June Concert Guide: U2, Tom Petty, Jennifer Hudson, Hall & Oates and More

U2 performing on their 360° tour in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in 2009. photo: SteBo and Wikipedia.

U2 performing on their 360° tour in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in 2009. photo: SteBo and Wikipedia.

Wow, the summer breeze carries in some splendid musical performers and bands this month. The sheer volume of quality concerts is quite impressive. Heinz Field sees major action with U2 performing here on their 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree Tour. There’s another big rock show at PPG Paints Arena with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and opener Joe Walsh. Also at PPG are classic pop rock hit makers Hall and Oates. Tears for Fears open. Another act that fits the season well is the very cool Michael Franti and Spearhead.

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is not only a major arts event but also a major musical one. Several top acts playing the festival are Dawes, Hippo Campus, and St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Just when we catch our breath, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Fest starts. Notables there include David Sanborn and Roy Ayers. The multi-talented Jennifer Hudson plays Pride in The Street. Elvis Costello also visits in June.

Into southern rock or country? The Marshall Tucker Band, Zac Brown Band, and Dierks Bentley all are performing in the region. Deadheads will want to venture out to KeyBank Pavilion to see Dead & Company. Summer also offers additional opportunities for local acts. Many are playing a lot of shows stretching from TRAF, to Ladyfest, to the WYEP Music Festival. Music tastes a little sweeter in the summer, so get out there and enjoy some. The following are some of our top choices for June.

Friday, June 2

For the past 16 years, Ms. Lauryn Hill has been both here and not. Her last studio album was also her first: 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, its brilliance and commercial success long documented. Yet even as the music world misses her, she releases or is featured on a new song roughly every year, including collaborations with artists like John Legend, Joss Stone, and Ronald Isley. Since the mid-aughts, she has toured, but it’s been sporadic: a festival appearance here, a solo spot there. She was supposed to play Heinz Hall this January, but due to a scheduling conflict, the concert was pushed to February. Following another scheduling conflict, that concert was moved to June and is now at the Byham Theater. Hill’s music career began with the Fugees, one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time. The trio’s last album, 1996’s critically acclaimed The Score, features a beloved cover of “Killing Me Softly” with Hill’s angelic vocals front and center. 8 p.m. 101 6th St.., Cultural District. (CM)

Saturday, June 3

How bold of Hippo Campus to title their debut LP Landmark. Bolder still, naming their tour after that album: The Landmark Tour. It’s deserved, though, just listen to the quartet’s music. Animal-Collective-harmonies meet world-music rhythms by way of Vampire Weekend. What’s even more impressive is how fully formed the group sounds despite the members’ youth—all four of them just clear the drinking age. Of course, they had two previous EPs, 2014’s Bashful Creatures and 2015’s South, to realize their sound. The Animal Collective parallels are sure to persist, for like their noise rock forebears, all the members perform under eccentric stage names: The Turntan, Stitches, Espo, and Beans. They met at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a high school in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Landmark Tour takes them to a landmark summer event, The Three Rivers Arts Festival, for a free concert. 7:30 p.m. Dollar Bank Stage, Point State Park, Downtown. (CM)

Sunday, June 4

Indie pop rockers Foster the People, touring in support of their latest EP, III, roll into the ’Burgh this month to wake up a sleepy Sunday. The “Foster” in Foster the People is Mark Foster (vocals, piano, keyboards, percussion, synthesizers, guitar, and programming). He was kicking around L.A. trying to land some music gigs while also working as a commercial jingle writer when he started the band in 2009. Joining him were Jacob “Cubbie” Fink (bass, backing vocals) and Mark Pontius (drums, percussion). The advertising experience seems to have given Foster insights into what markets want, as evidenced by the success of “Coming of Age” and “Pumped Up Kicks,” with its nice bass grooves, synth sounds, and melodic vocals. Fink left, but former touring members Sean Cimino and Isom Innis are now official members. Doors open at 7 p.m. Miya Folick opens. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (RH, CM)

Olivia Newton-John was born in England and moved with her family to Melbourne, Australia, when she was six. In England, her father was an MI5 officer on the Enigma project at Bletchley Park and also took Nazi leader Rudolf Hess into custody. Newton-John has many top 10 hits including “Let Me Be There,” “I Honestly Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow.” She starred and sang in the movie adaptation of the stage play Grease with John Travolta. The Grease soundtrack yielded more big hits for her including “You’re The One That I Want,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and “Summer Nights.” In the ’80s, she scored gold again with songs “Physical” and “Heart Attack.” Newton-John is a four-time Grammy winner and has had five No. 1 hit singles. She continues to record and perform internationally. 7 p.m. The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. This show is cancelled and could be rescheduled in the future. (RH)

Monday, June 5


The last Tool album, 10,000 Days, dropped 11 years ago. Earlier this year, the headliners for the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City were announced: Phoenix, Chance the Rapper … and Tool? Oh, yes. A tour announcement followed in March, including a stop at the Petersen Events Center. Alas, according to the official Twitter account of associated act A Perfect Circle, 2017 will not see a new Tool album. The mysterious alt-metal quartet always shied from the spotlight. The band members appear in only two of their eight music videos. Most of their videos opt strictly for stop motion animation. Vocalist Maynard James Keenan, who also fronts A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, often performs wearing Kabuki masks, wigs, or other guises. Tool formed in Los Angeles in 1990. The group’s first album was 1993’s Undertow, and three more followed. 8 p.m. 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. (CM)

The music video for Hayley Kiyoko’s “Girls Like Girls” tackles young sexuality in a serious way. It may be because of its sincerity, along with Kiyoko’s hypnotic vocals, that the video garnered over 67 million views and counting. The song appears on her second EP, This Side of Paradise. She’s released two other EPs, most recently 2016’s Citrine. Prior to her solo career, she was a member of The Stunners, a now defunct pop girl group. She might not have a surfeit of solo material, but it’s enough to garner an appearance at The Club at Stage AE. Kiyoko might also record more if she weren’t such a renaissance woman. Her film appearances include the horror movie Insidious: Chapter 3. She had a recurring role on “CSI:Cyber” and played Velma Dinkley, the brains of the group of “meddling kids,” in two made-for-TV Scooby-Doo movies. Special guest is Sweater Beats. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

Wednesday, June 7

Sometimes it pays to go to a rock bar and see a lesser known or unknown act. If you went to the Oakland rock bar The Decade (now The Garage Door Saloon) on April, 21 1981, you would have seen U2 play a 13-song set. The band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1976 and is composed of Bono (Paul Hewson), vocals and rhythm guitar; The Edge (David Evans), lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals; Adam Clayton, bass guitar; and Larry Mullen Jr., drums and percussion. U2 is a tight rock unit that is guided by the positive humanity of Bono. The band got its first taste of success in the early 1980s with songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love).” “Pride” is a song partially about the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. It opens with The Edge’s electrifying high note, guitar riffs accompanied by Mullen’s pounding drum beats with occasional extra accent strikes, and machine gun fills. Clayton provides a slightly funky rock bottom, and Bono takes the song to another level with his vocals.

There would be many more fantastic songs to come, many from their Joshua Tree album, which was released in 1987. U2 is recognizing the 30th anniversary of the release by playing the album in its entirety during their current concert tour. Hits from the album include “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You,” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The band is playing some of its other hits on this tour as well. U2 has been one of the most popular and prolific rock bands of the past 30 years, and this promises to be one of the year’s top concerts.   

The Lumineers, a folk rock/Americana band based in Denver, Colorado, open. They are best known for their hits “Ho Hey,” “Stubborn Love,” “Ophelia,” and “Cleopatra.” Gates open 6:30 p.m. Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore. (RH)

Thursday, June 8 

As the frontman and leader of alt-rock band Wilco, Jeff Tweedy has really made a name for himself over the past 20-some years. Wilco has been highly praised for its experimental take on the alternative rock genre (including Grammy wins). In his solo performances, Tweedy dons the guise of an acoustic folk singer-songwriter. With no prior knowledge of his work, one could easily mistake this approach as his default mode and natural musical habitat. With a voluminous catalog of songs; a penchant for skilled, complex guitar work; and a rich, oaky voice; Tweedy was also a founding member of the band Uncle Tupelo. Wilco’s 2015 release—Star Wars—was the second album that the members produced on their own label and was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album in 2016. Their latest album, Schmilco, was released last September. Special guest is Kacy & Clayton. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC/RH)

Friday, June 9


This show is a great opportunity to see two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members. Tom Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, are in, and Joe Walsh is in as a member of The Eagles. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers rose to fame in the 1970s with hits “Breakdown,” “American Girl” and “Refugee.” The band has remained popular over the years with chart risers in every decade. One of my most compelling Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers moments was when they sang “I Won’t Back Down” during “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon shortly after the Twin Towers fell. Petty was a member of the 1980s supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Also on the bill is Eagles member and highly successful solo artist Joe Walsh. He started out in Cleveland band The James Gang, gaining exposure with a few hits like the fast-paced rocker “Funk #49.” He joined The Eagles in 1975 and contributed to the classic album Hotel California and subsequent releases. Walsh also played in Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band and had solo hits like “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Ordinary Average Guy.” He is ranked No. 54 on Rolling Stone’s 2015 list of 100 Greatest Guitarists. 7:30 p.m. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave. Uptown. (RH)

Dawes have opened for Irish singer-songwriter Hozier at Stage AE and headlined Mr. Smalls. But want to really grow your fanbase here? Then play a free featured concert at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, which is exactly what Dawes are doing. An earlier, more post-punk incarnation of the Los Angeles quartet was called “Simon Dawes.” The moniker came from the middle names of members Blake Mills and Taylor Goldsmith. (When Mills left, the group dropped the “Simon.”) The band went in a folk rock direction and in 2009 recorded and released its debut album, North Hills. In 2014, members and brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith played on Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes. The album was based on uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 during the recording of material that eventually was released in 1975 on the album The Basement Tapes. Elvis Costello, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, Rhiannon Giddens, and many others also contributed. Mills returned to produce Dawes’s latest album, 2016’s We’re All Gonna Die. 7:30 p.m. Dollar Bank Stage, Point State Park, Downtown. (EC, CM).

Saturday, June 10


Twelve artists have clinched the EGOT, winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Could the 13th be Jennifer Hudson? The former “American Idol” contestant won an Academy Award for portraying Effie White in 2006’s Dreamgirls. She won two Grammys: one for her 2008 self-titled R&B album, the other for her work on The Color Purple cast album. She won an Emmy … if you count a Daytime Emmy. The cast of The Color Purple won it for a performance on NBC’s “Today.” She debuted on Broadway in 2015, playing Shug Avery in a revival of The Color Purple. Could a Tony be next? For now, she will coach on NBC’s “The Voice” this year.

Hudson headlines Pride in the Street. The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh hosts the event, and a portion of all proceeds go to The Center That CARES, a Hill District-based organization which seeks to reduce gun violence. It’s a cause close to Hudson, who lost three family members to gun violence in 2008. Gates open 7 p.m. Liberty Avenue, the Cultural District. (CM)

The Feed More Festival, one day of rock at Stage AE, benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The Naked and Famous headline. Dreamy yet grungy, meditative yet punky, this quintet hails from Auckland, New Zealand. Buoyed by the single “Young Blood” and Alisa Xayalith’s vocals, 2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You was a breakout debut album. In Rolling Waves followed in 2013 and Simple Forms in 2016. Max Frost, who is from Austin, Texas, can vacillate between rapping over a kick drum and snare to crooning over power chords. Despite just two EPs and a handful of singles, he’s received top billing too. Another rising artist is Joy Ike, who splits her time between Philadelphia and her hometown of Pittsburgh. According to her website, “her percussive piano-playing and soaring vocals give homage to her African upbringing.” Ike has performed at many Pittsburgh benefit events. Local acts include Donora, Balloon Ride Fantasy, Molly Alphabet, and Bad Custer. Doors open 2 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC/CM)

The Tampa Bay, Florida, area has some very talented blues guitarists and one of those players—Selywn Birchwood—is on the rise. Rolling Stone said of Birchwood, “a young, powerful guitarist and soulful vocalist.” He started playing at the age of 13 and later met a neighbor—noted blues guitarist Sonny Rhodes—who taught him about blues guitar, lap steel guitar, and the business of running a band. Rhodes also insisted that Birchwood get a college education. He played in Rhodes’s band, took classes, and would even eventually earn an MBA from the University of Tampa. 2013 saw him winning the International Blues Challenge (IBC) and the next year he released Don’t Call No Ambulance on Alligator Records. Birchwood and band won several major awards for the release. A new album, Pick Your Poison, was released on May 17. He will be performing at Moondog’s. 8:30 p.m. 378 Freeport Rd., Blawnox. (RH)

Sunday, June 11

Does the eight-piece country-rock outfit The Zac Brown Band have the best display of facial hair in music? Most of the band members sport diversely styled beards, and bearded or not, they are coming to town on their Welcome Home Tour. 2015’s Jekyll + Hyde, the band’s fourth major-label album, featured a diversity of musical styles. This diversity was demonstrated by collaborations with both Sara Bareilles and Soundgarden’s late leader, Chris Cornell. The Zac Brown Band song “Heavy Is the Head,” featuring Cornell, was primarily released to rock radio stations and not country. The move was a good one as the song sat atop the Billboard chart for Mainstream Rock Songs for a period that year, a rare cross-genre feat. Brown and his band are touring in support of their 2017 album, Welcome Home. Wax your whiskers and check them out at KeyBank Pavilion. Darrell Scott opens. 7 p.m. 665 Route 18, Burgettstown. (EC/RH)


St. Paul and the Broken Bones will close the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival with a roar sure to reverberate across the Point. St. Paul (née Paul Janeway) sings with a Sam Cooke-esque range and depth of soul. The Broken Bones, resplendent with horns, further lift his voice. The band is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and has released two albums: 2013’s Half the City and 2016’s Sea of Noise. Sharp songwriting matches the moving instrumentation. “Crumbling Light Posts, Pt. 1,” “Pt. 2,” and “Pt. 3,” off of Sea of Noise, allude to a Winston Churchill quote. Janeway credits his wife, who has a masters in literature, with motivating him. The members recorded the new record at Nashville’s Sound Emporium with an additional session at The Stax Museum, formerly Stax Records and home to Otis Redding and other soul musicians. St. Paul and the Broken Bones recently landed the mother of all opening gigs: playing before the Rolling Stones. 7:30 p.m. Dollar Bank Stage, Point State Park, Downtown. (CM)

Tuesday, June 13


Hall and Oates—the blue-eyed soul group that rose out of Philly in the 1970s—are bringing their stellar harmonies and back catalog to PPG Paints Arena. Billboard Magazine named the group, composed of Daryl Hall (lead vocals, piano, multi-instrumentalist) and John Oates (vocals, lead guitar), as the most successful duo of the rock era. Six No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100—”Rich Girl,” “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Maneater,” and “Out of Touch”—figured heavy into that accolade. Oates and Hall met while they were both students at Temple University. Although in separate bands at the time, they joined together. They achieved platinum sales status with only their second album, Abandoned Luncheonette, which contained the hit “She’s Gone.” 1975’s Daryl Hall & John Oates generated the major hit “Sara Smile” and “Camellia.”

Daryl Hall and John Oates in 2008. photo: Gary Harris and Wikipedia.

Daryl Hall and John Oates in 2008. photo: Gary Harris and Wikipedia.

Hall and Oates rode the turbulent, changing musical tides of the late 70s and early 80s with a string of hits. As new wave took hold, they incorporated some of those new sounds into their songs while still maintaining their soul underpinnings. They remain a very popular act and sold out Stage AE on their last two visits here. Many people may know of Daryl Hall from his TV show, “Live From Daryl’s House.” Another hot band from the ’80s, English pop rockers Tears for Fears, open. The group was at its zenith in 1985 with the release of Songs From the Big Chair, which spawned the hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Shout,” and “Head Over Heels.” Allen Stone also opens. 7 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (RH)


Many remember Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ performance on “Saturday Night Live.” They began to perform “Less than Zero,” stopped, and launched into “Radio Radio,” a song which protests the commercialization of said medium. The stunt earned Costello plenty of attention in the States, where his star was already rising thanks to his debut, 1977’s My Aim Is True, and 1978’s This Year’s Model. It also got him banned from “SNL.” Costello later got his ban lifted, one of three people to do so. He performed “Radio Radio” with the Beastie Boys for the show’s 25th anniversary. Costello’s most recent album is 2013’s Wise Up Ghost, a collaboration with rap group and “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” house band The Roots. Costello and the Imposters, his latest backing band, play Heinz Hall on the Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers Tour. Imperial Bedroom is his acclaimed 1982 album, so expect to hear a few cuts from that LP. (This concert was rescheduled from last November after Costello refused to cross picket lines during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra strike.) 7 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (CM)

All you “Rebel Rockers” out there, make sure to catch Michael Franti & Spearhead on his Love Out Loud tour when it stops at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. The group is like a musical blender using the ingredients of hip-hop, rock, funk, jazz, reggae, and folk to create a tasty smoothie for the ears. Franti and Spearhead have nine studio albums to their credit including All Rebel Rockers and The Sound of Sunshine, both of which occupied high chart positions on the Billboard 200—nos. 39 and 17 respectively. In addition to being a very talented songwriter and musician, Franti is a dedicated humanitarian and environmentalist. He has toured the Middle East as an advocate for peace, is a strong supporter of South Africa’s Ubuntu Education Fund, and played three separate events to commemorate President Obama’s inauguration. He has said, “I make music for one reason … I care about people and I care about the planet.” He believes that music can help us all rise up and make a better world. Franti released his SoulRocker album last June on the same day that he played the opening concert for the Three Rivers Arts Festival. He was a very gracious presence before the concert at his merchandise booth where he informally chatted with fans and signed CDs. He wrote “Once A Day,” a single from the release, for his son, who has a rare kidney disease called FSGS. The song was produced by the acclaimed Supa Dups and features special guest Sonna Rele. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. (RH)

Thursday, June 15

How did a band like Sigur Rós became popular enough to fill a decent-sized venue like Stage AE? The Icelandic group is talented no doubt, but in past decades, an act so avant-garde—one which plays soaring, feedback-drenched post-rock songs with impassioned “lyrics” in a made-up language—would be banished to whatever tiny club would have it. Yet in the span of 23 years and seven albums, Sigur Rós developed an army of loyal fans singing along to their nonsense syllables and hanging on to every part of their frenetic compositions, and they’ve won over the critics too. Maybe their widespread appeal can be attributed to them delivering the one thing few musicians deliver anymore: music that is not a revival of or tribute to a past style—but something entirely new and raw. Their latest album is 2013’s Kveikur. Sigur Rós also appeared on “The Simpsons” in 2013 and on “Game of Thrones” in 2014. Doors open at 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC, CM)

The Grateful Dead officially disbanded in 1995 after three legendary decades as the jam band of choice for an entire generation. The group played more than 2,300 shows in its career, and dedicated fans were famous for recording every performance, cataloging set lists, and preserving the Dead’s improvisational style. Fans who want to experience a live Grateful Dead show are out of luck today—unless Dead & Company are in town. The seeds of this supergroup began in 2011. John Mayer became a Deadhead after hearing “Althea” on a Pandora station. He befriended Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir in 2015. The pair and Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann soon formed Dead & Company. Joining them were bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Following a successful 2016 summer tour, the band is hitting the road again to play all the fan favorites. The tour includes a stop at KeyBank Pavilion. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC, CM)

Friday, June 16

There’s nothing like a jazz saxophone, and there are connoisseurs who say nobody blows it better than David Sanborn. That’s why he’s one of the top acts performing at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s JazzLive International Festival. A six-time Grammy winner, Sanborn plays at the high end, favoring the alto sax and sometimes pushing it to about as alto as it can go. He also enjoys tunes from all over the genre map, so his shows typically include a good bit of crossover and fusion material. Sanborn has played with nearly every big name you can think of; he was a regular guest on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and the latest of his 24 albums, 2015’s Time and the River, features numbers on the smooth-jazz side. 7 p.m. August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. (EC,RH)

Saturday, June 17


“Everybody Loves the Sunshine” is certainly a true statement—it especially relates to us Pittsburghers as we emerge from a dreary spring, and it’s also the title of one of funk/soul/jazz musician Roy Ayers’ top songs. Ayers—who plays keyboards and vibraphone—likes creating feel-good music because he says that type of music most closely matches his personality. He has the noted distinction of having more of his songs sampled by rappers than any other recording artist. Music industry phenom Pharrell Williams has said that Roy Ayers is one of his main musical influences. Ayers is performing at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s JazzLive International Festival. 7:15 p.m. Free. Penn Avenue Stage I Penn Ave., Cultural District. (RH)

Sunday, June 18

The story of blues-rock outfit Indigenous is really the story of front man Mato Nanji (Ma-TOE NON-gee), who was born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation of South Dakota. A second-generation rocker, Nanji formed Indigenous in his teens with his brother, sister, and cousin—a lineup that lead to an award-winning debut in 1998 and an invite to join B.B. King’s Blues Tour in 1999. The family would stick together through three more releases before splitting in 2006. Nanji found even more success on his own as songs from his solo album Chasing the Sun, released under the Indigenous name, wound up on the soundtracks of “Deadliest Catch” and “Sons of Anarchy.” It was also the No. 2 Billboard Blues Album of 2006. Nanji has been a member of the Experience Hendrix tour since 2002. He plays a mean version of Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” As Indigenous, Nanji currently tours with Levi Platero (guitar), Bronson Begay (bass), and Douglas Platero (percussion). The band’s latest release is 2014’s Time is Coming. Catch Indigenous at Diesel Club Lounge. 8 p.m. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. (RH)

Tuesday, June 20

Brian Setzer revived rockabilly in the early ’80s with the Stray Cats and brought back swing music with The Brian Setzer Orchestra in the ’90s. BSO reinterpreted classical music on 2007’s Wolfgang’s Big Night Out, earning a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2008. The orchestra has released multiple Christmas albums too, most recently 2015’s Rockin’ Rudolph. At this point, Setzer could release a polka album, and it would probably be a smash. For now, though, Setzer is back to rockabilly again, touring his 2014 solo album, Rockabilly Riot! All Original. The genre may date to the ’50s, but as the album suggests, all 12 songs are new, including the single “Let’s Shake.” The tune harks back to the Stray Cats’ hits, such as “Rock This Town” and “(She’s) Sexy + 17.” Setzer, a three-time-Grammy winner, also was a sideman in The Honeydrippers, a band fronted by Robert Plant. 8 p.m. Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. (EC, CM)

Friday, June 23

“Girls to the front!”—a rallying cry for riot grrrl acts like Bikini Kill, the slogan called on men to step aside at punk shows and for women to mosh without fear of battery or sexual assault. That rallying cry is also the title of a song by Brazilian Wax, who are co-organizers of Ladyfest, an annual three-day event which features and empowers Pittsburgh female musicians. The other co-organizers are The Lopez, a duo who craft noisy, hooky garage rock armed only with a keyboard and guitar. Another notable act includes Murder for Girls, hot off an appearance at the Millvale Music Festival and the release of their debut LP, 2016’s All the Wishes. Socially conscious rapper Blak Rapp Madusa also returns. Forty acts will play this year’s Ladyfest at a myriad of local venues, like Hambone’s and Spirit. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Friday through Sunday, June 23 – 25. Performance times and places vary. (CM)

Saturday, June 24

Vanderbilt University is one of the nation’s finest, and while many college-bound youths enroll there to become scientists or scholars, young Dierks Bentley chose Vanderbilt for a different reason: it’s in Nashville. The hard-working undergrad from Phoenix, Arizona, earned his B.A. in 1997, officially studying English and the liberal arts while unofficially pursuing the highly competitive art of country music. By 2001, Bentley had progressed from fighting for open-mic slots to cutting an indie album. That release, Don’t Leave Me in Love, didn’t sell much but is now a collector’s item. It led to a contract with Capitol Records Nashville, which led to Bentley’s self-titled platinum album in 2003, and the rest is history. Bentley has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, and not having won one yet probably has him feeling like soap star Susan Lucci, who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy 18 times before eventually winning one. So hang in there, Dierks! He is on his What the Hell Tour in support of his 10th album, 2016’s Black, which features “Somewhere on a Beach” and other laid-back ballads typical of the Bentley manner. You can catch him at KeyBank Pavilion with Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC/RH)

The unflappably cool city of Austin loves anything vintage, and that is one reason why, shortly after the band formed in 2007, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears became the toast of the town. With the mighty Honeybear horn section and Lewis’s chili-pepper-hot vocals, they are the sonic picture of James Brown and the Famous Flames, circa 1971, plus hints of Howlin’ Wolf and Sly and the Family Stone also in their musical DNA. He is touring in support of his 2017 album release, Backlash. BJL is set to headline WYEP’s Summer Music Festival. Also on the bill are Tupelo & Jeremy (3 p.m.), The Fortunates (3:45 p.m.), Night Frog (4:30 p.m.), The Buckle Downs (6 p.m.), The Marcus King Band (7:30 p.m.).  BJL goes on at 9 p.m. Schenley Plaza, 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland. (EC, RH)

Friday, June 30

The Marshall Tucker Band began performing in Spartanburg, S.C., in the early ’70s. Excelling mainly in southern rock, the band also blends in some gospel, R&B, jazz, and country music. MTB’s sound is unique and catchy and has withstood the test of time. You may still hear “Heard It in a Love Song” and “Can’t You See” on the radio or in a blues bar on open mic night, but at The Palace, you’ll hear it straight from the band, which is always better than a remake. They are touring in support of their latest album, Live! From Spartanburg, South Carolina. MTB is also joining Jeff and Larry’s Backyard BBQ Tour with Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Foghat, and Eddie Money beginning in August. This is a great opportunity to hear an early and important band in southern rock history. Opening is the Steppin Stones. 8 p.m. The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman Street, Greensburg. (RH)

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Rick Handler

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