Critics’ Picks, Aug. 11-17 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Aug. 11-17

Performances by Best Coast, Chris Farren, Drake and Future, and nearly 200 musicians flood Lawrenceville for RANT 2016

[FESTIVAL] + FRI., AUG. 12- SUN., AUG. 14
Lawrenceville will be alive with the sound of music this weekend. More t
click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Aug. 11-17
Photo courtesy of Pierce Marratto
han 30 neighborhood venues, some tried-and-true and others impromptu and unconventional, will pull together for the Rock All Night Tour (RANT) shindig. The event is entirely free and will kick off with a party on Friday and conclude with a picnic on Sunday afternoon (both in Arsenal Park). Among the nearly 200 local bands performing are: the funky Diego, at Hambone’s; the haunting Dinosoul, at Mister Grooming and Goods; catchy-song-wizardess Swampwalk, at Calligramme; punk veterans Submachine, at Blackberry Studios; hip-hop-based mashup masters LAZYBLACKMAN, at Spirit; and riot-grrrl stalwarts, The Lopez and Brazilian Wax, shaking the ground at Roundabout Brewery. Meg Fair 5 p.m. Fri.; noon-2 a.m. Sat. and Sun. Various locations, Lawrenceville. Free.

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Aug. 11-17
Photo courtesy of Janell Shirtcliff
Best Coast
Tonight, beach rocker Best Coast is bringing its summery haze to Mr. Smalls Theatre. This is the first time the band has played Pittsburgh since stopping at Consol Energy Center during its 2013 stint on the road with Green Day. Bethany Cosentino’s sweetly honest lyrics burrow into unforgettable pop melodies, and her simple but genius riffs stay with you for days. Warning: Will leave attendees longing to breathe in the salty ocean air. Opening the gig are The Stargazer Lillies, a psych-rock band that may evoke some strange feelings of nostalgia.  MF 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $22-25. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

[RAP] + WED., AUG. 17
Proceed with caution — this lineup is HOT. Drake, Future, Roy Woods and DVSN team up for the Summer Sixteen Tour at Consol Energy Center. Drake and Future’s What a Time to Be Alive was one of the most hyped mixtapes in recent history and for good reason: Drake’s sensitive soul pairs quite well with Future’s trap spirit. Both will be performing their own stuff, of course, but you’ll likely have the opportunity to see some of the tracks from WATTBA performed in person. These are artists who aren’t afraid to show their sensitive, vulnerable sides in their music, so prepare to be deep in your own feelings as you shake your booty with your friends. MF 8 .pm. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. $49.50-129.50. 412-642-1800 or

[PUNK POP] + WED., AUG. 17
Earnest pop-rocker Chris Farren, playing tonight at the Smiling Moose, is goofy as heck. He’s slated to release a new album, Can’t Die, this fall, and attending this show will give you a peek at what’s new. Tracks like his latest “Say You Want Me” signal guitar-pop greatness, and the personality present in his conversational lyrics makes you feel like he’s an old friend. Joining Farren is Philly’s Broken Beak. While that band is often referred to as a project of Brendan Lukens from Modern Baseball, Broken Beak is hardly a side note. The band’s warm, intimate sound feels like a secret-swapping session with your best pal, but with a burst of punk energy. Opening the gig is nightmarathons. MF 7 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-12. 412-431-4668 or

Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary
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Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary

By Mars Johnson