Dierks Bentley Plays KeyBank; WYEP Music Fest; Ladyfest (Sat., 6/24/17)

1) Vanderbilt University is one of the nation’s finest, and while many college-bound youths enroll there to become scientists or scholars, young Dierks Bentley chose Vanderbilt for a different reason: it’s in Nashville. The hard-working undergrad from Phoenix, Arizona, earned his B.A. in 1997, officially studying English and the liberal arts while unofficially pursuing the highly competitive art of country music. By 2001, Bentley had progressed from fighting for open-mic slots to cutting an indie album. That release, Don’t Leave Me in Love, didn’t sell much but is now a collector’s item. It led to a contract with Capitol Records Nashville, which led to Bentley’s self-titled platinum album in 2003, and the rest is history. Bentley has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, and not having won one yet probably has him feeling like soap star Susan Lucci, who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy 18 times before eventually winning one. So hang in there, Dierks! He is on his What the Hell Tour in support of his 10th album, 2016’s Black, which features “Somewhere on a Beach” and other laid-back ballads typical of the Bentley manner. You can catch him at KeyBank Pavilion with Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC/RH)

2) The unflappably cool city of Austin loves anything vintage, and that is one reason why, shortly after the band formed in 2007, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears became the toast of the town. With the mighty Honeybear horn section and Lewis’s chili-pepper-hot vocals, they are the sonic picture of James Brown and the Famous Flames, circa 1971, plus hints of Howlin’ Wolf and Sly and the Family Stone also in their musical DNA. He is touring in support of his 2017 album release, Backlash. BJL is set to headline WYEP’s Summer Music Festival. Also on the bill are Tupelo & Jeremy (3 p.m.), The Fortunates (3:45 p.m.), Night Frog (4:30 p.m.), The Buckle Downs (6 p.m.), The Marcus King Band (7:30 p.m.).  BJL goes on at 9 p.m. Schenley Plaza, 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland. (EC/RH)

3) “Girls to the front!”—a rallying cry for riot grrrl acts like Bikini Kill, the slogan called on men to step aside at punk shows and for women to mosh without fear of battery or sexual assault. That rallying cry is also the title of a song by Brazilian Wax, who are co-organizers of Ladyfest, an annual three-day event which features and empowers Pittsburgh female musicians. The other co-organizers are The Lopez, a duo who craft noisy, hooky garage rock armed only with a keyboard and guitar. Another notable act includes Murder for Girls, hot off an appearance at the Millvale Music Festival and the release of their debut LP, 2016’s All the Wishes. Socially conscious rapper Blak Rapp Madusa also returns. Forty acts will play this year’s Ladyfest at a myriad of local venues, like Hambone’s and Spirit. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Friday through Sunday, June 23 – 25. Performance times and places vary. (CM)