Nov. 2018 Concert Guide: Fleetwood Mac, Boz Scaggs, Alan Parsons, The Doobie Brothers, Tenacious D, and The Mavericks

The new lineup of Fleetwood Mac with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn in a 2018 concert. (Photo: Raph_PH and Wikipedia.)

The new lineup of Fleetwood Mac with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn in a 2018 concert. (Photo: Raph_PH and Wikipedia.)

November starts out with the biggest act, Fleetwood Mac, performing at PPG Paints Arena on the very first day of the month. That however doesn’t mean the rest of the month is a downhill run. There are plenty of classic rock acts and reunion shows to keep things cookin’.

On the classic rock side we have The Doobie Brothers, Alan Parsons Live Project, and Boz Scaggs. Other easily recognizable names playing the ‘Burgh this month are hometown hero Bret Michaels, The Mavericks, Gladys Knight, Josh Groban, Guster, Jason Miraz, Stephen Marley, and Cocoa Montoya.

With Thanksgiving in November it is a time of reunions of family and friends. It can also be a time of musical reunions and there are several this month. First and foremost is that four members of New Edition have reunited and are performing a mix of the group’s hits and their individual solo hits. Hometown reunions include the WXXP 33 1/3 reunion with DJs and staff from the former radio station WXXP and the Pittsburgh alt-rock bands from that period. Another interesting reunion is the Nick’s Fat City 2.0 Reunion with Pittsburgh rock groups that played there. That show is headlined by The Clarks. Turkey, pumpkin pie, and your favorite band is a lovely combination. Enjoy all three this month.

Entertainment Central Spotlighted Shows

Thursday, November 1

Fleetwood Mac brings a cavalcade of hit songs to the stage of PPG Paints Arena. The band has existed in several different combinations since the late 1960’s, but they really hit their stride when Stevie Nicks and her partner in life and music, Lindsey Buckingham, joined the group in 1974. Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 album, Fleetwood Mac, produced several chart risers, including “Over My Head,” “Rhiannon,” and “Landslide.” Relationship strife and breakups became the catalyst for the next Fleetwood Mac recording, Rumours, which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978 and remains one of the best-selling records of all time. Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way,” Nicks’ “Dreams,” and Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop” (a 1992 Bill Clinton election song) all climbed the charts and received heavy FM radio rotation.

The big news for the band on this tour is that the group has parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham. Reportedly he and Nicks were at odds and Nicks gave the rest of the band an ultimatum, that either he would leave or she would leave. It’s also been said that the band wanted to go out on tour in 2018 and he didn’t want to. Buckingham, like the other members of Fleetwood Mac, is a hard person to replace. He contributes his distinctive vocals and guitar playing style to many songs. However, the band has brought two other talented performers onboard. One is Mike Campbell, who was an integral part of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers band both as a guitarist and songwriter. The other new member is Neil Finn, frontman of the band Crowded House. Although it would be great for Buckingham to rejoin at some point, this should be an interesting iteration of Fleetwood Mac. The band will also be releasing 50 Years – Don’t Stop, it will feature hits and essentials from all of their studio albums. 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (RH)

Saturday, November 3

The previous members of New Edition: Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, and Michael Bivins are joining forces again for a U.S. tour under the name of RBRM: Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike. The new name of the group reportedly comes from a line in New Edition’s 1984 hit song “Cool It Now,” when lead singer Ralph Tresvant says, “Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike, if I love the girl, who cares who you like.” Each went on to have their own successful careers, so the set list is a mix of New Edition songs and their individual solo hits including Brown’s “My Prerogative” and Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison.” The members originally hail from the Roxbury section of Boston. There’s something about Boston that is conducive to young vocal groups. New Kids on the Block and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch rose out of the city to achieve success as well. Case and Kid Capri open. 8 p.m. Petersen Events Center, 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. (RH)

Tuesday, November 6

Esteemed jazz/soul/rock artist Boz Scaggs is set to fill the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall with smooth melodies and flowing chord progressions. A veteran of over 50 years in the music industry, Scaggs rose to fame in the ’60s as the guitarist for the Steve Miller Band before gaining further acclaim as a solo act in the 70’s. These projects have earned the 74-year-old Scaggs significant accolades, including four top-20 albums and six top-20 singles. Major hits have included “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.” Scaggs has compiled a discography of over 22 albums, including his latest, 2018’s Out of the Blues. The album rose to no. 1 on the Billboard Blues album chart and contains covers of blues songs by Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jimmy Reed, Magic Sam, and Neil Young. There are also four original compositions by Scaggs’ close friend,Jack “Applejack” Walroth. Last year Scaggs played a free concert at Hartwood Acres as part of Allegheny County’s Summer Concert Series. So many fans came to see him perform that the roads around Hartwood acres were packed and traffic jams abounded. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th, Ave., Munhall. (RH)

Boz Scaggs performing at a Santa Ynez, California concert in 2006. (Photo: Dwightmccann and Wikipedia.)

Boz Scaggs performing at a Santa Ynez, California concert in 2006. (Photo: Dwightmccann and Wikipedia.)

The saying goes that “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” and that is certainly the case with Stephen Marley. His father. Bob Marley, was a widely popular reggae music pioneer and his mother Rita was a member of Bob Marley and The Wailers’ backing vocalists, The I Threes. Wow, talk about a strong musical gene pool! Growing up he was part older brother Ziggy’s Melody Makers band. Stephen has won eight Grammy Awards, three times as a solo artist, twice as a producer of younger brother Damian Marley’s albums, and an additional three times as a member of Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. Marley will be performing acoustic sets for this performance. 8 p.m. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (RH)

Wednesday, November 7

The Doobie Brothers are a big time rock band that rose out of San Jose, California and charted many hits in the 1970s and early 1980s. The initial outfit was fronted by lead vocalist and guitarist Tom Johnston. He led the band  from 1970 until he quit in 1975. During that period the Doobies had top hits like “China Grove,” “Blackwater,” and “Listen to the Music.” In 1976 Michael McDonald signed on as lead vocalist and the band’s sound took a new course. That version of the band scored hits with “Takin it to the Streets,” “What a Fool Believes,” and “Minute By Minute.” Kenny Loggins even has a co-writing credit on “What a Fool Believes.” Johnston then returned to the band in 1987 and has remained with them ever since. The Doobies had a new hit in 1989 with “The Doctor.” 7:30 p.m. Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (RH)

Friday, November 9

Tenacious D, a comedic rock ‘n’ roll band, is Jack Black and Kyle Gass. Both Black and Gass are musicians and actors. Black might have a little more name recognition (see 2003’s School of Rock, the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and many other leading cinematic roles), but Gass was also in Kung Fu Panda (as KG Shaw) and had an acting credit on “Seinfeld.” (Gass is one of the smokers, who later join Kramer’s smoking lounge.) Tenacious D’s latest project is Post Apocalypto, an illustrated YouTube series with accompanying album out this November. It isn’t the first time that the duo has merged media: The Pick of Destiny, both the album and the film of the same name, were released in 2006. Other career highlights include Black serenading Gass with “Kiss from a Rose” on “American Idol.” Tenacious D will perform a sold-out show at Stage AE. Wynchester opens. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC, CM)

He’s the good-looking man in the red bandanna! You can bet the house will be packed when Butler native and die hard Steelers fan Bret Michaels revisits his home turf for a gig at the Palace Theatre. Michaels, born Bret Michael Sychak, has won fame in practically every way available. In addition to the solo career he launched in 1998 he’s been a founding member and longtime lead vocalist of the glam-metal rockers Poison. He wrote, directed, and starred in the movie A Letter from Death Row, with his friend and colleague Charlie Sheen. Michaels has had his own reality TV shows, and, um … oh yeah, along with playing a half-dozen instruments, he can sing. Last year he appeared as himself in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. Expect to hear him doing metal/country hits like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” maybe “The App Song,” and more. Michaels is currently on an extensive U.S. tour, but makes time for many charity events as well. 8 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (MV)

Bret Michaels performs in Massapequa, NY in 2014. photo: Rjkowal and Wikipedia.

Bret Michaels performs in Massapequa, NY in 2014. photo: Rjkowal and Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 11

Gladys Knight, known as the “Empress of Soul,” used to be followed everywhere she performed, and no, it wasn’t by a stalker or the government. She had a group of highly talented male back-up singers called The Pips. Knight—a seven-time Grammy Award-winner —is best known for the songs “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye).” She’s even released a gospel album, Where My Heart Belongs. Knight’s numerous television credits include her namesake variety show, “The Jeffersons,” “The Muppet Show,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” and “30 Rock.” Gladys Knight and the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. 7 p.m. The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (RH)

Tuesday, November 13

“I don’t care what you do/I wouldn’t want to be like you” is a memorable line from The Alan Parsons Project song “I Wouldn’t Want to be Like You.” It was just one of their catchy keyboard/guitar rock songs that delivered hits like “Games People Play,” “The Raven,” and “Eye in the Sky.” The Alan Parsons Project for many years consisted of two main members: Parsons and Eric Woolfson. The two met in the dining area at Abbey Road Studios in 1974. Parsons was a noted audio engineer and producer and also a composer and musician. He had worked on The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Let It Be albums, as well as Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Woolfson was a songwriter, composer and session pianist. They both were growing tired of producing other artists music and decided to join forces to create their own. After many successful years together they each went their separate ways in 1990. Woolfson died in 2009. Once, to fulfill a record company contract during a dispute with their label, they submitted an all-instrumental album named after a bold chess move called The Sicilian Defence. The record company rejected it and Parsons and Woolfson’s risky bet garnered them a new contract with their record label. Look for a new release from Parsons in 2019 called The Secret, his first in 15 years. See Alan Parsons Live Project at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. 7:30 p.m. 510 E. 10th, Ave., Munhall. (RH).

Friday, November 16

Guster may be from Boston, but Pittsburgh holds a special place in its heart. When a Philadelphia show got snowed out in January 2016, the band decided to play in front of a dumpster on Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh’s North Side during its day off. The group performed at the 2016 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival a few months later. In between these appearances, Mayor Bill Peduto got into a Twitter “feud” with Guster, one which culminated in the mayor joining the members on stage for an impromptu song about, among other things, “snow storms” and “dumpsters.” If that isn’t enough to interest you in their show at Mr. Smalls, then know they have been active since 1991, scoring hits which you may know by ear if not by name. (“Satellite,” from 2006’s Ganging Up on the Sun, is one.) 2015’s Evermotion is their latest studio LP. A new album is in the works, but in the meantime, check out the new songs “Hard Times” and “Don’t Go.” Satellite Mode opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

If things had gone differently for Josh Groban, he could have been a top actor rather than a multi-platinum recording artist. The “popera” star was accepted to drama school at Carnegie Mellon University but left in his first semester to focus on singing. That’s worked out quite nicely for him. He’s sold more than 25 million records to date. Groban’s blend of pop and classical styles has earned him six number one singles on the U.S. adult contemporary charts and three number one albums in the U.S.: 2003’s Closer; the 2007 Christmas album, Noël; and 2013’s All That Echoes. Groban comes to Pittsburgh as part of his North American tour promoting Bridges, his eighth album, which was released in September. A very special guest is film and Broadway actress/singer Idina Menzel. 8  p.m. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (HM/RH)

Friday, November 23

WXXP 100.7 FM was a breath of fresh air on the Pittsburgh radio dial during its several year run in the late 1980s. Playing songs that other stations weren’t and having cool DJs that people could relate to, like Cris Winter (host of Wish 99.7’s morning drive show) Studebaker (WESA FM host); and Phil Kirzyc (morning host, The Pickle 99.3 FM). For those wishing to relive those original WXXP days again or experience it for the first time, you can at the WXXP 33 1/3 reunion at Stage AE. The musical lineup is Generation XX, The Affordable Floors, 11th Hour, The Reckoning, The RE-52s, members of Seven Color Sky, and members of Rich Mahogany, and Leatherbound Books. Proceeds benefit Proud Haven. An online version of the radio station and a newer alternative format station XX Radio and XX-2 was started by original WXXP staff member Paul Cramer. DJ Bird, a WXXP original  is also with the stations. Doors open at 6 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (RH)

Saturday, November 24

From San Diego coffee shops to Heinz Hall, Jason Mraz is coming to Pittsburgh. Mraz’s debut album, 2002’s Waiting for My Rocket, was a hit, as was its follow-up, 2005’s Mr. A-Z, but arguably his third album, 2008’s We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things, was what cemented him as a star. “I’m Yours,” the leadoff single, certainly helped. It was nominated for two Grammys—Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance—at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009. It didn’t win, but “Lucky,” a duet with Colbie Caillat from the same album, did in 2010. (“Lucky” was released as a single a year later and won in the Best Pop Collaboration with vocals.) Mraz is known for mixing genres while creating a sound that is remarkably accessible. His career began in San Diego, but he was born in Virginia, and he spent some time at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Know., his sixth album, was released this year. 8 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (CM)

Nick’s Fat City on the South Side (subsequently Diesel and Foxtail) was one of Pittsburgh’s high temples to rock and roll in the 1990s. Now DVE radio has organized a Nick’s Fat City Reunion 2.0 with several of the bands that once jammed there. Scheduled to perform are: The Clarks, Buzz Poets, Brownie Mary, Gathering Field, Grapevine, Dharma Sons, Push, and Sauce. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Doors open at 6 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (RH)

Tuesday, November 27

Blues guitarist/vocalist Coco Montoya first started out as a drummer with a secondary love for the guitar. He played drums for guitar legend and “master of the Telecaster” Albert Collins for over five years and worked on his guitar skills with Collins mentoring him. He became so skilled that John Mayall asked him to join his reformed Bluesbreakers band in the early ’80s, staying for 10 years. Since then, he has enjoyed a successful solo career with 10 albums released. Montoya plays his scorching riffs as a southpaw. He has returned home to Alligator Records for his latest album, 2017’s Hard Truth. 8 p.m. Club Cafe, 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. (RH)

Wednesday, November 28

Alt-country musicians The Mavericks, fronted by Cuban-American lead singer Raúl Malo, have a distinctive sound with elements of everything from Hispanic big-band to you-name-it. Darlings of adult alternative-contemporary radio stations, The Mavericks have gained a huge following since starting in Miami in 1989. They won back-to-back CMA Awards as country Vocal Group of the Year in 1995-96. The band broke up from 2004 to 2012—during which time Malo built a successful solo career—but now The Mavericks ride again, at full force. In 2015, they won another best-group award, this time from the Americana Music Association. They released their latest and ninth studio album, Brand New Day in 2017.. The video for the title track (above) features hard-to-miss symbolism … but what really shouldn’t be missed is Malo and The Mavericks performing live. 8 p.m. Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Cultural District. (RH, MV)

The Mavericks.

The Mavericks.

Several Other Suggested Shows

Saturday, November 3

Kosha Dillz, originally Kosher Dill, and born Rami Even-Esh, will perform at the Smiling Moose. He raps in English, Spanish, and Hebrew, as demonstrated in the song “Span-Hebrish.” Additionally, he is a noted freestyler. His latest album is 2016’s What I Do All Day and Pickle. Devmo opens. 7 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM).

Sunday, November 4

Andy Mineo opened for Lecrae at Stage AE in 2015. This year, the Christian rappers are co-headlining a show at Mr. Smalls. It’s no surprise that they’ve appeared on each other’s albums. They also have some new songs, including “Coming in Hot.” Andy Mineo’s latest LP is 2015’s Uncomfortable. Lecrae’s latest, 2018’s Let the Trap Say Amen, is a collaborative album with Atlanta-based producer Zaytoven. Wordsplayed, nobigdyl., and WHATUPRG open. 7:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

Tuesday, November 13

If you’re looking for something different, check out Low at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls. The trio plays a type of indie rock that is sometimes called slowcore. (See songs such as “Quorum.”). The band formed in Duluth, Minnesota in 1993 and released its 12th studio album, Double Negative, this year. IN/VIA opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

Friday, November 16

Fun fact: Everlast, arguably best known for “What It’s Like,” is also the frontman for the rap group House of Pain, arguably best known for “Jump Around.” (Fun, right?) Everlast will perform at Foxtail (formerly Diesel). His latest album is this year’s Whitey Ford’s House of Pain. 7 p.m. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)

Saturday, November 24

The Commonheart is one of the hottest bands on the local music scene. Led by frontman Clinton Clegg and his impressive rock/soul pipes, the band delivers inspiring performances. Strong guitar, rhythm, and horn sections, along with harmonious background singers, add to the aural delight. The Commonheart released Grown in 2016. “Cannonball” is a standout track. The band will headline Do Right Pittsburgh at Mr. Smalls. A portion of all ticket sales will go to Light of Life Rescue Mission, an area charity which provides food and shelter for the homeless. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (RH, CM)

Asheville, North Carolina has long had a reputation as a laid-back, hippie town, a Californian city which somehow drifted to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. No surprise it produced Papadosio, who play “space rock,” an amalgamation of electronic, jazz, and rock. The band’s fall tour includes a stop at the Rex Theater. 2018’s Content Coma is the group’s latest album. (Also, the music video for “Epiphany” is very cute.) Litz opens. 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)

Sunday, November 25

Travis Scott will perform at PPG Paints Arena. The young rapper released Astroworld this year, his third album. He’s also been featured on numerous other artists’ singles, including “Bake Sale” by Wiz Khalifa. “Sicko Mode” is one of Travis’s own hit songs. Trippie Redd, Gunna, and Sheck Wes open. 7:30 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (CM)

Friday, November 30

New-York-City rockers Parquet Courts are on a hot streak. Their latest acclaimed release is this year’s Wide Awake! Songs like “Total Football” combine inviting guitar chords with Devo-style vocals. They will perform at Spirit. 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. (CM)

On the Radar

December 3
Brian Wilson: The Christmas Album Live (Heinz Hall)

December 4
The Beach Boys: Christmas Songs and Hits (Palace Theatre)

December 8
Andrea Bocelli (PPG Paints Arena)

December 11
Ingrid Michaelson Trio: Songs for the Season (CHMH)

December 14-15
We Want the Funk Festival
SOS Band, Brick, Con Funk Shun (August Wilson Center)

December 28
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (PPG Paints Arena)

December 31
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (Stage AE)

 

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central. Writer/editor Christopher Maggio made substantial contributions to this guide.