Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in October

This month's lineup includes GWAR, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Broken Social Scene.


Oct. 23/ If your singular goal of October is “costumes and/or costume-related activities,” GWAR is your can’t-miss concert of the month. The Richmond shock-rockers have built a complete science fiction mythology around their music, involving outlandish monsters, grotesque and graphic parody, and enough fake blood to last you the 11 months until next Halloween. (Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale; 412/821-4447, mrsmalls.com)

photo by ebru yildiz

Oct. 14/ Jessica Lea Mayfield was born into music. She began touring with her family’s bluegrass band at age 8 and recorded her first solo EP at 15. You can hear her growing up over the years, exploring the tides of her late teens and 20s with albums that stand on a strong base of bluegrass and dip their toes alternatingly into sentimental pop and forceful rock. Now, at 28, Mayfield seems to have settled into a sound completely and deliciously her own. (Club Café, 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side; 412/431-4950, clubcafelive.com

Oct. 1/ Imagine Broken Social Scene as a gathering of anywhere between three and 19 of your best and most musically gifted Canadian friends. The iconic pop collective is one of the most renowned contributors to the soundtrack of the aughts, pulling in some of Canada’s greatest indie talents. On their Pittsburgh stop, they’re joined by excellent Scottish outfit Frightened Rabbit. (Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., Downtown; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org)

Oct. 7/ Anyone can write a sad song; pin their heart to their sleeve and strum a minor chord and it’s the beginnings of a ballad. But few bands can write beautiful, intelligent music so deeply infused with sorrow and all its emotional brethren as The National. Even the rock band’s poppiest or hardest numbers carry with them a tinge of melancholy and introspection, a sound perfect for the impending autumn. (Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive, North Shore; 412/229-5483, promowestlive.com)

Oct. 18/ The Andy Warhol Museum continues its outstanding Sound Series with a performance from the eclectic Arto Lindsay. Known as a seminal member of the “No Wave” movement, Lindsay’s experimental and multi-dimensional oeuvre lends well to the Warhol’s eclectic mission. Acclaimed D.C. rockers Beauty Pill join the line-up. (The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Shore; 412/237-8300, warhol.org)


Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Oct. 1
Pelican — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Oct. 2
Perturbator — Spirit, spiritpgh.com Oct. 3 
Pixies — Stage AE, promowestlive.com Oct. 4 
Deerhoof — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Oct. 5
Joan Shelley — Warhol Theater, warhol.org Oct. 6
Chopin & Rachmaninoff — Heinz Hall, pittsburghsymphony.org Oct. 6-8 
Twinsmith — Spirit, spiritpgh.com Oct. 8 

photo by vicky pea

Andrew W.K. — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Oct. 9
Milky Chance — Stage AE, promowestlive.com Oct. 12


Black Violin — Byham Theater, trustarts.org Oct. 13
Toadies — Rex Theater, rextheater.net Oct. 15
David Bromberg Quintet — Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, jergels.com Oct. 17
Third Eye Blind — Stage AE, promowestlive.com Oct. 18
Smoking Popes and Chris Farren — The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Oct. 19
Patti Austin — Heinz Hall, pittsburghsymphony.org Oct. 20-22
Ben Folds — Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, librarymusichall.org Oct. 22

Nahko — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Oct. 24
David Archuleta — Club Cafe, clubcafelive.com Oct. 26 
Dinosaur Jr. — Mr. Smalls, mrsmalls.com Oct. 29
Japandroids — Stage AE, promowestlive.com Oct. 31

Categories: Things To Do