Test your Metal:

Two of the greatest thrash metal bands of all time visit Pittsburgh September 15 when Slayer and Anthrax visit Stage AE. Both bands are touring in support of moderately well-received new albums, Repentless for Slayer and For All Kings for Anthrax. If recent setlists are any indication, expect to hear a handful of new tracks sprinkled between some crushing fan favorites.

Opeth also visits Stage AE, September 29, with support from Austin heavy metal band The Sword. Opeth’s new single, “Sorceress,” confirms that the band has left behind death metal for good in favor of a more progressive rock sound, one that is still heavier than most other bands on the radio today. Additionally, Mac Sabbath visits the Rex September 1. That’s the McDonald’s-themed, Black Sabbath aping cover band, in case you were wondering.


While most of the big-name summer rock tours are finished, there are still more than a few indie rock concerts worth your consideration in September. The Mountain Goats play Mr. Smalls September 3, and by The Mountain Goats I mean a duo featuring lead singer, John Darnielle and new member, Matt Douglas.

Young the Giant visits Stage AE September 8, fresh off the heels of their third studio album, Home of the Strange. Ra Ra Riot opens. The next evening, September 9, Hum visits Spirit for a rare live performance. The shoegaze/alt-rock band received modest radio play in the ’90s with their single “Stars,” but largely became forgotten. This past April, AV Club called Hum’s 1995 album You’d Prefer An Astronaut an “overlooked masterpiece.” Local post-rock act Yrs opens.

Local jazz-rock fusion ensemble Eastend Mile celebrates the release of their new album, I Had A Wonderful Time, at James Street Gastropub September 10. Two days later, September 12, Angel Olsen visits Mr. Smalls. The singer/songwriter, who played the Warhol back in 2013, is touring in support of her third studio album, My Woman, which comes out 9/2 on Jagjaguwar. Alex Cameron opens. Indie rock veterans Built To Spill perform at Mr. Smalls September 28, and on September 29, Dressy Bessy returns to Club Cafe, with support from The Garment District.

Bluegrass + Jam:

CMU alums PigPen Theatre Co. play a seated show at the Rex September 3. On September 4 at Hartwood Acres, Rusted Root headlines the Allegheny County Music Festival for the eighth year running, this year with support from Jim Donovan & Sun King Warriors, Nevada Color, and Ferdinand the Bull. $20 per carload, with proceeds benefiting the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.

Blues Traveler makes up for a canceled August performance September 7 with support from The Wallflowers, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Howie Day. Then, September 9, Umphrey’s McGee plays an outdoor show at the same venue, Stage AE, with support from The Werks. The month ends with moe. at Mr. Smalls September 27, and Railroad Earth at the Rex September 29.


Brooke Annibale plays day two of Thrival Festival, but her hushed, intimate vocals might be better suited for smaller venues, like Club Cafe, where she plays September 10 with Morgan Erina, Donora’s Casey Hanner, and more. You can also get to know local singer/songwriters at Pittsburgh Winery’s monthly Songwriters in the Cellar series. This month’s edition takes place September 24 and includes local heavy hitters Clinton Clegg, Morgan Erina, and Max Somerville.

British wunderkind Jake Bugg plays Mr. Smalls September 23, with support from psych-rock quartet Syd Arthur. Finally, head to Club Cafe September 26 to catch Ryley Walker, a very good Chicago folksinger and guitarist who seems to have listened to a lot of Van Morrison growing up.

Best of the Rest:

  • Celebrate the grand re-opening of James Street Gastropub’s upstairs ballroom September 2 with a quartet of local artists, Beauty Slap, 28 North, Working Breed, and Scott and Rosanna.
  • Black Forge Coffee House hosts four doom metal/industrial bands for a “Doom Afternoon” on September 4, including Solarburn, from Pittsburgh.
  • Drum and bass fans can look forward to September 9, when the Blood, Sweat & Bass tour rolls its way into the Rex, featuring Downlink and former Pitt grad, Dieselboy.
  • VIA presents electronic artist Inga Copeland on her first ever North American tour, September 14 at Cattivo.
  • Also September 14, celebrated acoustic storytelling/songwriting duo Anna & Elizabeth perform at the SongSpace Gallery Series at First Unitarian in Shadyside.
  • Spirit welcomes Canadian punk trio The Dirty Nil September 15.
  • Absolution Key release their new album September 16 at Cattivo, with support from Bad Custer and Sound of Urchin.
  • Join Get Hip Records, Nox Boys and The Flower Lady & Her Assistants at the Hollywood Theater September 17 for a special screening of The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard, a documentary on 60s LA garage-rockers The Seeds, including a Q&A with director, Neil Norman.
  • Get ready for a night of psychobilly and surf rock at Spirit September 20 with Tiger Army and Tijuana Panthers.
  • Post-hardcore vets Thrice visit Stage AE September 27, with support from La Dispute.
  • Finally, on September 30, it’s the last of the Altar Bar farewell shows when Punchline brings their “37 Everywhere 10 Year Anniversary Show” to the Rex Theater, with support from My Cardboard Spaceship Adventure and Eternal Boy, formerly known as The Spacepimps.

Looking for more Pittsburgh happenings? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in September and our Top 10 things for families to do in August in Pittsburgh feature articles.