Dave Matthews Band at First Niagara; Chris Higbee Jams on Walnut (CPs Sat., 6/28/2014)
1) Who didn’t own a Dave Matthews Band CD in the ’90s? The band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991 and quickly established itself as the people’s choice in jam bands with its first three albums peaking at #11, #2, and #1 respectively on the US charts. As a testament to the quality of its live shows, the band has also had four live albums crack the top 10 with 1997’s Live at Red Rocks and 1999’s Listener Supported each going double platinum. The original lineup of Dave Matthews, Stefan Lessard, Carter Beauford, LeRoi Moore, and Boyd Tinsley remained intact until 2008 when Moore was tragically killed in an ATV accident. Jeff Conlin of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones fame has been filling in ever since on saxophone, now a permanent member. The band’s most recent studio album, Away from the World, debuted at #1 in 2012, a record-breaking sixth straight #1 debut. Matthews and company will be at First Niagara Pavilion for a 7 p.m. show. 665 Rt. 28, Burgettstown.
2) For three Saturdays every summer, Walnut Street in Shadyside shifts its focus from the usual bustling bevy of bistros and boutiques to putting a bit of music in the air, courtesy of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce. The annual Jam on Walnut series brings some big names out for free concerts that stop traffic and pack the pavement. Tonight’s edition features former Povertyneck Hillbilly Chris Higbee. Widely known as the best fiddle-playing frontman since Charlie Daniels, Higbee has been going it alone since the rest of the Hillbillies broke away to form The Hillbilly Way in 2012. But Higbee has proven that he has the chutzpah to pull off a solo act, releasing his self-titled solo debut album in 2013 and hitting the road for a nationwide tour. All three of the Jams On Walnut are free to attend, and proceeds from food and drink sales benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 7 p.m. 5442 Walnut St., Shadyside.
3) Bob Dylan once said of a Gordon Lightfoot song, “I wish it would last forever.” The man widely thought of as America’s greatest songwriter was paying homage to the man who is almost universally acknowledged as Canada’s. Lightfoot has released 20 studio alums in his 50+ year career, and all but the first three charted in the Great White North. He’s made some headway south of the border as well, with multiple singles cracking the top five on the US charts, one of his most memorable a memorial to a freighter than went down in Lake Superior in 1975. Loved by the public and fellow musicians alike, his songs have been covered by everyone from Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash to Sarah McLachlan and Toby Keith. Lightfoot will be at The Palace Theatre for an 8 p.m. show. 21 West Otterman St., Greensburg.
4) Pittsburgh native Chevy Woods has been collaborating with Wiz Khalifa since his early mixtape days. The two were on similar trajectories at first, each making appearances on the other’s early recordings. Even today, while Wiz may have the greater name recognition, Chevy is right there, serving as his designated hypeman on tour—at least for now. Woods has been working hard as a solo artist for years, garnering attention for his mixtapes Red Cup Music and The Cookout in 2011, some of the first recordings released by Khalifa’s own Taylor Gang Records. In 2012, Woods released Gangland, which hit to positive reviews, and followed it up with Gangland 2 in 2013. His first full-length album is due out this year, also from Taylor Gang. You can catch Chevy Woods at Mr. Smalls at 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
5) All too often, the modern music industry seems to be trying to fulfill Andy Warhol’s famous prophecy by producing act after act that is famous for, seemingly, all of 15 minutes. Paradoxically, those one-hit-wonders are not the kinds of folks who get invited to play at the Andy Warhol Museum. Nat Baldwin, a double bassist known for his avant-garde jazz chops who often accompanies himself on vocals, is anything but a flavor of the month. The accomplished instrumentalist studied with jazz legend Anthony Braxton and is best known for his solo work and as a member of Dirty Projectors. Baldwin is a truly prolific recording artist with three solo albums, nine albums with Dirty Projectors, and appearances on albums by Grizzly Bears and Vampire Weekend. He will be at The Warhol for a solo performance starting at 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Shore.
6) The Pirates take on the New York Mets in the third game of a four-game series today on a Block Party Saturday featuring live music and food and drink specials on Federal St. before the game. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. The Block Party starts at 2:30 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.