Counting Crows Converge on Stage AE; Journey, Steve Miller Band Travel to First Niagara (CPs Fri., 6/27/14)

1) Counting Crows takes to the stage at AE. Hailing from Berkeley, Calif., the band rocketed to fame in 1994 with their catchy hit, “Mr. Jones,” in which they channel bands—like Van Morrison—from decades past. “Mr. Jones,” however, is not overly indicative of the band’s larger body of work; generally that consists of slower, darker, and more contemplative songs. Take, for instance, “Colorblind”; backed by a rolling, morose piano tune, lead singer Adam Duritz sings wistfully about how he is “covered in skin,” waiting for someone to “pull me out from inside.” Though the meaning of the lyrical content may be elusive, the tune is plaintive and wonderful to listen to if you’re feeling downtrodden—the perfect antidote after a bad break-up or the like. Joined by special guest Toad the Wet Sprocket and Daniel & the Lion. 6 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

2) Journey and the Steve Miller Band stop at First Niagara Pavilion on these two bands’ first tour together. It’s been over 40 years since Journey originally formed, and they haven’t stopped rocking (or believing!) since. Indeed, the band famous for “Don’t Stop Believin’” has been absolutely relentless in their success over the years; to date, their Greatest Hits album has sold more than 15 million copies. And the Steve Miller Band, known for such hits  as “The Joker” and “Take the Money and Run,” serve as the perfect musical complement. Steve Miller and his five band mates have been going strong even longer (1967), and are exemplary of, simply—rock ‘n’ roll. This is Americana at its finest. Joined by special guest Tower of Power. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown.

3) Western Pennsylvania natives The Stickers stop at the South Park Amphitheater to join the 2014 Allegheny County Summer Concert Series. This up-and-coming country trio is composed of brothers Joe, Jim, and John Wodarek, who pride themselves on putting on an energetic show. And though they love to have a good time themselves, the Stickers never loses focus on success, aiming to leave an irrevocable mark on country music. With hits like “Girl in a Pickup Truck” and “One More Shot of Whiskey,” they seem likely to do so. Even with only one studio album under their belt, they sound tight and feel right at home on-stage with country music superstars like Blake Shelton, whom they’ve been invited to perform with. They’re currently recording their sophomore album. Joined by the Christian Beck Band. 7:30 p.m. Near Brownsville and McCorkle roads, South Park.

4) Later in the evening, stop by Remedy Restaurant and Lounge for its “Already Sweaty” dance party. Located on Butler Street in the heart of Lawrenceville, Remedy always promises a good time. Featuring a full menu and a wide, always-changing selection of craft drafts, Remedy is a one-stop destination for tasty bar food (including vegan-friendly selections) and good beer. The dance floor is upstairs, where you can enjoy an eclectic mix of genres—rock, hip-hop, electronica, and more—sure to get you moving and, as promised, sweaty. When you reach that point, you can cool off with $3.25 24 oz. Pabst Blue Ribbons, best enjoyed on Remedy’s recently reopened back patio. Additionally, keep an eye out for the art of John Shook, Remedy’s current featured artist. His works grace the walls of the main floor, and they’re available for purchase. “Already Sweaty” runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 5121 Butler St., Lawrenceville.

5) The Pittsburgh Pirates host the New York Mets in game two of this four-game series. Not only is it Free Shirt Friday, but come early for a Buccos Block Party, which includes food and drink specials along with live music. Likewise, keep an eye out for a guest appearance by Pirates veteran Omar Moreno at the Budweiser Bar. Block party starts at 5:30 p.m.; first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.

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Dan Hoyt

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