Music Track: Running down the best in live music for the next 30 days

By July 11, 2018 July 12th, 2018 No Comments

Cherry Glazerr

By Margaret Welsh
Current Music Editor

Prog Rock

Strawberry Girls may call Salinas, CA. home, but the trio’s brand of instrumental prog is likely to inspire some fond feelings in long-time fans of Pittsburgh (or Pittsburgh adjacent) music. Instrumental tracks like “Black Night, Golden Circus,” from Italian Ghosts bring to mind the mathy post-rock of Don Caballero or Battles. And while the unexpected soulfulness make the occasional guest vocals feel like a soundtrack to the miserable end of a weekend drug binge (hey, pobody’s nerfect!), Strawberry Girls hits some instrumental runs that sound straight out of “Heart of the Sunrise,” which, if you ask me, is high praise indeed. Check it out at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, Thursday, July 12. Night Verses opens. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $13. 412-821-4447 or

Hard Rock

BUST magazine used to sell a T-shirt that asked, WWJJD? And certainly, What Would Joan Jett Do is always a question worth asking. If you live your life by the philosophies presented in “Bad Reputation” or “I Love Rock n Roll” (perhaps the only good rock song about loving that particular genre), don’t miss your chance to see the legend in person at KeyBank Pavilion, Saturday, July 14. Blackhearts in tow, Jett is joined by STYX and Tesla. 7 p.m. $15-174. 665 Pennsylvania 18, Burgettstown.

Black Metal

Those in search of a sonic pummeling take note: Heresiarch hits Brillobox on Thursday, July 19. The New Zealand-based blackened death metal outfit takes an almost Phil Spector approach to sound, though in their case it’s less a wall and more a crushing wave of blood. (The band’s debut full length, 2017’s Death Ordinance is as rich and embodied as a heartbeat.) The band is joined by Antichrist Siege Machine, from Richmond, and Pittsburgh’s own Ritual Mass. 8 p.m. $15. 4104 Penn. Ave., Bloomfield. 412-621-4900 or


Paula Cole

It was two decades ago that Lilith Fair took over the country, which means that many of its stars are due for a reexamination. And Paula Cole, who appears Thursday, July 19 at Jergel’s Rhythm Grill, may be especially ripe for rediscovery. Those of a certain age will always associate her with Michelle Williams and James Van Der Beek, but on her most recent release, Ballads, Cole accomplishes the not-so-easy task of making standards like “God Bless the Child” her own. 8 p.m. $25-38. 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale. 724-799-8333 or


Don Flemons

Since leaving the Grammy-winning group the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dom Flemons has continued to carry early folk music traditions into the 21st century. His most recent record, Black Cowboys – released on the Smithsonian Folkways label – digs into the often overlooked musical traditions of African American ranch crews. On Thursday, July 19, the multi-instrumentalist appears as part of Chamber Music Pittsburgh’s family friendly Just Summer concert series at the Ace Hotel. 8 p.m. $25-75. 120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty. 412-361-3300 or


Chuck Prophet has always flown a little further under the radar than seems fair: the San Francisco-based singer-songwriter’s melodic rock n’ roll has the playful swagger of Tom Petty and the low-key gentlemanly wit of Yep Roc label-mate Nick Lowe. Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, Prophet’s quite-good 13th studio record, finds him as smart and winning as ever. If you’ve never seen him live, there’s no better time than Friday, July 20, when he plays a free show at St. Clair Park, in Greensburg. 7 p.m. 135 N. Maple Ave., Greensburg.


Sean Rowe

Sean Rowe has the kind of dynamic singing voice that you hear and sometimes can’t understand why it’s so goddamned infectious. It’s deep, gravelly but also melodic and mesmerizing. His sound is a hybrid of bluesy rock, folk and low-key outlaw country. The sound is one you have to hear for yourself to truly appreciate and, luckily, you’ll get the chance Tuesday July 24 at the Rex Theater when he appears with extremely talented singer/songwriter Amanda Shires. Rowe will be the one with the giant beard and duct tape-patched acoustic.  (Charlie Deitch) 7 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $25-28.


We all lose faith in pop music once in awhile, but Cherry Glazerr’s new-wavy dance rock is full of good humor and good-er hooks. This is arena rock with punk house sensibilities (“We wear our underpants three days in a row,” Clementine Creevy sings in certified banger “Trash People.”) Seriously, these are songs that will stick in your head, appealing to your heart, your head, and your hips. The LA-based band supports Lord Huron at Stage AE, Thursday July 26. 7 p.m. $31. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side.


In late June, this question appeared on “Jeopardy!,” in the category of “Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”: “Are you ‘Kid A’-ing? These alt-rock legends weren’t part of the class of 2018, their first year of eligibility.” None of the contestants got it right, but you did, right? Because you already have your ticket to Radiohead at the PPG Paints Arena on Thursday, July 26, right? The band is promoting its new record, A Moon Shaped Pool, but you knew that too. Junun opens. 7:30 p.m. $85. 1001 Fifth Ave., Downtown.

Hip Hop

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in Pittsburgh, in which case Wiz Khalifa needs no introduction. And whether you’ve been stanning from the beginning, or if you’ve checked in just in time to check out Rolling Papers 2, his appearance Thursday, July 26 at KeyBank Pavilion is sure to be …well, it’s the Dazed & Blazed tour, so chill is the word that most readily comes to mind. He’s joined by Mississippi-born duo Rae Sremmurd, who’s exuberant yet melancholic hits “Black Beatles” and “Swang” felt, in 2016, both omnipresent and underrated. Lil Skies and O.T. Genasis also appear. 6 p.m. $29.50-249. Pennsylvania 18, Burgettstown.

Indie Rock

Lucy Dacus

Believe the hype on Lucy Dacus. Historian, the Richmond, Va.-based singer songwriter’s second record, is a stunning work, full of unexpected hooks, memorable melodies and big riffs. “Night Shift,” a brilliantly biting post-breakup letter (and easily one of the year’s best songs) showcases Dacus’s wise, candid, quotable lyricism. “It’s too dangerous to fall so young,” she sings on that track, though, at 23, Dacus is clearly an old soul. Don’t miss her when she hits Club Café, Friday, July 27, with Deau Eyes. 7 p.m. $15. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. 412-431-4950 or


Much ink has been spilled on the divisiveness of Father John Misty. Is he a troll? A prankster? Is he sincere? In an earlier era, his antics and prickly persona would probably be called rock star behavior, and, with his larger than life stage presence, pitch-perfect baritone, singable Elton John–esque ballads and Lemonade writing credit, a rock star is what he is. As he told the New Yorker in a profile last year, “If you can’t hold two ideas in your head at once, you’re not going to get what I do.” Which, ironically, seems to be another way of saying, don’t overthink it. On Friday, August 3, he brings his star power to Stage AE. Bully opens. 7 p.m. $35. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side.

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