Avett Brothers Play Sold Out Show at Stage AE; Bloomfield Little Italy Days Begins (Thurs., 8/16/18)

1) The Avett Brothers mix the light romanticism of early rock and roll with the craftsmanship of a Paul Simon-like singer/songwriter and add a dash of the hoedown spirit of old-school Americana. Built around the nucleus of brothers Scott and Seth, the North Carolina band rode to prominence in the folk-rock revival that also brought you Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons. Since they partnered with producer du jour Rick Rubin on 2009’s I and Love and You, the Avetts have been unstoppable on their path to mega-success. Their triumph can be traced by their ascension through Pittsburgh venues: In eight years, they’ve gone from a small place at the Three Rivers Arts Festival to filling up Stage AE. The Avett Brothers even created the theme song for the popular PBS series “A Chef’s Life.” Their latest album is 2016’s True Sadness. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. Sold Out. (EC, RH)

BLOOMFIELD LITTLE ITALY DAYS— Aug. 16-19, Bloomfield.  

Bring your main squeeze or just have a good time solo at Little Italy Days in Bloomfield.

Bring your main squeeze or just have a good time solo at Little Italy Days in Bloomfield.

2) Ah, Bloomfield. Only in Bloomfield does a summer festival begin with a free concert and a celebrity bocce tournament. This East End neighborhood is known for many things. Long ago it was home to native people affiliated with the Lenni Lenape. Johnny Unitas played quarterback for the semipro Bloomfield Rams before his storied career in the NFL. In springtime, runners laboring through mile 22 of the Pittsburgh Marathon get an astounding energy blast when they find Bloomfield’s main street lined with screaming spectators and blazing rock bands. And in mid-August the blast is called Bloomfield Little Italy Days. Immigrants from Italy’s Abruzzo region began to arrive around 1900. Their descendants have given Bloomfield great Italian food markets, an active Catholic parish … and a locale that’s now blooming with modern art galleries, eateries of multiple ethnicities, and more. Musical acts at Little Italy Days range from oldies to opera to hip-hop. Featured entertainment this year includes singer Marco Fiorante, from Italy; and Pure Gold, from Pittsburgh. Celebratory urban street life transpires; bocce balls are bowled. And did we mention the food? Paul Martino’s All Star Band will perform tonight from 6-9 p.m. on the Cypress Street Stage. 6 p.m. Aug. 16, noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 17-18, noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 19. Along Liberty Ave. and elsewhere in Bloomfield. (MV) 

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Rick Handler

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