Critics' Picks, August 6-9 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, August 6-9


It was a long time coming, but Joe D’Agostino finally arrived at LOSE, the brilliantly bracing third album from Cymbals Eat Guitars. His best friend, Ben High, died just before the band released its first LP seven years ago, and undertones of that loss have been present before. But LOSE is Cymbals’ most lyrically and musically direct approach to emotionally driven indie rock yet. Songs like “XR” recall the hot-blooded nostalgia of basement shows with your best friend, while the quietly devastating “Chambers” forecasts the inevitability of future loss. The band performs tonight at The Mr. Roboto Project with See Through Dresses, Divorce and Cruces. Shawn Cooke 6:30 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-345-1059 or

[FOLK] + FRI., AUG. 7

Let’s hope that its title doesn’t hint at inclement weather, because the lineup for the Flood City Music Festival is too solid to get washed away. (Early forecasts suggest only a slight chance of rain all weekend.) For its seventh year since expanding to Flood City from what used to be known as Johnstown Folkfest, Ameriserv is dishing out an even more varied lineup, featuring Big Head Todd & the Monsters, G. Love & Special Sauce and Eric Lindell. But Pittsburgh artists also get their due on the bill, including Nameless in August, Mark Dignam, Wreck Loose and more. SC Gates open: 2:30 p.m. today; 11:30 a.m. Sat. Aug. 8; and 12:30 p.m. Sun., Aug. 9. 90 Johns St., Johnstown. $55 weekend pass. 814-539-1889 or

[HIP HOP] + SAT., AUG. 8

Forget about the VMA snub, the Twitter wars, the ghostwriting accusations and the diss tracks — hip-hop’s latest power couple put together one of the best tour lineups of all time (well, maybe not, but we have to stick with the VMA theme). Nicki Minaj leads off a stacked squad that features her beau, Meek Mill, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe and Def Loaf at First Niagara Pavilion. Nicki’s come a long way from her iconic arrival on the “Monster” verse that begged you to learn every word, and tonight’s show should be a triumphant victory lap for last year’s The Pinkprint. She’s rarely gone “Monster”-hard since, but settling for pop superstardom is a small concession. SC 7 p.m. 665 PA Route 18, Burgettstown. $25-115. 724-947-7400 or


Lisa Pegher has never wanted percussion to rest in the background. Growing up just outside of Pittsburgh, Pegher quickly ascended in the classical music world, studying under members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, before making her solo percussion debut with them in 2001. Since then, she’s taken up residence in New York City and drawn national acclaim. Pegher marks a rare appearance from a nationally touring artist in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Sunday Afternoon Music Series. SC 2 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-3151 or

Cupid's Undie Run in Pittsburgh, 2024
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Cupid's Undie Run in Pittsburgh, 2024

By Mars Johnson