June 2023 Concert Guide: Taylor Swift, Jackson Browne, Paramore, Dave Matthews Band, My Morning Jacket, and Dierks Bentley

Taylor Swift on her Reputation Stadium Tour at CenturyLink Field (Seattle) in 2018. (photo: Ronald Woan and Wikipedia)

Taylor Swift on her Reputation Stadium Tour at CenturyLink Field (Seattle) in 2018. (photo: Ronald Woan and Wikipedia)


It’s starting again! The summer concert season that is. One of the hottest acts in the music industry, Taylor Swift, is coming to Pittsburgh for two nights at Acrisure stadium. That will be twice as nice. Paramore has a big show at PPG Paints Arena. Jackson Browne, a true songwriting legend, holds court at the Benedum Center. Louisville rockers, My Morning Jacket, will be jamming at Stage AE. There will also be a continuation of the annual visit by Dave Matthews Band. Dierks Bentley will be brining the southern heat. The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival isn’t just about visual arts, there will be many top recording artists there too. Pride on the Shore features several top pop-rockers on the bill. And a Taylor Swift ex, John Mayer, brings his outfit Dead & Company through Pittsburgh on their final tour.

On the hometown heroes front, Billy Price shares the stage with another blues-soul legend, Johnny Rawls, at the Syria Shrine Center in Cheswick. The Clarks play an outdoor concert at Stage AE, a fun annual tradition.

This guide features (in chronological order) Spotlight Picks, Other Shows of Interest, and Big Shows on the Horizon. Get out and see what pleases you, whether it’s one of our concert picks or something entirely different. Mike Vargo (M.V.) also contributed to this guide.

Friday, June 2

Prog-rock group Kansas, is actually from Kansas, Topeka specifically. The group had a heartland rock sound that was a sweet mix of vocal harmonies, keyboards, guitars, drums, and violin. Kansas didn’t get a really big taste of success until the albums Leftoverture (1976) and Point of Know Return (1977), with hit singles: “Carry On Wayward Son,” “Point of Know Return,” and “Dust in the Wind.” Kansas has generated three multi-platinum albums. The band is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Expect to hear top Kansas songs and deep cuts. 7:30 p.m. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (RH)

Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 11

The 10-day Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is one of Pittsburgh’s largest and grandest summer celebration. The ever-popular Artist Market features handmade arts, crafts, and wearables on sale in over 150 booths. Performing arts are headlined by ten Mainstage Concerts in the Cultural District, at Ft. Duquesne Boulevard with acts including KT Tunstall (June 2), Galactic (June 3), Rising Appalachia (June 4), Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (June 5), Corrine Bailey Rae (June 8), Mo Lowda & The Humble (June 9), and The Taj Mahal Quartet (June 11).  A varied lineup of Pittsburgh-based talent will perform at two other stages in the Cultural District. Last but not least, a juried visual arts exhibition will be displayed at Space Gallery in the Cultural District. (M.V., R.H.)

Saturday, June 3


June is Pride month and the Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ community is celebrating with their annual Pride on the Shore at Stage AE. The musical event features performers, DJs, artists, drag queens, and more. Slated to appear are the noted musical performers Ava Max, Fletcher, Betty Who, and Jordy. Max is originally from Milwaukee and scored a big hit in 2018 with her single “Sweet, but Psycho.” The song “Undrunk” garnered Fletcher her first spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2019. She’s a native of a town called Asbury Park, New Jersey. Betty Who hails from a land down under, Australia.  The 2017 track, “I Love You Always Forever” propelled her to a higher level of success. French singer Jordy, dropped his sophomore LP Boy in April. It contains the lead single, “Story of a Boy,” which gives an updated interpretation of  Nine Days’ era-defining 2000 hit “Absolutely (Story of a Girl).” Sold out. Doors open at 3 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (R.H.)



Sunday, June 4

Running on Empty —the 1978 Jackson Browne album—spawned several hot singles including “The Load-Out,” “Stay,” and the title track “Running on Empty.” The album reached no. 3 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and stayed on the chart for 65 weeks, achieving platinum status, and was nominated in 1979 for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year (losing to Saturday Night Fever). Browne was also nominated that year for Pop Male Vocalist (losing to Barry Manilow, who had “Copacabana (At The Copa)” out during the same period). Other highly popular songs from the Jackson Browne songbook include “Doctor My Eyes,” “The Pretender,” and “Lawyers in Love.” Whether a soft ballad or uptempo rocker, Browne’s vocals and music always retain a melodic balance.

Browne was born in Germany, where his dad was stationed with the U.S. Armed Forces, then was raised in Los Angeles. He was a member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for several years and even co-wrote the song “Take it Easy” with Eagles band member Glenn Frey. Both Browne and the Eagles released the song, with the latter achieving greater popularity. Browne has performed with top recording artists too numerous to list. At the 2016 Grammy Awards ceremony, he joined the remaining Eagles for a rendition of “Take It Easy” as a tribute to Glenn Frey, who had just passed away. His latest release is Downhill from Everywhere. Browne is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 7 p.m. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (R.H.)

Monday, June 5

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. This tour, their final, includes a stop at the Pavilion at Star Lake. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (C.M., R.H.)

Friday, June 9

Pittsburgh blues/soul/rock legend Billy Price is celebrating 50+ years as a performer in the music industry and now he’s teaming up with another soul-blues legend, Johnny Rawls. They both performed together at the 2023 Blues Music Awards (BMAs) ceremony in Memphis, Tennessee. Both Rawls and Price were nominated for 2023 BMAs for Soul Blues Male Artist. Rawls is an internationally renowned recording artist, music producer, and songwriter who has toured numerous times throughout North America and overseas. The Blues Music Awards (BMAs), Blues Blast Awards, Living Blues Awards, and the W.C. Handy Awards have all recognized Rawls with multiple awards and nominations, including Soul Blues Album of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist. Price cut his teeth as a vocalist for the late, great guitarist Roy Buchanan. He then started Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm Band, best known for songs like “Eldorado Cafe” and “Lickin’ Stick” and albums like Free At Last. In addition to Price, the band featured legendary musicians such as the late Glenn Pavone, Eric Leeds, and others. He’s also leads the Billy Price Band and works as a solo artist. Price’s album with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, This Time for Real, won a 2016 Blues Music Award. His next two albums, Reckoning and Dog Eat Dog were both nominated for Blues Music Awards. And in 2020 Price was nominated for BMA’s Best Male Soul Blues Artist. If all those accolades are not enough, he was also inducted into the Pittsburgh Rock Legends Hall in 2016. Price released a new 3-CD compilation, 50+Years of Soul, on Get Hip Recordings last September. Special guest is Soulful Femme. Proceeds benefit Pittsburgh Syria Shriners. 8 p.m. Syria Shrine Center, 1877 Shriners Way, Cheswick. (R.H.)

Billy Price (L.) and Johnny Rawls performing together at the 2023 BMA (Blues Music Association) Awards.

Billy Price (L.) and Johnny Rawls performing together at the 2023 BMA (Blues Music Association) Awards.

Saturday, June 10

The Clarks continue to build on their foundation of playing solid working-class rock. The group gained a strong local following in the early ’90s gigging at clubs like Graffiti (remember Graffiti?), and has remained together and active long after nearly every other band on the scene during that era called it quits. After over 35 years, 11 albums, countless gigs and zero line-up changes, The Clarks have gone from being a regional favorite to a local institution. And the band members, who formed The Clarks at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, have never forgotten their home turf. Their most recent album is 2018’s, Madly in Love at the End of The World, released on the Clarkhouse Entertainment label. They have three newer singles out on Clark Tracks EP, “Stay,” “Sugarcane,” and “Crush.” Several possibly annual concerts for The Clarks are the Fayette County Fair (mentioned in their song “Cigarette”) and the Heinz Field Kickoff and Rib Festival or Stage AE.  Special guest is Chet Vincent & The Music Industry. Doors open at 6 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (R.H.)

Sunday, June 11

Ever-popular and ever-evolving Paramore comes to Pittsburgh with fiery frontwoman Hayley Williams and original members Zac Farro and Taylor York, plus of course touring musicians. The tour supports the band’s recently released album This Is Why. If you’ve been a Paramore fan for a while you know that the sound of this group keeps expanding and enriching, from proto-power-punk-pop (or whatever you may want to call it) into new dimensions. Expect a musical feast. Also expect competition for good seats. Now that big-venue concerts are back unequivocally—for the time being at least!—so are discerning fanbases. Paramore plays at PPG Paints Arena, with special guests Bloc Party. Sounds are scheduled to commence at 7 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (M.V.)

Friday, June 16 & Saturday, June 17

Taylor Swift returns to Pittsburgh for two concerts on her Eras Stadium Tour. Swift has evolved and expanded her talents over the different eras of her career. She started out, and grew a large fan base as a country music performer. Swift even opened for Brad Paisley on his 2007 tour. Reputation, her sixth studio album, was released in 2017. The lead-off single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” and its accompanying music video, had some fans mourning the “old Taylor Swift.” You know, the one who cleaned up at the pop music game with her fifth studio album, 1989, which included the number one singles “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space.” That album marked the point where she left her country roots somewhat behind her. It also spawned the epic revenge fantasy video for “Bad Blood,” which was studded with Swift’s celebrity pals, from Lena Dunham to Cindy Crawford. After a movie-style build-up to its “world premiere” on May 17, 2015, the video broke Vevo records with 20 million views in 24 hours. Swift had a major falling out with her record company, Big Machine, and in 2018 signed a contract with Republic Records. Subsequent albums, Lover, Folklore, Evermore, and Midnights achieved even higher levels of sales and success. She has also been re-recording her past albums that are on Big Machine records to take back control. Her re-recording of Speak Now is due out next month. Winning 12 Grammy Awards (three for Album of the Year), puts Swift in a tie for the most by any artist. Taylor also finds inspiration from bad romantic relationships she’s had. This could be the impetus for her “Karma” video (see above) with Ice Spice. She is also a very kind and caring person who’s involved with many causes and charities. Special guests are Girl in Red, Gracie Abrams, and OWENN. Sorry Swifties, the concerts are sold out, but some tickets may be available via the resale market. 6:30 p.m. Acrisure Stadium, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore. (C.M., R.H.)

Friday, June 23

It’s a sign of normalcy when Dave Matthews Band tours in the summer, and good news, the band is doing just that, including a stop at The Pavilion at Star Lake. “Ants Marching” or “Gravedigger?” “Crash Into Me” or “Crush?” So go the speculations as to what Dave and his bandmates will put on the setlist. Formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991, the group soon established itself as a premier live act. Their mix of rock, jam, and jazz has moved hearts and feet across generations. They’re also exceptional in the studio with 10 studio albums released, seven of which have debuted at number one. Their newest is this year’s Walk Around the Moon. One of their biggest hits, “Crash Into Me,” was the pillar of the throwback soundtrack to 2017’s critically acclaimed movie Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut. 7:30 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (C.M., M.V.)

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 14 Grammy Awards, and not having won one yet probably has him feeling like former soap star Susan Lucci, who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy 18 times before eventually winning one. So hang in there, Dierks! Bentley is on his Gravel & Gold Tour, highlighting this year’s release of the album of that title. You can catch him at The Pavilion at Star Lake with special guests Jordan Davis and Hailey Whitters. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (R.H., M.V.)

Wednesday, June 28

Louisville’s My Morning Jacket has created several killer jams over their career so far that have set stereo speakers ablaze. One is 2006’s “Lay Low” from their Z album (2006) which features a scorching, dueling guitar run a la Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, with innovative drumming and melodic keyboards. “Big Decisions” from The Waterfall (2015) features melodic singing, beautiful slide guitar, pleasant keys, and creative, powerful drumming. Frontman and guitarist Jim James is one of the main creative forces in the band and has also had several good solo efforts. The group’s latest LP is 2021’s self-titled album. My Morning Jacket peaked at no. 8 on Billboard’s Top Rock Album Charts. Special guest is Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Denson is also an amazing talent. He has played saxophone in both the Rolling Stones and Lenny Kravitz’s bands. Outdoor show. Doors open at 6 p.m. Outdoors. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (R.H.)

My Morning Jacket performing at the Newport Folk Festival in 2015. (Photo: digboston and Wikepedia.)

My Morning Jacket performing at the Newport Folk Festival in 2015. (Photo: digboston and Wikipedia.)

Other Shows of Interest

Friday, June 2
Pittsburgh Opera (South Park Amphitheater)

Friday, June 2 & Saturday, June 3
KC & The Sunshine Band (Rivers Casino)

Saturday, June 3
Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers w/Rave Ami (Bottlerocket Social Club)
Little Wretches, Devlish Merry, and Ellen Hildebrand (Moondog’s)

Sunday, June 4
Chris Jameson (Hartwood Acres Amphitheater)
Phat Man Dee (Mr. Smalls)

Tuesday, June 6
Hugo Cruz and Caminos (Agnes Katz Plaza)

Wednesday, June 7
All Time Low (Stage AE)

Friday, June 9
Dave Mason (Palace Theatre)
O.A.R. (Stage AE)
The Skyliners (South Park Amphitheater)

Saturday, June 10
Hank William Jr. (Star Lake)
Bruce Cockburn & Dar Williams (Palace Theatre)
Jim Donovan & Sun King Warriors (Rivers Casino)
Red Beans & Rice (Pittsburgh Winery)

Sunday, June 11
Pat Travers (Jergel’s)
River City Brass (Hartwood Acres)

Tuesday June 13
The Pixies (Stage AE)
Alton Merrell Quartet (Agnes Katz Plaza)

Friday, June 16
Arrested Development and KRS-ONE (Juneteenth, Point State Park)
Trace Adkins (Hollywood Casino at The Meadows)

Saturday, June 17
Bill Toms & Hard Rain (Moondog’s)

Sunday, June 18
America (Palace Theatre)
Young the Giant (Stage AE)
The Jaggerz (Hartwood Acres Aphitheater)

Monday, June 19
The Ohio Players (Juneteenth, Point State Park)

Wednesday, June 21
Fleet Foxes (Stage AE)

Thursday, June 22
Pat Metheny (Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall)

Friday, June 23
Ben Folds (Palace Theatre)
Eels (Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall)

Saturday, June 24
Justin Fabus (Rivers Casino)

Sunday, June 25
Peter Noone & Herman’s Hermits
Billy Price w/Gabe Stillman (Hartwood Acres Amphitheater)

Monday, June 26
Counting Crows UPMC Events Center)

Tuesday, June 27
Between the Buried and Me (Mr. Smalls)

Wednesday, June 28
Big Time Rush (Pavilion at Star Lake)

Friday, June 30
Bill Toms and Hard Rain (Rivers Casino)

Big Shows on the Horizon

July 5
Falling in Reverse (Petersen Events Center)

July 7
Metric (Roxian Theatre)

July 8
Ed Sheeran (Acrisure Stadium)

July 12
Post Malone (Pavilion at Star Lake)

July 15
Bret Michaels (Pavilion at Star Lake)

July 18
Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa (Pavilion at Star Lake)

July 21 & 22
Phish (Pavilion at Star Lake)

July 25
Gov’t Mule (Stage AE)

July 29
Foreigner (Pavilion at Star Lake)

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central.

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