1) Slip on your cowboys boots, button up your finest flannel, and head down to the First Niagara Pavilion, where music icon Jason Aldean takes center stage for a night of country music fun. One of the most successful names in country music today, Aldean has accumulated 19 awards over his eight-year career, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards. These accolades are a sure sign that Aldean is currently one of the hottest artists in the world, and his hype train shows no signs of slowing down. So hop on board Aldean’s Night Train Tour, with opening acts Thomas Rhett and Jake Owen. 7:30 p.m. 665 Route 18, Burgettstown.
2) There’s also a country/rock superstar in the area tonight, The Charlie Daniels Band plays the Palace Theater in Greensburg tonight. There’s always been a special affinity between Daniels and Pittsburgh, he’s been a frequent visitor and has even sung the national anthem before several Steelers’ games. One of his songs, “In America” even includes a reference to Steelers’ fans. The band’s many hits include ” The Devil Went Down to Georgia” “Long Haired Country Boy” and “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again).” 8 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St.
3) It’s not every day that you can catch a Grammy-nominated performer up close and in person, but a trip to the South Park Amphitheater tonight will afford you just that chance, where English R&B artist James Hunter is performing. A veteran of almost 30 years in the music business, Hunter has ridden the undulating wave of success throughout his career, fully hitting his stride in 2006 with the Grammy-nominated album People Gonna Talk. Hunter just gets better with age, so check out his performance at the latest installment of the Allegheny Summer Concert Series and see what all the fuss is about. 7:30 p.m. Near Brownsville and McCorkle roads.
4) Fresh off a grueling road trip against the divisional-rival St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Pirates return to PNC Park tonight to begin a three-game home stretch against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Buccos need to show up in full force to distance themselves from the Cards in the National League Central and the Diamondbacks, who trail only the Dodgers in the NL West. Who will begin this pivotal series with a “win,” and who will falter under the bright lights in the Steel City? Spend Friday evening at the ballpark to find out. It’s also Free Shirt Friday! 7:05 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.
5) Cap off your work week in style with Pittsburgh-based rapper Joey Fattz at Mr. Smalls Funhouse. Celebrating the release of his latest mixtape, Bazooka Joe, Fattz will treat the crowd to blasting beats, twisting rhymes, and groovy rhythms. DJ GoodNight will keep the vibes rolling as Fattz, The Grimey Click, B. White and the 58’s, The Wulords, BBG Boys, Justice Street Poets, Real Deal, and Jung Phil trade off hard-hitting raps throughout the night. This is an all-ages show, so aspiring young rappers are invited to show up and take some notes from some of the area’s finest purveyors of hip-hop. 9 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
6) The Westmoreland County Fair commences today, promising a festival of good food and even better entertainment. To start the annual tradition off right, tonight’s feature is the Farmer’s Olympics, where local farmers compete in events like hay hauling, tractor driving, and team cow milking. Yeehaw! This one sounds like a barn-burner, so prepare for utter hilarity. $7 with age-based discounts available. Gates open at 9 a.m., Farmer’s Olympics begins at 8 p.m. 123 Blue Ribbon Lane, Pleasant Unity.