1) What began as teenage time-passing in drummer Chris Culos’ basement soon became O.A.R.’s first album, The Wanderer–and the band’s been working ever since. With several platinum records, sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, and seven acclaimed studio albums to date, O.A.R. shows us how to transcend the constrictions that eras and styles usually bestow upon contemporary music; as their acronym indicates, “Of A Revolution” does not allow for passing time to keep them quiet. If you need proof of this, wander down to Stage AE tonight, where you’ll have a chance to see O.A.R. meld indie-alt-pop themes from the last two decades, as well as Andrew McMahon (the once-lead singer of Something Corporate who now performs solo to raise money for young adults affected by cancer), and Allen Stone, who has been called a “pitch-perfect powerhouse” by USA Today, and compared to the likes of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, but prefers to refer to himself as “a hippie with a soul.” Gates open at 6 p.m. 400 N Shore Dr., North Shore.
2) The Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society welcomes The Harlem Quartet, a string ensemble acclaimed by the Cincinnati Inquirer for bringing a “fresh, bracing, and intelligent” new attitude to classical music. Founded in 2006 by The Sphinx Organization—a nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity in and access to classical music. The Harlem Quartet made its debut at Carnegie Hall, and has followed with an array of international shows, radio and TV appearances, and a 2009 concert in the White House for President and First Lady Obama. Pre-concert mixer, 6:30 p.m./show starts, 7:30 p.m. Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty.
3) Thirsty? Join“The Great North Pour” beer festival at the North Park Lounge’s Cabana Bar in Wexford. Twenty-five dollars will gain you access to a summer buffet serving up trademark fare (such as riblettes, chicken skewers, and jalapeño cheddar cornbread), plus a souvenir sampler mug for sampling brews (you may want to drag along a designated driver!). You’ll have a chance to try some summer brews spanning the repertoire of handcrafted products like Victory Summer Love and Erie Derailed Black Cherry Ale, while chatting with the brewers themselves. There’s also live music, games, prizes, giveaways and the ultimate beer pong tournament. 6 – 9 p.m. 100 Village Run Rd.
4) Use your lunch break to relax with the Mellon Square Summer Concert Series, a weekly way to take in some local music on Thursday afternoons. This week’s performer is singer/songwriter Ben Shannon, a Nashville native transplanted to southwestern Pennsylvania long enough ago that we can claim him as our own. Shannon’s honest, folksy lyrics and unabashed love songs have made him a past finalist in New York’s annual Songwriting Circle competition, as well as in the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. He has also performed on the main stage of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and is currently completing his second studio album, due for release this year. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.(music begins at Noon). Free. Mellon Square, Downtown.
5) Thursday’s is always a good night to break out the brains! If you’re feeling smart, head east to Regent Square for Ryan’s Pub & Grill’s Trivia Night, a weekly event that allows you to relax at a neighborhood bar while you and your team compile your most useless knowledge. Teams can come as a group, or arrange themselves on the spot; either way, you’re sure to encounter both folks and facts you haven’t met before. Hungry for food instead of knowledge? Grab some of Ryan’s tavern fare, sit back, and watch the competition unfold. Come back next Thursday for another round of drinking and thinking. 8:30 p.m. No cover. (412) 241-0464. 607 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square.