October 19, Rex Theater
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Pharcyde’s seminal hip-hop album, Bizarre Ride II Tha Far Side, yet the original group is split into two camps and tour under opposing banners. Fortunately, we get what most consider to be the better half: Mike Ross, who signed Pharcyde to Delicious Vinyl in 1992, calls Slimkid3 and Fatlip “the Lennon and McCartney of The Pharcyde.” Formed in South Central L.A., the group put out oddball rhythms and rhymes at a time when gangsta rap was de rigeur. The visionary group was one of the first to work with J Dilla, and to this day, Bizarre Ride … remains a timeless, visionary work of hip-hop.
October 27, Mr. Smalls
Named after a Melvins song, Boris is a band not easily labeled: Drone metal, noise rock, experimental psych, whatever you call it — they are without peer. Singularly heavy, the trio from Tokyo is on tour to celebrate their 25th anniversary as well as their new album, Dear, which opens with the track “Domination of Waiting Noise,” a slow-moving glacier of a song that gives way to amp-rattling. Might we recommend starting with 1995 album, Pink, which deals in face-melting riffs as much as crushing bass.
November 15, Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland
Longtime friend to the Andy Warhol Museum, Galaxie 500 co-founder and the “Dean” in “Dean & Britta,” Dean Wareham brings the perpetually underrated Luna back to the same venue two years after a sold-out show there. Though they broke up in 2005, Luna reunited in 2015 and is about to release a new instrumental EP as well as an album of covers, A Sentimental Education, featuring tracks from The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and more. Opening is singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger, formerly of Fiery Furnaces. Expect to hear songs off her 2016 album, New View, including some she debuted in Pittsburgh in 2015 at the premiere of Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films.
November 29, PPG Paints Arena
Hopefully the third time is a charm for Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable tour. Originally scheduled for February of last year, Jackson postponed her tour once, in late 2015, after it was announced she needed surgery. Rescheduled for July, the tour was postponed again due to the singer’s pregnancy. Pittsburgh is stop 45 on a 56-date tour for Jackson that supports her 2015 album, Unbreakable, which placed in countless “best of the year” lists from critics coast to coast.
Encore: 16 more of the best concerts and festivals coming to Pittsburgh this fall:
September 10: Four Chord Music Festival hits Xtaza in the Strip for its fourth year of gratuitous pop-punk, featuring headliners The Starting Line, Punchline, State Champs, Eternal Boy and more.
September 15: Pittsburgh bass artist Buku will headline the Rex. The artist has released tracks on Fool’s Gold, Nest HQ, and Diplo’s Hype Machine labels, and his track, “Front To Back,” recently hit #1 on Hype Machine.
September 16: WYEP presents North Carolina indie pop duo Sylvan Esso at Stage AE.
September 16: If you can somehow finagle tickets, Farm Aid comes to Burgettstown with a stellar lineup including Willie Nelson, Neil Young, the Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow and many more.
September 22: PPG Paints Arena is stop #3 on Katy Perry‘s 84-date, three continent spanning “Witness: the Tour.”
September 25: Punk legends and hasteners of the decline of western civilization, X, visit South Side’s Rex Theater on their 40th Anniversary Tour.
September 26: Probably the hottest pop star on the planet right now, Ed Sheeran performs at PPG Paints Arena. Take your nieces and nephews.
September 30: From Western Sahara, Sublime Frequencies alumni Group Doueh perform at Brillobox.
October 4: 1990s alt-rock survivors The Pixies headline Stage AE outdoors in support of their sixth studio album, Head Carrier.
October 6: It’s always a party when gypsy punks Gogol Bordello come to town. This time they play Mr. Smalls on the heels of a new album, Seekers and Finders. Lucky Chops open.
October 10: Teen phenom and Chainsmokers collaborator, Halsey performs at PPG Paints Arena with with special guests Charli XCX and PartyNextDoor. Take your nieces and nephews.
October 22: Ben Folds‘ Paper Airplane Request Tour flies into the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, with support from Tall Heights.
October 29: Stacks on stacks on stacks of amps: J. Mascis and Dinosaur Jr. play Mr. Smalls with support from Easy Action
October 31: Two of the better, noisier indie rock bands in recent memory, Japandroids and Cloud Nothings make the leap to Stage AE on Halloween.
November 7: Hard to believe that Macklemore‘s new album, Gemini, will be his first new one in a dozen years. His tour includes this stop at Stage AE.
November 20: Lady Gaga. PPG Paints Arena. Sold Out. Tickets start at $69 on resell sites.