Wiz Khalifa Returns Home for KeyBank Concert; PPG Hosts Radiohead; Lord Huron Plays AE (Thurs., 7/26/18)
1) Wiz Khalifa’s songs have been nominated for 10 Grammys, including the hometown fav “Black and Yellow.” The music video for “See You Again” (featuring Charlie Puth), from the Furious 7 soundtrack, was briefly the most viewed video on YouTube when it surpassed “Gangnam Style” by K-pop singer Psy in July 2017. “See You Again” pays tribute to one of the film’s stars, Paul Walker, who died in a car accident before the movie was completed. Khalifa and his backing band, Kush and Orange Juice, headlined Thrival Music at Carrie Furnace last year. The band is part of the larger Taylor Gang, Khalifa’s Pittsburgh-based record label. The name harks back to Taylor Allderdice High School, his alma mater, and his admiration of Chuck Taylor shoes. His latest album is Rolling Papers 2, which will have dropped by the time of his concert at KeyBank Pavilion.
Co-headlining is Rae Sremmurd, a rap duo from Tupelo, Mo. They are arguably most famous for their song “Black Beatles” (featuring Gucci Mane). The single became synonymous with the Mannequin Challenge in 2016. According to the New York Times, a Colony High School student in Ontario, Calif., became the first person to pair the song, his favorite, with the challenge, which involves people not moving while a camera pans them. (Paul McCartney himself soon got in on the fun, further cementing “Black Beatles” with the challenge.) Rae Sremmurd’s latest release is SR3MM, a triple album: one record by the duo and two solo records by each member, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi. Lil Skies and O.T. Genasis open. 6 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (CM)
2) The last time Radiohead played Pittsburgh was in 1997 at Metropol. “Creep,” the English quintet’s breakout single, was barely five years old, and the band was touring OK Computer, its third album. The record deconstructed (and then reconstructed) not only Radiohead’s sound but arguably the sound of all of rock. (See “Paranoid Android,” which musically is like Yes by way of the Caribbean and lyrically like George Orwell, had he lived to see the Internet.) The band remade rock yet again for its fourth album, the electronic-based Kid A, released in 2000. Other career highlights include 2007’s In Rainbows, which people tend to remember more for its pay-what-you-will price and less for its equally amazing sonic architecture. The group seemed to lose steam with 2011’s King of Limbs, but surprised the naysayers with 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool, its latest. Radiohead returns (finally) for a headlining show at PPG Paints Arena. 7:30 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (CM)
3) Lord Huron may take its name from a Great Lake, but the band is based in Los Angeles. The indie folk group will perform at Stage AE. Their debut studio album, Lonesome Dreams, was released in 2012, and they are touring in support of their third album, this year’s Vide Noir. Check out the old-timey video for “Wait by the River.” Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC, CM)
4) In theater as in movies, remakes often misfire, but sometimes they work. Some great remakes have been seen on Pittsburgh stages in recent years: Kirk Lynn’s Fixing King John turned one of Shakespeare’s “meh” plays into a stirring (if bizarre) experience, and David Ives’ re-do of the 17th-century French comedy The Liar had audiences laughing their derrieres off. Now comes Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird. This one dares big, as it remakes a play that’s neither a dud nor a little-known relic: The Seagull by Anton Chekhov. The Seagull is a certified masterpiece. Though written in the 1890s, it’s modern in nature, slyly mixing absurd satire with serious stuff …. But, but, but. That sly, subtle style can make Chekhov’s plays hard to do well. Translating his Russian to English compounds the problem. Many productions of The Seagull just don’t quite take flight, and the title Stupid Fucking Bird voices this frustration. Philadelphia playwright Posner has largely kept Chekhov’s plot—a timeless tale of a trippy artist and tangled love affairs—except he’s put it in present-day America, and written scenes and dialogue to fit. LA Weekly called Stupid Fucking Bird “the best Chekhov adaptation in two decades.” 12 Peers Theater serves up the Bird in the Richard E. Rauh Studio Theatre, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. 8 p.m. Continues through August 12. (MV)
5) Although we are no longer a nation of farmers, late summer is a fine time to meet a few. That’s when independent farmers in areas around Pittsburgh bring their best livestock and produce to county fairs. The experience is not strictly agricultural; some of it is just cultural. Funnel cakes and country music go well together. Both go extremely well with demolition derby. But while you’re at the fair, don’t miss the many fascinating varieties of farm animals and flora—or the farmers. As the old song says, they’re the ones who feed us all.
The Fayette County Fair (July 26 – Aug. 4) presents musical artists including country rapper Walker Hayes and Uncle Si and the Sicotics, and regional rockers The Clarks. (Lead singer Scott Blasey is from Connellsville in Fayette County and the band mentions the Fayette County Fair in their song “Cigarette“). There’s also an open Sing Off competition, and a Sunday-long Gospel Sing on July 29—not to mention horse and equestrian events, antique tractors, monster trucks, and Mike Bishop the Comedy Hypnotist. 132 Pechin Rd., Dunbar. (MV)