Critics’ Picks, July 14-20 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, July 14-20 

Performances by Abi Reimold, Chain & the Gang and Ja Rule, plus Warped Tour and a revamping of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s signature fundraising event

Few artists match the mystery and power of Philly’s Abi Reimold, appearing tonight at the Mr. Roboto Project. Reimold’s intimately dark songs and twinkly, layered delivery will crawl under your skin and swim around your brain for days. On tour with Reimold is Brooklyn-based indie pop artist Emily Yacina. Local support comes from BUST Magazine-backed twee heroes Rue and the mathy indie pop of Yes Yes A Thousand Times YesMeg Fair 8 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. All ages.

click to enlarge Chain & the Gang
  • Chain & the Gang
[ROCK] + FRI., JULY 15
Chain & the Gang is a living, moving, music-creating entity of irony. Watch as vocalist Ian Svenonious stays in character for yet another gig, one of hundreds in which he’ll declare his hatred for free will and speech, and showing off the weirdo-tude evident in his book The Psychic Soviet. Joining the freak fest at Spirit is unpredictable bad boys’ club Black Lips. Vocalist Cole Alexander tosses his cookies at every gig because of a medical condition, so if you weren’t convinced they’d do anything for rock, now ya know. Pittsburgh’s Nox Boys open the show. MF 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $15. 412-586-4441 or

[MISC.] + FRI., JULY 15
Punk Rock Summer Camp is back. This year’s Vans Warped Tour features throwbacks New Found Glory, Reel Big Fish and Yellowcard. Waka Flaka Flame is the resident rapper of note this year, and Warped staples like State Champs and a reunited Set Your Goals will help fill out the fest at First Niagara Pavilion. (And if you don’t check out Old Wounds, you’re a clown.) Bonus points to Warped for welcoming the sexual-assault awareness nonprofits It’s On Us and A Voice for the Innocent to join the tour for the summer. MF 11 a.m. 65 Pennsylvania 18, Burgettstown. All ages. $35-212. 724- 947-7400 or

click to enlarge Ja Rule
  • Ja Rule

[RAP] + SAT., JULY 16
Ja Rule is coming to town for Club Diesel’s 10th-anniversary weekend, so I’d start unearthing your digs from the early 2000s right now. The rap icon will be partying until 1:30 in the morning, sure to satisfy with classic hits like “Mesmerize” and “Always On Time.” But his two most recent albums are also rife with bangers, so if you’re a nostalgic fan who has ignored his recent bodies of work, get studying. MF 9 p.m. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. $20. 412-651-4713 or

This year, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s signature fundraising event has undergone big changes, switching from the three-day Blues Fest, at Hartwood Acres, to the day-long Feed More Festival at Stage AE. Headliners include catchy rock act Cold War Kids, folky indie trio The Lone Bellow and the extraordinary indie-rock artist Lucy Dacus, plus plenty of local acts like Clinton Clegg and the Commonheart, the Derek Woods Band and A-F Records’ Swiss Army. Enjoy the music while you explore the array of food trucks and an I Made It! Market, all for the cause of making sure folks in need are well-fed. MF 2 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $40-125. 412-229-5483 or


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