EQT Three Rivers Regatta Begins; Avenged Sevenfold at KeyBank Pavilion; Flood City Music Festival Begins (Fri., 8/3/18)


1) Traditionally, regattas were high-society affairs that featured rowing or sailing races. The EQT Three Rivers Regatta goes way beyond tradition. River sports of many sorts are done here, while all kinds of people attend and many participate. Fearsomely fast Formula One powerboat racing is an aquatic version of that form of auto racing. Locals with kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards are invited to enter the Pittsburgh Paddlesports Championships. In the category of the comically bizarre, we have the Anything That Floats Race. (When you watch people paddling things that look like homemade stage sets, or floppy lashed-together inflatable contraptions, you learn why life jackets are more than a good idea.) Other attractions range from live music on shore (Sugar Ray, August 3; The Commonheart, August 4; and Randy Houser; August 5) to fireworks in the sky. And, though money is involved in staging various events—for instance, Alcosan sponsors Anything That Floats, while the paddle sports raise money for cancer research—just coming on down to the Regatta is absolutely free. Is that socialism? No, it’s a PARTY. Noon to evening Aug. 3-5, Point State Park and North Shore. (MV)

2) California-based Avenged Sevenfold (a.k.a. “A7X”) skyrocketed to superstardom over the past decade. The band members are known for their rapid, melodic shredding; their theatrical, ghoulish vocals; and their dark, imaginative imagery. Their latest studio album is 2016’s The Stage. The eponymous track was nominated for the Best Rock Song Grammy in 2018. Opening are Prophets of Rage. The supergroup consists of members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill. Three Days Grace also opens. KeyBank Pavilion, 5:30 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC, CM)

3) Billed as “a celebration of American music,” the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, showcases blues, country, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and soul. Nearly 30 acts are scheduled. One of them is Devon Allman and his Devon Allman Project band. Allman is the son of the late great Gregg Allman. He will be joined by Duane Betts, son of the Allman Brothers Band guitarist, Dickey Betts. They will perform Friday evening. Saturday night features Pure Prairie League and Blues TravelerMany Pittsburgh/regional acts including Hillbilly Way, Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, and Bastard Bearded Irishmen, will perform as well. The festival takes place at Peoples Natural Gas Park. Its origins hark back to a 1989 street fair that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Great Johnstown Flood. The Flood City Fest runs for two days: Friday,  August 3 and Saturday, August 4. 90 Johns St., Johnstown. (CM, RH)

4) Better Than Ezra had its big break in 1995 when the indie album Deluxe was picked up and re-released by a major label. “Good” peaked at number one on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks. The band released its eighth studio album, All Together Now, in 2014. The group plays South Park Amphitheater as part of Allegheny County’s Free Summer Concert Series. Two Birds open. 7:30 p.m. 3700 Farmshow Dr., South Park. (HM, CM)

5) Father John Misty’s winning streak continues. This year’s God’s Favorite Customer follows last year’s Pure Comedy. It’s rare these days that an artist releases two albums in two years let alone two great albums in two years. The multi-dimensional musician should put on an unforgettable show at Stage AE. Audiences can enjoy a sound that is a little psychedelic, a little rock, and a little folk. His subjects vary, and his songs include such titles as “I’m Writing a Novel” and “Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All.” Until 2012, he worked his craft under his birth name, Joshua (J.) Tillman, including a stint as the drummer for folk-rock band Fleet Foxes. As J. Tillman, he released eight (!) albums between 2003 and 2010. Tillman is from Rockville, Maryland. Bully opens. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC, CM)

6) Pittsburgh rock royalty Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers have remained a constant on the Pittsburgh music scene as the city morphed from steel mills to high-tech foundry. Grushecky is a consummate singer/songwriter. Grushecky and The Houserockers have recently released their new first-rate album, More Yesterdays than Tomorrows. There are many hot tracks on the album including the introspective rocker title song; classic sounding Houserocker songs “Got to Go to Work Today,” “Blood, Sweat and Beers” and “Rev It Up;”  blues rock burners —  “Burn Us Down” (with a nice acoustic guitar flourish at the end) and “Hell to Pay” (with a little “Bo Diddley Beat” in it): and “That’s What Makes Us Great” with several vocal passages contributed by Grushecky’s friend, Bruce Springsteen. Another truly remarkable song is “The Voice” with very impressive melodic vocals by Grushecky, pleasing female backing vocals, and brilliant lead guitar work. The song’s about being in gratitude, listening to people, and to “stay strong” throughout life’s challenges. Grushecky and The Houserockers shine on all tracks. 7 p.m. Rivers Casino Outdoor Amphitheater. No cover charge. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore. (RH)

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Rick Handler

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