Pittsburgh Summer Concert Preview
The summer concert season is finally upon us. The trees have started sprouting and everything in our lives is getting gradually warmer, greener and brighter. Pat yourselves on the back for surviving another wretched Pittsburgh winter and be glad you aren’t from the Great Lakes region (trust us) because it could be a LOT worse! Either way, summer is an opportunity to indulge in the anticipation that’s felt for all the luxuries the warmer months afford us. At the top of that list, though, has to be summer concerts, and Pittsburgh has really stepped up their game as of recent when it comes to getting legit bookings. Sure, some tours still overlook us from time to time, but compared to five years ago, we’re making progress. It’s time to lay out our most anticipated concerts of this summer with the disclaimer that this list is heavily biased. We figured if we had to write a list of OUR picks we might as well be genuine about it! Let’s get excited folks!
Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe
If you’re trying to get a little more crunk than usual on a school night, consider hitting up Crystal Castles, who are known for their chaotic live shows and over the top front woman Alice Glass, May 9 at Mr. Smalls. There’s also Compton-raised Kendrick Lamar who will be hitting the Rostraver Ice Garden Arena June 3 with special guests Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock. This is an insane package, as the foursome comprise hip hop super group Black Hippy.
I’m Coming Out
If you’re more of a traditional music fan, there are some big throwback headliners coming our way this summer. The first, Soundgarden, hits Stage AE May 12 in support of their first album in 15 years, King Animal. New Orleans’ very own Dirty Dozen Brass Band bring their Southern charm to The Rex June 26. There’s also David Byrne of the Talking Heads and St. Vincent at Greensburg’s Palace Theatre on June 30th. On their own, each are a delight, but together they have released one hell of an album – 2012’s Love This Giant. One of the most powerful musicians of the 20th century, Diana Ross, is set to appear at Heinz Hall August 20 for an intimate performance. And then there’s always Muse at Consol Energy Center September 8, whose explosive sound can make the largest arenas feel like one’s own living room.
As Pittsburgh continues to make a name for itself in the world of electronic music, the phenomenal acts keep rolling in. VIA celebrates their three-year anniversary May 4th at 6119 by bringing returning guest Protect-U as well as appearances from locals Majeure and Pittsburgh Track Authority. There’s also an official Movement Preparty in Pittsburgh May 11th at Belvederes, an honor for many avid attendees who make it out to Detroit’s legendary festival every Memorial Day Weekend. Pittsburgh’s very own Humanaut crew has teamed up with Detroit’s Paxahau to bring the very first official pre party to town, which features Sweden’s Aril Brikha and a special opening set from Aaron Clark. Those of you who enjoy electronic sounds but need a little vocal accompaniment can get down to Toro Y Moi when he hits Mr. Smalls July 15.
This is undoubtedly the summer for the indie music fan, as the team of Opus One Productions and PromoWest North Shore continue to join forces to bring us a long list of hot button shows. They’ve managed to move Foals from Mr. Smalls and add Silversun Pickups as the headliner at Stage AE June 9th. Surfer Blood and Blondfire round out the bill and are great standalone bands as well. Pardon the Stage AE bias here, but there’s also Local Natives the next day (June 10) and Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men June 12th. Just trust us when we say that Local Natives is going to be AMAZING live! Stage AE has also teamed up with The Andy Warhol Museum to bring Belle & Sebastian back to Pittsburgh for the first time in over five years alongside openers Yo La Tengo on July 13. And UK crooners The XX make their Pittsburgh debut September 21.
Three Rivers Arts Festival hit the jackpot this year by scoring Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as the Friday night headliner for this year’s Arts Fest, which takes place June 7-16 at Point State Park downtown. Pride is KILLIN it this year with their huge Adam Lambert booking for June 15, whose ticket sales put last year’s headliner, Melissa Etheridge, to shame! There’s also the brand new for 2013 Deutschtown Music Festival, which features more than 25 local performers on a variety of outdoor stages throughout Pittsburgh’s historic Deutschtown taking place July 6 for FREE! And finally, Mr. Smalls celebrates 10 years with their “10th Anniversary Series” – a lineup of performances scheduled throughout June that highlight the venue’s diverse audience. Everyone from The Dandy Warhols to Bloc Party to Lotus to Baroness will be there for one of the ten scheduled anniversary shows taking place that month. Stay tuned for a series of giveaways in conjunction with this celebration, and as always – get out to some live shows and have a GREAT summer Pittsburgh!