Hootie & the Blowfish Play KeyBank; Vintage Grand Prix Race Day; Hartwood Hosts Kurt Vile (Sun., 7/21/19)

1)The last couple of times Darius Rucker was in town, he opened for Lady Antebellum. This time, he fronts Hootie & the Blowfish, who have regrouped for their Group Therapy Tour and will headline KeyBank Pavilion. Hootie & the Blowfish achieved immediate success with their debut LP, 1994’s Cracked Rear View, which is the 19th best-selling album in the United States. It was buoyed by the single “Only Wanna Be with You.” The band, which formed in 1986 in Columbia, South Carolina, released four more albums before going on hiatus, save the occasional charity gig, in 2008. They’re back and releasing new music. Opening is Barenaked Ladies. One Week,” an ironic rap performed by Canadians, details a seven-day argument through nearly unintelligible lyrics. It spent (ahem) one week atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998. Other recognizable singles include “If I Had $1,000,000” and the theme for “The Big Bang Theory.” Barenaked Ladies formed in Scarborough, Ontario in 1988. Their latest LP is 2017’s Fake Nudes. 7:30 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (CM)

The Jaguar pace car leads the pack to start the race with the 139 and 26 racers in the first row.

The Jaguar pace car leads the pack to start the race with the 139 and 26 racers in the first row. (photo:Rick Handler)

2) Drivers start your engines! Fans lower your tailgates! It’s the start of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix race weekend in Schenley Park. One of America’s largest vintage race events. Today’s featured events include race heats from noon to 5 p.m.  Shelby and Mustang are the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix’s Marque of the Year 2018. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Charities benefiting from race proceeds are the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. Free.

3) Kurt Vile, who hails from Philadelphia, co-founded The War on Drugs, and he appears on their first two albums. He left amicably to focus on his solo career, and what a career it has been. He’s released eight studio albums in nine years. One of those is 2017’s Lotta Sea Lice, a collaborative LP with one of rock’s other great singer-songwriters, guitarists, and “speak-singers,” Courtney Barnett. The pair wrote originals, covered other artists’ songs, and covered each other’s songs. He does a sinister, murky take on her “Outta the Woodwork.” She, meanwhile, gorgeously covered his “Peepin’ Tom.” He released Bottle It In, which contains the single Bassackwards, in 2018. As a title, it’s clever. As a song, it sounds like Lou Reed meets Revolver-era Beatles. So, brilliant. His backing band is called the Violators. He comes to Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater as part of the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series. Cate Le Bon opens. Free. 4070 Middle Rd., Allison Park. (CM)

4) The Struts headlined the sold-out 105.9 The X’s Kick-Ass Christmas show last December at Stage AE. They return to Pittsburgh for warmer climes and another show at Stage AE. Their music (and flamboyant dress) harks back to glam and classic rock groups such as Queen and AC/DC. Frontman Luke Spiller met guitarist Adam Slack in 2009. They formed the Struts in Derby, England, and just five years later, the band opened for the Rolling Stones in Paris. 2014 saw the release of their debut LP, Everybody Wants, and in 2018, their sophomore LP, Young & Dangerous. Lest one thinks that they are a nostalgia act, know that they remixed their single “Body Talks” with Kesha. The Glorious Sons, a Canadian rock quintet who opened at that Christmas show, open again. JJ Wilde also opens. Doors open 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)