1) Formed in England in 1981, and led by the charismatic, androgynously styled Boy George, Culture Club created songs that were in heavy radio rotation and shown frequently on the then newly launched MTV. The original lineup is now back together and touring again, with a stop in Pittsburgh. Culture Club’s music is a little bit of sugar pop, a touch of rock, and a melodic mix of lead and backing vocal harmonies. The group’s second album, Colour by Numbers, went quadruple platinum in the U.S. and was named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 albums of the 1980s. Widely known for their hits, including “Time (Clock of the Heart),” “Karma Chameleon,” “Church of the Poison Mind” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” Boy George and Culture Club became such a part of popular culture that George was affectionately satirized in the Adam Sandler film The Wedding Singer. Opening is Tom Bailey of ’80s pop band The Thompson Twins. Doors open 6 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.
2) As we’ve said before, crowds don’t lie. When people start bringing their lawn chairs in broad daylight to stake out spots for evening outdoor concerts, it’s because the music is free and the music is good. Such is the case with the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series, staged summer-long at two locations: Friday evenings, 7:30 p.m. at South Park Amphitheater, and Sunday evenings, 7:30 p.m. at Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater. The lineup for the second half of this summer includes big-name vintage acts in several genres. South Park has Jefferson Starship on July 27 (with special guest Working Breed), indie rockers Better Than Ezra on August 3 (with Two Birds), and jazz/fusion pioneer Jean-Luc Ponty on August 17 (with Lyndsey Smith). At Hartwood Acres, notable headliners are Lucius on July 29 (with Brooke Annibale), and, on August 5, Toots and the Maytals, who are more than just pioneers of reggae. Frontman Frederick “Toots” Hibbert is credited with naming the genre. He still leads the Maytals, and brings ‘em here along with guest Hollis Brown. 3700 Farmshow Dr., South Park Twp., and 4070 Middle Rd., Allison Park. (MV)
3) Sunday mornings in summer mean church to some Pittsburghers, sleep-ins to others … and to many who address such needs without impinging on late morning, Sundays mean Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch. This popular outdoor pleasantry is sponsored by WQED-FM. Fans congregate at the East End’s lovely Mellon Park, bringing brunch or buying bagels from the vendor in attendance. Musicians play classical airs, which may have been composed by artists other than Bach or Beethoven, but are gladly received nonetheless. The performers vary from week to week. today’s group is West Hills Symphonic Band, and then onward into August. 10:30 a.m. to noon each Sunday. Mellon Park, 1047 Shady Ave., where Point Breeze meets Squirrel Hill. (MV)