By Bethany Ruhe
Pittsburgh Current Associate Publisher
McKees Rocks is about to become McKees Rocks and Rolls. Two hotly anticipated venues, Roxian and Black Forge Coffee, are both opening in the coming weeks, giving a lot of people a whole lot of reasons to check out the neighborhood.
The Roxian, an old vaudeville theater, is almost ready to open their doors for their first show and Grand Opening May 10 with British funk band The New Mastersounds
John Pergal, COO and Partner of Roxian Live, decided to invest in the old theater when he was approached by Tairs Vrcek of the McKees Rocks CDC. “He’s a fan of the Thunderbird Cafe, my other venue. Once seeing the Theatre for the first time, I knew it had great potential to become an incredible live music venue.” He also saw the opportunity to have a positive impact on the community. “This was also a chance to help transform the Lower Chartiers business district, similar to what the Thunderbird Cafe did in Lawrenceville.”
Pergal promises world class sound and lighting and great sight lines, to enhance people’s experiences. They will also feature 20 beers on tap, with a focus on local craft breweries. That local-focus will continue when it comes to booking acts, too. “Whenever possible, we’re going to be pulling local acts as openers for nationally touring acts. We’ll also be hosting special events and local showcases that will incorporate our favorite Pittsburgh talent”
Black Forge Coffee is also officially opening their new McRock Rocks location soon, although a date has not yet been set. After battling noise issues with live music in their Allentown location, the metal-loving coffee heads decided to find a new location, settling on a former Chartiers Trust Bank building. They plan to hit the ground running, so make sure to check their website for upcoming shows and events.
The following is a select list of musical venues from around the Pittsburgh Region
August Wilson African American Cultural Center
Address: 900 Liberty Ave., Downtown
Upcoming Shows of Note: Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival
Recent Shows of Note: Gregory Porter
Bottom Line: Named for Pittsburgh’s famed playwright, the musical offerings here are as good as the top notch literary, dance and visual arts presentations. A mix of national and local acts; top-flight jazz is a particular specialty.
Address: 237 Seventh St., Downtown
Recent Shows of Note: Mariah Carey
Bottom Line: Catch classic works performed by Pittsburgh Opera and some of the best touring acts in the country at this 2,800-seat theater.
Address: 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield
Recent Shows of Note: Paddy the Wanderer
Bottom Line: Unapologetic hipster joint with great food and a variety of local and touring acts from a variety of genres.
Address: 101 Sixth St., Downtown
Upcoming Shows of Note: Jackie Evancho (May 31)
Recent Shows of Note: Sounds of China, The Drifters, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and the Platters
Bottom Line: A 1,300-seat venue featuring a variety of performing arts and music events.
Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
Address: 510 E 10th Ave., Munhall
Recent Shows of Note: Sunn O)))
Bottom Line: Intimate historic venue focused on national acts from a variety of genres. The only thing better than its music lineup is the number of top-level comedians to take the stage.
Address: 146 44th St., Lawrenceville
Recent Shows of Note: Neyla Pekarek
Bottom Line: A great spot for a wide range of live music in one of Pittsburgh’s most popular entertainment districts.
Address: 56 S. 12th Street, South Side
Recent Shows of Note: Cactus Blossoms
Bottom Line: One of the best places in the city to see intimate performances from great local and nationally known singer-songwriters.
Address: 5024 Curry Road, Whitehall
Upcoming Shows of Note: Nashville Pussy (May 22)
Recent Shows of Note: Enuff Z’Nuff
Bottom Line: The 50 craft beers on tap is already an attraction. Musical offerings tend toward Hard Rock, Southern Rock and Classic Rock. It’s also the ideal place to catch a tribute band of our favorite artist.
Address: 1601 E. Carson St., South Side
Bottom Line: Live music events range from hip hop to hard rock to EDM.
Address: 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill
Upcoming Shows of Note: The Russells (May 4)
Recent Shows of Note: The Spits
Bottom Line: The music is loud, the beer is cheap. Punk, metal, hard rock, black-metal, hardcore.
Greer Cabaret Theater
Address: 655 Penn Ave., Downtown
Upcoming Shows of Note: Damien Jurado (May 20)
Bottom Line: A small, intimate space to get away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Pittsburgh.
Hard Rock Cafe
Address: 230 W Station Square Drive, Station Square
Upcoming Shows of Note: Cosplay Karaoke (May 9), Beasto Blanco (May 20)
Bottom Line: It’s Pittsburgh’s version of the iconic brand featuring live local and national acts. Do yourself a favor and check out Cosplay Karaoke.
Address: 600 Penn Ave., Downtown
Bottom Line: A grand, spacious concert hall featuring the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and nationally touring acts.
Address: 510 West Station Square Drive
Bottom Line: A great place for smaller stadium shows while you check out the million-dollar view.
Address: 4509 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville
Upcoming Shows of Note:The Sun Champs & Zachary Lee (May 3), Whiskey Daredevils with Smokey Bellows & Brian Mcquaid (May 4)
Recent Shows of Note: A Pittsburgh Tribute to John Prine
Bottom Line: This rock bar located in Pittsburgh’s Little Italy packs a big punch with rock ‘n roll Wednesdays through Sunday.
Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
Address: 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale
Recent Shows of Note: The Allman Betts Band, Tyler Farr
Bottom Line: A two-story, 17,000 square foot venue featuring local, regional and national touring acts of all genres.
Address: 665 Route 18, Burgettstown
Recent Shows of Note: Lady Antebellum & Darius Rucker
Bottom Line: Rock out to some of the best touring acts at Pennsylvania’s biggest outdoor amphitheater.
Address: 1815 Metropolitan Street, Chateau
Upcoming Shows of Note: Booker T. Jones (May 10)
Recent Shows of Note: Fred Hersch Trio and “The Genius of Eddie Jefferson” feat. Allan Harris
Bottom Line: Providing some of Pittsburgh’s chillest tunes since 1987.
Address: 378 Freeport Rd., Blawnox
Upcoming Shows of Note: The Nicole Belli Band (May 11)
Recent Shows of Note: Jack of Diamonds
Bottom Line: A small venue with big blues acts in Pittsburgh
Mr. Smalls Theatre
Address: 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale
Recent Shows of Note: Mitski, Chase and the Barons
Bottom Line: A multipurpose theatre bringing some of the best to Pittsburgh for the past 15 years.
Address: 621 Penn Ave., Downtown
Recent Shows of Note:
Bottom Line: Catch the best of regional theater and live performance at Pittsburgh’s only thrust-stage theater.
The Palace Theatre
Address: 21 West Otterman St., Greensburg
Recent Shows of Note: REO Speedwagon, Needtobreathe
Bottom Line: Catch everything, from ballet to the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra and national entertainers, at this Westmoreland theater.
Petersen Events Center
Address: 3719 Terrace St., Oakland
Upcoming Shows of Note: JoJo Siwa (July 30)
Recent Shows of Note: TOBYMAC, Arctic Monkeys,
Bottom Line: Hail to Pitt and hail to live music at this 9,000 seat venue.
PPG Paints Arena
Address: 1001 Fifth Ave., Downtown
Recent Shows of Note: Cher, Mumford and Sons
Bottom Line: Yes, it’s the home to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it’s also home to national touring acts that happen to land in the Steel City.
The Rex Theater
Address: 1602 East Carson St., Southside
Recent Shows of Note: CKY, Our Last Night
Bottom Line: Originally a vaudeville theater, the Rex Theater brings live music, free movie nights, independent film screenings, plays and comedy shows to the Southside
Rivers Casino Events Center
Address: 777 Casino Dr., Chateau
Upcoming Shows of Note: George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic (June 7)
Recent Shows of Note: Blues Traveler
Bottom Line: Hit the slots, visit the free Drum Bar and catch some of the biggest names in entertainment, all in the same place.
UPMC Events Center at Robert Morris University
Address: 6001 University Blvd., Moon
Recent Shows of Note: n/A
Bottom Line: This new 161,000-square-foot, 4,000 seat venue on Robert Morris University’s campus combines academics, athletics and plenty of opportunities to watch live entertainment.
The Mr. Roboto Project
Address: 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield
Bottom Line: A DIY show space and art gallery that creates a comfortable and open safe space for music lovers in Pittsburgh.
Address: 1054 Herron Ave., Polish Hill
Upcoming Shows of Note: Fuckin Basterd, Mower and Kollission (May 29)
Bottom Line: Just right around the Gooski’s, The Rock Room features cheap food and metal music to rage to.
Address: 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland
Bottom Line: Nothing says summer like listening to music outdoors in a park
Address: 1306 East Carson St., Southside
Recent Shows of Note: Alex Di Leo
Bottom Line: Showing regional and local acts in Southside. Come for the music, stay for the great food and beer.
Address: 214 North Lexington St., Point Breeze
Recent Shows of Note: A Second Saturday
Bottom Line: Home to Second Saturdays and poetry salons, this gallery loft promotes innovation and exploration among the artists it hosts
Address: 242 51st St., Lawrenceville
Upcoming Shows of Note: Sandy Alex G (May 3)
Recent Shows of Note: Spirit Brunch with Kate “DJ Connor”
Bottom Line: With brunches that feature live music and some of the best pizza in the ‘Burgh, this former moose lounge provides a cozy atmosphere to watch local and regional talent.
Address: 400 N Shore Dr., North Shore
Upcoming Shows of Note: MGMT (May 16), Machine Gun Kelly (June 2)
Recent Shows of Note: Wiz Khalifa, Maren Morris
Bottom Line: An indoor/outdoor concert venue that features everything from rock to metal to rap.
Venue Guide compiled by Amanda Reed and Charlie Deitch