Fantastic Average White Band Performs in Cultural District; Widespread Panic at Stage AE (Sun., 6/21/15)

1) Average White Band is composed of very talented musicians and maybe should be called Above Average White Band, or even Great White Band. Their success rises out of a funky beat, great vocals, and quite nice horn parts. The band formed in Dundee, Scotland in 1972 and shot to fame on songs like the million selling “Pick Up the Pieces,” “School Boy Crush,” “Cut the Cake,” and “A Love of Your Own.” Founding members Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre faithfully play the music with help from newer band members. AWB’s music is so well loved and respected that other artists including The Beastie Boys, Ice Cube, and Arrested Development have utilized parts of AWB’s music. AWB is the 15th most sampled group ever. This is a great opportunity to get out and dance in the streets of the Cultural District. 7:45 p.m. Free. Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, Penn Ave., Stage 1, Cultural District.

 

2) Widespread Panic are spreading the feel good factor through their show at Stage AE. They’re also helping to feed hungry families with their food drive, the Feeding People Through Music project, which has so far has collected more than 14,000 tonnes of food. Donations will be collected before the show for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Of course, that’s far from the only reason you’ll want to check out the rock jam band’s gig with Umphrey’s McGee. The Athens, Georgia, band are renowned for live performances and masterful improvisation. They’ve also been prolific at releasing live recordings, particularly with the regular release of two-track soundboard recordings from shows.

Their first studio release was in 1988, and their most recent was 2010’s Dirty Side Down, which peaked at 27 on the Billboard 200. It includes the track “Saint Ex”, inspired by The Little Prince author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Widespread Panic lost founding guitarist Michael Houser (nicknamed Panic) to cancer in 2002, and took a hiatus in 2012 after marking 25 years in the business. They’re now back on the road, making music and spreading good vibes. Doors open 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

3) The City of Pittsburgh’s Bach, Beethoven and Brunch Classical Music Series offers a free concert today by the Steel City Harmonizers, a chorus group that specializes in barbershop harmonies. This concert series runs every Sunday through August 16 in Mellon Park from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Pack your own brunch basket or buy food at the park. Fifth and Shady Aves., Squirrel Hill/Shadyside.