July Concert Guide: Paula Abdul, Megadeth, One Republic, Phish, and Festivals

Paula Abdul backstage at the The X Factor in 2011. photo: Alison Martin.

Paula Abdul backstage at the The X Factor in 2011. photo: Alison Martin and Wikipedia.

Not many mega acts visit town this month, but you will find a pleasing array of very good bands and performers. Paula Abdul, who’s on her first tour in 25 years, teams up with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men for a big 1990s music concert at PPG Paints Arena. Also at PPG is the legendary James Taylor with Bonnie Raitt opening.

One Republic, who have been opening for U2 in certain cities, plays KeyBank Pavilion on a bill that also has Fitz and the Tantrums. Classic rockers Boston and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts join forces for a show also at KeyBank. Phish fans are rejoicing as the band is playing the Pete. Spoon and Megadeth see action at Stage AE.

There’s some first class concerts at Hartwood and South Park with Con Funk Shun and the Gin Blossoms respectively. On the local front, performers with big shows this month include Joe Grushecky, Billy Price, Roger Humphries, Bill Toms, Jim Donovan, and Jill West. We’ve highlighted just a few of the shows that are happening this month, so get out and enjoy some summer sounds.

Saturday, July 1

 

PPG Paints Arena is hosting a 1990s blowout with Paula Abdul, New Kids on the Block, and Boyz II Men. Abdul, who started out her career as a Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader and was once married to actor Emilio Estevez, is best known as a judge for the hit TV talent shows “American Idol” and “The X Factor.” In the late ’80s and early ’90s, she was an extremely popular singer with six songs reaching no. 1 on the Billboard 100 chart. This feat ties her with Diana Ross for seventh place for females who have topped the chart. Abdul’s debut 1988 album, Forever Your Girl, garnered no. 1 status on the Billboard 200 album chart 64 weeks after it was released. On one of the songs, “Knocked Out,” she had assistance from two top writing and producing talents, L.A. Reid and Babyface. Her video for “Opposites Attract” won a Grammy for Best Music Video-Short Form in 1991. Abdul is also recognized as a top choreographer. This is Abdul’s first tour in 25 years.

New Kids on the Block is a boy band (now a man band) that rose out of the rough streets of Boston and was built around a young rapper named Donnie Wahlberg. The rest of the group was filled in with talented friends, and for a short while, his brother Mark was in the band. The group disbanded in 1994 and reunited in 2007. Top songs include “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Step by Step.” Brothers Donnie and Mark have a growing quick-serve restaurant chain called Wahlburgers, which will open in two locations in Pittsburgh within a year. Also on the bill are Boyz II Men, originally from Philadelphia and best known for beautiful vocal harmonies in their love ballads. They hit the charts with “I’ll Make Love to You” and “End of the Road.” 7:30 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (RH)

If you’ve heard Horace Silver’s immortal bossa nova standard, “Song for My Father,” then you’ve heard Roger Humphries. The brilliant percussionist has played virtually every major venue in the United States with such renowned performers  as Dizzy Gillespie and  Ray Charles to Pittsburgh natives Nathan Davis and Pete Henderson. An accomplished solo artist in his own right and the leader of RH Factor and Roger Humphries’ Big Band, Humphries has also left a lasting legacy in Pittsburgh as an educator. He’s  taught at the University of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and elsewhere. Catch the legendary drummer and the RH Factor Big Band performing a night of Ray Charles. It is billed as “One legend pays tribute to another.” 8 p.m. James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, 422 Foreland St., North Side. (EC, RH)

Sunday, July 2

Pittsburgh rock royalty Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers—have remained a constant on the Pittsburgh music scene as the city morphed from steel mills to high-tech foundry—are playing a gig with another Pittsburgh music powerhouse, Billy Price, outside at River’s Casino. Grushecky is a consummate singer/songwriter; he recently penned the anti-President Trump protest song “That’s What Makes Us Great.” His pal, Bruce Springsteen, liked it and agreed to sing on it. Other recent work by Grushecky includes It’s In My Song, an acoustic solo album of songs in his repertoire he created new arrangements for. Another noted release was 2013’s Somewhere East of Eden, which he recorded with The Houserockers.

Pittsburgh’s own Billy Price is a hardworking performer. In 2015, Price released an album with his idol, the late, great Otis Clay. The album, This Time for Real, is a joint recording with the Chicago soul/gospel icon Clay, whom Price called his biggest influence as a singer. The pair collaborated several times during  the past three decades. This Time for Real includes covers of soul and R&B tracks and new versions of two Clay originals.This year Price released an album he recorded live at Club Cafe titled Alive and Strange. This promises to be a great opportunity to see two Pittsburgh rock legends perform under the night sky. Free. 7 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore. (RH)

Tuesday, July 11

Dave Mustaine was Metallica’s original lead guitarist. Shortly before the band recorded its debut album, 1983’s Kill ’Em All, the other members fired him for his excessive substance abuse. In Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir, the singer/songwriter details taking a Greyhound bus from New York City to Los Angeles and finding a pamphlet on the dangers of nuclear proliferation. It  warned of megadeath—one million human lives lost because of a nuclear explosion. Mustaine dropped the second “a” in the word, and a new band was born. Despite substance-abuse problems and in-fighting, Megadeth became one of the great thrash metal groups alongside rival Metallica. Megadeth has released 15 LPs, most recently 2016’s Dystopia. The title track won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, the group’s first Grammy win. Megadeth plays Stage AE. Meshuggah, TesseracT, Lillake open. Doors open 5:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

In the past several years, Broadway star Idina Menzel‘s career (which was doing quite nicely already, thank you) was  unexpectedly hijacked by a song from a Disney movie. As the voice of Queen Elsa, who sings “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen, Menzel has reached a whole new level of fame. The Tony award-winning actress and singer had already been branching out to a new audience with a recurring guest role as Rachel Berry’s mother on the television musical “Glee.” This year she starred in a Lifetime Network remake of the film Beaches. But it’s the success of “Let It Go” that garnered her international fame. Her set list draws from her most successful stage roles in Wicked and Rent; her 2008 studio album, I Stand; and other releases, including 2016’s Idina. You can bet a certain popular Disney movie song will be featured, too. 8 p.m. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (EC, RH)

Friday, July 14

The Vans Warped Tour—which at its core is a punk rock showcase—long ago expanded to include dubstep, hip-hop, metal, reggae, and other genres. Begun in 1995, the Warped Tour is not only the largest touring music festival in the United States but also the longest-running. The tour launched Green Day, Blink-182, even Katy Perry. This year, with dozens of acts playing the tour’s KeyBank Pavilion date, there’s too many to list. Bowling for Soup, who recently made the Rex Theater party like it was 1985, are on the bill. American Authors are no strangers to the Pittsburgh area either. They played the Regatta last year. Hometown natives Anti-Flag are also billed. Set times and performance locations are not determined until the day of the show, so attendees should arrive early and seek the performance schedule, which is printed not on paper but on a giant, inflated billboard. 11 a.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (CM)

The Deutschtown Music Festival helps to promote local music and a neighborhood hidden in plain sight. Also known as East Allegheny, Deutschtown is east of the Children’s Museum and Allegheny Commons Park. The neighborhood is home to some lively bars and restaurants; many will serve as venues. Now in its fifth year, what was once a Saturday event has spilled into Friday night too. Deutschtown’s borders are porous, so expect a few groups from out of state. The main stage features one great Pittsburgh act after another, from Shelf Life String Band through Nevada Color. Bluegrass, punk, rap, rock, and other genres are represented. Some venues, like Penn Brewery, are outside Deutschtown. For a complete list of venues and acts, see the festival’s website. Food trucks and art vendors will be on scene. East Allegheny Community Council hosts. 5 p.m.–midnight Fri., July 14 and 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Sat., July 15. Free. Deutschtown (East Allegheny), North Side. (CM)

Saturday, July 15

James Taylor—one of the best soft rock and folk artists in American music since the late ’60s—continues to enthrall live audiences with his comforting songs, accomplished acoustic, guitar work, and melodic voice. Taylor’s first big hit was “Fire and Rain,” which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in 1970. Many other successful songs followed, including “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Handy Man.” He’s often collaborated with Carole King, and they teamed up for the last concert ever held at the Civic Arena, which was a sellout. Taylor is a champion who’s overcome many obstacles and continues to create and perform at a very high level. He was married to fellow singer Carly Simon for a time, and they have two children from the marriage. Tonight James Taylor and his All-Star Band play a show at Pittsburgh’s newer event palace, PPG Paints Arena. Let’s hope the tradition of Taylor performing concerts in Pittsburgh continues for a long time.

Blues musician Bonnie Raitt opens. Raitt, after working hard for more than 10 years, achieved mega-success on the strength of her albums Nick of Time (1989) and Luck of the Draw (1991). Something to Talk About” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me” were high-charting songs from the latter album. She had another hit album in 2012 with Sliptstream, her first in seven years. Raitt is touring in support of her newest album, Dig in Deep. Both Taylor and Raitt are inductees of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 7:30 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (RH)

Monday, July 17

It’s a double billing of ’80s angst at Stage AE. Echo & the Bunnymen is one of those bands with a lineage almost too complicated to follow: splits, reunions, solo careers, and deaths. Despite all that, the alt-rockers have recorded and released music for almost four decades since forming in Liverpool, England, in 1978. At various times a three-, four-, and five-piece, today the Bunnymen are a duo: original frontman Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant. They have recorded and toured since 2000, putting out four albums, including 2014’s Meteorites. The Violent Femmes released We Can Do Anything in 2016, the trio’s first album in 16 years. New songs, like “Memory,” stand alongside college radio classics like “Blister in the Sun” and “Country Death Song.” The band formed in Milwaukee, Wisc., in 1980. Original drummer Victor DeLorenzo quit in 2013, but John Sparrow, who played in the group’s backing band, the Horns of Dilemma, has picked up the sticks. Doors open 6 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Shore. (EC, CM)

Tuesday, July 18

I hadn’t seen One Republic live before, but they were the opener for a  U2 concert I attended a few weeks ago in Louisville. I had liked their sound, but seeing them perform a high-energy show solidified me even more as a fan. Lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist Ryan Tedder is a highly talented, fun, and humble front man for One Republic. The group cites many influences from a wide-ranging spectrum of artists and genres, including U2, The Beatles, and M83. Surviving some setbacks after forming in 2002, the band dropped their first album, Dreaming Out Loud, in 2007. The lead single, “Apologize,” cracked the Top 5 of virtually every major music chart in the world. The follow-up, “Stop and Stare,” was another international success and cemented the band as a force in pop music. They’ve had several more Top 10 singles since then, including “Good Life” and “Counting Stars.” One Republic’s 2016 album, Oh My My, debuted on the Billboard Hot 200 chart at No. 3. Opening is L.A.-based pop rockers Fitz and The Tantrums, who scored a big hit in the past year with “HandClap.” James Arthur is also on the bill. KeyBank Pavilion. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (RH)

One Republic performing at Surf Beach in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2013. photo: Vernon Chan and Wikipedia.

One Republic performing at Surf Beach in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2013. photo: Vernon Chan and Wikipedia.

When the album Sports dropped in ’83, it propelled Huey Lewis and the News to the higher echelons of the music industry charts. It achieved the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 on June 30, 1984. Like a musical tornado, it spun off four Top 10 and one Top 20 hit. “Heart and Soul,” “I Want a New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” and “If This Is It” were all over the radio and a very young MTV. “Power of Love,” which was used in the soundtrack for the movie Back to the Future, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1986. The band’s sound is part bar rock with a touch of soul, R&B, blues, and doo wop. Fun, uptempo music combined with Lewis’ entertaining persona always make them a good act to catch. 8 p.m. The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (RH)

Wednesday, July 19

The Baker’s Dozen, Phish’s 13-night run at Madison Square Garden, begins July 21. However, two days before the run starts, Phish will perform at the Petersen Events Center. The band formed at the University of Vermont in 1983. Thanks mostly to word-of-mouth and tape sharing, it garnered a huge following with domestic album and DVD sales passing the 8-million mark. The group went on hiatus in 2000 and in 2009, but the current lineup has been intact for over 30 years. Phish is a jam band, but its sound encompasses bluegrass, psychedelic, folk, and other genres. Their live shows are known for the members’ improvisation and interaction with the audience. They are also mainstays at outdoor festivals, such as Bonnaroo. 1994’s Hoist, Phish’s fifth album, increased their popularity as did their Ben & Jerry’s flavor, Phish Food, which debuted in 1997. Big Boat, the group’s 13th album, was released in 2016. 7 p.m. 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. (CM)

Sincerity can be scarce in our culture. That’s what makes the music video for “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun” so jarring—nearly five minutes of unadulterated beauty. Gaelynn Lea, who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (“brittle bone disease”), has every right to be cynical. Yet it’s she who is reminding us—us—that “time [is] the subtle thief of life. / It slips away when we pay no mind.” She sings these words over a gorgeous, looped violin. The song won NPR’s second annual Tiny Desk Contest, propelling Lea toward recognition outside her native Duluth, Minn.. All the Roads That Lead Us Home, released in 2015, is her debut album. She has toured Europe and returns to Club Cafe. Also billed is Ben de la Cour. The singer/songwriter released his sophomore album, Midnight in Havana, in 2016. The title possibly alludes to his time in Cuba’s capital. He lived in Havana, Paris, and elsewhere prior to settling down in Nashville. His vocals hark back to Springsteen and Lou Reed. The sound fits his self-described “Americanoir” songs. Aaron Lefebvre opens. 8 p.m. 56- 58 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)

Thursday, July 20

Staten Island, New York-born Corey Woods is best known by his stage name, Raekwon the Chef. He rose to fame as a member of the quintessential rap group the Wu-Tang Clan. He continues as one of the Wu-Tang Clan, but has also built a successful parallel career as a solo artist, writer, and producer. Raekwon is cited as a pioneer of the East Coast rap sub-genre known as Mafioso rap, which references the mafia and other crime syndicates, hustling, and criminality in its lyrics. The Miami New Times summed it up best when it described his lyrics as “street epics” that are “straightforward yet linguistically rich universes not unlike a gangsta Iliad.” He is also recognized as one of the best MCs in the business. Raekwon’s 1995 debut solo release, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… , debuted at no. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. Raekwon’s latest album is this year’s release, The Wild, and he is now out on his Wild Tour. Stann Smith and DJ Big Phill open. 7 p.m. Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (RH)

Friday, July 21

The rock band Gin Blossoms rose to fame out of Tempe, Ariz., in the ’90s on well-crafted pop rock songs with strong instrumentality and melodic vocals. The band has survived the suicide of founding member Doug Hopkins in 1993 and a breakup in 1997. Songs that have “blossomed” for the band include its biggest hits, “Hey Jealousy,” ” Allison Road,” and “Found Out About You.” No Chocolate Cake was their latest release, dropping in 2010. They are playing the South Park Amphitheatre as part of the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series. Special guest is Jimmer Podrasky & The Redd-Ups. 7:30 p.m. Free. 3700 Farmshow Dr., South Park Township. (RH)

Saturday, July 22

 

“Have You Seen Her?” was the refrain of the song of the same name that put Chicago’s Chi-Lites on the map in 1971. The group rose out of a band that the original members—Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, and Clarence Johnson—started at Chicago’s Hyde Park High School. A No. 1 hit for the band was 1972’s “Oh Girl.” They would rack up 11 Top 10 hits in their early ‘70’s zenith. Their sound is mainly that of a soulful slow jam with melodic harmonies and good arrangements. They are joined on the program at the Palace Theatre by another noted vocal group of the era, The Delfonics. The band formed in 1965 in a good town for soul sounds at the time, Philadelphia. “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” were their two biggest hits, reaching No. 2 and No. 10 respectively on the Billboard Pop Chart in 1967 and 1969. Their songs have been sampled by a variety of hip-hop artists, including the Wu Tang Clan, Boyz II Men, and the Fugees. 7 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (RH)

 

The inaugural Blues and Roots Festival will take place over two days at the Syria Shrine Center in Cheswick. The nonprofit group Band Together Pittsburgh organized the event. Proceeds will benefit post-high school vocational programming for Pittsburgh kids on the autism spectrum. The strong lineup of blues musicians includes headliners Tinsley Ellis (Saturday) and Kenny Neal (Sunday). Anthony Gomes, Stevee Wellons, Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns, Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors, Jimmy Adler, Jill West, and more perform. 2-10 p.m. There will also be a pre-festival party with Billy Price at Moondogs in Blawnox on Friday, July 21 at 8:30 p.m. Syria Shrine Center, 1877 Shriners Way, Cheswick. (RH)

Sunday, July 23

Alt-country musicians The Mavericks, fronted by Cuban-American lead singer Raúl Malo, have a distinctive sound with elements of everything from Hispanic big-band to you-name-it. Darlings of adult alternative-contemporary radio stations, The Mavericks have gained a huge following over the years since starting in Miami, Florida in 1989. Breaking up in 2004 and reuniting in 2011 gave Malo an opportunity to build a successful solo career. Now that he’s back, these guys have been out to prove they’re still at the top of their game and the verdict is: oh yeah. Their latest album, the band’s ninth studio album, Brand New Day was released this March. Special guest is The Last Bandoleros. This show is part of the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series. 7:30 p.m. Hartwood Acres Amphitheater, 4070 Middle Road, Allison Park. (RH/MV)

Wednesday, July 26

Spoon headlines Stage AE. The indie, alternative rock band saw mainstream attention with 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and singles like “The Underdog.” Many listeners might be surprised to know the group has been around for almost 25 years, originating in Austin, Texas, in 1993. Spoon has released nine LPs. Music critic Steven Hyden frequently cites Spoon as one of the most consistently great record-makers of all time. This accolade is due to frontman and co-founder Britt Daniel’s thoughtful lyrics and the group’s ever-evolving sound. Co-founder and drummer Jim Eno deserves a shout-out too. Their latest album is this year’s Hot Thoughts. The New Pornographers, one of the great indie rock bands to emerge in the early ’00s, open. Albums by either the Canadian group or one of its members ranked in the top 40 of The Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop year-end poll from 2000 to 2007. Whiteout Conditions, the band’s latest album, was also released this year. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC, CM)

Friday, July 28

In 1969, Tom Scholz, the technical and creative mind behind the classic rock outfit Boston, was writing music while studying mechanical engineering at MIT. He met fellow musicians Barry Goudreau, Jim Masdea, and the late Brad Delp; graduated; got a job at Polaroid; and used a portion of his salary and his engineering savvy to build a recording studio in his basement. The lineup has changed frequently over the years with Scholz the constant. His songwriting continues to fuel Boston’s success. Hit singles “More Than a Feeling,” “Peace of Mind,” and “Foreplay/Long Time,” all by Scholz, helped Boston’s 1976 self-titled debut become one of the most successful albums by any band—selling over 17 million copies. The current lineup, composed of Scholz, Gary Pihl, Curly Smith, Jeff Neal, Tommy DeCarlo, Tracy Ferrie, and Beth Cohen, will be at KeyBank Pavilion as part of its Hyper Space Tour. Special guest is Joan Jett, who was here last July with Cheap Trick and Heart. Jett and her band the Blackhearts are best known for their 1982 No. 1 hit “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” 7:30 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC, CM)

Renowned reggae royalty The Wailers come to the Rex Theater this month. The legendary backing band for Bob Marley, The Wailers have stayed true to their Jamaican musical roots and are led by longtime member Aston “Family Man” Barrett. After Marley’s death in 1981, The Wailers continued to tour and release music, sometimes with other artists and sometimes just as a group. They play an average of 200 shows per year and are no strangers to Pittsburgh. Marley’s last concert was played at The Stanley Theater (now The Benedum), and since then, The Wailers have played shows in the area at numerous venues over the years. They continue to perform classic cuts, such as “No Woman, No Cry” and “Buffalo Soldier.” Barrett started the Wailers Reunited project in 2015 to bring together the remaining members of the line-up that played with Marley. Let the positive vibrations lighten your mood and move your feet. Steeltown Horns open. 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. (RH, CM)

Sunday, July 30

Primus’s Les Claypool is arguably as well known for his prowess on bass as he is for his big personality. The band’s performance of “My Name Is Mud” at Woodstock ’94 is remembered for the audience throwing mud on stage and Claypool’s quip, “You know, when you throw things on stage, it’s a sign of small and insignificant genitalia.” The trio solidified its lineup in 1989 with Larry LaLonde on guitar and Tim Alexander on drums. Frizzle Fry, their debut, followed in 1990. This lineup will be playing Stage AE this month. The group’s last album was 2014’s Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, a re-imagining of the soundtrack to 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. If you had told me in 2004 that Primus, who covered “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band, would reinterpret the Willy Wonka soundtrack, I would have said, “ … Yeah. Sounds about right.” Doors open 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. Clutch opens. (CM)

Foxygen’s “How Can You Really” is a favorite among the EC staff, so we are excited to see them returning to Mr. Smalls this month. If you thought the single was by Star Power, you’re half right. Star Power was the fictional moniker of Foxygen for their double concept album, 2014’s …And Star Power. The group reverted back to Foxygen for 2017’s Hang. Frontman Sam France apes Prince’s moves while singing like Van Morrison on songs like “Follow the Leader.” Foxygen formed in Agoura Hills, California, when France met instrumentalist Jonathan Rado in high school. Foxygen may be a duo, but the members know when to ask for a little help from their friends. Noted drummer Diane Coffee has collaborated with them. Foxygen swelled to a nine-piece as Star Power, and the band enlisted a 40-plus orchestra on Hang. Cut Worms open. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

“Sometimes heart strings can be broken, but you just have to keep on goin’” is a line from the hit emotional slow-jammer “Love’s Train” by Con Funk Shun. The group started out as a high school band in Vallejo, California, and was initially on Stax Records before signing with Mercury Records in 1976. That’s when their true success began. Con Funk Shun went on to have 11 albums that topped the Billboard charts and spawned numerous hit singles. Those hits include “Straight from the Heart,” “Got To Be Enough,” and “Ffun.” They disbanded in 1986, but the group now tours with three of the original members. This concert is part of the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series. Opening is Funky Fly Project. 7:30 p.m. Free. Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater, 4070 Middle Rd., Allison Park. (RH)

Monday, July 31

Hurray for the Riff Raff should remind Pittsburgh concertgoers why it often pays to check out weekday headliners at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. The Americana band was not terribly well known when it performed on a Tuesday evening in 2015. Cut to now, and The Navigator, its sixth major LP, is one of the most acclaimed albums of this year. Hurray for the Riff Raff is the project of frontwoman Alynda Segarra. She is from New York City, but Segarra and her band are based in New Orleans. Their music encompasses about every American sound between those cities and beyond them. On “Rican Beach,” her vocals shine like Joni Mitchell while the music and lyrics hark back to her Puerto Rican ancestry. Her upbringing no doubt contributed to her sound. Segarra grew up in the Bronx, where she was exposed to doo-wop and Motown; later she cut her teeth at New York punk shows. Hurray for the Riff Raff headlines Mr. Smalls. Becca Mancari opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central and enjoys great music.

Christopher Maggio is a writer and editor who likes seeing great concerts.