Phish Set to Jam The Pete; Club Cafe Hosts Gaelyn Lea (Wed., 7/19/17)

1) The Baker’s Dozen, Phish’s 13-night run at Madison Square Garden, begins July 21. However, two days before the run starts, Phish will perform at the Petersen Events Center. The band formed at the University of Vermont in 1983. Thanks mostly to word-of-mouth and tape sharing, it garnered a huge following with domestic album and DVD sales passing the 8-million mark. The group went on hiatus in 2000 and in 2009, but the current lineup has been intact for over 30 years. Phish is a jam band, but its sound encompasses bluegrass, psychedelic, folk, and other genres. Their live shows are known for the members’ improvisation and interaction with the audience. They are also mainstays at outdoor festivals, such as Bonnaroo. 1994’s Hoist, Phish’s fifth album, increased their popularity as did their Ben & Jerry’s flavor, Phish Food, which debuted in 1997. Big Boat, the group’s 13th album, was released in 2016. 7 p.m. 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. (CM)

2) Sincerity can be scarce in our culture. That’s what makes the music video for “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun” so jarring—nearly five minutes of unadulterated beauty. Gaelynn Lea, who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (“brittle bone disease”), has every right to be cynical. Yet it’s she who is reminding us—us—that “time [is] the subtle thief of life. / It slips away when we pay no mind.” She sings these words over a gorgeous, looped violin. The song won NPR’s second annual Tiny Desk Contest, propelling Lea toward recognition outside her native Duluth, Minn.. All the Roads That Lead Us Home, released in 2015, is her debut album. She has toured Europe and returns to Club Cafe. Also billed is Ben de la Cour. The singer/songwriter released his sophomore album, Midnight in Havana, in 2016. The title possibly alludes to his time in Cuba’s capital. He lived in Havana, Paris, and elsewhere prior to settling down in Nashville. His vocals hark back to Springsteen and Lou Reed. The sound fits his self-described “Americanoir” songs. Aaron Lefebvre opens. 8 p.m. 56- 58 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)

Broadway company of "Newsies." Photo: Deen van Meer.

Broadway company of “Newsies.”
Photo: Deen van Meer.

3) Disney’s Newsies, which won Tony Awards in 2012 for Best Score and Best Choreography, is adapted from the 1992 movie, based on the 1899 newsboys’ strike in New York City. The musical follows newsboy Jack Kelly and his best friend, Crutchie, as Jack rallies fellow New York City paper boys in a strike against publishing magnate Joseph Pulitzer for better wages and working conditions. Newsies features top-notch song and dance numbers including the tap dance scene “King of New York.” The CLO production features many local actors and actors with connections to Pittsburgh in the ensemble cast. Newsies has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein. 8 p.m. Performances through July 23. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. 

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Rick Handler

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