Rock, rap and other genres unite as Rusted Root, Jasiri X, Mike Stout, Kellee Maize and more take the stage for this benefit concert at Mr. Smalls, which will feature over a dozen artists. Like it says on the flier: “We all must unite to protect our future.”

Beauty Slap

Saturday, May 16. 10:15 p.m.

Cattivo – 146 44th St.

$10 (21+)

I missed Beauty Slap when they headlined Pittsburgh Winery during the Strip District Music Festival, and judging from the video I was one of the only ones not there. Beauty Slap combine a four-piece brass band, electric guitar and DJ into one mean dance party. The band is a regular at the monthly Pandemic dance party, and you can catch them May 2 at Pittonkatonk as well. Hear more on their Soundcloud page.

William Fitzsimmons, w/ Denison Witmer

Monday, May 18. 8 p.m.

Mr. Smalls – 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale


William Fitzsimmons grew up in Pittsburgh the son of two blind parents, in a household where sound necessarily played an outsized role. He is currently on tour supporting his new EP, Pittsburgh. As the story goes, in October 2014, his grandmother passed away and during the three days spent putting her to rest, Pittsburgh was formed. The seven songs are in memoriam to her and in remembrance of the city they shared. Pull up Fitzsimmons on Pandora, and you’re bound to hear a lot of Sufjan Stevens and Iron & Wine. Here’s the video for the song “Pittsburgh.”

Palma Violets. Photo Credit: Ed Miles.

Palma Violets. Photo Credit: Ed Miles.

Palma Violets, w/ Public Access TV

Thursday, May 21. 9:30 p.m.

Brillobox – 4104 Penn Ave.

$12 (21+)

From London, Palma Violets hit it big in late 2012 when NME named their debut single, “Best of Friends,” best track of the year. The band’s debut album came out in early 2013 on Rough Trade, and the sophomore follow-up comes out May 4, just two weeks before the band play Brillo. “English Tongue” is their newest single. It’s a boozy singalong with plenty of piano and shouted group refrains. This will be the band’s first performance in Pittsburgh. Get there early for the openers, post-punk NYC band Public Access TV.


Rubblebucket, w/ Vacationer

Thursday, May 21. 8 p.m.

Rex Theater – 1602 E. Carson St.

$15 (21+)

Rubblebucket played the Rex in October and it was so much fun that I’d go back and see them again some six months later. I remember horns, flutes, confetti cannons, a giant flower monster … okay, I’ve said too much. The night ended when the band traveled mariachi-style through the crowd and set up shop over by the merch table to jam. CMJ called their live show a “psychedelic tribal horn fiesta,” and I don’t think anyone can put it any better than that.


  • ILoveMakonnen, the guy behind hit song “Tuesday,” with Drake, brings his Loudest of the Loud tour to Mr. Smalls May 4.
  • Even though Kevin Barnes is pretty much the only remaining member, Of Montreal always throws a great live show. May 5 at Mr. Smalls, w/ Icky Blossoms.
  • Anti-Flag play a SOLD-OUT show upstairs at The Smiling Moose May 9, with all proceeds from the show going to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
  • Mastodon and Clutch co-headline Stage AE outdoors May 10, promoting albums that came out in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
  • Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, which includes three cellists, pay a rare visit to the McKeesport Palisades May 16.
  • Interpol perform at Stage AE May 16 in support of their excellent new album, El Pintor.
  • Avant-garde, industrial Slovenian ensemble Laibach peform at the Rex Theater May 17.
  • Once-underground Kansas City rapper Tech N9NE performs at Stage AE May 18, w/ Chris Webby and more.
  • Local “bad trip, cemetery, psychedelic, garage rock” band Shaky Shrines celebrate the release of their new EP with a Memorial Day block party May 24 on Willow Street in Lawrenceville, between 43 ½ & 44th St (around the corner from Cattivo).
  • NEXT’s own Jennifer Baron performs w/ her band The Garment District at Space downtown May 29, w/ Butterbirds, as part of the monthly Music SPACE series.
  • Grand Piano release their new EP at Cattivo May 30, w/ Wreck Loose and Working Breed.


Looking for more fun times? Check out our “Top 10 Pittsburgh Events Not to Miss in May.”