Government Mule Plays AE; Don McLean Brings “American Pie” to Palace (CPs Fri., 11/7/14)

1) Southern rock jam band Gov’t Mule follows the trail to Pittsburgh tonight. The Mule started in ’94 as a side project for the Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody, who passed on in ’00. Haynes has led the band forward through an additional 11 albums, including last year’s Shout, which reached a peak position of 13 on the U.S. album charts. The Mule’s melodic guitar-drenched sound can be heard in songs like “Soulshine” and “Beautifully Broken.” With the Allman Brothers recently playing their last show (hopefully not), Gov’t Mule is a great band to get your Southern-fried rock fix from. In addition to their own songs, The Mule includes covers from such artists as The Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, and Neil Young. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Stage AE  400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

2) “So bye, bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry” was all over the airwaves in ’71 when Don McLean‘s American Pie album, with a single of the same name, rose to the number one spot on the U.S., U.K., and Canadian album charts. “American Pie” has somewhat cryptic lyrics whose meaning many people have been trying to discern for years. It is generally regarded that the phrase “the day the music died” refers to the ’59 plane crash that killed three of the top acts in the burgeoning rock ‘n roll genre—Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.). McLean had success with other songs, but none as big as “American Pie.” 8 p.m. Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg.

3) Royal Ballet of Cambodia continues the 1,000-year-old Khmer classical dance style originally performed at royal events and ceremonies. The ballet’s chief choreographer is Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi of Cambodia. In Khmer classical dance, the poses and gestures mastered by the troupe come only after years of intense work, and the performance’s techniques cover a wide spectrum of human emotion. Accompanied by an orchestra and female chorus—which provides a running narrative highlighting the emotions being conveyed by the dancers—the program is an exciting experience. The dancers were considered the kings’ messengers to the gods and to their ancestors. In addition to the beautiful dancing and music, the performers’ costumes are spectacularly designed. Presented by the Pittsburgh Dance Council. 8 p.m. Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Cultural District.

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Rick Handler

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