1) In the 1970s, the Steve Miller Band was one of the hottest acts around. Miller was born in Milwaukee and grew up in Dallas, where in high school he met friend and future bandmate (for one year) Boz Scaggs. He also lived in Chicago and New York before settling in San Francisco and finding his groove. His first taste of major chart success came in 1973 with The Joker, with the title single hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. When the follow-up album, Fly Like an Eagle, dropped in 1976, the title single flew up the charts—nesting at number two. The song speaks to finding a solution for humanity’s ills.
A song chronicling two young lovers—who were also bandits and wanted by the police—was another of Eagle’s hits: “Take the Money and Run.” Every time Texas is referenced in the song, it’s followed by five hand claps. 1977 saw the release of Book of Dreams, which generated the hits “Jungle Love” and “Jet Airliner.” With all that success, Miller’s career zenith was definitely in the 1970s, but he has released other quality material over the years. A popular draw on the concert circuit, Miller and his band continue to shine.
The year was 1976, the bicentennial of the United States, but an Englishman was ruling America’s radio airwaves. Peter Frampton was that man. Formerly of the English group Humble Pie, Frampton embarked on his own in 1971 and recorded four albums before his 1976 release of Frampton Comes Alive! That release had several songs that burned their way up America’s rock charts—especially “Show Me the Way“, “Baby, I Love Your Way,” and “Do You Feel Like We Do.” The album became the top-selling one up to that point, and it has been certified platinum eight times. Since then, Frampton has had some missteps and dormant periods, but he’s managed to remain relevant by continuing to write, record, and perform great music. It also doesn’t hurt that he appeared as himself on Fox’s “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy.” Frampton’s most recent release was 2016’s Acoustic Classics. 7 p.m. KeyBank Pavilion, 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (RH)
2) Jukebox musicals use existing pop songs instead of new ones written for the show. They can provoke strong reactions, depending on one’s taste in music: ABBA fans love Mamma Mia!, while ABBAphobes live in dread of being dragged to see it. But almost everyone who’s not a curmudgeon is susceptible to the feel-good beats of 1950s rock and doo-wop, which explains the appeal of the jukebox musical Life Could Be a Dream. The show features a hit parade of golden oldies, from The Silhouettes’ “Get a Job”—more relevant than ever in today’s market!—to the oft-covered granddaddy of all get-up-and-hop tunes, “Little Bitty Pretty One.” The book for Life Could Be a Dream is by Roger Bean. As in his better-known musical The Marvelous Wonderettes, the plot revolves around a talent contest. Life Could Be a Dream premiered in Hollywood in 2009. It’s now a staple of regional theaters wishing to display their local talent, and Mountain Playhouse presents the show in our neck of the woods. 2 and 7 p.m. Performances through July 1. 7690 Somerset Pike, Jennerstown. (MV)
3) Our battlin’ Bucs take on the Milwaukee Brewers tonight in a 7:05 p.m. game. The Pirates then play the Arizona Diamondbacks in a four game home series. PNC Park, 115 Federal St., North Shore.