Music

A guide to Pittsburgh’s music venues, including two new players on the scene

By April 30, 2019 May 1st, 2019 No Comments

By Bethany Ruhe
Pittsburgh Current Associate Publisher
BETHANY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

 

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

Contact: aacc-awc.org

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.

 

Benedum Center

Address: 237 Seventh St., Downtown

Contact: trustarts.org

Upcoming Shows of Note: Hozier (May 26), Peter Frampton (July 2)

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.

 

Brillobox

Address: 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield

Contact: brilloboxpgh.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Mars Jackson, Rich Jones (May 15);

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.

 

Byham Theater

Address: 101 Sixth St., Downtown

Contact: www.trustarts.org

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

Contact: librarymusichall.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: The Tallest Man on Earth (May 10), David Crosby (June 2)

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.

 

Cattivo

Address: 146 44th St., Lawrenceville

Contact: cattivopgh.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: I: Scintilla (May 1), The Clay People (May 30)

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.

 

Club Cafe

Address: 56 S. 12th Street, South Side

Contact: clubcafelive.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Brooke Annibale (May 10), The Forty Nineteens (May 24)

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.

 

Crafthouse

Address: 5024 Curry Road, Whitehall

Contact: crafthousepgh.com

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.

 

Foxtail

Address: 1601 E. Carson St., South Side

Contact: foxtailpgh.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Chris Lake (May 16); All that Remains (June 14)

Recent Shows of Note: T-Pain, Crystal Method

Bottom Line: Live music events range from hip hop to hard rock to EDM.

 

Gooskis

Address: 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill

Contact: tinyurl.com/gooskisfb

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

Contact: www.trustarts.org

Upcoming Shows of Note: Damien Jurado (May 20)

Recent Shows of Note: The Cooper Family, Ann Hampton Callaway and Amanda McBroom

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

Contact: hardrockcafe.com/location/pittsburgh/

Upcoming Shows of Note: Cosplay Karaoke (May 9), Beasto Blanco (May 20)

Recent Shows of Note: Steel Blossoms, Dale Watson

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.

 

Heinz Hall

Address: 600 Penn Ave., Downtown

Contact: trustarts.org

Upcoming Shows of Note: Beethoven’s Ninth (June 6), Igor Levit plays Mozart (June 14)

Recent Shows of Note: Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Fleming

Bottom Line: A grand, spacious concert hall featuring the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and nationally touring acts.

 

Highmark Stadium

Address: 510 West Station Square Drive

Contact: highmarkstadium.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Sammy Hagar and the Circle with Night Ranger (June 5)

Bottom Line: A great place for smaller stadium shows while you check out the million-dollar view.

 

Howlers

Address: 4509 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville

Contact: howlerspittsburgh.com

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

Contact: jergels.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Jefferson Starship, Abbarama, Last In Line

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.

 

KeyBank Pavilion

Address: 665 Route 18, Burgettstown

Contact: www.burgettstownpavilion.net

Upcoming Shows of Note: Wiz Khalifa (July 20), Hootie and the Blowfish (July 21)

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.  

 

MCG jazz

Address: 1815 Metropolitan Street, Chateau

Contact: mcgjazz.org

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.

 

Moondogs

Address: 378 Freeport Rd., Blawnox

Contact: www.moondogs.us

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

Contact: www.mrsmalls.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: The Mountain Goats (May 7), Soccer Mommy (July 12)

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.

 

O’Reilly Theater

Address: 621 Penn Ave., Downtown

Contact: www.trustarts.org

Upcoming Shows of Note: Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp (May 6), The Vaudevillians (July 11)

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

Contact: www.thepalacetheatre.org

Upcoming Shows of Note: Whitesnake (May 14), The Lettermen (May 19)

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

Contact: www.peterseneventscenter.com

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

Contact: www.ppgpaintsarena.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Ariana Grande (June 12), Khalid (July 29)

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

Contact: www.rextheater.net

Upcoming Shows of Note: Hop Along (July 9), Snail Mail (July 28)

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

Contact: www.riverscasino.com/pittsburgh

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

Contact: https://www.upmceventscenter.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Evanescence (May 12), The Doobie Brothers (Aug. 16)

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

Contact: www.therobotoproject.com/

Upcoming Shows of Note: Fog Lake, Great Grandpa

Recent Shows of Note: AllegrA, Slaughter Beach

Bottom Line: A DIY show space and art gallery that creates a comfortable and open safe space for music lovers in Pittsburgh.

 

Rock Room

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.  

 

Schenley Plaza

Address: 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland

Contact: www.pittsburghparks.org/schenley-plaza

Upcoming Shows of Note: Make Music Pittsburgh (June 21), WYEP Summer Music Festival (June 29)

Bottom Line: Nothing says summer like listening to music outdoors in a park

 

Smiling Moose

Address: 1306 East Carson St., Southside

Contact: www.smiling-moose.com

Upcoming Shows of Note: Kublai Khan (May 8), Wilson (June 2)

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.

 

Space Upstairs

Address: 214 North Lexington St., Point Breeze

Contact: www.thespaceupstairs.org

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

 

Spirit

Address: 242 51st St., Lawrenceville

Contact: www.spiritpgh.com

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.

 

Stage AE

Address: 400 N Shore Dr., North Shore

Contact: www.stagepittsburgh.com

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

 

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