Boston Invades Pittsburgh; Warped Tour Rocks First Niagara (CPs Tues., 7/15/14)

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. At first, the fledgling band received tepid responses to their demos from labels, but they persevered, eventually landing a deal and releasing their self-titled debut in 1976. Their lineup has changed frequently over the years, with Scholz being the lone 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 their debut album become one of the most successful by any band—selling over 17 million copies. The current band, made up of Scholz, Gary Phil, Curly Smith,, Jeff Neal Tommy DeCarlo, David Victor, and Tracy Ferrie, will be at Stage AE tonight as part of their Heaven on Earth Tour. Special guest is The Reb Beach Project. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

2) If you are a rookie attendee at Vans Warped Tour, you might be more than a little overwhelmed. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the tour is famous for constant action from bands on multiple stages that perform from late morning until well into the night. The tour has been a yearly staple of the punk and hardcore rock scene since the mid-90’s, though the current frenetic model didn’t really take hold until the early 2000’s. The Pittsburgh stop on the continent-spanning tour features 93 bands playing on several different stages. There’s no official headliner, and nearly every genre of popular music is represented. Big names even the uninitiated might recognize include Bowling for Soup, Yellowcard, and Saves the Day, but that only scratches the surface of the epic lineup. It’s a festival you truly need to experience to understand. Warped Tour will take over First Niagara Pavilion beginning at 11 a.m. 665 Route 18, Burgettstown.

3) Nakama Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Pittsburgh, having amassed more than two dozen “Best of” awards from local publications and nearly 50 people’s choice awards—all since they opened their doors in 2003. The hibachi restaurant owes the accolades to its unique combination of high-quality ingredients, memorable flavors, and the impeccable showmanship of the chefs. Each has his or her own repertoire of tricks, so the experience is different every time. The grills seat up to 12, so you can go with a group or go it alone and make new friends. The front half of the restaurant is a great hangout spot with a full-service bar, TV screens tuned to the night’s sports action, and a sushi bar that can make you any of several dozen traditional or house specialty rolls. 1611 E. Carson St., South Side.

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Daniel J. Dombrowski

Daniel J. Dombrowski is a freelance writer and editor living and working in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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