Amy Grant Plays Palace; Beatles Tribute Show at Mr. Smalls (CPs Sat., 11/16/13)

1) Amy Grant was the kind of breakthrough figure for Christian pop that Garth Brooks was for country music, but her rise was not without controversy — seriously. In 1985, she shocked her evangelical fans by wearing a leopard-print jacket and performing barefoot at the Grammys. (That’s right; they were scandalized by feet!) Later, she ruffled feathers by getting a divorce and releasing one album lacking any overt references to Jesus. We’re glad she’s persevered and these days Grant, with her ever agreeable voice and pleasant demeanor, has a healthy fan base, of hardcore evangelicals and people who are not, and they will be supporting her at the Palace Theatre tonight. 8 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg.

2) The Beatles are like ice cream, vacations, naps, and high-speed Internet: There is no one who does not like them. Almost every musician of every age or genre has learned a Beatles song or two and most crowds can be won over by a well-done Fab Four cover (even if it’s “The Long and Winding Road”). The philanthropic musicians group AcoustiCafe knows this and it is why for the fifth year it is hosting a Beatles Tribute Show. The event, happening at Mr. Smalls today, raises money for the Autism Connection of Pittsburgh. The concept is pretty simple; local musicians—like Broken Fences, Drowning Clowns, Soul Distribution, Grey’s Fool and The Wreckids—come out and play Beatles songs, the crowd laps it up and gives money to a worthy cause. 7 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.

3) Speaking of Christian rock, Hillsong United has found a pretty smart modus operandi for spreading the Word. The project started as the house band of Hillsong Church, a theatrical Pentecostal mega-church headquartered in Sydney, Australia. With a constant stream of spirited members coming and going, they’ve sent out a variety of ensembles on a gospel mission, evolving from a band of specific people into a certain trademarked style of flashy, high-octane worship buttressed by pop and hip-hop sensibilities. They’re like the Cirque du Soleil of proselytizing. They’ve got a team coming to the Consol Energy Center tonight in case you need a little more spirit in your spiritual life. 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.

4) TheCAUSE is a sorta Grateful Dead cover band that also plays songs by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Phish, as well as a few psychedelic-tinged originals. While such throwback-y tribute acts often come and go, theCAUSE (yeah, that’s how they stylize it) has been entertaining the granola crowd for ten years and is holding its groovy decade anniversary show tonight at the Thunderbird Café. 9:30 p.m. 4023 Butler St. Lawrenceville.

5) Today at Heinz Field, the Pitt Panthers take on the team with the most state-inspired name in all of college football, the North Carolina Tar Heels (the Tar Heels is a nick name for the state of North Carolina and it’s inhabitants which is in reference to the state’s abundance of pine trees from which tar, used as a sealant, is derived). 12:30 p.m. 100 Art Rooney Way, North Shore.

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Nick Keppler

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