OneRepublic Counts Stars at First Niagara; Dark Star Orchestra Plays Dead at Stage AE (CPs Fri., 8/8/14)

1) Before Facebook and Twitter ruled the social media scene, MySpace was the place to be, and during the early 2000’s, it was not uncommon to hear about a band making it big after becoming popular because of their following on the site. OneRepublic was one such band, first gaining popularity in 2002 with the general public and eventually catching the eye of a major label. Their first album dropped in 2007, and the lead single, “Apologize,” cracked the top five of virtually every major music chart in the world. The follow-up, “Stop and Stare,” was another international success and cemented the band as a force in pop music. They’ve had two more top 10 singles since then (“Good Life” and “Counting Stars”), and they seem destined to be hitmakers for a long time. They’ll be at First Niagara Pavilion for a 7 p.m. show. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown.

2) The Grateful Dead officially disbanded in 1995 after three legendary decades as the jam band of choice for an entire generation. The group played more than 2,300 shows in their career, and dedicated fans were famous for recording each performance, cataloging set lists, and preserving the Dead’s improvisational style. Fans who want to experience a live Grateful Dead show are out of luck today—unless Dark Star Orchestra is in town. Dark Star is a tribute band that has the Dead’s act down to a science. For each show, they replicate the set list, instrumentation, and phrasing from a past Grateful Dead performance to produce the next best thing to being there. Since John Kadlecik and Scott Larned formed the group in 1997, they’ve performed over 2,200 times, coming close to breaking the original band’s mark. Dark Star Orchestra will be at Stage AE for an 8 p.m. show. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

3) Every great band is supported by talented musicians who fill in on tours and in the studio when needed, but most of these hard-working folks never get the chance to step into the spotlight. The Hit Men are changing that. Made up of five music industry veterans, The Hit Men have played with the likes of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Barry Manilow, and Elton John. Their lineup includes Lee Shapiro, Gerry Polci, Jimmy Ryan, Larry Gates, and Russ Velazquez and have been friends and collaborators for over 50 years. When they play together today, they bring an unmatched level of talent and professionalism to the stage while pumping out some of the greatest hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s. The Hit Men are performing at the South Park Amphitheater as part of the 2014 Allegheny County Concert Series. Free event. 7:30 p.m. Near Brownsville and McCorkle roads. South Park.

4) The Pirates open a three-game set against the San Diego Padres on a Free Shirt Friday at PNC Park. 7:05 p.m.115 Federal St., North Shore.

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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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