Critics’ Picks, July 28-Aug. 3 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, July 28-Aug. 3 

Performances by Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, Esmé Patterson, See Through Dresses, Young Thug, Slipknot and Marilyn Manson

click to enlarge Femi Kuti - PHOTO COURTESY OF REMI ADETIBA
  • Photo courtesy of Remi Adetiba
  • Femi Kuti


Femi Kuti and the Positive Force will fill the Rex Theater with funk-drenched Afrobeat, intended to get you grooving. Kuti is a multi-instrumentalist (and son of the legendary Fela Kuti) with major chops on the saxophone, trumpet and keyboard. Kuti and the Positive Force create music that is bursting with life and energy. Opening the show is DJ Pandemic Pete, who marries traditional folk music from around the globe to innovative dance music, creating a cultural stew you can shake your booty to. Meg Fair 6 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $23-25. All ages. 412-381-6811 or


click to enlarge Esmé Patterson
  • Esmé Patterson
Esmé Patterson’s music explores human themes through her bright vocals and intimate lyrics. She understands the charm of country music, unlike other indie artists in the game, and infuses it with a myriad of other genres. From the twang of “Wantin Ain’t Gettin” to the rockabilly energy of “Feel Right” and the grimier underbelly of “The Waves,” Patterson’s music feels personal and sounds infectious. Cowboy Relics and The Awful Truth open tonight’s gig at Club Café. MF 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $12-14. 412-431-4950 or


First Niagara Pavilion is about to get delightfully bizarre as Slipknot and Marilyn Manson join forces to fill the amphitheater with a heavy-metal freak show. Prepare to be dazzled by the production that Slipknot has developed over its career, including the famous full masks, pyrotechnics and more. Marilyn Manson joins Slipknot in the ranks of legendary performance-art-meets-metal acts, delivering a spooky sound and attitude unmatched by most current metal artists. Former Warped Tour act Of Mice & Men will represent the current guard of metalcore. MF 6:30 p.m. Pennsylvania Route 18, Burgettstown. All ages. $22.50-325. 724- 947-7400 or


Where else could the #PittsburghSummerJam be held other than the biggest party street in Pittsburgh? The Southside Event Center, just off East Carson, hosts Young Thug and PnB Rock, as well as locals Hardo and EFB and more. Young Thug’s infectious brand of hip hop is sure to keep the party going late into the night, especially with the bottle-service packages included in the high-end ticket options. Be sure to roll up on time so you can catch local trap hero/Taylor Gang vet Hardo, as he spits some raw bars and samples local news audio. MF 5 p.m. 415 Bingham St., South Side. All ages. $30-1,500. 800-350-8850 or (search #PittsburghSummerJam)


Tonight See Through Dresses stops at the Mr. Roboto Project. Tiny Engines is putting out the band’s latest effort, End of Days, an EP that oozes fuzzy angst through pop melodies, emulating the New Wavey sound that has earned renewed interest from Millennials™. Pittsburgh’s Cotopaxi will be there too, so you can cry into your Spak sandwiches to tunes from its heartwrenching full-length Having All the Fun. And if you’ve been sleeping on opener Blød Maud, it’s time to wake the heck up and open your ears to that band’s bedroom-bred post-punk. MF 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5. All ages.


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