Critics’ Picks, Sept. 17-23 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Sept. 17-23

Concerts by Twin Shadow, Echo & the Bunnymen, Mac Miller, Godflesh, and an all-bangers dance party

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Sept. 17-23
Photo courtesy of Milan Zrnic
Twin Shadow

[ROCK] + THU., SEPT. 17

You could accuse Twin Shadow of many things, but being “elitist” probably isn’t one of them. Nevertheless, George Lewis Jr. branded his first two records as such — even though 2012’s great Confess powered into a pastiche of the Top Gun soundtrack. To tone down the elitism of cruising around on a motorcycle and playing shirtless volleyball, Lewis significantly broadened the appeal on his major-label debut, Eclipse. He shied away from guitars and the singular machismo of his early work for a collection of fine, inoffensive pop. So as Lewis opens for Death Cab for Cutie tonight at Stage AE, come for the Confess cuts; stay for the Transatlanticism. Shawn Cooke 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $38.50-40. 412-229-5483 or


Perhaps best known by younger generations for its inclusion on the soundtrack of the 2001 cult film Donnie Darko, Echo & the Bunnymen might be the second-most famous rock band to come out of Liverpool, England (you can probably guess who the first is). Its romantic, Doors-y psychedelia was popular amongst goths in the ‘80s, and tonight the band plays at Mr. Small’s with special guest Brett Staggs. Andrew Woehrel 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $32-35. 412-821-4447 or

[DANCE] + FRI., SEPT. 18 

Lawrenceville’s Spirit has become the new go-to spot for dance parties. Tonight’s Slappers & Bangers Dance Party promises rap, R&B and pop — “anything that slaps and/or bangs” — provided by DJs Arie Cole and Norman Drip.  ”This shit is free!” boasts the event page, so don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of spending money. AW 9 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. 412-586-4441 or

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Sept. 17-23
Photo courtesy of Brick Stowell
Mac Miller

[HIP-HOP] + SUN., SEPT. 20

Squirrel Hill’s own hip-hop wunderkind, Mac Miller, returns to Pittsburgh tonight at Stage AE, with support from Choo Jackson and The Come Up. If you haven’t been paying attention, the Taylor Allderdice alum released his debut in 2011 and has since become a national hip-hop star with his own label and a $10 million distribution deal with Warner Bros. But he’s not too good for his roots; you can still occasionally find him getting a drink at Kelly’s with his friends, or strolling down Forbes Avenue on a summer night, just like any other tattooed 23-year-old. AW 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $29.50-35. All ages. 412-229-5483 or

[METAL] + WED., SEPT. 23

Before Justin Broadrick scales things back for a more melodic and wordy collaborative LP with Sun Kil Moon, he’s going to steamroll some clubs with a rebooted Godflesh. The British industrial lifers returned last year with the one-two punch of the Decline & Fall EP and A World Lit Only By Fire — the band’s first full-length in 13 years. Broadrick promised that the new music would be highly similar to the first two or three Godflesh records, and it delivered on that promise, packing a minimalist sludge of noise and aggression. The wildly prolific noise artist Prurient opens for Godflesh tonight at Altar Bar. SC 8:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $25-30. 412-263-2877 or

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