5 Can't-Miss November Concerts in Pittsburgh

This month features Conrad Tao, Bozz Scaggs, Jonathan Richman and more.

Heinz Hall, Oct. 30-Nov. 1
/ Join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for Tao, Gershwin and Strauss as it interprets pianist Conrad Tao’s “Pangu,” in addition to the works of “America’s quintessential performer-composer,” George Gershwin. Richard Strauss’ “Symphonia Domestica” rounds out the performance.
[600 Penn Ave., downtown; 412/392-4900, pittsburghsymphony.org]

Thunderbird Café, Nov. 20/ Here’s what looks to be a fine local rock ’n’ roll show for yinz: Local bands Victory at the Crossroads, Semi-Supervillains, LoFi Delphi and Ghost Guts are supplying the freakiness! [4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/682-0177, thunderbirdcafe.net]

Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, Nov. 15/Fans of “JoJo” should shuffle on down to Homestead to see Boz Scaggs in support of his latest effort, “A Fool to Care,” which features an Al Green cover and a duet with the amazing Lucinda Williams. [510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall; 412/462-3444, librarymusichall.com]  

Third Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, Nov. 14/ Yearning for a classical, rock and world-music “collision”? Head to Shadyside for 8-Cello Sound Fusion. Members of Cello Fury, along with soprano Amelia D’Arcy, cellists from Resonance Works and special guests, will perform a translation of Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras No. 1 & 5. [5701 Fifth Ave.; resonanceworks.org]

The Andy Warhol Museum, Nov. 4/ “Proto-punk” Jonathan Richman has been peeling off fantastic songs of love and romance (and temperamental cubists) going back to his days as leader of the Modern Lovers. This performance will feature Richman as a duo with Tommy Larkins on drums.
[117 Sandusky St., North Shore; 412/237-8300, warhol.org]


This, the first collection of songs by local rockers Dream Phone, is a nice assortment of reverb-tinged call-and-response numbers offset by robust keyboard-led pop nuggets. “Bloomfield Beach” shakes with an assured serenity of affected vocals and shimmery instrumentation casting the song in a celestial glow. “Mind Reader” tears through with a devil-may-care attitude of variegated aplomb, while “Would You Mind” rages like a Shangri-Las-meets-Sleater-Kinney number, with bits of Bratmobile and Huggy Bear thrown in for good measure. “Someone to Love” has a lo-fi anthemic vibe that should tear the house down while making Joan Jett runaway-proud in one fell swoop. The real gem, though, is “With You,” which takes the aforementioned influences and molds them into something that simply crushes. This is good stuff; some of the most addictive local noise I’ve heard this year. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this crew.   

​Brooke Annibale’s latest release, “The Simple Fear,” proves the Pittsburgh native didn’t leave Nashville without learning a few tricks of the alt-country trade. Annibale’s fourth full-length album possesses many Music City sensibilities and, as a whole, certainly should appeal to the arts-festival crowd: A number of songs such as “Remind Me,” “Find My Way” and “Go” provide a leisurely backdrop for circuitous conversation. But while these songs are all competently performed and more than ably sung, I can’t help but think a few curveballs delivered throughout the record — a slow-burner here, a high-energy stomper for the broken-hearted there — would set this apart from the typical YEP fare. While rather formulaic in both design and execution, “The Simple Fear” includes several notable production cues that will ensure a satisfactory experience for fans of the saccharine and sweet. Overall, there are plenty of soft sounds of lament and regret for mainstream airplay. 


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