One more meaningless football game, folks, and then we're in business. For the Steelers, at least. The Pitt Panthers are playing for real on Saturday, making this a cause for a pigskin celebration.
The annual Coors Light Kickoff and Rib Festival runs today through Monday at Heinz Field with national rib vendors, free concerts and Steelers-Carolina Panthers and Panthers-Bowling Green football.
Here is the lineup:
Tonight: The Steelers take on the Carolina Panthers in the final preseason game at 7 p.m. The rib fest runs from noon to midnight.
Friday: Once again, the festival runs from noon to midnight and will be interrupted around 7:30 p.m. with a performance by Pittsburgh's most popular band: The Clarks.
Saturday: The Pittsburgh Panthers take on Bowling Green at noon. At 7:30 p.m., Night Ranger, featuring Jack Blades, takes the stage with hits like "Don't Tell Me You Love" and "Sister Christian."
Sunday: There's no football on Sunday, ironically, but there will be a free concert at 7:30 p.m. by blues guitar wizard Kenny Wayne Shepherd, now a ripe old 31. The ribs are slathered from noon to midnight.
Monday: The day begins early with the 20th annual Steelers 5K Race and Walk at 9 a.m. Then, at 4:30 p.m., Bad Company hits the stage, led by singer Brian Howe, who's now been with the band longer than Paul Rodgers. The fest runs till 7 p.m.
Throughout the festival, the Steelers Experience and the Coca-Cola Great Hall will be open. Admission to the festival is free. You need tickets to the games, of course. For details, go to www.steelers.com.
We're another year removed from the spirit of '76, but nothing much has changed at the 15th annual Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Colonial Festival.
You'll still find military re-enactors, string bands and folks in pioneer garb with food and crafts. In all, 200 exhibit booths for colonial shoppers this weekend at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Greensburg.
The Kanawha Artillery will be on hand with a Civil War encampment and military demonstrations, and there will be music by the Beaver Creek Colonial String Band, Acoustic Shadows and the Westland Flute Choir. Also at the festival will be the Wild World of Animals Show, colonial clowns Dot & Dapper, wagon rides and a petting zoo.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Monday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5.50; $1 kids 6-12. Call 724-863-4577.
Ted Nugent played a mute deputy in the new movie "Beer for My Horses," but there will be no shutting him up Saturday at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
The singer-guitarist-and-bow-and-arrow-toting madman will be backed by bassist Greg Smith and drummer Mick Brown for '70s anthems like "Stranglehold" and "Cat Scratch Fever," plus songs from "Love Grenade," an album he released last fall.
Among his newest songs is "I Am the NRA," which he premiered at the 2008 NRA National Convention in Louisville, where he surely was a hero. If you can't make the show, check out his new DVD, "Sweden Rocks."
It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 and $33. 1-866-703-7625.
Silver Jews don't turn up much on the list of Pollstar's touring bands. In fact, the Hoboken-based alt-country band, formed back in 1989 with members of Pavement, has toured only twice, owing greatly to frontman David Berman's bouts with depression, drug use and a tendency toward misanthropy.
With Berman now thriving -- for him -- Silver Jews turn up Saturday at the William Pitt Union, having just released a sixth album, "Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea." This one is a bit more jangly, a bit more upbeat than past efforts, but the band's cult following is still treated to Berman's world-weary poetry and deadpan vocal style, countered by wife Cassie's more expressive cries.
Opening the show at 8 p.m. is Cortney Tidwell, who's been described as Gillian Welch backed by Sigur Ros. Tickets are $12 advance at record stores and the William Pitt Union box office; $14 at the door.
-- Scott Mervis
Mountain bikers are a special breed. First, there's the lingo, which includes such colorful terms as: endo, snake-bite, hucker, digger and hard-tail. Then there's, well ... that whole thing about going down the side of a mountain on a bike. And just to top it off, they go and have 24-hour races. See? They're special.
The Subaru 24-Hour Champion Challenge will be held this weekend at Seven Springs. Average Joes like me and you can go and cheer from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. Or, once your voice goes out, find yourself a good wow-spot (where there are lots of wrecks) and appreciate your non-biker status. For more info, call 1-800-452-2223 or visit www.7springs.com.
-- Kate McCaffrey
Summer musical experiments
The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble may have traveled to Scotland, but that doesn't mean there's no experimental music to be had in town the rest of summer. With a piece just for two hi-hats and another with a theatrical bent, Alia Musica Pittsburgh is keeping the torch lit with a chamber concert 7 p.m. Sunday at Chatham University's Music Hall.
The concert features music by Thomas Childs, Mark Fromm, Federico Garcia, James Ogburn, Kerrith Livengood and Erica Kudisch. Livengood's "Fixations," for two hi-hats; Kudisch's "Wolf in the Woods," for narrator and trio; Childs' "Things Remembered," for English horn; and other works will be performed, sponsored in part by Chatham's music department. Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 student or online at www.alia-musica.org.
-- Andrew Druckenbrod
Old Economy Village is honoring the legacy of a pioneering Harmony Society businesswoman Sunday.
Gertrude Rapp was born in Harmony 200 years ago on Aug. 31. Her grandfather was Harmony Society founder George Rapp. At 18, she launched silk textile manufacturing operations in the town of Economy. She oversaw everything from raising silkworms to weaving the yarn and fabric. The Harmonist silks became recognized as some of the best in the country during the 19th century.
Emily Papisardi will portray Gertrude Rapp and will interact with visitors and demonstrate aspects of silk manufacturing.
The bicentennial celebration includes free admission to the Old Economy site from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Old Economy Village is on Route 65 in Ambridge. Information: 724-266-4500.
-- Adrian McCoy
Steel City Music
Fresh from making a splash at the Warped Tour, Dayton screamo band The Devil Wears Prada headlines the first Steel City Music Festival at Gravity in Cheswick Sunday from noon till midnight.
There will be 20 bands in all, including Punchline, Once Nothing, Gwen Stacy, Life Ruiner, Breaking the Silence, The Failsafe and Walking Out Blind. There will also be tattoo artists and games. Tickets are $22 in advance at IndieTickets.com; $24 at the door.
• If you want to get that last drop of watery fun out of your season pass, head for Sandcastle for the closing weekend. Sandcastle will be open at 11 a.m. Saturday through Monday.
• Kennywood opens Friday at 5 p.m. and will be open at 10:30 a.m. through Monday. Then, it will be open Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 14. Idlewild will be open Saturday through Monday.
• Alt-country band Good Brother Earl plays the free Station Square Jam Friday at 5 p.m. with Poogie Bell Band and Retrofitter. That takes place outside the Hard Rock Cafe.
• Inside the Hard Rock on Friday, jam-funk band Euphonic Brew holds a CD release party for its second album, "In a Sea of Stained Glass" at 10 p.m. The $10 ticket includes a free copy of the album. For a sample, go to www.myspace.com/euphonicbrew.
• In celebration of Pittsburgh 250, the Deryck Tines Ministry and Afro-American Music Institute presents Pittsburgh Spirit & Soul, an all-city choir gospel concert Friday at Heinz Hall with more than 100 voices. Tickets are $25. On Saturday, there's a free outdoor event with music and dance at Mellon Park (near the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts) from noon till dusk.
• Garfield Artworks should be packed Friday night for Xiu Xiu, indie darlings and fierce experimentalists out of Oakland, Calif. The band recently issued "Women As Lovers," a sixth studio album of eerie and disquieting art-rock complete with a tense cover of "Under Pressure." It begins at 8 p.m. with Brooklyn noise artist Prurient, Common Eider King Eider (ex-Deerhoof) and Steve Boyle. Tickets are $10. Call 412-361-2262.
• And don't forget the reason we're getting that extra day this weekend. The Labor Day Parade marches through Downtown Monday, leaving the Mellon Arena at 10 a.m. and traveling down Grant Street and the Boulevard of the Allies with bands, floats and labor leaders.