Luke Bryan Leads a ‘Wild Weekend’ at Heinz Field; Megan Hilty Sings Sinatra for PNC Pops (CPs Sat., 6/21/2014)

1) Luke Bryan is one of the biggest acts going in country music these days. Since 2010, the native Georgian has been on a bit of a tear with seven songs rising to number one on the U.S. Country Charts, including “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)” which went triple platinum. Bryan is a songwriter who earned his keep in Nashville in the early years of his career by penning tunes for the likes of Travis Tritt and Billy Currington, though he has proved to be more than capable of stepping into the spotlight himself, winning the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards’ Entertainer of the Year award. More often seen in a baseball hat than a cowboy hat, Bryan’s songwriting has made him a fan favorite thanks to some pretty popular themes (see tracks like “Wild Weekend,” “Cold Beer Drinker,” and “I’m Hungover”). Luke Bryan will be at Heinz Field with Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, and Cole Swindell. 6 p.m. 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.

2) The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will team up with Broadway starlet Megan Hilty and New York Pops conductor Steven Reineke for a night of classics paying tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, the great Frank Sinatra. Megan Hilty has been the toast of The Great White Way in Manhattan for the past few years with acclaimed roles in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Wicked, and 9 to 5. She has also found her way into living rooms across the country with roles on Smash and Sean Saves the World. Originally from way out west in Bellevue, Washington, Hilty got her degree right here in the Steel City at Carnegie Mellon University as a member of the class of 2004 before moving on to the Big Apple. Join Megan Hilty at Heinz Hall for Luck Be a Lady, the finale of the PNC Pops season. Saturday’s performance starts at 8 p.m. with additional performances on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. 600 Penn Ave. Cultural District.

3) Pittsburgh native Norman Nardini has seen more than his share of the rock world in his 50+ years in the industry. Legend has it that Pittsburgh’s self-declared Uncrowned King of Rock and Roll decided he was going to make a living playing music at the age of 12, though he was taking accordion lessons in Natrona Heights at the time. Nardini has made his name locally by playing with everyone from Jimmy Beaumont to Terry Bradshaw (that’s Norman on bass in the classic recording of “The Pittsburgh Steelers Polka”). He hit a high point with local act Diamond Reo, a band that opened for the likes of Aerosmith, Rush, and Blue Oyster Cult during the ’70s, but the real watershed came with Norman Nardini and the Tigers and their hit “If You Don’t Love Me (Someone Will)” which popped briefly onto the national pop scene in the mid-’80s. Norman Nardini will be at Moondog’s in Blawnox for a 9 p.m. show. 378 Freeport Rd.

4) Enjoy the longest day of the year in style at the Summer Solstice Celebration at Club Cafe. The sun will set about five minutes before the music starts, but the scene will be hot enough to make up for it. The celebration features a four-pack of bands headlined by local ska octet Masters of the Universe, who bring high energy and horns to the stage at every show. The Masters will compete for ska supremacy with Buffalo-based seven-piece B-Side Basterds. Nightly Standard, another Pittsburgh ensemble that blends rock, soul, and jazz, will make an appearance, too, as will Roma. The celebration kicks off at 9 p.m., and with four great acts, you might just be around to see the sun rise on the second longest day of the year. 56 S. 12th St., South Side.

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Daniel J. Dombrowski

Daniel J. Dombrowski is a freelance writer and editor living and working in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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