Eric Clapton Plays PPG Paints; Star Lake Hosts Shinedown; A Fair In the Park and Pgh Irish Festival Begin (Fri., 9/8/23)
1) Eric Clapton, aka Slowhand, brings his classic rock, Stratocaster guitar-driven sound and catalog of top hits to PPG Paints Arena. A frequent and welcomed visitor to Pittsburgh over the years, Clapton is best known for the songs, “Cocaine,” “Layla,” “You Look Wonderful Tonight,” “Tears From Heaven” and “It’s In the Way That You Use It” (from the movie The Color of Money, starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise). He’s been an integral part of several highly respected, seminal rock bands—The Yardbirds, Cream, and Derek and the Dominoes. Clapton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ranks second on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He also played the un-credited lead guitar part on the Beatle’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Special guest is Jimmie Vaughn. 7:30 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (R.H.)
2) Jacksonville, Florida alt-metal band Shinedown headlines a concert at The Pavilion at Star Lake. The group is riding high coming off a sold-out arena tour earlier this year and a top 20 Hot AC Radio hit with their song, “A Symptom of Being Human.” The song also hit #1 on SiriusXM’s The Pulse. Lead singer Brent Smith’s powerful, crystalline vocals shine through on “A Symptom of Being Human.” The song speaks to the fact that “we are all a work in progress and that it’s our differences, quirks, and struggles that make us human.” The band debuted with 2003’s Leave a Whisper, which was later rereleased to include a popular cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s (also from Jacksonville) “Simple Man.” Shinedown has the Billboard record for the most mainstream rock no. 1 hits ever, and they’ve achieved platinum or gold certification for all their albums. In 2021, for the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart’s 40th Anniversary, Shinedown was ranked no. 1 Greatest of All Time Mainstreams Rock Artists. Shinedown’s latest album is last year’s Planet Zero. Opening are Papa Roach, and Spiritbox. 6:40 p.m. p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (R.H.)
A FAIR IN THE PARK—September 8 -10, Mellon Park
3) The annual A Fair in the Park will happen again this year in Shadyside’s Mellon Park. Promoted as a contemporary fine crafts and arts show and sale, it includes art and craft demonstrations, performances, music, food, and children’s activities. The fair is presented by the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh and Citiparks. Food trucks and local vendors will be on hand including Pitaland, PGH Crepes, The Pickled Chef, The Coop Chicken and Waffles, and Revival Chili. Fair hours are: Friday, 1 – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fifth and Shady Aves., Shadyside/Point Breeze/Squirrel Hill. (R.H.)
PITTSBURGH IRISH FESTIVAL—September 8 – 10. Carrie Blast Furnaces.
4) Two rules of Irishness: (1) You do not have to be Irish to enjoy Irish things. (2) You might be more Irish than you think. This year’s Pittsburgh Irish Festival is the city’s 32nd annual celebration of Celtic culture—and since scholars say the ancient Celts populated lands from Austria to Portugal, this takes in everybody from Sigmund Freud to Cristiano Ronaldo. They’d both have a blast at the Festival. Irish and Irish-ish musical acts perform constantly through the weekend. The entertainment lineup includes Gaelic Storm, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Screaming Orphans, Cahal Dunne, and The Low Kings. There’s sure to be at least three pipe bands (there is no such thing as too much bagpipes). In addition to music and dancing, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival has storytelling, arts and crafts, experts on Irish/Celtic culture and genealogy, etc., along with Irish foods, Irish whiskey, stout, and mead. The festival is Irishness writ as large as it can be writ. Come one, come all. 4 – 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 801 Carrie Furnace Blvd., Rankin. (M.V.)