Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in January

This month's lineup includes St. Vincent, Jason Isbell and the Mendelssohn Choir Performs Bob Dylan.

Jan. 9/ If you are feeling slackened by post-holiday ennui, enliven yourself with a performance from St. Vincent. The acclaimed multi-instrumentalist draws on new wave, art rock and electropop for a sound that shimmers and pulses with frenetic energy and taut emotion, the perfect sonic remedy for those January doldrums. (Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive, North Shore; 412/229-5483, promowestlive.com)

Jan. 11-13/ Microtones live in the spaces between and outside the sounds we are used to in most western music. Beyond: Microtonal Music Festival and Symposium aims to coax those sounds out, contextualize them and celebrate them with a long weekend of symposia and concerts. To experience this growing soundscape for yourself, check out one, or all, of the three days of the festival, co-hosted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Music on the Edge series and The Andy Warhol Museum’s Sound Series. (various locations, music.pitt.edu, warhol.org)

Jan. 25-28/ The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh joins composer Steve Hackman for the premiere of his new work, “The Times They Are A-Changin’: The Words and Music of Bob Dylan.” “The melodies are so bare-bones in nature, it affords me quite a bit of flexibility and interpretative freedom,” Hackman says. “Some of the movements are more or less an arrangement of Dylan’s work — maybe half the time. But in the other movements, I almost treated his lyrics as Schubert would’ve treated Goethe’s lyrics. To sort of set a text. … Many of the songs are transformed in that way. It’s been absolutely exhilarating.” Each of the four shows will feature Hackman’s signature — and oft-divisive — mashups of classical and pop music, including selections from Leonard Cohen, the Beatles and Radiohead. (Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale; 412/821-4447, mrsmalls.com)

photo by michael wilson

Jan. 29/ Jason Isbell’s career grew out of classic Americana beginnings: he was born to and raised by a community of musicians in rural Alabama, developed his talents among session musicians and bar bands, and emerged in the Southern Rock scene as a revered songwriter and lyricist. Join Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit for a concert that is political and personal as well as a tribute to the singer’s Alabama roots. (Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown; 412/392-4900, pittsburghsymphony.org)

In Concert.

Sarah Khatami — Black Forge Coffee House, blackforgecoffee.com Jan. 4
FLAW — The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Jan. 5
Pittsburgh Plays Petty — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Jan. 6

Ferdinand the Bull (pictured left)— Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Jan. 6
Ugly Blondes — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Jan. 6
Tyler Hilton & Kate Voegele — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Jan. 11
The New Year Begins: The Firebird! — Heinz Hall, pittsburghsymphony.org Jan. 12-14
Tribal Seeds: Roots Party — Rex Theater, rextheater.net Jan. 12

Keller Williams — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Jan. 13
The Last Revel — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Jan. 16
Tower of Power — Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, jergels.com Jan. 18


Dan Bern (left)— Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Jan. 18
Richard Shindell (right)— Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Jan. 19
Molly Tuttle Band — Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, calliopehouse.org Jan. 20
Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto— Heinz Hall, pittsburghsymphony.org Jan. 26-28
Cash Unchained: The Ultimate Johnny Cash Tribute — The Palace Theatre, thepalacetheatre.org Jan. 27
Greensky Bluegrass — Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, librarymusichall.com Jan. 31

Categories: Things To Do