October 2022 Concert Guide: Smashing Pumpkins, Earth, Wind & Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Billy Price, Sistas in the City

Death Cab for Cutie performing at the Open Source Festival 2015 in Germany at Düsseldorf Galopprennbahn. (Photo: Markus Felix)

Death Cab for Cutie performing at the Open Source Festival 2015 in Germany at Düsseldorf Galopprennbahn. (Photo: Markus Felix)

The fall season is upon us in Pittsburgh and the concerts are turning inward. The bigger acts this month are a double bill of The Smashing Pumpkins and Jane Addiction’s, and Alan Jackson (postponed). Both are at PPG Paints Arena. UPMC Events Center hosts legendary soul-funk group Earth, Wind & Fire. Another arena show is Christian rock band Casting Crowns who play The Pete. Several pioneering southern rock bands are on the scene this month with The Marshall Tucker Band, who is celebrating its 50th anniversary, at the Carnegie Library of Homestead Music Hall and the Outlaws and the Atlanta Rhythm Section at the Palace Theatre. Pop-rocker Rick Springfield always draws well and is in concert at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows.

The Violent Femmes play a sold out concert at Mr. Smalls Theater. In another concert at Mr. Smalls, The Lone Bellow performs. Stage AE has Death Cab for Cutie and the annual Women Who Rock benefit with Jordan Sparks headlining. Guitar hero Joe Satriani will display his skills at the Palace Theatre. St. Lucia brings their own brand of synth-pop to the Thunderbird. And great American songstress Judy Collins is performing at The Byham. The local scene is generating a lot of buzz with blues/soul/rocker Billy Price celebrating over 50 years of performing with a CD Release concert, and Clara Kent, Sierra Sellers, Simone Davis, and Chandra Rhyme all performing in the Sistas of the City concert at Mr. Smalls Theater.

This guide features (in chronological order) Spotlighted 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.

Spotlight Picks

Saturday, October 1

Attention ladies: Rick Springfield, former soap opera hunk (“General Hospital”) is playing The Hollywood Casino at The Meadows. Springfield’s breakout hit was “Jessie’s Girl” in 1981 and other top songs include “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “I Get Excited.” The Australia native, who once dated actress Linda Blair, has sold 25 million albums and scored 17 U.S. Top 40 hits. His latest solo album is Orchestrating My Life, released in 2019. Springfield has many male fans too. 8 p.m. 210 Racetrack Rd., Washington. (R.H.)

Pittsburgh blues/soul/rock legend Billy Price is celebrating 50+ years as a performer in the music industry. 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. The concert will celebrate the release of Price’s new 3-CD compilation, 50+Years of Soul, which he released on GetHip Recordings in early September.

The Billy Price Band consists of Dave Dodd (drums), Tom Valentine (bass), Lenny Smith (guitar), Jim Britton (keyboards), Eric Spaulding (sax), and Joe Herndon (trumpet). Band alumni and special guests will join Price and band during one of of the sets. Opening the CD release concert is Gabe Stillman Band. Proceeds benefit Pittsburgh’s Syria Shriners. First drink is included with an early entry ticket purchase. 8 p.m. Pittsburgh Shrine Center, 1877 Shriners Way, Cheswick. (R.H.)

Legendary blues and soul singer Billy Price. (photo: David Aschkenas)

Legendary blues and soul singer Billy Price. (photo: David Aschkenas)

Thursday, October 6

In recent years The Violent Femmes have been having somewhat of a renaissance. They released We Can Do Anything in 2016, the trio’s first album in 16 years. New songs, like “Memory,” stand alongside college radio classics like “Blister in the Sun” and “Country Death Song. The year before that, they shared the stage with Barenaked Ladies and Colin Hay during an outdoor concert at Stage AE. The Violent Femmes returned to Stage AE in 2017 for a double-bill with Echo & the Bunnymen. In 2018 they sold out Mr. Smalls, which they have done again for this month’s concert. The band has been performing for over 40 years. Bassist Brian Ritchie and drummer Victor DeLorenzo formed the Violent Femmes in Milwaukee, Wisc., in 1980. Vocalist/guitarist Gordon Gano soon joined. The group has split and regrouped two times, and DeLorenzo quit in 2013. John Sparrow, who played in the group’s backing band, the Horns of Dilemma, has since picked up the sticks. Special guest is Ol’ Whitetail. 8 p.m. Sold out. Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (C.M., R.H.)

Saturday, October 8

Earth, Wind & Fire is one of the most successful soul/funk bands of the late ’70s and early to mid ’80s. There are many reasons for the band’s success, mainly the musical genius of EWF’s leader, the late Maurice White. White fused musical genres together, including soul, funk, African rhythms, gospel, rock, and jazz. He combined that with a tight band of top-notch musicians, including a horn section, mystical lyrics and staging, and the soaring voice of Philip Bailey. White and Bailey were the two lead singers with Bailey possessing a beautiful falsetto voice with a four-octave range. 1975’s That’s the Way of the World was the band’s first big album and produced the hits “That’s the Way of the World,” “Shining Star,” and “Reasons.” EWF has received 20 Grammy nominations, winning six as a group and White and Bailey garnering two individual awards. White’s brother Verdine is the longtime bassist for the band and Bailey’s son, Phillip Bailey Jr. is also in EW&F. 8:30 p.m. UPMC Events Center,  6001 University Blvd., RMU, Moon Township. (R.H.)

Earth Wind & Fire in a 2009 concert. photo: Craig ONeal.

Earth Wind & Fire in a 2009 concert. photo: Craig ONeal and Wikipedia.

POSTPONED. On the title track of Alan Jackson’s album, The Older I Get, he sings: “I’m just gettin’ to my best years yet.” That’s pretty scary when you consider that the 63-year-old country star already has more Grammys, CMA Awards, and ACM Awards than a fella could shake a stick at or would want to. Jackson is in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and he’s bringing his Last Call, one more for the road Tour to PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh is the last stop on the 22 date tour. Jackson is married to his high school sweetheart Denise, they have three daughters. Randy Houser opens. 7 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (M.V.)

Monday, October 10

Death Cab for Cutie formed in Bellingham, Washington, in 1997. The group’s lead guitarist and founding member Chris Walla left in 2014. They have been successfully carrying on in the years since then and will be performing at Stage AE this month. Frontman Ben Gibbard has had a successful solo career as well and was married to the highly charismatic actress and musician Zooey Deschanel for a few years. Death Cab for Cutie is touring in support of their September 2022 album release, Asphalt Meadows. Special guest is Thao. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (C.M, R.H.)

Tuesday, October 11

St. Lucia—the stage name for Jean-Philip Grobler and his wife Patti Beranek—performs this month at Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall. Grobler grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and sang with the internationally known Drakensberg Boys Choir. When older, he moved to Liverpool, England, to study for three years before moving to Brooklyn, New York, where he started his musical career. In 2012, he was signed to Neon Gold Records, who released his full-length album, When the Night. He cites Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead, Paul Simon, and Phil Collins as the main musical influences for his synth-pop. Beranek is originally from Germany. St. Lucia is back with their first new music in four years. Their new experience is described as “the group retreats from a fractured world on fire and into the glow of a rapturous synth-spiked electro-pop catharsis—like a dance party at the edge of existence.” Their latest LP, Utopia, is a bright light and features the lead single “Touch.” It drops October 7 on Nettwerk Records. Caroline Kingsbury opens. 8 p.m. 4053 Butler St., Lawrenceville. (C.M., R.H.)

Friday, October 14

Four fantastic Pittsburgh female vocalists are joining together for a concert called Sistas of the City. The aforementioned soul/hip-hop sistas include the talented Clara Kent, Sierra Sellers, Simone Davis, and Chandra Rhyme. Each one has been in the regional spotlight and now you can see all four in one evening at Mr. Smalls. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (R.H.)

Saturday, October 15

The annual Women Who Rock fundraiser  will take place again at Stage AE. Scheduled to perform are Jordan Sparks, Emily Wolfe, Tiny Wars, and DJ  Huny. Sparks is an singer, actress and former “American Idol” TV show winner. WDVE 102.5’s mid-day host Michele Michaels will emcee the event once again. Additionally, ticketholders can enjoy the Women Who Rock Beauty Bar featuring mini-services, giveaways, and perks, rockstar silent auction offering one-of-a-kind experiences and autographed music memorabilia, photo booth, pink carpet entrance, the Women Who Rock pop-up shop, and gift bags. Proceeds benefit understudied women’s health at Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation. The event is presented by Gibson Gives. Doors open 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (C.M., R.H.)

Thursday, October 20

Casting Crowns will headline the Petersen Events Center. From student-worship band to arena act, independent albums to top-selling Billboard Christian music act, Casting Crowns have risen meteorically since forming in 1999 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Meanwhile the members, now based in Georgia, haven’t forgotten their roots. Many still continue to minister. This includes frontman Mark Hall, who is also the author of many faith-based books. The moving “Oh My Soul,” from 2016’s The Very Next Thing, addresses his battle with cancer. Casting Crowns broke with their self-titled 2003 album, which went platinum. Their next album, 2005’s Lifesong, won a Grammy for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. Casting Crown’s latest album is Healer, released this January. Cain and Anne Wilson open. 7 p.m. 1001 5th Ave., Uptown. (C.M., R.H.)

Rock guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, and also the lead guitarist of the supergroup Chickenfoot and organizer of G3 collaborations, brings his Earth Tour to Greensburg this month. Satriani has worked with many big-name musicians. He was recruited by Mick Jagger to play on Jagger’s first solo tour, and he has also performed with Deep Purple. Before he broke into the mainstream, Satriani worked as a guitar teacher, shaping the young minds of future rock stars like Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Andy Timmons (Danger Danger), and Steve Vai. Satriani is a 15-time Grammy nominee and is the biggest-selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time. Satriani’s most recent album is Elephants of Mars, released earlier this year. With all the great guitar players and guitar lovers in Pittsburgh, this concert should be packed. 7:30 p.m. Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (R.H.)

Saturday, October 22

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 Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, you’ll hear it straight from the band, which is always better than a remake. This is a great opportunity to hear an early and important band in southern rock history. It’s Marshall Tucker Band’s 50th Anniversary Tour. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. (R.H.)

Smashing Pumpkins are best know for their alt-rock sound, vocals of frontman Billy Corgan and songs like “1979” and “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” The band formed in Chicago in 1988 and has taken a hiatus and has had varying lineups over the years. Smashing Pumpkins won two Grammy Awards in the late ’90s. They are currently working on their 12th studio album Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts. The album will be released in three separate installments of 11 songs from November 2022 to April 2023. They will be headlining the bill with Jane’s Addiction.

Jane’s Addiction rose out of the City of Angels in 1985 to become one of the hottest acts in the burgeoning alternative music scene. The Los Angeles group’s self-titled first album was a success, as were the subsequent releases Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual. Jane’s Addiction consists of founding member Perry Farrell (lead vocals), longtime members Dave Navarro (lead guitar and formerly of another L.A. band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Stephen Perkins (drums), and Eric Avery (bass). The band has broken up and reunited several times since its first “farewell tour” in 1991. That tour was a Lollapalooza—the name Farrell gave it—and with other bands joining, Lollapalooza became a signature annual event in its own right.  After a couple of hiatuses Lollapalooza was reborn as a fixed-site festival in Chicago, with branch festivals now held in countries outside the U.S. as well. Jane’s Addiction will surely include several of the band’s biggest hits, like “Jane Says” and “Ocean Size.” Special guest is Meg Meyers. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (R.H.)

Sunday, October 23

Legendary songstress Judy Collins was a piano prodigy by 13, and as she came of age, she used her music to rail against social and environmental problems. She’s known for reinterpreting traditional and contemporary folk music standards to create rich, insightful, poetic-like songs about life’s ups and downs. Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger influenced her with their use of storytelling through songs about hard-luck people. Collins, in turn, inspired others—Stephen Stills wrote the classic song, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” while breaking up with Collins. Collins’s version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” garnered her the Song of the Year Grammy Award in ’76. Collins is touring in support of her 29th studio album, Spellbound, which was released this February. 8 p.m. Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Cultural District. (R.H.)

Thursday, October 27

Three harmonizing voices plus lush instrumentation equals The Lone Bellow. The indie-folk trio formed in Brooklyn, New York City, but it is now based in Nashville. 2015’s Then Came the Morning, the band’s sophomore LP, saw production by Aaron Dessner (of the rock band The National) and brass and string arrangements by Bryce Dessner (Aaron’s twin brother and also of The National). “Fake Roses,” with its vivid lyrics, remains a standout single from Then Came the Morning. The group opened for the Avett Brothers early in its career. It also shared the bill with Cold War Kids for the Feed More Festival at Stage AE in 2016. TV appearances include the “Late Show with David Letterman” and “CBS This Morning.” The Lone Bellow released its fourth album, Half Moon Light, in 2020 with Aaron Dessner again producing. Special guest is BAILEN. 8 p.m. Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (C.M., R.H.)

Saturday, October 29

Southern rock finds its way north with the Outlaws. For over 40 years, the band has been thriving in the Southern rock genre along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, and The Allman Brothers. Founded in Tampa, Florida, in ’72, the Outlaws put forth a Southern rock opus with “Green Grass and High Tides” and scored a major hit with “There Goes Another Love Song.” Outlaw trademarks include beautiful vocal harmonies and intricate lead guitar play. Surviving the test of time, the inevitable evolution of popular music, and bandmates’ deaths, the Outlaws are definitely alive, kicking, and, it would seem, stronger than ever. And now that Lynyrd Skynyrd has embarked on a farewell tour, the Outlaws will be one of the groups to proudly carry forward the Southern rock banner. They come our way with special guest the Atlanta Rhythm Section. 8 p.m. Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (R.H.)

Other Shows of Interest

Saturday, October 1
Justin Fabus (Rivers Casino)

Sunday, October 2
Robert Fripp (Oaks Theatre)

Tuesday, October 4
Kenia (Liberty Magic)

Friday, October 7
Zac Keim (Brillobox)

Saturday, October 15
War (Hollywood Casino at The Meadows)

Tuesday, October 18
Last Dinosaurs (Mr. Smalls)
Staciawa Abbott (Liberty Magic)

Wednesday, October 19
The Man in Black – Johnny Cash Tribute (CHMH)

Thursday, October 20
Gogol Bordello (Mr. Smalls)

Friday, October 21
Bill Toms and Hard Rain (Moondog’s)
The Vogues (The Lamp Theatre)

Sunday, October 23
Brooke Annibale (Club Cafe)

Wednesday, October 26
Ecosmith & Lostboycrow (Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall)

Thursday, October 27
Matisyahu (Stage AE)
Angelique Kidjo  (August Wilson Cultural Center)

Friday, October 28
Jim Donovan and Sun King Warriors (Rivers Casino)
Big Blitz (Club Cafe)

Big Shows on the Horizon

November 3
Trampled by Turtles (Stage AE)

November 5
Billy Strings (Petersen Events Center)

November 10
Richard Marx (CHMH)

November 15
Trey Anastasio Band and Goose (UPMC Events Center)

November 27
Bret Michaels (Palace Theatre)

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central.

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