Critics’ Picks, Aug. 25-31 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Aug. 25-31

Performances by Korn and Rob Zombie, Tarana, Sheila E. and a visit from the Sonic Unrest Tour

[NU METAL] + THU., AUG. 25

The summer of nu metal continues at First Niagara Pavilion with Korn and Rob Zombie. Show up on time for opener In This Moment’s witchy, aggro metal. If your only familiarity with Korn is “Freak on a Leash,” don’t forget that Jonathan Davis and Co. have put out nearly a dozen albums since Follow the Leader, one of which features a track in collaboration with Skrillex. If you’re curious what Rob Zombie has been up to, he put out a record this summer called The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, so business as usual. Meg Fair 7 p.m. 65 Pennsylvania 18, Burgettstown. All ages. $25-69.50. 724-947-7400 or

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Aug. 25-31
Photo courtesy of Nathan West


Does the thought of genre-bending electronic tunes get you hyped? Do you dream of expertly connected digital and analog electronics that work in tandem to create sounds you’ve never experienced? If you answered yes to the above Qs, heads up! Experimental act Tarana is performing a special gig at City of Asylum. Its mixture of mediums, genres and gear makes for a fascinating and unreplicatable sound. The duo is comprised of Rick Parker, trombonist and synth wizard, and Ravish Momin, an innovative drummer and composer with an ear for blending percussion with electronic gear. Tarana’s music flows with an artful connection despite mixing everything from ambient, flowing loops to catchy Bollywood melodies and beats. Highly recommended viewing. MF 6 p.m. 324 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free. All ages. 412-323-0278 or 

[FUNK] + SAT., AUG. 27

Few performers can boast the energy, charisma and talent of percussionist, pop queen and all-around powerhouse Sheila E. Her vocal prowess shimmers and shines on the hit “The Glamorous Life,” and she’s lent her skills to artists like Beyoncé, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan and, most famously, Prince, to whom her current show is dedicated. Much of the sheer genius of the Purple Rain era is thanks to Sheila E.’s visionary band-leading and composition. Tonight, she fills the Byham Theater with electrifying funk: Your seat may not get much use, as any sane and joy-loving human will be unable to resist dancing. MF 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $40.75-125.75. All ages. 412-456-6666 or 


It’s hard to imagine a more fitting name than the Sonic Unrest Tour. Between the expert djent, polyrhythms that would give music-theory students nightmares and loud-arse riffage, attendees without earplugs will leave the gig a puddle of math-rock destruction. Openers Toothgrinder blend the low end with cleaner vocals and slower pace, whereas SikTh brings a more nu-metal-meets-core sound. CHON offers twinkly, calculus-level prog-rock riffage to the tour, focusing less energy on being heavy and more on writing lightning-fast tapping parts and inhuman guitar licks. Headlining the tour is Periphery, which found a way to blend the geeky math and groove into something slightly more accessible to the masses. Is prog/math/djent metal nerdy as hell? Yeah, but it rips, so who cares! MF 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $20-22. All ages. 412-821-4447 or