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Five Essential April Events in Pittsburgh

Bucco baseball, breathtaking ballads, boisterous bards and other April activities.

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Since it is officially baseball season, let me use this introduction as an opportunity to weigh in on the great Pirates Attendance Debate of 2018.

For those who do not follow the gnashing and wailing of the Pirates’ fanbase: After an off-season defined primarily by the trades of Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, many fans have concluded that the Pittsburgh Baseball Club front office is not willing to invest in the team and thus should not be supported in the form of attendance this season.

Listen: Follow your heart. Do what you want to do. If you feel betrayed and can’t bear the thought of gazing upon a Cutch-less field, don’t let me stop you.

But if you want a convenient out from this dilemma, here’s an easy one: Buy on the secondary market. If a ticket is on StubHub or similar sites, it’s already been purchased; the Swashbuckling Powers already have profited. You will only be putting money in the pocket of another fan, and you’ll still get to enjoy the national pastime. And they’re often cheap; as of this writing, I can find tickets for $6.

Speaking of things to enjoy in the near future: Here are our picks for the best stuff going on in April, including one choice Bucco game. (And while you’re making plans for this month, consider a visit to the 2018 Pittsburgh Magazine Ultimate House; we’re hosting tours to benefit The Free Care Fund at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC from April 13-22.)


Bill Murray and Jan Vogler in Concert
Heinz Hall,
April 7
I report this one with nothing but confused bewilderment: So I guess Bill Murray put out an album last year? Not in the traditional sense of an actor putting out an album (and not as Nick the Lounge Singer), but rather a collection of recordings with acclaimed cellist Jan Vogler. The album is mostly sparse and recognizable classical movements accompanied by readings of literature by Murray. (He does sing a bit, too, quite earnestly.) It’s odd, it’s striking and they’re doing it live at Heinz Hall this Saturday night.


PGH Vintage Mixer Home Show
Teamsters Local Union 249, April 7
Our friend and contributor Rick Sebak will be live at this collection of vintage items, which seems like a recipe for an informative afternoon: Purchase a piece of old-school Pittsburgh ephemera, take it over to Sebak for a story about it. It’s like a Choose Your Own WQED Special. A laundry list of vendors will bring vintage housewares, clothing and more to the Lawrenceville hall; drinks and food, too. Make your house more interesting!


Julien Baker
Carnegie Lecture Hall, April 20
I can’t stop listening to Julien Baker’s 2017 album, “Turn Out the Lights.” The sophomore effort from the 22-year-old singer/songwriter is a collection of compelling, heartbreaking ballads elevated to the sublime by Baker’s raw, haunting vocals. She’s a master of emotion, tapping into feelings that don’t have names. I have a ticket in hand for her upcoming show at the intimate Lecture Hall — part of the Warhol’s Sound Series — and am fully planning on leaving with a tear-stained shirt.


Knights of the Arcade
Arcade Comedy Theater,
April 28
We’ve covered the Knights in the past; they were a Best of the ’Burgh pick in 2015, as a matter of fact. But I saw the group for the first time in a while last weekend, and I was impressed — and doubled over with laughter — anew. (Full disclosure: I am a very minor recurring character in the show’s canon, but I haven’t shown up in a good long while.) It’s very difficult for a high-concept comedy show (in this case, a live performance of an ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign) to remain perennially funny, yet the Knights always seem to get better. (And always sell out.) This month’s quest is set for April 28.


Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals
PNC Park,
April 28
Now, back to the Bucs: For all of our grumbling about the lack of a competitive effort from the front office, the team opened the season with an impressive, improbable 4-0 run. The early success has driven many of us to consider a trip to the ballpark — only to observe the intense winds and occasional snow and retreat. Give it a few weeks, though, and it’ll warm up. Just in time for a weekend series with the division-rival Cardinals, which also happens to be a Fireworks night. Ring in (real) spring with baseball and fireworks. No matter who’s on the field, you can’t help but enjoy it.


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