Mannheim Steamroller Plays Benedum Center; Jergel’s Hosts Reverend Horton Heat; Hot Tuna at the Palace (Tues., 12/9/19)

1) Mannheim Steamroller will bowl you over with their combination of great holiday music, special effects, and innovative lighting. Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis founded Mannheim Steamroller—named in part after an 18th-century German musical technique, the Mannheim roller—in 1974 to play a blend of rock and classical music. No record company would produce their records, so Davis set up his own, American Gramaphone, which paved the way for the band’s success. Mannheim Steamroller hit a higher level of popularity in ’84 with its first holiday album and are now one of the highest rated Christmas music acts in entertainment. There is such a demand for their Mannheim Steamroller Christmas show during the holiday season that two different tours crisscross the country spreading rock ‘n’ roll joy. 8 p.m. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (RH)

2) The “Reverend” is in town for a holiday hayride. The Reverend Horton Heat, that is. The Reverend is Dallas-based musician Jim Heath. He and his band have been described as “psychobilly,” with influences of big band, punk, surf, and several other genres, making for an eclectic, energetic fusion of sound. Heath formed his band in 1985; the name “Horton” nods to country music and rockabilly singer Johnny Horton, who is known for his version of “The Battle of New Orleans.” The Reverend Horton Heat has released 12 albums since 1990, most recently 2018’s Whole New Life. “Psychobilly Freakout,” from 1990’s Smoke ’Em If You Got ’Em, has been used in a variety of media, including “Beavis and Butt-Head” and in a commercial for Buell Motorcycle Company. The Reverend’s service is at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. Assisting in the service are Voodoo Glow Skulls, The 5678’s, and Dave Alvin. 7 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (RH, CM)

3) Hot Tuna began in 1969 as a project of former Jefferson Airplane band members Jorma Kaukonen (guitarist/vocals) and Jack Casady (bassist). Rolling Stone Magazine described the group as ”A Psychedelic-Blues Institution” The band has seen other musicians join the main battery over the years and now Kaukonen and Casady are on an acoustic tour celebrating their 50 years of performing together as Hot Tuna. There’s some seriously good music behind their funny name. Also performing are the husband and wife duo—Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. 7:30 p.m. Palace Theatre, 21 W. Ottermand St., Greensburg. (RH)

4) Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, a solo project for McMahon, will perform at the Roxian Theatre as part of his Winter in the Wilderness Tour, featuring him and his piano. 2018’s Upside Down Flowers is his latest album with lead-off single “Ohio.” He fronted the successful rock bands Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. Following his treatment for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, he founded the Dear Jack Foundation, which helps adolescents and young adults with cancer. Ivory Layne opens. 8 p.m. 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. (CM)

5) Heartland Restaurant Group, regional franchisee of over 50 Dunkin’ restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, just opened a new Dunkin’/Baskin-Robbins combo store in Bloomfield on December 9. The sleek new store is located in a new development on the former Don Allen Chevrolet site at 5421 Liberty Avenue across from the Bloomfield Post Office.

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Rick Handler

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