The Verve Pipe in Concert at Jergel’s; Cirque Dreams ‘Holidaze’ in Two Day Run at Benedum (Thurs., 12/29/16)

1) The Verve Pipe’s “The Freshmen” is a lesson in patience and persistence. The Michigan rock band recorded an acoustic version for their 1992 debut, I’ve Suffered a Head Injury. Neither the song nor the album made ripples outside their home state. Later pressings of I’ve Suffered a Head Injury dropped “The Freshmen” altogether. The band included a re-recorded version on their major label debut, 1996’s Villains, an album produced by The Talking Heads’ Jerry Harrison. They then recorded a single version, which was altered a final time for radio release. Finally, The Verve Pipe had a crossover hit: “The Freshmen” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the 2000s, the group released two children’s albums: A Family Album and Are We There Yet?. In 2014, they released Overboard, their first non-children’s album in over a decade. The band continues to tour, and you can catch them at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (CH)

Ornaments on a Tree. Photo Credit: Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Courtesy of Cirque Productions.

Ornaments on a Tree. Photo Credit: Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Courtesy of Cirque Productions.

2) Oh my goodness! It’s “snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers … and of course Santa, with soaring acrobatics, gravity-defying feats, elaborate production numbers, illusions, and more.” Yep, it’s Cirque Dreams Holidaze, the touring holiday spectacle that is part three-ring circus, part Broadway-style musical, and 100 percent OK for small children as well as adults. Now in its seventh year, the show comes from Florida-based Cirque Productions, which sends out multiple casts to perform across the U.S. The word on the street (and in the press) is that it’s a real crowd-pleaser. 8 p.m. tonight, and two shows tomorrow. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (MV)

 

3) Attention sports aficionados: There’s a great opportunity beginning today to watch several NCAA Division I hockey teams battle for the top prize in the Fifth-Annual Three Rivers Classic hockey tournament, presented by Robert Morris University. Other teams competing are Penn State, Quinnipiac University, and Ferris State. This is day one of the two-day tournament. First game starts at 4:30 p.m. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.