March 21, PPG Paints Arena: Lionel Richie/Mariah Carey

Best. Tour. Ever.

April 1, Heinz Hall: Bryan Ferry

The former Roxy Music frontman who Rolling Stone once dubbed “Dandy of the Bizarre” makes a rare Pittsburgh appearance at Heinz Hall. Aged 71, Ferry is known as much for his solo work as his time with Roxy (he has released 14 solo albums; Roxy Music put out 8). His most recent album, 2014’s Avonmore, included contributions from Johnny Marr and a few bass licks from Flea.

April 21, Carnegie of Homestead: Tinariwen

Mali’s Tinariwen last visited Pittsburgh in 2014 for a great performance in The Warhol’s entrance space. The members of Tinariwen are Tuareg, a historically nomadic people fighting for a homeland, Azawad, in Northern Mali. The Tuareg style of music is usually simplified down to “desert blues.” Their 2011 album, Tassili, featured contributions from members of TV on the Radio. The next year, members of the group were displaced and some arrested by Islamic militants in Mali. They will be touring in support of a new album, Elwan, which was recorded in Southern Morocco and California’s Joshua Tree National Park.

May 20, Rex Theater: The Orwells

Some of the best young garage rock bands in recent memory have come from Chicago and The Orwells might be the brightest of the bunch. It’s a good thing brash, rebellious teenage rock and roll never seems to go out of style, because that’s what these guys do best (witness tracks like “Bathroom Tile Blues” and “Southern Comfort” off their breakthrough 2014 album, Disgraceland). Since then the band has released “Double Feature,” the closing track from their new album Terrible Human Beings, and their most mature work yet, a seven-minute epic that tells the story of a man in trouble with the law.

May 21, Mr. Smalls: Ty Segall

Oh yes, it’s finally happening. Prolific SoCal psych-guitarist and manic frontman Ty Segall will make his Pittsburgh debut. Segall’s good for an album a year on his own (the next comes out in February), each one full of snarling guitar solos and unhinged melodies. Perhaps he’ll perform wearing elaborate face paint, or maybe even a baby mask. Oh, and keep an eye out for Mikal Cronin on bass.

June 8, Carnegie of Oakland: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

First the bad news: this one is already sold-out. The good news is that Nick Cave is coming to town for the first time in decades and there’s still plenty of time to scrounge up some tickets. Dubbed “Prince of Darkness” for his brooding baritone, Cave and the Bad Seeds are touring in support of their 16th studio album, Skeleton Tree, whose recording was marked by the accidental death of Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur.

June 15, Stage AE (outdoors): Sigur Rós

If you’ve ever wondered what type of music the elves in The Lord of the Rings might listen to, check out Sigur Rós. From Iceland, they sing in their native tongue as well as Vonlenska, a made-up language that also sounds like Icelandic. (Come to think of it, maybe they are elves.) When their landmark album Ágætis byrjun was released in 1999 some reviewers called it “soul-crushingly beautiful” while Stylus said “. . . a hundred years from now we’ll still be singing the praises of this album.” For this tour Jónsi and crew will be performing “two career spanning sets (separated by an intermission) along with a custom visual show.”

August 22, PPG Paints Arena: Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars will be touring in support of his 24K Magic album and when you’re as big of a star as Mars that means embarking on a world tour to match: it begins in Belgium in March and ends eight months later in Puerto Rico. His showmanship was made for the big stage and at PPG there’s no doubt he will dazzle. No word on support act yet but Anderson .Paak is opening in Europe.

September 19, PPG Paints Arena: Roger Waters

Roger Waters is on the road again this time on the “Us + Them” Tour that promises to “showcase highlights from Waters’ groundbreaking body of work”—presumably some Dark Side gems (given the name of the tour) alongside some from The Wall. The tour is billing Waters as “the creative genius behind Pink Floyd,” so take that, David Gilmour.

Deep Cuts:

  • January 18, Bradford Cox’s Deerhunter returns to Mr. Smalls.
  • March 13, Seattle drone metal legends Sunn O))) play the Rex, their first Pittsburgh gig since 2009.
  • March 25, Green Day‘s Revolution Radio tour heads to the Pete with support from Against Me!
  • March 31, Stevie Nicks joins forces with The Pretenders at PPG Paints Arena.
  • July 1, New Kids on the Block bring the “Total Package” tour to PPG Paints Arena, with support from Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men.

Looking for more January fun? Consult our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in January feature as well as our Top Pittsburgh family events in January feature.

Brian Conway

Brian Conway is a writer and photographer whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and local publications. In his free time, he operates Tripsburgh. Brian lives in the South Side.