Bone Thugs, Blue Man, Disappears: All in Area Concerts Tonight (Tues., 2/23/16)

1) In addition to Kid Cudi’s show, Pittsburgh’s got plenty more Cleveland rap this month. Jury’s out on whether Kid Cudi will still have an audience in 20 years; not so for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, who are celebrating 20 years of “Tha Crossroads.” That 1996 single won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony dedicated it to the late Eazy-E, of N.W.A. fame. Eazy-E signed the rap group to his record label, Ruthless Records, in 1993 and was the group’s friend, mentor, and business adviser until his death in 1995. Though crushed by his loss, the group persevered and have continued to make music. Their lyrics are heavy. Their raps, melodic. It’s perhaps this novel combination that’s kept them relevant for so long. They also hold the distinction of collaborating with 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Eazy-E, and Big Pun while all four men were still alive. They play a sold-out show at Mr. Smalls. DJ Afterthought opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)


2) Blue Man Group is something else, and that’s not a cliché; it is a fact. Calling the Blue Men “musicians” would be inaccurate because they do much more than play music. They are mimes and comedians (though not the comedy-club kind). They never speak or sing on stage, but their shows use amplified voice-overs, and they’ve created concerts with rock/vocal artists ranging from Venus Hum to Tracy Bonham. Some of their multimedia pieces provide edutainment—like “Rods and Cones,” which explains the thingies in our eyes—and altogether, the Blue Men are so ostentatiously weird that they verge on self-parody, which seems to be fine with them. Founders Matt Goldman, Chris Wink, and Phil Stanton formed Blue Man Group in 1991 after starting as street performers in New York City. They have built the concept into a global show-business enterprise with resident Blue Man Groups in Las Vegas, Berlin, and elsewhere. There’s also a touring Blue Man Group, which visits Heinz Hall for a six-day, eight-show run starting Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)


3) Ghosts of Music Past, Present, and Yet to Come will haunt the stage when Disappears appears at the Andy Warhol Museum. The Chicago-based indie rockers have put together a show that opens with a set of their own new songs … and finishes with a full live performance of David Bowie’s 1977 album Low. All of it will be cutting-edge. The first set may include numbers like “Irreal,” the title track from Disappears’ latest LP, and the group will play unreleased material as well. As for Low: It was one of Bowie’s more controversial experiments—especially side 2, with tracks such as “Warszawa,” which Bowie co-composed with Brian Eno. Disappears records on the Kranky label and has Pittsburgh native Noah Leger on drums. 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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