the blues-rockers at the Decade and the punks at the Electric Banana, literally, Pittsburgh sprouted an unlikely tribal rock band in Rusted Root, sprung from the Graffiti Rock Challenge in 1991. Root developed a grass-roots following with their colorful and festive gigs.
Thirteen labels rejected the demo for “Since I Don’t Have You” as being too sad. Undeterred, manager Joe Rock and singer Jimmy Beaumont sent it to the local Calico Records, which set up the Crescents -- Beaumont, Janet Vogel, Wally Lester, Joe VerScharen and Jackie Taylor -- in Capitol Studios in New York with 18 musicians.
TOM RUSH: Carnegie Lecture Hall, April 27, 7:30 p.m., $45/$20 students; www.calliopehouse.org.
TWIN FORKS: The Club at Stage AE, April 27, 7 p.m. doors, $18/$20; ticketmaster.com.
MAYDAY PARADE: Stage AE, April 28, 7 p.m. doors, $25; ticketmaster.com.
KINKY FRIEDMAN: Club Cafe, April 28, 7 p.m., $25; ticketweb.com.
ROY WOOD JR.: Rex Theater, April 28, 7 p.m., $22-$25; ticketfly.com.
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE: Club Cafe, April 29, 9 p.m., $15; ticketweb.com.
PISSED JEANS/S.L.I.P./PEACE TALKS: Mr. Smalls, April 29, 9 p.m., $15; ticketweb.com.
DAVE ALVIN & THE GUILTY ONES: Club Cafe, April 30, 8 p.m., $26; ticketweb.com.
GARY TALLENT: Hard Rock Cafe, April 30, 8 p.m., $15; ticketfly.com
THE STEEL WHEELS: Club Cafe, June 5, 8 p.m., $15; ticketweb.com.
ONEREPUBLIC/FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS: KeyBank Pavilion, July 18, 7 p.m., $25-$135; ticketmaster.com.
PHISH: Petersen Events Center, July 19, 7 p.m., $48-$63; ticketmaster.com
DARK STAR ORCHESTRA: Stage AE, Aug. 10, 8 p.m. doors, $27.50/$30; ticketmaster.com.
DEEP PURPLE/ALICE COOPER: KeyBank Pavilion, Sept. 1, 7 p.m., $33-$97.50; ticketmaster.com.
MATCHBOX TWENTY/COUNTING CROWS: KeyBank Pavilion, Sept. 12, 7 p.m., $29+; ticketmaster.com.
RODRIGUEZ: Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, Sept. 13, 8 p.m., $45-$65; ticketfly.com.
CONOR OBERST: Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, Sept. 15, 8 p.m., $34; ticketfly.com.
SYLVAN ESSO/HELADO NEGRO: Stage AE, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. doors, $25; ticketmaster.com.
ADAM ANT: Palace Theatre, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m., $30-$40; ticketfly.com.