2014 Pittsburgh Summer Concert Preview
If there’s one thing we can say with certainty regarding the upcoming concert season here in Pittsburgh, it’s that we’ve come a long way in the past year. A spot on the map once overlooked, we’re popping up on more and more tour itineraries and others are starting to take note that we are no longer “10 years behind” when it comes to tastes. Our population is getting younger, more folks with disposable income are settling here, and as more venues and promoters pop up in the area, they’re grooming an audience of concert-goers who are loyal, particular and enthusiastic about the booming entertainment scene in the ‘Burgh. Be prepared to pick and choose this year, because you can’t possibly do everything. And so, we present our seasonal preview of hot summer shows that should help make prioritizing a bit easier on our readers.
Heavy hitters visiting the ‘Burgh this summer include Lady Gaga, who returns to Consol June 8, Dave Matthews Band June 28 at First Niagara Pavilion, legend Paul McCartney July 7 at Consol, and the timeless Smokey Robinson August 2 at the Meadows Casino near Washington. Perhaps the most surprising visitor, however, is The White Stripes’ Jack White, who will play to a sellout outdoor crowd at the North Shore’s fantastic Stage AE.
Folk songstress Aimee Mann joins forces with punk prodigy Ted Leo for their project, The Both, which hits Mr. Smalls May 5th. There’s also the killer lineup of Conor Oberst and tourmates Dawes at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall May 25, and the sold-out Bastille show outdoors at Stage AE June 1, We’re all in for a treat when Ben Folds joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra June 17 at Heinz Hall. You might remember our exclusive presale and were lucky enough to already grab tickets!
There is no shortage of legit electronic and techno shows this summer thanks to our friends throwing down every Saturday night at Hot Mass. They’re hosting Detroit staple DJ Minx May 10 for an Official Movement Pre-party and VIA babe Lauren G will be there to pick up the pieces once she’s done shattering the dancefloor. Expect big things from VIA in the coming months, too. The 1337, Obvious and 412DNB crews are teaming up to bring DNB legend Andy C to The Rex Theater June 24 for one of the biggest shows of the summer. And for those of you who like your bleeps n’ bloops with a bit of vocals, Polica returns to Pittsburgh June 10 at Mr. Smalls and indie darlings CHVRCHES hit Stage AE June 11.
Hip Hop Homies
One of the more vibrant scenes this summer is on the r&b/rap/hip hop front. Fans of these genres are gon’ get spoiled this summer, with folks like Ratking returning to Pittsburgh June 12 for a show at the Brillobox. Tyler, The Creator has upgraded his return visit to a gig at Stage AE June 4, and indie hip hop heads are stoked to welcome Atmosphere to Mr. Smalls June 11. There’s also Grandmaster Flash, who’s appearing as part of Round Corner Cantina’s Gold Series June 20, soulful heartthrob Maxwell July 8 at Heinz Hall, the hugely-anticipated return of Deltron 3030, who hits Altar Bar July 15, the hot ticket of Jurassic 5 with Dilated Peoples & Beat Junkies at Stage AE July 30 and of course the PGH homie Wiz Khalifa August 1 at First Niagara Pavilion.
Rock n’ Roll Heroes
We can’t forget the rockers, who will be welcoming Band of Skulls to Mr. Smalls May 1 to kick off the summer season proper. Alabama Shakes pop their Pittsburgh cherry May 8 at Stage AE, while Chino Moreno of Deftones fame brings his side project Crosses to the Altar Bar on May 12. Just fresh off the release of their sophomore album, Little Hurricane come to Club Cafe May 13, and the Arctic Monkeys and openers White Denim visit Stage AE June 17. To round out a great summer of rock shows, get nostalgic August 13 at the Altar Bar with Presidents of the United States of America, and then save a peach to snack on while on the lawn of First Niagara Pavilion for Kings of Leon’s season-closing performance.
Excited yet? A lot of quality options at the city’s great venues means there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to check out the Three Rivers Arts Festival June 6-15 where you can catch the goddess Lucinda Williams Saturday, June 14 and brit rockers Kaiser Chiefs Tuesday, June 10. There’s also a great lineup this year at some of the local parks, all of which are free and family-friendly. See you around!