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September ’18 Concert Guide: Ringo, Paul S., Willie, Van, Justin, and Norm

Ringo Starr perfoming with his All-Starr Band in Paris in 2011. photo: Jean Fortunet.

Ringo Starr performing with his All-Starr Band in Paris in 2011. photo: Jean Fortunet.

There are several big name musicians performing in Pittsburgh this month that can almost just go by just their first names, like their familiar female counterparts of Cher, Madonna, and Taylor to name a few. Former Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr graces our fair city once again with his All-Starr Band. The renowned Paul Simon, who helped introduce the American public to world music, is on his farewell tour and plays PPG Paints Arena. Rambling man Willie Nelson is on the road again this time with his Outlaw Music Festival. Outlaws that will be performing at KeyBank Pavilion are the legendary, melodic Irish rock singer Van Morrison, Willies’ son Lukas Nelson with his band  Promise of the Real, additionally Sturgill Simpson and Brandi Carlile will join the pack.

Justin Timberlake likes playing Pittsburgh so much he’s doing it twice, having been here earlier this year. Norm Nardini has been rocking Pittsburgh for 50 years and there’s going to be a party with him and his musical friends to celebrate that major milestone at the Syria Shrine Center in Cheswick.

Other big name acts in the region this month are Dawes, Lady Antebellum, Maroon 5, and Fall Out Boy. There are many other interesting shows as well. In addition to Norman Nardini, the hometown heroes scene sees some top local bands playing music festivals and opening for other acts. Michael Glabicki, Murder for Girls, Garter Shake, Wreck Loose, Brooke Annibale, Starship Mantis, Paul Luc, Bill Toms, Mars Jackson, Bastard Bearded Irishmen all have good gigs this month. Music can lift our spirits, get out and see some of the shows we’ve highlighted in our guide or your own faves.

Sunday, September 2

The Annual Allegheny County Music Festival promises a balanced survey of local music. Headlining is Uprooted, with Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root fame (8 p.m.). Openers include The Living Street, Starship Mantis, and Meeting of Important People. This is the last concert at Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater this year, so be sure to get in as much outdoor dancing as you can before autumn arrives once more. Music begins at 5 p.m. There is a $20/car requested donation which benefits children and youth served by DHS through the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund. 200 Hartwood Acres, Hampton and Indiana townships. (CM, RH)

Tuesday, September 4

When Kurt Cobain’s journals were published in 2002, many fans noted his top 50 albums. Unsurprising were albums such as The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. You can hear The Pixies’ influence in Nirvana’s music. But Cobain also included Burning Farm by Shonen Knife, an all-female, Japanese, pop-punk trio. What were they doing on Cobain’s list? Well, listen to a song like “On a Plain,” and beneath all that grunge, you can hear some pop. No wonder Cobain not only admired Shonen Knife but also asked the band to open for Nirvana in 1991, which it did. Shonen Knife formed in Osaka, Japan, in 1981, and its latest release is 2018’s Alive! In Osaka. For its current tour, original artwork will be available at each stop, including Spirit. Murder for Girls, hot off the release of their sophomore LP, 2017’s All the Pretty Stars, open. Garter Shake also opens. Doors open 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. (CM)

Wednesday, September 5

Pop-punkers Fall Out Boy, from the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, will play PPG Paints Arena. Singer/guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley make up the band. Wentz and Trohman, who were part of Chicago’s hardcore music scene, began Fall Out Boy as a pop-punk side project. Stump soon joined, followed by Hurley, and the group recorded its debut studio album, Take This to Your Grave, in 2003. From Under the Cork Tree, which was released in 2005, was the album that broke the band into the mainstream. Fall Out Boy is touring in support of its seventh studio album, Mania, released this year.

Machine Gun Kelly, a rapper from Cleveland, opens. Kelly, born Richard Colson Baker, has touched multiple facets of popular culture. He was to open for Linkin Park on the band’s One More Light Tour before the tour’s cancelation following the 2017 suicide of singer Chester Bennington. In 2016, he recorded “Bad Things,” which samples Fastball’s “Out of My Head,” with Camila Cabello. His acting credits include “Roadies,” Cameron Crowe’s short-lived Showtime series. 2017’s Bloom is his latest album. 7 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (EC, CM)

Friday, September 7

Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and we’re very lucky because he’s stopping in the ‘Burgh to entertain us. He’ll be headlining the Outlaw Music Festival as it swings by KeyBank Pavilion with its strong lineup of top musicians and groups. Nelson is a singer/songwriter/author/activist/businessman and more. He’s had a storied career that includes a Kennedy Center Honor. In 1993, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. One of the founders of Farm Aid, which started in 1985 to help struggling farmers, Nelson was inducted into the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2011. Nelson’s been known to “inhale” and claimed to have smoked marijuana on the roof of the White House. His 2012 book, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road, is a memoir that became a New York Times Top Ten Best Seller.

Outlaw country troubadour, Willie Nelson

Outlaw country music troubadour, Willie Nelson. photo: David McClister

First and foremost for Nelson is the music. In 1973, turned off by the conservative nature of the Nashville country music scene, he was a founding member of a branch of the industry in Austin, Tex., called outlaw country. Other members included Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings, who joined Nelson to form the outlaw country supergroup The Highwaymen. When Nelson plays, he is joined by musical associates he calls The Family. Nelson’s latest album is God’s Problem Child, released in April 2017. It debuted at no. 1 on the country albums chart.  Amazingly, it is his 72 studio album. With this Outlaw Music Festival event, he’s sure to play many old and new favorites, including “Always on My Mind.”

Van the man” Morrison is a  singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and record producer from Northern Ireland. His vocals and music can be described as a rich, R&B rock n roll sound. Initially, Morrison rose to fame with the group Them and their hit “Gloria.” In his solo career he has created  several iconic songs including “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Moondance,” and “Caravan,” which he performed with The Band in Martin Scorsese’s film “The Last Waltz.” Morrisons Latest LP, and 39th studio album is “You’re Driving Me Crazy.” It was released this April and is a compilation of jazz and blues songs including some songs previously written by Morrison. He collaboration on the album with Joey DeFrancesco

Also on the bill is Brandi Carlile, a folk rock/Americana artist originally from Ravensdale, Washington. She is nominated for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year for this year’s Americana Music Honors & Awards. Country and roots rock musician Sturgill Simpson will also be performing at the festival.

Lukas Nelson met drummer Anthony LoGerfo at a Neil Young concert in 2008 and they started playing gigs together around Los Angeles, California. Soon thereafter, Nelson left his studies at Loyola Marymount University to pursue his music dreams full-time. He added several other musicians to form Promise of the Real. The versatile band has a sound that can range from rock, to country, to Americana. In 2009 they opened for Lukas’ dad, the legendary country singer/songwriter Willie Nelson, for a nine show tour. Since then Nelson and the band have released five studio albums with 2017’s self-titled album reaching no. 2 on Billboard’s country chart. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real are also Neil Young’s backing band (since 2015) and have even recorded two albums with him. Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real will also be in the upcoming remake of the film A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. They appear as Bradley Cooper’s band. Nelson co-produced the music and even wrote some songs for the movie with Gaga. Nelson and Promise of the Real gave a rousing performance at June’s Three Rivers Arts Festival. See our concert review. Now he will be joining his papa, Willie, on the Outlaw Festival Tour. 2:30 p.m.  KeyBank Pavilion, 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (RH)

Lukas Nelson jamming on his guitar. (Photo: Rick Handler).

Lukas Nelson jamming on his guitar. (Photo: Rick Handler).

Saturday, September 8

Country music trio Lady Antebellum makes a stop at KeyBank Pavilion on the group’s Summer Plays On Tour. Composed of vocalist Hillary Scott, guitarist/vocalist Charles Kelley, and instrumentalist Dave Haywood, the trio have proven their staying power as country music stars, having won two Grammy Awards and numerous country music awards of various sorts. They are probably best known for their 2009 single “Need You Now,” a poignant duet that braids the vocal talents of Scott and Kelley into a single melancholy harmony. The band formed in Nashville in 2006 and rose extraordinarily quickly, now standing among some of country music’s top contemporary talent. Since then Lady Antebellum has continued to grow its fan base with appearances in arenas and major amphitheaters across the United States. The group’s latest release was last year’s Heart Break, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Country Album category. Darius Rucker, former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a successful country music solo artist opens. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (RH)

Pittsburgh rock royalty Norm Nardini has said many times he’s a “rock ‘n roll lifer.” His passion and energy drive him in his continuing mission to rock for the people. Nardini has played with top rockers Jon Bon Jovi, Ted Nugent, Big Mama Thornton, Aerosmith, Kansas, and others. He’s also fronted his own band, Norm Nardini and the Tigers. Nardini once told someone in New York City that he was from Pittsburgh, and the man replied, “Pittsburgh? Where’s that, Pennysltucky?” Norm’s from a rockin’ family, too; brother Art is the bassist for Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers. Catch Norm Nardini in concert with his talented band tonight at the Syria Shrine Center to celebrate Norman Nardini’s 50 Years Rockin Pittsburgh. Also performing for the momentous occasion are the SPUDS, Bill Toms and the Soulville Horns, and others. Party starts early at 4 p.m. 1877 Shriner’s Way. Cheswick. (RH)

Norman Nardini singing and playing a scorching guitar run while the rest of the band provides ample rock support.

Norman Nardini singing and playing a scorching guitar run while the rest of the band provides ample rock support. (Photo: Rick Handler).

Wednesday, September 12

Dawes drew a large crowd for their 2017 concert at the Three Rivers Arts Festival (see our review). For this Pittsburgh visit you can find them at Stage AE. 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 2016 album, 2016’s We’re All Gonna Die. Dawes latest release is Passwords, released in June. Doors open at 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.(EC, CM)

Dawes jamming the Arts Festival audience. (l. to r.), Duane Betts, Lee Pardini, Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith, and Wylie Gelber.

Dawes jamming the Arts Festival audience. (l. to r.), Trevor Menear, Lee Pardini, Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith, and Wylie Gelber. (Photo: Rick Handler)

Saturday, September 15

If you haven’t heard Anthony Gourdine, you must click on the video above. At a time when falsetto singers were not uncommon in pop music, Gourdine stood out nonetheless with his distinctive voice and phrasing. And today—when it’s not at all uncommon for musicians to keep rocking at an age when you’d expect them to be in rocking chairs—it’s a pleasant surprise, nonetheless, to find Little Anthony and The Imperials still doing their R&B. The New York City group broke onto the charts in 1958 with “Tears on My Pillow” and kept turning out hits through the ’60s, becoming a popular act on TV music and variety shows. Since then, The Imperials have dissolved, re-formed, and drifted in and out of the media spotlight … but they’ve never lost the ability to light up an audience with numbers like “Hurt So Bad.” Little Anthony and the Imperials are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their current lineup includes original members Gourdine and Ernest Wright, and they’re booked at The Palace Theatre. Special guests are Terry Johnson’s Flamingos. 7 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (MV/RH)

Sunday, September 16

Celtic Thunder is celebrating its ten-year anniversary with a new tour.  Featured singers Damian McGinty, Ryan Kelly, Michael O’Dwyer, Emmet Cahill, and Neil Byrne backed by an eight-piece band that includes strings, guitar, percussion, and pipes, has something for everyone. You’ll get smooth and mesmerizing vocals along with crisscrossing genres of traditional Irish, classical, and adult-contemporary music when the super-group stops in Pittsburgh for a performance at the Benedum Center. With deep and complex harmonies, as in “Amazing Grace” and “Toora, Loora, Lay,” Celtic Thunder may give you some of those “oh-my-gosh-that-was-amazing” chills. 8 p.m.237 7th St.., Cultural District.(RH)

Monday, September 17

Paul Simon is one of the world’s best known singer/songwriters. He first rose to fame as one half of the legendary duo known as Simon and Garfunkel. The group produced many top hits including three that reached no. 1 single status on the U.S. charts: “The Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” and “Bridge over Troubled Water.” “Mrs. Robinson” was for the Mike Nichols directed, 1967 movie “The Graduate” which starred Dustin Hoffman. Simon as a solo artist achieved much success starting in the 70s when songs like “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “Kodachrome,” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

His career continued to move forward, albeit at a slower pace, after that. Simon’s 1986 Grammy Award-winning album Graceland gave him another strong run up the music charts. On the album he incorporated many different styles of world music into its songs, including songs with black South African performers. His record company wasn’t sure the album would do well with Simon’s mainstream audience, but boy were they wrong. Graceland is a landmark album and spawned such hits as “”You Can Call Me Al,” “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” and the title track, “Graceland.” Simon is on his Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour which concludes with several New York City concerts later this month. Simon will be releasing his fourteenth album, In the Blue Light, on September 7. 8 p.m. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.

Tuesday, September 18

Spirit hosts Guided By Voices, a band which formed in 1983 in Dayton, Ohio. Although there have been some personnel changes over the years, and the band even dissolved for a while before reforming in 2010 (and then again with a new lineup in 2016), one constant has been the main songwriter, Robert Pollard. GBV is known for its indie-rock, lo-fi sound, and for its prolific output. The band has released 25 LPs, most recently 2018’s Space Gun. (The band’s Wikipedia page resembles an independent film studio’s with releases scheduled through 2020.) Pollard, meanwhile, has released 22 solo LPs. Feeling overwhelmed? 1995’s Alien Lanes is a good entry point. Other trivia: Pollard worked as a school teacher before focusing on music full-time. He harks back to this job in songs such as “Gold Star for Robot Boy.” Pollard opened for Pearl Jam at the late Mellon Arena in 2006. 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. (EC, CM)

Wednesday, September 19

Richard Starkey was born in the Dingle neighborhood of Liverpool, England on July 7, 1940. After growing up as an often sickly child in a poor neighborhood with divorced parents, he once again found himself recovering in a hospital. The hospital encouraged everyone to play in a makeshift band with whatever instruments were available. Young Richard grabbed a soft mallet and started banging on a hospital pan. He found his vocation and would be drumming from then on, even after family and friends gave him other instruments to try. He would become a highly accomplished drummer and joined up with three other Liverpool lads named John, Paul, and George who had a band and were looking for a new drummer. He was by then known as Ringo Starr (he reportedly garnered the nickname because of all the rings he wore. Starr came from his reluctant drum solos which he called starr time).

As we all know the Beatles achieved massive success and Starr had his moments to shine on songs like “Yellow Submarine,” “Octopus’s Garden,” and “With a Little Help From My Friends.” After the break up of the Beatles he went on to solo success with several top ten hits including “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Back Off Boogaloo,” and “Photograph.”  Starr always seemed to find good drumming gigs including with the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, two George Harrison albums and The Concert for Bangladesh, and additionally The Band’s Last Waltz. Readers of Rolling Stone magazine voted Starr as the fifth-greatest drummer of all time in 2011. His latest album, Give More Love, was released last September. His former bandmate, Paul McCartney, contributed to the record. 

Since 1989 Starr has occasionally toured with his own super group of ever-changing musicians, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band. Members, too numerous to mention, have included his son Zak, Todd Rundgren, Joe Walsh, and Ginger Baker. Not only is Starr a legendary drummer, but also a fun and charismatic personality. He brings his latest iteration of the All-Starr Band to Heinz Hall. 8 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (RH)

Friday, September 21

Music X Arts, formerly the two-day Thrival Music, is part of the larger Thrival Festival, where the name of the game is capitalist enterprise. Local startup/innovation incubator Ascender powers the festival, a rich brew of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and culture. Music X Arts is at Highmark Stadium. The schedule includes local and national acts. Dillon Francis, an EDM artist from Los Angeles, headlines. If you like beeps, boops, and dancing, he’s your man. Also performing are Matt and Kim, who create big hooks with only a keyboard, drum set, and their infectious voices. Their music video for “Happy If You’re Happy” pays homage to Uma Thurman and John Travolta’s dance scene in Pulp Fiction. On the local front are Celtic rockers Bastard Bearded Irishmen, singer-songwriter Brooke Annibale, singer-songwriter Paul Luc, and rapper Mars Jackson. 510 W. Station Square Dr., Station Square. (EC, CM)

“It’s time to kick out the jams, motherfuckers!” Sung by the late Rob Tyner, so begins the eponymous track from one the greatest rock and roll albums of all time: Kick Out the Jams by the MC5. The band formed in Detroit (the “MC” is short for “Motor City”), and the album was recorded live over two nights (Devil’s Night and Halloween) at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in 1968. Despite the profanity, which generated some controversy among the label and retailers, the album reached no. 30 on the Billboard 200. The real measure of the band’s success can be charted among its influence on later musicians. The late MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith inspired Sonic Youth’s band name. Some of the musicians inspired by the MC5, like Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron, are joining surviving MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer for MC50, a live celebration of Kick Out the Jams from start to finish. The Detroit Cobras open. 9 p.m. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

Monday, September 24

You may recognize a young Alejandro Rose-Garcia from “Friday Night Lights” and the Spy Kids franchise. He later pivoted to music and adopted the name Shakey Graves. His performance of “Roll the Bones,” the eponymous track from his 2011 debut studio album, is a marvel. He plays percussion courtesy a customized suitcase while strumming the guitar and singing. It’s the kind of musical originality his hometown of Austin, Texas is known for. He was the official busker for 2011’s Railroad Revival Tour, which included Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Mumford & Sons. If you like either of those folk acts, you may enjoy seeing this rising talent at Stage AE. His latest album is this year’s Can’t Wake Up. The Wild Reeds open. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

Tuesday, September 25

Back when posters of boy bands adorned the bedroom walls of every teenage girl in the country, naysayers said all those J Crew model-esque pretty boys would be exiled from the limelight in 10 years—and the naysayers were mostly right, but not in the case of Justin Timberlake. The ever-charismatic breakout star from ’N Sync has shown rare staying power, contributing songs like “Cry Me a River” and “SexyBack” to the canon of 21st-century classics and branching out to movies. You remember him as a devil-may-care dot-com guru in The Social Network. He also voiced Branch in 2016’s Trolls and recorded “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” for its soundtrack. Through it all, Timberlake hasn’t taken himself too seriously; his sly, self-referential humor made him an often-invited-back host of “Saturday Night Live.” He has performed at three Super Bowls: one with ’N Sync and two as a solo artist, including Super Bowl LII. His June concert at PPG Paints Arena sold out; good thing he scheduled a second show for September. His latest album is Man of the Woods, released this year. 7 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (EC, CM)

Justin Timberlake performing at the Pilgrimage Festival in September 2017. (Photo: Mark Briello and Wikipedia).

Justin Timberlake performing at the Pilgrimage Festival in September 2017. (Photo: Mark Briello and Wikipedia).

Saturday, September 29

A Maroon 5 concert is a great setting for a fun night out. The radio-friendly rockers rose to fame with their 2002 album, Songs About Jane, which included the singles “She Will Be Loved” and “Harder to Breathe.” “Moves like Jagger” became one of the songs of the summer in 2011. Most recently, Maroon 5 hit the airwaves with singles from its latest album, 2017’s Red Pill Blues, including “Girls Like You.” The single version of this song features rapper Cardi B, and it peaked at number three on Billboard’s Hot 100. If still none of those tunes jog your memory, you may recognize lead singer Adam Levine from the musical reality show The Voice and as a recurring character on 2012’s season of American Horror Story: Asylum. Julia Michaels, who penned many a hit for artists like Britney Spears and Justin Bieber before starting a solo career, opens at PPG Paints Arena. 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (EC, CM)

2) He’s a Grammy- and BRIT-award winner, regular tabloid fodder, and possibly the most famous redhead in music right now. Ed Sheeran plays PNC Park on his 2018 North American stadium tour where he wlll play many new songs from his 2017 album, ÷ (pronounced “divide”). Have your cell phone fully charged and ready to wave along with “Thinking Out Loud”—the heart-tugging ballad destined to be played at thousands of weddings—along with the Justin Timberlake-inspired “Sing” and the break-up riff “Don’t.” “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” marked the first time an artist has simultaneously charted at number one and two, respectively, on the UK Singles Chart with new music. Sheeran has performed in his native England since 2004; he broke internationally after co-writing and performing on Taylor Swift’s “Everything Has Changed,” from  her 2012 album, Red. He later opened for her on The Red Tour. His headlining show is a treat; those who don’t know his sweet, folky tunes are likely to have their hearts quickly stolen. Snow Patrol and Ann-Marie open. 7 p.m. PNC Park 115 Federal St., North Shore. (EC, CM)

Several Other Suggested Shows

Wednesday, September 5

Roomful of Blues. a blues-rock swing band built upon a solid foundation of guitar, drum, and vocals with horn and keys icing on top, is celebrating 50 years as a group. The band has earned five Grammy Award nominations and many other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards. The legendary Count Bassie once called them “the hottest blues band I’ve ever heard.” You can see them live at Club Cafe. 8 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. (RH)

Saturday, September 8

No, that’s not a typo. The FEASTival, which began in 2013, is a free day of music and art in McKees Rocks. Railroad Earth, from Stillwater, New Jersey, headlines. The band has been playing together since 2001, blending elements of different styles, including bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, and jazz, on songs such as “Mighty River.” Its latest album is last year’s Captain Nowhere. Also on the bill: Billy Strings, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Wreck Loose, and Well Strung. Check the event’s website for the musical line-up. McKees Rocks Municipal Lot, Rt. 51 and Furnace St., McKees Rocks. (EC, CM)

Wednesday, September 12

Waxahatchee is the musical project of Katie Crutchfield. “Chapel of Pines,” from her upcoming Great Thunder EP, is a return to her acoustic roots. Her latest full-length album was 2017’s Out in the Storm. She will perform at the Andy Warhol Museum as part of its Sound Series. Night Shop and Anna St. Louis open. 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. (CM)

Saturday, September 15

Morris Day was originally in a group first known as Grand Central with the late great Prince in Minneapolis. After Prince broke away to explore his own musical inclinations, he chose Day to be the lead singer of a side project group he had called Flyte Time (later just The Time). Day also played Prince’s antagonist in the 1984 movie Purple Rain. He would sometimes, while performing, look into a mirror brought onstage by his valet, “Jerome” (Jerome Benton). This exaggerated vanity was highly comical and added to his popularity. It also helps to have great songs as Day did with “Jungle Love,” “The Oak Tree,” and “Gigolos Get Lonely Too.” You can catch Morris Day & The Time at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. 8 p.m. 210 Racetrack Rd, Washington. (RH)

Thursday, September 20

Mat Kearney’s 2014 single “Heartbeat” is an infectious dance-pop tune that’s likely to have the crowds at Stage AE grooving in seconds. Originally from Eugene, Oregon, the Nashville-based musician has had music appear on television shows, including “30 Rock,” “Friday Night Lights,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” His latest album is this year’s Crazytalk. Atlas Genius, a great indietronica group from Australia, opens. Doors open 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (HM, CM)

Friday, September 21

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Little River Band  formed in ’75 with members from several musical groups. Their goal was to craft catchy songs with wide appeal that gained radio airplay. They achieved that with songs heavy on vocal harmonies that had quality guitar play and occasional funky bass lines, like “Happy Anniversary,” “Lonesome Loser,” and their biggest—No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart— “Reminiscing.” There are no founding members left in the band, but the music goes on. Opening is Silent Partner and Junction PA. 8 p.m. Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. (RH)

Cello Fury is a local, cello-rock ensemble. (Simon Cummings of Cello Fury recently played with the Clarks at an outdoor show at Stage AE.) The ensemble will celebrate the release of its third album, X, at the Hard Rock Cafe. 9 p.m. 230 W. Station Square Dr., Station Square. (CM)

On the Radar

Wednesday, October 10
Elton John (PPG Paints Arena)

Thursday, October 18
Metallica (PPG Paints Arena)
Lindsey Buckingham (Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall)

Monday, October 22
Hippo Campus (Stage AE)

Wednesday, October 24
Carl Palmer (Jergel’s)
Little Steven (Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall)

Friday, October 26
Violent Femmes (Mr. Smalls)

Monday, October 29
Machine Head (Stage AE)

Tuesday, October 30
Roger McGuinn & Chris Hillman (Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall)
Government Mule (Stage AE)

Wednesday, October 31
Chris Robinson Brotherhood (Mr. Smalls)

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