There’s nothing barren about the concert calendar in winter; just look closely for signs of life. From holiday spectaculars to rock & roll legends to some of the biggest names in hip-hop, there’s something for everyone coming to Pittsburgh in the next few months:
December 7, August Wilson Center
Wreck Loose’s Nathan Zoob has curated a lineup of hometown heavy hitters for WYEP’s 10th annual Holiday Hootenanny at the August Wilson Center for African-American Culture Downtown. Join local musicians Addi Twigg, Abby Gross, Josh Verbanets, Marc Reisman and a dozen others as they perform classic (and contemporary) holiday favorites, with proceeds to benefit WYEP’s public radio programming. Children under 12 get in for free. Donations will be accepted on-site for the Jubilee Soup Kitchen.
December 9, Black Forge Coffee House
Chris Brokaw played drums for NYC indie rock band Codeine before taking up guitar for the band Come, which was signed to Seattle’s Sub Pop label. And this winter, Black Forge Coffee in Allentown plays host to the release party for his Canaris LP. He last played Pittsburgh in April, opening his set at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern (RIP) with a cover of The Karl Hendricks Trio’s “The Night has No Eyes.” Brokaw self-released Canaris in 2008, and it’s being re-released on vinyl for the first time, by Pittsburgh-based Omentum Records.
December 13, Stage AE
North Philly rapper (and “Bad and Boujee” collaborator) Lil Uzi Vert comes to Stage AE just a few months after the release of his highly-anticipated debut studio album, Luv Is Rage 2, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. Opening is Playboi Carti, who collaborated with Uzi on “wokeuplikethis*,” along with Chicago MC G Herbo and Bay Area collective SOB x RBE.
December 20, Benedum Center
The Cultural Trust gets in on the holiday season with a one-night-only extravaganza of some of Pittsburgh’s most talented singers performing new and classic holiday hits. Kevin Garrett returns home from Brooklyn and joins a lineup that includes acclaimed singer and actress, Margot Bingham, The Commonheart’s Clinton Clegg, Billy Price and a half dozen others. The event is co-presented by the Pittsburgh Winery, which hosted the event in years past before it outgrew its Strip District home. Tickets are also available for a pre-show wine tasting. Donations will be accepted on-site for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
December 31, Mr. Smalls
There are more than a few concert options for New Year’s Eve in Pittsburgh, from Charlie Hunter at Club Cafe to Lotus at Stage AE to whatever’s happening at First Night (lineup announcement coming December 5), but the biggest draw might be rock and soul powerhouse The Commonheart at Mr. Smalls. Fronted by the barrel-chested, velvet-voiced soul singer Clinton Clegg, the Pittsburgh 10-piece just spent two weeks touring the East Coast with JJ Grey & Mofro (who you can catch at Mr. Smalls Feb. 3). Expect to hear some new tunes, as the band was recently in the studio working on their sophomore LP. Cisco Kid and Selecta open.