1) The music business is fraught with peril and hardships, and a career that spans more than a couple of years is generally considered a significant accomplishment. Frankie Valli has reached that level of achievement. Born in Newark, N.J., Valli rose to fame in 1962 as the lead singer of The Four Seasons (they took the band name from a New Jersey bowling alley), and his fame train continues to chug as powerfully as ever. The Four Seasons’ first hit, “Sherry” put the band on the map. Other hits include “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” and “Working My Way Back to You.” Valli comes to Heinz Hall in what is guaranteed to provide a harmonious joyride down melody lane. Opportunities to catch legends like Valli are increasingly scarce, so pen this one into your “high-priority” category. 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave. Cultural District. (EC/RH)
Charles Bradley is a true champion. He endured a tough childhood and life as a young adult that included many hardships, including abandonment (and later reconciliation at eight years of age) of him by his mom to his grandmother when he was an infant, his brother being murdered down the street from his mom’s house in Brooklyn, and homelessness. After working in several different places and traveling the country, Bradley returned to Brooklyn and cared for his mom for many years until her death in January of 2014.
One ray of light that always shined through for Bradley was his enjoyment of music. As a kid he saw the legendary James Brown perform at the Apollo Theater. After the show, young Bradley worked on mimicking James Brown’s moves and style. This would serve him later in life in his act as a James Brown impersonator called Black Velvet. While performing he was discovered by Bosco Mann, a co-founder of Daptone Records, signed, and sent on his way to musical notoriety. For the first songs he wrote and recorded, he wrote lyrics on the spot during recording sessions and told the band to follow his lead. Many of those songs made up his first album, No Time for Dreaming, released in 2011. His follow-up album Victim of Love made many Best of 2013 lists. Bradley and his band the Extraordinaires are known for rich blues vocals with insightful lyrics, tasty guitar riffs, energetic funky bottom, and timely bold brass. Songs like “Where Do We Go From Here?” and ‘The World (Is Going Up In Flames)” have made Bradley appealing to several different classes and generations of people. He is touring in support of his latest album Changes. Peter Wolf & The Midnight Travelers open for Bradley at 6 p.m., with Bradley taking the stage at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival at 7:30 p.m. Free. Dollar Bank Main Stage, Point State Park, Downtown.
3) Our battlin’ Buccos meet the New York Mets, again tonight in a 7:05 p.m. game that ends a three-game home series. Next up for the Pirates is a one day away game against the Rockies to make up a rain out. They then return for a home series against the St. Louis Cardinals starting Friday. 115 Federal St., North Shore.