John Mayer in Concert at PPG Paints Arena; Stage AE Hosts Kelsea Ballerini; Shamrock Bar Crawl; Red Beans and Rice at Pgh Winery (Sat., 3/18/23)

1) John Mayer went from pop to blues to jam-band. Let’s chart this development. One of his first singles was “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” which won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2003. He moved to blues in the mid-aughts by collaborating with legends such as B.B. King, forming the John Mayer Trio, and releasing Continuum in 2006. Cut to a few albums later, and John Mayer became a Deadhead after hearing “Althea” on a Pandora station. He befriended Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir in 2015. The pair and Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann soon formed Dead & Company, which will be coming to Pittsburgh this summer on their final tour, so you can even see Mayer twice. He will perform his solo work at PPG Paints Arena. Mayer’s most recent studio album is Sob Rock, released in 2021. 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (C.M., R.H.)

2) Kelsea Ballerini’s father, Ed, once worked as a sales manager for a country music station in their hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Kelsea continues her dad’s work in a similar vein, she has sold a multitude of her country singles and albums over her almost ten-year career. Her first two albums have accounted for seven charted songs on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. She had five No. 1 singles on the latter. Her latest LP, Subject to Change, was released last year and it reached No. 1 on the U.K. Country Chart and No. 3 here in the U.S. on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums. Now she visits Pittsburgh on her Heartfirst Tour for a sold out show at Stage AE. Special guest is Georgia Webster. Doors open at 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (R.H.)

3) As if there’s not already enough happening on a normal Saturday on the South Side, there is the Shamrock Crawl. Here’s the deal: buy a ticket ($15 prior to Saturday, $40 on game day), and you will get reduced prices on drinks, a special Shamrock mug, cover-free access to some of South Side’s best bars, food specials, raffle entry for prizes, and free pictures of the event. 2 – 10 p.m. For participating bars, tickets, and more information visit the Shamrock Crawl website. (R.H.)

4) Red Beans & Rice is a popular dish down south in New Orleans (and elsewhere too). In the ‘Burgh we have a popular music combo of the same name. The ingredients in Red Beans & Rice are Dave Klug (drums and his custom-built Kluger Soundboard), Tom Roberts (piano, whistling, & vocals), and Wayno (vocals, harmonica, & ukulele). Their music is described as “New Orleans R&B, early rock & roll nuggets, and barroom ballads, with a jazzy dash of Tin Pan Alley, and a generous side of wit & humor.” 4:30 p.m. Pittsburgh Winery, 2710 Penn Ave., Strip District.

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Rick Handler

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