Busy Friday: Three Rivers Arts Fest, Numerous Concerts, Pittsburgh Pride Fest, Jeremy Piven, Bantam Jeep Fest (Fri., 6/7/19)

1) Can’t decide if you like rock or rap more? You won’t need to pick when you see Twenty One Pilots at PPG Paints Arena. The Columbus natives work in an indie sub-genre commonly referred to as alternative hip-hop. A little funkier than Aerosmith’s mashup with Run-D.M.C. in “Walk This Way,” the duo combines various tempos and rhythms that will have you dancing and headbanging simultaneously. As demonstrated in “Holding on to You,” the verses are rap-based with a seamless flow into a chorus and raw beat reminiscent of early Linkin Park. The end result: rock and rap had a love child and named it Twenty One Pilots. The duo reached number one on the Billboard 200 with 2015’s Blurryface. Success continued with “Heathens,” which appeared on the Suicide Squad soundtrack in 2016. They are touring in support of their fifth studio album, 2018’s Trench. 7 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (EC, CM)

Twenty One Pilots in concert action in 2018. The duo consists of Josh Dunn (drums) and Tyler Joseph (lead vocals).

Twenty One Pilots in concert action in 2018. The duo consists of Josh Dunn (drums) and Tyler Joseph (lead vocals).

2) One of the biggest acts in country music, Luke Bryan, hits KeyBank Pavilion. Bryan earned his keep as a Nashville songwriter by penning tunes for the likes of Travis Tritt and Billy Currington. He proved to be more than capable of stepping into the spotlight himself, winning the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award in 2015. More often seen in a baseball hat than a cowboy hat, he has become a fan favorite by writing music that deals with some pretty popular themes (“Wild Weekend,” “Cold Beer Drinker,” “I’m Hungover”). “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” went triple platinum in 2014. He also won the Billboard Music Award for Top Country Artist in 2016, and the following year, he became a judge on “American Idol.” Bryan’s latest album is 2017’s What Makes You Country. Cole Swindell and Jon Langston open. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC, CM)

Luke Bryan accepting an award from the Academy of Country Music. photo: Keith Hinkle, w.c.c.

Luke Bryan accepting an award from the Academy of Country Music. (photo: Keith Hinkle, w.c.c. and Wikipedia)

3) Parliament-Funkadelic might carry on, but this is George Clinton’s Farewell Tour with the band. Clinton has been on a musical journey of exploration for years. He started out in a doo-wop group called The Parliaments, modeled after Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, while working in a hair salon. Then he became a writer, arranger, and producer for Motown Records before working for other Detroit musical companies. As the leader of P-Funk, he pioneered funk music, along with James Brown and Sly Stone. In the ’70s, “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker),” “Flash Light,” and other songs were huge hits. P-Funk even had a spaceship called the Mothership, which descended to the stage during concerts. Parliament-Funkadelic are 1997 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Medicaid Fraud Dogg was released under the Parliament moniker in 2018. Catch Clinton one last time at the Rivers Casino. Fishbone and Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf opens. 8 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore. (RH, CM)

4) India.Arie headlines the first night of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. The singer-songwriter won a Grammy for “Little Things” from her second album, Voyage to India, which itself won Best R&B album in 2003. Another popular song from that album is “Get It Together,” which appeared on the soundtracks to 2002’s Brown Sugar and the 2004 animated movie Shark Tale. The title Voyage to India comes from Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through “The Secret Life of Plants” soundtrack. The Wonder connections continue: her mother opened for the legend back in the day, and India later performed with him on his 2014-2015 Songs in the Key of Life Tour. Her latest LP is this year’s Worthy. Additionally, she’s sold millions of records, won four Grammys, and performed for three U.S. presidents. She can also play a variety of instruments, including guitar. 7:30 p.m. Dollar Bank Main Stage, Point State Park. (CM)

India.Arie (photo: Duan Davis)

India.Arie (photo: Duan Davis)

5) Longtime guitarist Chris Walla departed Death Cab for Cutie after the recording of 2015’s Kintsugi. The title refers to a Japanese method of repairing broken pottery with a metal-infused lacquer, so the cracks are on full display. Embraced even. The title acknowledges making the best of Walla’s departure, and indeed, the band triumphs with 2018’s Thank You for Today. The new album proves frontman Ben Gibbard is still deft at crafting a radiant melody that belies sad subject matter, such as on “Gold Rush.” The song is about the rapidly developing Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle. Gibbard got an assist from new guitarist Dave Depper and Yoko Ono. (Didn’t see that one coming, did you?) The song samples Ono’s “Mindtrain.” The group formed in Bellingham, Washington, and broke with 2003’s Transatlanticism. Other hits include “I Will Possess Your Heart” and “You Are a Tourist.” They play Stage AE. Lala Lala opens. Doors open 6 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

6) Pittsburgh Pride kicks off today and continues through Sunday. One of the main events is  Pride Rocks PGH, tonight’s concert is headlined by Cincinnati-based indie-rock band Walk The Moon. The music continues tomorrow with Grammy Award-winning, soul/pop singer Toni Braxton as well. Opening for Braxton is Rina Sawayama, a Japanese-British singer/songwriter and model who identifies as pansexual.  Concerts start at 6 p.m. tonight and 7 p.m tomorrow night. Another big draw for Pittsburgh Pride is daylong PrideFest activities tomorrow (noon to 6 p.m.)  and Sunday (1 to 7 p.m.). PrideFest features food, entertainment, vendors, family-friendly crafts, inflatable attractions, and health and wellness exhibits and opportunities. The We Are One Equality March will be held Sunday on the streets of Downtown from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh is the organizer of the event. Main components of The Delta Foundations’ mission is “for the purposes of uniting and fostering good fellowship and social interaction among LGBT residents in the metropolitan Pittsburgh area. And advocate for issues that affect and effect the LGBT community from healthcare to housing to transgender issues.” There is a new location for Pittsburgh Pride this year. It will be held on Ft. Duquesne Blvd. between 7th and 9th Streets and on the Andy Warhol Bridge. 

7) Jeremy Piven has played a diverse amount of characters in his acting career A few years ago he played the title character in PBS’s British docu-drama series, “Mr. Selfridge.In 2008 he tried his hand at Broadway when he appeared in David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. And possibly in his most famous role Piven portrayed  Ari Gold (a character based on Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel, brother of Rahm, former Chicago mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff). in HBO’s “Entourage” TV show. He was even in an episode of Seinfeld when they were casting for the TV role of George Costanza. Most recently he starred in the CBS drama “Wisdom of the Crowd.” He’s currently on tour performing standup and you can catch him at the Pittsburgh Improv tonight (7:30 and 9:45 p.m.) and tomorrow night (Saturday is sold out). 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.

Riding the off road trails in a Jeep at the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival can be its own kind of roller coaster fun.

Riding the off-road trails in a Jeep at the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival can be its own kind of roller coaster fun.

8) Whether you have a Jeep or not, head to Butler for the annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival. The event is a celebration of the fact that the original winning design for an all-purpose reconnaissance vehicle for the U.S. Army in 1940 was by Butler’s American Bantam car company. The government worried that Bantam couldn’t supply all the Jeeps the Army needed, so the design went to several different manufacturers while Bantam focused on other products. And a fine celebration it is. Highlights include the annual Jeep parade, which has set world records for largest Jeep parades; Jeep historical exhibits with a WWII encampment; family-friendly activities; vendors; food; and a variety of on- and off-road Jeep driving events, including an obstacle course. Camping is offered too. The event is produced by the nonprofit The Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association (FBJA). Continues through Sunday. Cooper’s Lake Campground, 205 Currie Rd, Slippery Rock and Butler.

9) The Babys are a classic British rock band remembered for songs such as 1977’s “Isn’t It Time.” On lead vocals is John Waite and on backing vocals are the Babettes. The Babys broke up in 1981, but they reformed with co-founders Tony Brock on drums and Wally Stocker on lead guitar plus new members. Their latest album is 2014’s I’ll Have Some of That! They will perform at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. The Woo Hoo Band opens. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (CM)

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Rick Handler

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