Jefferson Starship Lands at South Park; KeyBank Hosts Rascal Flatts; Ween Play Stage AE (Fri., 7/27/18)

1) 1965 was the year rock turned seriously psychedelic. Among other things, three new groups emerged from the San Francisco area’s folk-rock scene sounding more like musicians from another planet: the Grateful Dead, Country Joe and the Fish (remember them?)—and Jefferson Airplane. Airplane’s co-founder, Paul Kantner, started his successor band, Jefferson Starship, to play the music of Jefferson Airplane and more. Kantner died in 2016 at the age of 74, but the music goes on. The band’s female vocalist, Cathy Richardson, has a big voice that wakes the echoes. It’s impossible to replace Grace Slick, who is a painter now, but Richardson does a mighty fine job in her own right. Expect to hear Woodstock-era numbers like “Volunteers” and White Rabbit” in a show that should be a trip. So trip on out to South Park as this concert is part of the Allegheny County Concert Series. Working Breed opens. 7:30 p.m. South Park Amphitheatre, 3700 Farmshow Dr., South Park Township. (MV, RH)

Cathy Richardson , of Jefferson Starship, performing at the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta at Point State Park. Photo: Martha Rial

Cathy Richardson ,of Jefferson Starship, performing at the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta at Point State Park. Photo: Martha Rial

2) Country-pop trio Rascal Flatts are coming to town—well, actually to KeyBank Pavilion, just a little ways out of town—on their Back to Us Tour, and when these boys come to town, they really go to town. The Columbus, Ohio band’s 2014 album, Rewind, topped at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, featuring hit singles like “Rewind,” “Riot,” and “I Like the Sound of That.” The group is made up of vocalist Gary LeVox, bass and keyboard player Jay DeMarcus, and guitarist Joe Don Rooney. Rascal Flatts’ latest album is 2017’s Back to Us, on which they produced every track on their own, except one on the deluxe edition. The release has enjoyed some very good success, entering the Billboard Top Country Albums chart at No. 2. Dan + Shay and Carly Pearce open. 7:30 p.m. 665 Rt.18, Burgettstown. (EC, RH)

3) Dean Ween, née Michael Melchiondo Jr., met Gene Ween, née Aaron Freeman, in a junior high typing class. They formed Ween, an alternative-rock duo from New Hope,Pa.. The duo crafted irreverent, noisy, lo-fi rock songs with titles like “Strap on that jammypac” and “Push th’ Little Daisies.” The latter charted on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1993. Ween broke up in 2012, but reunited in 2015. They play Stage AE. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

4) Former Povertyneck Hillbilly Chris Higbee is widely known as one of the best fiddle-playing frontmen since Charlie Daniels. Higbee has been going it alone since the rest of the Hillbillies broke away to form The Hillbilly Way in 2012. But Higbee has proven that he has the chutzpah to pull off a solo act, releasing his self-titled debut LP in 2013 and touring nationally. This is a free outdoor show. The Hobbs Sisters open. 7 p.m. Rivers Casino, 777 Casino Dr., North Shore.

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Rick Handler

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