1) James Taylor—one of the best soft rock and folk artists in American music since the late ’60s—continues to enthrall live audiences with his comforting songs, accomplished acoustic, guitar work, and melodic voice. Taylor’s first big hit was “Fire and Rain,” which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in 1970. Many other successful songs followed, including “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Handy Man.” He’s often collaborated with Carole King, and they teamed up for the last concert ever held at the Civic Arena, which was a sellout. Taylor is a champion who’s overcome many obstacles and continues to create and perform at a very high level. He was married to fellow singer Carly Simon for a time, and they have two children from the marriage. Tonight James Taylor and his All-Star Band play a show at Pittsburgh’s newer event palace, PPG Paints Arena. Let’s hope the tradition of Taylor performing concerts in Pittsburgh continues for a long time.
Blues musician Bonnie Raitt opens. Raitt, after working hard for more than 10 years, achieved mega-success on the strength of her albums Nick of Time (1989) and Luck of the Draw (1991). “Something to Talk About” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me” were high-charting songs from the latter album. She had another hit album in 2012 with Sliptstream, her first in seven years. Raitt is touring in support of her newest album, Dig in Deep. Both Taylor and Raitt are inductees of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 7:30 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (RH)
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 practice runs (8:30 a.m. – 11:50); race qualifying heats with over 150 vintage racers (1 – 5 p.m.); car shows featuring international and British cars (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.). The Chevrolet Camaro is the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix’s Marque of the Year 2017. Race heats are tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m. Charities benefiting from race proceeds are the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. Free.
3) The Deutschtown Music Festival helps to promote local music and a neighborhood hidden in plain sight. Also known as East Allegheny, Deutschtown is east of the Children’s Museum and Allegheny Commons Park. The neighborhood is home to some lively bars and restaurants; many will serve as venues. Now in its fifth year, what was once a Saturday event has spilled into Friday night too. Deutschtown’s borders are porous, so expect a few groups from out of state. The main stage features one great Pittsburgh act after another, from Shelf Life String Band to Murder for Girls and Nevada Color. Bluegrass, punk, rap, rock, and other genres are represented. Some venues, like Penn Brewery, are just outside Deutschtown. Playing on the Brewery’s outside terrace tonight at 7 p.m. is Thirty Years Later. For a complete list of venues and acts, see the festival’s website. Food trucks and art vendors will be on scene. East Allegheny Community Council hosts. 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Sat. Free. Deutschtown (East Allegheny), North Side. (CM)