The Clarks Come Home to Stage AE; Zac Brown Band Jams at First Niagara (CPs Sat., 7/12/14)

1) For Pittsburgh natives, The Clarks need little in the way of introduction. Distinguished Indiana University of Pennsylvania alumni Dave Minarik, Scott Blasey, Greg Joseph, and Robert James comprise the rock ‘n’ roll band, which has in many ways assumed the role of Pittsburgh’s musical poster child. In the past couple of decades, Pittsburgh has come into its own as a cultural hub, with a nationally recognized, robust, and youthful music scene, but The Clarks have been representing Pittsburgh in the music world since even before that, starting in the late ‘80s. They’re most active throughout Western Pennsylvania, though they also tour Ohio, West Virginia, and beyond. The Clarks also have found success commercially, having written and performed music for brands like (most notably) Toyota. And though their chief stomping ground is our own region, they’ve performed on national TV programs like “The Late Show with David Letterman.” In case you haven’t heard their music or even if you have, check them out at Stage AE. Joined by Jimmer Podrasky. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 400 N. Shore Dr., North Shore.

2) Atlanta-based country ensemble the Zac Brown Band visits the First Niagara Pavilion in a stop on the group’s 2014 Great American Road Trip. Led by guitarist/vocalist Zac Brown, these southern fellas have in the past decade accrued three Grammy Awards, had three out of four albums go platinum, and boast 11 #1 hit singles. For many people the Zac Brown Band has become the face of country music, especially for those who don’t listen much to that genre —the band’s debut single “Chicken Fried” is often the song that first comes to mind upon utterance of the phrase “country music.” (“You know I like my chicken fried / And a cold beer on a Friday night / A pair of jeans that fit just right / And the radio on …”) The music is classic summer concert fare and undoubtedly makes a worthy way to spend your Saturday evening. Joined by Sturgill Simpson. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown.

3) Pittsburgh’s National Aviary hosts its “hottest” party of the year—the Night in the Tropics. The nation’s “only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds” invites you to don your snazziest red, yellow, and orange duds (to adhere to the party’s fiery theme), as you enjoy live entertainment and partake in food and drink from dozens of local favorite restaurants, breweries, and bakeries. Jimbo and the Soupbones provide live music, which will be accompanied by fire performances, a steel drum band, and more. The Aviary is one of Pittsburgh’s oft-unsung gems, and proceeds from the party will, of course, benefit the stars of the show—the birds themselves (whom, by the way, guests may interact with up close). Food and drink sponsors include Atria’s Restaurant & Tavern, Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, Penn Brewery, Church Brew Works and many more. Find tickets, along with a full list of sponsors, here. 7 p.m. 700 Arch St., North Shore.

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Dan Hoyt

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