Straight No Chaser Brings Smooth Sound to Benedum; Halestorm at Stage AE (CPs Wed., 12/11/13)

1) A capella is all the rage these days, with movies like Pitch Perfect and TV shows like “Glee” gaining huge fan bases. See what all the buzz is about with Straight No Chaser at the Benedum Center. The group’s latest album, Under the Influence, features the likes of superstars Rob Thomas, Dolly Parton, and Phil Collins, among others. SNC’s 10 intertwining voices make for a rich,  smooth sound, kind of like a fine bourbon (thus, the name). Don’t expect traditional alma mater tunes, though. Covering songs like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” SNC shows us that not only is a capella relevant, but also worth our while to see them live. 8 p.m. 237 Seventh St., Cultural District.

2) No one has ever said that “hard rock is best left to the men” after hearing Lzzy Hale and her band, Halestorm. The Red Lion, Pa., natives are stopping in Pittsburgh at Stage AE for a night of hard guitar riffs, impressive drumming, and of course, Hale’s wonderful voice. After gaining popularity in 2009 with “I Get Off,” Halestorm became known for almost constantly being on tour. The band’s performed more than 200 shows a year, but don’t think they just go through the motions. Every night is a high-energy experience between Arejay’s theatrical drum solos and Lzzy belting out songs like “Love Bites (So Do I)” and “It’s Not You.” Redlight King and Stars in Stereo will warm up the crowd on a cold winter night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

3) Choosing soup or salad with an entrée is hard enough, but you won’t have to choose one musical genre when The Marshall Tucker Band is playing at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. By blending gospel, Southern rock, R&B, jazz, and country genres, MTB’s sound is unique, catchy, and stands the test of time when most contemporary music drops off. You may still be able to hear “Heard It in a Love Song” on the radio or in a blues bar on open mic night, but at Jergel’s, you can hear the original, which is always better than the remake. 8 p.m. 103 Slade Ln., Warrendale.

4) Your ears and emotions are in for a treat at Club Café with Diego Garica. His debut album, Laura, focuses on his experience with unrequited love. Now married to his Laura (seriously), Garcia has a new album, Paradise, which explores reconciliation following estrangement with songs like “Tell Me” and “Sunnier Days.” Latin/folk hybrid guitar riffs and a soft, refined voice make Garcia an exceptional musician worthy of crooner status. His music is  comparable to time-traveling with songs like “Stay” and “You Were Never There,” reminiscent of an acoustic Elvis Costello or James Taylor. One song is all you’ll need to understand why Laura went from unrequited love to wife. Caleb Pogyor is a special guest for this performance. 8 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side.

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Jessica Dayhoff

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