Luke Bryan, Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line Play Near Pennsylvania West Virginia Line (CP’s Sat. 9/28/13)
1) This summer, Kenny Chesney proved slick, ’90s-style country hasn’t lost its commercial power, even in a Northeastern city, when he played to a crowd of 50,000 at Heinz Field (and left a scene in the parking lot more reminiscent of Ozzfest than a county fair). Luke Bryan may be headlining that kind of show in a few years. Georgia-born Bryan has been steadily climbing the ladder, earning the Academy of Country Music Award for Best New Artist in 2010, becoming the ACM’s Male Artist of the Year in 2011 and rising to Entertainer of the Year in 2013. More than just a handsome face and twangy voice, he’s written hits for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington. Today, you can hear his voice at First Niagara Pavilion and someday you’ll hear it coming from pickup trucks everywhere! Opening are up-and-comers Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line. 7 p.m. 665 Route 18, Burgettstown.
2) Roger Waters once predicted that someday people he’d never met would be touring as Pink Floyd, recreating the band’s multi-layered space rock and distinctive stage spectacles. Though he was probably just making another gripe about his former bandmates’ poaching of the lucrative Pink Floyd name, his prediction has come true in the multitude of touring Floyd tributes. Cleveland’s Wish You Were Here, which comes to Stage AE today, doesn’t fool around, bringing along to every stop its trippy lightshow and recreation of famous Floyd props (the inflatable pig, the wall of white foam bricks, etc.) Waters has cooled his anger and the band reunited once, but this is still as close to the real thing as you are ever likely to see. 7:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.
3) Saxophonist Karl Denson is the type of artist who always has his hands in several projects and several genres. He came to prominence playing sax for Lenny Kravitz (stealing the show with his solo in “Let Love Rule”). For a few years after, he split his time between the funk ensemble The Greyboy Allstars and his own jazz solo albums. Now, Denson is back with an outfit called Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, which offers up a galaxy of funk, jazz and jam band-ish rock. Tonight, they take to Mr. Small’s Funhouse after a set by the Mike Dillon Band, whose namesake is the only bandleader we know who plays the vibraphone. 9 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
4) Oakland, California-based Tower of Power got the funk party started in the late ’60s with its then-unorthodox sound centered on a thudding electric bass and horn section. Since then, trends have come and gone — and so have enough band members to fill a Greyhound bus — but Tower of Power remains impressively active. They’ve recorded 18 albums and toured consistently, the MCs of an old-school dance party that has lasted 45 years and continues today at the Palace Theatre. 8 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg.
5) Pittsburgh’s greatest annual nostalgia fest/show of drunken pride is in full swing today as the Pitt Panthers take on the University of Virginia Cavilers at Heinz Field as part of Homecoming. Tons of alumni get-togethers precede and follow the big game. There’s also several family activities at the game as well. 12:30 p.m. 100 Art Rooney Way, North Shore.
6) Today’s Allegheny County Radical Days include free events at the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania – Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, Society for Contemporary Craft, Allegheny County Parks – Hartwood Acres Hay Day, Classical WQED-FM 89.3, Young Men & Women’s African Heritage Assn (YMWAHA), Prime Stage and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Main, and Pittsburgh Opera: Rising Stars For more information visit the Radical Days Web site.