Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in May

This month's lineup includes Alvvays, André Costello and the Cool Minors, Jimmy Eat World, LeAnn Rimes and Michael McDonald.


May 1/ By the beginning of May, we are wholly ensconced in spring. Thoughts turn to the sudden appearance of vivid blooms, the promise of spritzers on a patio and love that feels young at any age. For the perfect gauzy soundtrack to the sunnier days, look no further than Canadian indie rockers Alvvays. Theirs is luminous dream pop, full of the ebullience and anxiety of youth set against boppy synths and progressive guitar — wry, wistful and danceable all in one. 
(Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale; 412/821-4447, mrsmalls.com

photo by Kathryn Stabile


May 18/ If you’re feeling called to check-in with some of Pittsburgh’s homegrown talent, why not join André Costello and the Cool Minors for the release of their newest album, “Resident Frequencies.” Costello and his trio of familiar Pittsburgh faces (James Hart, Matthew Fiorillo and Nicholas Charters) have an evocative sound that is sometimes folksy, sometimes poppy, always rocking. Added bonus: a chance to check out The Stage at Karma, the new local, music-focused venue from Kevin Saftner, whose beloved James Street Gastropub closed its doors in the fall. (The Stage at Karma, 1713 E. Carson St., South Side; 844/655-2762, thestageatkarma.com

May 5/ Now in its fifth year, the Pittonkatonk May Day Brass BBQ Potluck has eschewed the familiar trappings of an outdoor music festival. Organized by community activists and volunteers, the family-friendly fête has no cover charge but encourages donations and potluck contributions. In place of a stage, there’s a pavilion and sloping lawn where the performers — ranging from community brass bands to celebrated international musicians — and the audience mingle, dance and eat. Such is the charm of the day-long party, which serves not only as an energetic showcase of brass and world music talent but also as an opportunity to establish and deepen a sense of community. (Vietnam Veterans Pavilion, Schenley Park, Squirrel Hill; pittonkatonk.org)

An Evening with Bruce Cockburn — Carnegie Lecture Hall, calliopehouse.org May 2
Holy Hum — The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com May 3 
Cyrus Chestnut’s African Reflections — August Wilson Center, trustarts.org May 5 


Jimmy Eat World — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com May 6
LeAnn Rimes — Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, librarymusichall.com May 6
Michael McDonald — Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, librarymusichall.com May 8 


Patrick Sweany — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com May 9 
Sound Series: Margaret Glaspy — The Warhol Theater, warhol.org May 11 
Love, Lust & Rock n’ Roll — Heinz Hall, pittsburghsymphony.org May 11-13 
Sunflower Bean — The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com May 13 
Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com May 16 
Yanni — Benedum Center, trustarts.org May 16 
Sound Series: Fleet Foxes with Amen Dunes — Benedum Center, warhol.org May 17
Augustin Hadelich Returns — Heinz Hall, pittsburghsymphony.org May 18-20 
Ruthie Foster — Carnegie Lecture Hall, calliopehouse.org May 19 
Matthew Logan Vasquez — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com May 21 

PHOTO by maclay heriot

Portugal. The Man — Stage AE, promowestlive.com May 22 
Andrew W.K. — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com May 22 
New Found Glory — Stage AE, promowestlive.com May 25 
SUUNS — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com May 26
Dirty Projectors — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com May 29 
Lou Stellute & Friends — City of Asylum, alphabetcity.org May 30 
The Decemberists — Benedum Center, trustarts.org May 31 

Categories: Things To Do