Critics’ Picks, Oct. 29-Nov. 4 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Oct. 29-Nov. 4

Concerts by Submachine, Big Freedia and Sufjan Stevens, plus TributeFest and a spooky dance night


Devil’s Night Club” is a spooky dance party happening at Cattivo tonight, on Halloween eve. Devil’s Night Club will feature the local electronic dance act Metacara as well as a supporting act from Brooklyn, Wolkoff. In the first hours of Halloween, DJ No Sleep will host the afterparty, until 2 a.m. Andrew Woehrel 9 p.m.146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $5. 412-687-2157 or

[ROCK] + SAT., OCT. 31

Halloween tribute shows have become a tradition, and this year’s TributeFest is no different. Featuring a star-studded lineup of Queen, The Velvet Underground, Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan and The Misfits, it’s simply unbelievable that so many famous rock acts would be playing together, tonight at the Smiling Moose. Especially since Freddie Mercury and Lou Reed are dead. Maybe they’re undead? AW 8 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $8. 412-431-4668 or

[PUNK] + SAT., OCT. 31

On Halloween 1990, Pittsburgh’s Submachine played its first show, in bass player Doug Fedinik’s basement, in Garfield. While contemporaries like Anti-Flag and Aus-Rotten focused on sociopolitical themes, Submachine was less political and more personal. The band’s hard-drinking, blue-collar reputation precedes the music, to a degree, but fans still remember Submachine as a preeminent example of Iron City Punk. Tonight, you can see these punk-rock oldheads — as well as The Sicks, Six Speed Kill and Silence — at The Shop, for the 25th anniversary of that first show in Doug’s basement. AW 7 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $7. 412-951-0622

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Oct. 29-Nov. 4
Big Freedia


If you haven’t heard of “bounce,” it’s a dizzying style of hip hop that is fast, repetitive and encourages rapid undulation of the buttocks. New Orleans’ Big Freedia is the genre’s preeminent purveyor. Freedia, whose larger-than-life persona and charisma have made her an icon of gay culture, is a proudly self-proclaimed “Sissy,” and is also called “the Queen Diva of Bounce.” She is performing tonight, upstairs at Spirit, with support from fellow New Orleans rapper Boyfriend and local Keeb$. AW 9 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $20 ($75 for VIP tickets). 412-586-4441 or

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Oct. 29-Nov. 4
Photo courtesy of Emmanuel Afolabi
Sufjan Stevens


You never know what you’re going to get with Sufjan Stevens. The Detroit-born singer-songwriter is responsible for musical offerings that run a hard-to-describe spectrum: 10 discs of Christmas songs; an electronic tribute to the Chinese Zodiac calendar; state-themed albums. His latest offering, Carrie & Lowell, is hailed as one of his most personal and bare works. The album, named for his mother (who died in 2012 and from whom he was relatively estranged) and stepfather, deviates somewhat from his baroque, multi-instrumental style. Stevens’ fans can expect his soft, ghost-like vocals and acoustic-guitar stylings, and colorful-yet-low-key storytelling about complicated relationships, death and faith. Listen to his other albums to get to know his range of styles; listen to this one to get to know him. Stevens plays Heinz Hall tonight with special guest Gallant. Lauren Daley-Maurer 8 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $32.25-50.25 (all ages). 412-392-4900 or

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