Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in December

This month's lineup includes Aimee Mann, The Mountain Goats and Highmark Holiday Pops.

photo courtesy of Aimee mann 


Dec. 17/ If you’re holiday shopping for a music lover this season, consider tickets for the highly anticipated concert by Oscar nominee Aimee Mann — who carved a niche for herself as a poetic and accomplished folk rock superstar — and Ted Leo, a stalwart of pop-punk. It’s a show that will please everyone from your hip nephew to your baby boomer mother. Of course, you’ll love it, too. (Carnegie Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; 800/745-3000, wyep.org)

photo courtesy of the mountain goats

Dec. 2/ John Darnielle is a natural-born storyteller. It’s this talent that buoys him not only as an emerging novelist, but also as the founder and frontman (and often solo performer) of The Mountain Goats. While the lo-fi indie outfit can swing sonically between instrumental tenuity and full-band full-throatedness, Darnielle’s rich and illustrative lyric landscapes add enough padding to maintain The Mountain Goats’ status as one of the most interesting and emotional bands out there. (Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale; 412/821-4447, mrsmalls.com)

Dec. 8-17/ The slow and inexorable warming of the earth may prevent Pittsburgh from having the pristine white Christmases of yore, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend a balmy December imbued with as much holiday spirit as possible. One of the best ways to do so is by checking out the evergreen favorite Highmark Holiday Pops with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. (Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown; 412/392-4900, pittsburghsymphony.org)

Haydn’s “Creation” — Heinz Hall, pittsburghsymphony.org Dec. 1 & 3
River City Brass: Christmas Brasstacular — The Palace Theatre, thepalacetheatre.org Dec. 2
Montana of 300 — Rex Theater, rextheater.net Dec. 3
PigPen Theatre Co. — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Dec. 4
Reverend Horton Heat — Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, jergels.com Dec. 5

QTY — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Dec. 6
John Petrucelli’s “Presence” — New Hazlett Theater, newhazletttheater.org Dec. 7

Kris Allen — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Dec. 8
Hackensaw Boys — Rex Theater, rextheater.net Dec. 9
Matt Pond PA — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Dec. 11

Straight No Chaser — Benedum Center, trustarts.org Dec. 12-13
Black Marble — Spirit, spiritpgh.com Dec. 13
NGHTMRE & Snails — Stage AE, promowestlive.com Dec. 14
Jon McLaughlin — Hard Rock Cafe, hardrock.com/pittsburgh Dec. 15
Milo: On a Horse with No Name — Brillobox, brilloboxpgh.com Dec. 16
The Tenors: Christmas Together Tour — The Palace Theatre, thepalacetheatre.org Dec. 18
Prawn & Slingshot Dakota — The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Dec. 19
Trans-Siberian Orchestra — PPG Paints Arena, ppgpaintsarena.com Dec. 22
Bill Deasy’s Annual Boxing Day Show — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Dec. 26
A Very Grateful Holiday — Rex Theater, rextheater.net Dec. 29
Vibro Kings — Hard Rock Cafe, hardrock.com/pittsburgh Dec. 30
An Evening with Charlie Hunter Trio — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Dec. 31

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