Arcade Fire Rocks Consol; Henson Alternative’s Puppet Up at Carnegie Library Music Hall (CPs Wed., 3/12/2014)
1) Rock out with Grammy Award-winners Arcade Fire at the Consol Energy Center. The indie rockers gained fame through their fresh sound and use of multiple instruments in the early part of the century. Promoting their newest album, Reflektor, Arcade Fire shows no signs of slowing down or becoming routine by playing the same old thing. Their songs embody a variety of genres: “The Suburbs” has a blues/country feel at its core, while “Afterlife” takes on electronica with a sprinkling of alternative rock. Described by this cool picker as Radiohead-meets-Nickel Creek, Arcade Fire offers a little bit of everything for just about any music fan. Dan Deacons and Kid Koala warm up the crowd, so you’ll want your dancing shoes. 7:30 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.
2) Combine an improv comedy show and puppets, and you’ve got Henson Alternative’s Puppet Up: Uncensored at the Carnegie Library Music Hall in Munhall. This innovative and multi-sensorial performance pokes at your inner child while keeping the adult humor; think “Sesame Street” or “Fraggle Rock” for grown ups. Audience participation makes each show unique while established puppeteers cover a variety of scenarios, from where babies come from to high school pep rally cheers. They might be cute and cuddly, but leave the little ones at home; this show is strictly for adults. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave.
3) Chase away the cold-weather blues with Western Pennsylvania music staple Shari Richards at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. Richards was once cast as the Acid Queen in the rock opera Tommy, and she has also collaborated with the likes of local favorites Norm Nardini and Billy Price. Songs like “I’d Rather Go Blind” and a cover of Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” show off Richards’ versatility and vocal range. Her sultry voice and soulful guitar warm audiences’ innards for the hope that, yes, spring will be here soon. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.
4) Start celebrating St. Paddy’s Day early with Celtic punk band The Tossers at the Altar Bar. If you couldn’t make it to the recent Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys shows, The Tossers have a similar sound featuring fiddles, accordions, and, of course, bagpipes. Quick and upbeat rhythms contrast with classic Celtic instruments in songs like “The Emerald City” for the perfect prelude to your St. Patrick’s Day party. Pack up your friends and grab a pint of Guinness or a shot of Jameson while you’re there. Everyone’s a little Irish this weekend, so start the festivities a little early. You’ll also get to see opening acts Continental, The Sablowskis, and The Even Three. Sláinte! 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.