Boston and Joan Jett Play KeyBank; The Wailers to Jam at The Rex; Higbee at Rivers (Fri., 7/28/17)

1) 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)

2) 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)

3) Pittsburgh native and country singer-songwriter Chris Higbee stops by the Rivers Casino for an outdoor show in the Live from the River Summer Concert Series. Higbee got his start in professional music as a founding member of the band PovertyNeck Hillbillies in 2000, with whom he toured and performed for seven years before striking out on his own. A  God-fearing American patriot (and a self-proclaimed redneck), Higbee also stands out as an expert violinist. As he professes in the song “Fiddles Rock,” he’s a fiddler at the core, and his love of the instrument began with the classics (Bach and Beethoven). “Drums are cool and the lead guitar is hot,” he sings, “but fiddles rock.” The Hobbs Sisters open. 7 p.m. Free. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore. (EC, RH)

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Rick Handler

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