Winger Lands at Altar Bar; ‘Sons of Ulster’ March Into Charity Randall Theatre (CPs Thurs., 9/4/14)

1) Seems we’ve had a lot of visitors in Pittsburgh recently hailing from the ‘80s hard rock era. Another one is Winger, the New York City hard rock band known for hits like “Seventeen” and “Headed for a Heartbreak.” Right at home with their glam metal peers—Bon Jovi, Tesla, and Van Halen— these guys shred, screech, and combine to form a sound worthy of an arena. Presumably, not unlike the aforementioned Van Halen, Winger derives its name from the surname of the band’s founder, Kip Winger, who played with Alice Cooper before striking out on his own to form Winger, which today is composed of Winger, Reb Beach (of Whitesnake), Rod Morgenstein, and John Roth. As is common for bands like Winger, their histories aren’t free of tumult—in 1994, as glam metal diminished in popularity and other musical forms took its place, Winger disbanded for about seven years. In 2001, however, the band reformed and has continued to rock on. Tonight, they share their ostentatious sound with Pittsburgh at the Altar Bar. Joined by Gene the Werewolf, Chip Dimonick, and Icarus Witch. 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.

2) Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme opens tonight at the Charity Randall Theatre, presented by PICT Classic Theatre. World War II’s older, oft-neglected counterpart, World War I, (aka the Great War) serves as the backdrop for the play. Its cast consists in eight Northern Irish Unionist men (boys?) who band together and leave their deep-seated religious strife at home. They are united as they train for and participate in the Great War against the Central Powers of Europe. (For those rusty on Irish history, Northern Ireland’s Unionists are a faction of ardent Protestants whose loyalty lies with the United Kingdom; opposing them were the Catholics, who sought independence from the United Kingdom. Thus, it makes sense that these eight young Unionist men would fight for Britain in the Great War. But Sons of Ulster, at its core, is more an interpersonal drama with themes of friendship, loyalty, and brotherhood than a political one, so no need to study too deeply before seeing the play.) As PICT notes, fans of the HBO’s miniseries “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” will surely find Sons of Ulster to their liking. Directed by Matt Torney. 8 p.m. Through Sept. 20. 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

3) Are they emo? metalcore? pop-punk? Whatever they are, the Ocala, Fla.-based quintet A Day to Remember visits Pittsburgh on its “Parks & Devastation” 2014 tour. Formed in 2003 by Tom Denney (who has since departed to focus on his recording-studio business and family), A Day to Remember purveys (mostly) a high energy that makes use of disparate musical elements: vocals range from deep, guttural screaming to high-pitched pop-punk singing similar to Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge; some songs feature a double-kick bass drum setup while others forgo a percussive rhythm altogether, focusing instead on the comparatively mellow acoustic guitar. The band’s released five studio albums, with their most recent, Common Courtesy, being almost a year ago, in October 2013. Check them out at Stage AE. Also on the bill are Bring Me the Horizon, Motionless in White, and Chiodos. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. 400 N. Shore Dr., North Shore.

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Dan Hoyt

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