Critics' Picks: July 21-27 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: July 21-27

Performances by Daughter and Jeff Rosenstock, plus Jam on Walnut, Steel City Fest and a triple-threat of Heart, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick


When I was little, my mother and I used kitchen utensils as microphones to sing along with the likes of Heart, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick as we made food together. Now you have a chance to see and hear all that impeccable classic rock ’n’ roll goodness in the flesh at First Niagara Pavilion; no kitchen utensils required. You’re sure to hear hits like Heart’s “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda,” as well as Jett’s ubiquitous “Bad Reputation.” Don’t forget Cheap Trick’s family-reunion singalong anthem “Surrender” or “I Want You To Want Me.” Meg Fair 6:30 p.m. PA Route 18, Burgettstown. All ages. $18-230. 724- 947-7400 or


Steel City Fest is upon us. Cattivo will be home to the heavy-hitting lineup, featuring seven bands who will deliver the shred, the stomp and the smash. Headliners include metalcore act Full Blown Chaos, as well as one-time reunion of the beat-down home-towners in End of Humanity. Two heavy bands, Inconsolable Wretch and Acolyte, will be playing their first show. Steel Nation, No Reason to Live, Ante Up, Last Breath of Man and xRepresentx will also be holding it down, so prep your body for hella breakdowns and hometown pride. MF 3 p.m. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $13-15. 412-687-2157 or

click to enlarge Critics' Picks: July 21-27
Photo courtesy of Sonny Malhotra


MTVu Woodie-award-winning college-rock station WPTS cannot and will not stop booking killer gigs. This time the station presents Daughter and Julien Baker at Mr. Smalls. You already know the youthful wonder of Baker’s somber, haunting music, so it’s probably time to dig into Daughter’s discography. Its music is a blend of indie, folk and the cosmos, pulling at the heart strings and filling the soul with wanderlust; Daughter’s song “Youth” was used in a Tour de France promo. Enough said. MF 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $23. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

click to enlarge Critics' Picks: July 21-27
Jeff Rosenstock

[ROCK] + TUE., JULY 26

Jeff Rosenstock is the punk-rock dad of your dreams. He looks so normal, so inviting. He’s not actually a dad, for the record, but he is a master of creating brilliantly arranged punk music with relatable lyrics about being old but still doin’ the rock thing. He just put out “Festival Song,” an outrageously dreamy pop-banger. Touring with Rosenstock is The Sidekicks. I once drunkenly tweeted that The Sidekicks were THE rock band; I stand by it. Joining the lineup are delightful BBQ-rock locals The Otis Wolves. You’d be a fool to miss this evening of fun at Cattivo. MF 7 p.m. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. All ages. $12-14. 412-687-2157 or


Another Jam on Walnut is on tap. It’s part of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s concert fundraising series. This Shadyside celebration will feature Spinning Jenny and Chris Higbee. Higbee is a country violinist with charm, and Spinning Jenny is a trio of rock musicians making catchy, high-energy and heartwarming rock. The gathering will also feature free yoga in the street, booze trucks and plenty of opportunities to roam around Walnut Street’s restaurants and shops. MF 7:30 p.m. Walnut Street, Shadyside. $5 for a wristband. 412-586-4441 or

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

By Mars Johnson