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Critics' Picks: July 3 - 9 

Local shows by Swans, Fall Out Boy with Paramore, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Braid

[NOISE ROCK] + THU., JULY 3

Swans' appearance in Pittsburgh last summer was a bit polarizing — the band spent more than two hours constructing a punishing mountain of sound, as if subjecting the audience to an endurance test and daring it to fail. But any waves of fatigue were worth it, because the best moments were transcendent. That time around, they were playing the songs which would become this year's acclaimed release, To Be Kind: See them with Xiu Xiu, Thursday at the Rex Theater, for what will likely be another glimpse of things to come. Margaret Welsh 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $20-25. All ages. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheater.com

[POP-PUNK] + THU., JULY 3

After years of talking about it, the Monumentour has finally happened. Warped Tour alums and pop-punk heavweights Fall Out Boy and Paramore are co-headlining one of the biggest tours of the summer for the 20-to-30 crowd. After neither band released an album for years, Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll and Paramore's self-titled record came out in 2013 and put both acts back in the limelight (and in heavy rotation on rock radio). The bands play First Niagara Pavilion tonight with New Politics. Zach Brendza 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. $26-66. All ages. 724-947-7400

click to enlarge Yonder Mountain String Band plays Stage AE North Shore
  • Photo courtesy of Jay Blakesberg

[BLUEGRASS] WED., JULY 9

The music of Yonder Mountain String Band lends itself to the outdoors. The band is best described as a bluegrass jam band, with banjos, mandolins and guitars plucked and strummed almost endlessly. It's hard to believe that they came up through the bar and club scene; after 10 albums, the band, which formed in Boulder, Colo., in 1998, has cemented itself as a favorite of the festival circuit, playing Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and Telluride Bluegrass Festival, among others. The band plays Stage AE tonight with Railroad Earth. ZB 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $25-30. All ages. 412-229-5438 or www.stageae.com

click to enlarge Braid emo revival with Into It. Over It., Pity Sex and Signals Midwest at Alter Bar Strip district

[EMO] + WED., JULY 9

There is an ongoing conversation about a new "emo revival"; up-and-coming bands seem to be taking after the sound created by standard-bearers like American Football, Mineral and Braid. The last, an Illinois band of emo-forefathers, has stopped and started since its creation in the early '90s, going through a cycle of disbanding and reuniting. But now after signing to Boston indie label Topshelf Records, the emo outfit is set to release its new album, No Coast, in July. Braid plays Altar Bar tonight with some more recent acts: Into It. Over It., Pity Sex and Signals Midwest. ZB 7:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $14-16. All ages. 412-206-9719 or www.thealtarbar.com

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