1) Capping off a week of talks on leadership, innovation, sustainability, and technology, the musical leg of the Thrival Festival begins when gates open Friday, September 23 at 3 p.m. and Saturday, September 24 at noon. The focus of the music schedule is an interesting combination of established national bands and local groups. On the national front is CHVRCHES, an indie pop trio from Glasgow, Scotland; Ty Dolla $ign, a multi-instrumentalist and rapper from L.A.; Rubblebucket, a fun indie dance band; The Chainsmokers, a DJ duo whose single “Closer” (featuring Halsey) hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; and many others. Sir the Baptist has been added to the Friday schedule. On the local front are funkateers Beauty Slap and indie rock trio Meeting of Important People, plus other area bands and artists. The music this year takes place at the Carrie Furnaces, a pre-World War I iron plant turned National Historic Landmark. The name of the game at Thrival is capitalist enterprise, and local startup/innovation incubator Thrill Mill powers the festival. Thrival is a rich brew of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and culture. For a full schedule of events and performances, visit Thrival’s website. Carrie Furnace Blvd., Rankin. (EC/CM)
2) When English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg was last in town, he closed the 2014 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival with a brilliant set on an idyllic Father’s Day evening. Stand-out tunes included originals like “What Doesn’t Kill You” and “Two Fingers,” and covers like Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue).” He, his bassist Tom “Robbo” Robertson, and his drummer Jack Atherton clocked in 20 songs in just under an hour and a half. 20 was also Bugg’s age then, making him a prodigy, with two LPs and three EPs already under his belt. He’s recorded another LP since: this year’s On My One. “Gimme the Love,” released as a double-A side with the title track, sees Bugg’s trademarked rapid-fire delivery coupled with new, electronic influences. Bugg also returns to Pittsburgh this year, playing Mr. Smalls. It might not be another free outdoor show, but, given critics’ buzz for Bugg on both sides of the pond, it will surely still be a captivating concert. Syd Arthur opens. 8:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)
3) Pittsburgh rock royalty Norman Nardini has said many times he’s a “rock ‘n roll lifer.” His passion and energy drive him in his continuing mission to rock for the people. Nardini has played with top rockers Jon Bon Jovi, Ted Nugent, Big Mama Thornton, Aerosmith, Kansas, and others. He’s also fronted his own band, Norman Nardini and the Tigers. Nardini once told someone in New York City that he was from Pittsburgh, and the man replied, “Pittsburgh? Where’s that, Pennsyltucky?” Norman’s from a rockin’ family, too, with brother Art known as the bassist for Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers. Catch Nardini in concert with his talented band at Headliners at The Meadows. 8 p.m. No cover. 210 Racetrack Rd., Washington.
4) Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District is happening tonight; it features visual arts, musical performances, and interactive exhibits. All events are free and take place at a variety of galleries, art spaces, and venues. Some galleries offer drinks and hors d’oeuvres. What a great way to sample some of Pittsburgh’s great arts and entertainment! 5:30 – 9 p.m., Cultural District.