What is this, June? February is supposed to be a slow month for shows, but there are top-notch concerts all month long, from country to rock, hip-hop to jazz, and a lot of post-punk. Be sure to read the Deep Cuts for ten more concerts that we couldn’t fit in the top ten, and remember to come back to NEXT next week for a piece devoted entirely to local February album release shows.
Friday, February 5. 8 p.m.
Stage AE – 400 N Shore Dr.
Kid Cudi’s last album, Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, was something of a head-scratcher. It wasn’t as bad as, say, Lil Wayne’s attempt at rock (at least Andre 3000 liked this one), but between all the acoustic guitar and bizarre (if hilarious) sketches of Beavis and Butt-Head tripping on mushrooms, you can see why Pitchfork started their review of the album by asking, “Is Kid Cudi serious?” Still, it’s rare when a top tier rapper comes to down, so we’re willing to overlook this misstep in hopes of a killer live show.
Sound Scene Express Best of 2015 Concert, feat. Nevada Color, The Commonheart and more.
Saturday, February 6. 9 p.m.
James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy – 422 Foreland St.
Pittsburgh doesn’t have nearly as many music blogs as it deserves. Pittpunk has been on hiatus, Hughshows is scaling back in favor of a TV show, and the guy that did Pittsburgh Music Report has some other gig now. Fortunately, Sound Scene Express is picking up the slack–and then some. From concert photos, to album reviews, interviews and more, Randy and crew has Pittsburgh’s indie rock scene on lock. This year, their annual “Best of” awards is making the leap to IRL, with live performances from Nevada Color, The Commonheart, Ballon Ride Fantasy and Chase the Monkey, hosted by Danny Rectenwald, of Bastard Bearded Irishmen.
Tuesday, February 9. 7 p.m.
Cattivo – 146 44th St.
If you’re bummed that the Explosions in the Sky tour is skipping Pittsburgh, this Caspian gig is just what you need. That’s not to say that all post-rock bands sound the same, but those signature guitar swells work best in smaller venues, like Cattivo, where you can be completely enveloped by the sonic assault. The Massachusetts sextet is touring in support of their latest album, 2015’s Dust and Disquiet. Opening is O’brother, who you might remember as openers from when Minus the Bear played Club Cafe in late 2014. Here’s a taste of what to expect from Caspian:
Protomartyr, w/ Priests, The Gotobeds
Thursday, February 11. 9:30 p.m.
Brillobox – 4104 Penn Ave.
$10 d.o.s. (No presale)
If your eardrums aren’t already blown out from Caspian and O’brother, they will be after this one. Three of the best punk and post-punk bands in the country join together at Brillobox for an early “show of the year” candidate. Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds will set the tone by blasting through 9 or 10 songs in about 30 minutes, at which point you’ll say, oh, that’s why that major label signed them. Then, from DC, it’s Priests, only 2 EPs into their career and attracting all types of hype, thanks to frontwoman Katie Alice Greer’s snarl and stage presence. Finally, the new kings of Detroit punk, Protomartyr, with a spoken-word delivery and wit as sharp and cutting as the guitar work. There’s no presale, so get there early to snag a ticket. Doors are at 9.
Stretch & Bobbito
Saturday, February 13. 9 p.m.
Round Corner Cantina – 3720 Butler St.
Source Magazine called The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show the best hip-hop radio show of all time. Airing on 89.9 WKCR, out of Columbia University, Stretch & Bobbito was where many of the best MCs of a generation first gained attention, from Nas, to Big Pun, to Jay-Z and more. The pair are touring the country in support of a new documentary, Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, directed by “Bobbito” Garcia. Catch the movie at Row House Cinema at 7 p.m., followed by a post-screening Q+A. Then, make your way over to Round Corner Cantina for the after-party, where the duo will join local DJs on the ones and twos.