First Night 2016 Festivities to Encompass the Golden Triangle; Rusted Root and Lotus in Area Concerts (Thurs., 12/31/15)

"Light-Up Night" takes on a new meaning with Steel Town Fire.

“Light-Up Night” takes on a new meaning with Steel Town Fire.

1) Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2016 is the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the ‘Burgh, and happening all over the Downtown’s Golden Triangle. This year’s celebration features reggae superstars The Wailers, who were Bob Marley’s backing band. They are led by Aston “Family Man” Barrett who was one of Marley’s most important and trusted sidemen. The Wailers play the Highmark Stage in the Cultural District from 10:45 to 11:59 p.m.

There are so many entertainers and attractions lined up for First Night including: amazing bands, dancers, comedians, balloon-animal creators, acoustic musicians, dance lessons, buskers, caricature artists, face painters, clowns, puppets, storytellers, sports mascots, theatrical performances, large-scale games, fire performers and ice carvers. Oh, and of course, fireworks (two displays!). See our First Night Preview. Events start at 6 p.m. and go until midnight. Visit Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2016 for complete details.


2) Rusted Root is a Pittsburgh band that formed in 1990 rising to fame on a world beat fusion mix of rock, acoustic, folk , and a distinctive percussion sound. After winning the In Pittsburgh Music Award for Best Rock Band in 1990, Rusted Root continued on the wining path when their 1994 album When I Awoke with the track “Send Me On My Way” went Platinum. Rusted Root has toured internationally and recorded seven studio albums including their latest, 2012’s The Movement. Jam rock in the new year at the Rex Theater. 9 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side.


3) Lotus, like the jam bands that came before them, tour relentlessly, averaging around 100 shows a year. They are no strangers to Pittsburgh and even played the Three Rivers Arts Festival back in ’08. The five-piece, originally from Indiana, are known for incorporating electronic elements into their music. Their new album, Gilded Age, finds them nostalgic for straight-up jam rock. (Nostalgia acts are a major theme in Gilded Age, hence the title.) The band uses elaborate lighting in their concerts and occasionally performs themed shows. One concert saw David Bowie costumes, another, Willie Nelson. Could a Donnie Iris-themed show be in the works for tonight’s concert at Stage AE? One has to attend to find out. Doors at 8 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

Photos of recent First Nights by Jason Cohn and Renee Rosensteel, courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Share on Social Media

Posted in

Rick Handler

Follow Entertainment Central

Sign up for the EC Newsletter

Latest Stories

Entertainment Central Pittsburgh promo