‘Love On the Lawn’ benefit concert celebrates Women’s History Month, Pitt Pride Week


Nate Yonamine | Senior Staff Photographer

A band member sings and plays the piano during the Pitt Tonight Benefit Concert celebrating women’s empowerment month Saturday on the Cathedral of Learning lawn.

By Amy Zhang, For The Pitt News

On a windswept Saturday afternoon, students gathered around a small stage on the Cathedral Lawn to enjoy live music from Pittsburgh’s hottest woman-led musical acts. 

Sponsored by the College of General Studies Student Government Board and organized by Pitt Tonight, “Love on the Lawn” celebrated the end of Pitt’s Pride Week and Women’s History Month, offering live music in a variety of genres.  

Proceeds went to the UPMC’s Children’s Miracle Network, in conjunction with Pitt Dance Marathon, which occurred on the same day. Funds also went to Rainbow Alliance and Pitt’s chapter of Days for Girls 一 a nonprofit organization that prepares and distributes sustainable menstrual products for girls around the world. 

Gabriella Salvucci, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter and local high school student, opened the show, acoustically regaling the crowd with songs like “Mad Medusa” and “Only a Fool” from her 2022 album “Peace Offering.”

As the youngest person ever to sign with Misra Records, Salvucci said she wanted to show her support for students because she is passionate about social justice issues and advocating for marginalized communities. 

“I just want to be there to show that there are young people who are standing up for everybody else,” Salvucci said. “I just want to show people that together, we can make a change.”

A band member plays the guitar during the Pitt Tonight Benefit Concert celebrating women’s empowerment month Saturday on the Cathedral of Learning lawn. (Nate Yonamine | Senior Staff Photographer)

For the second set, Funky Lamp played hits like “Garden of Eden” and “Lost in Translation.” Holly Miller, the lead singer and a sophomore linguistics major, touted a Baby Yoda backpack and hyped up the audience, exclaiming, “Love life, be gay, all of the above!” Miller was met with resounding whoops and cheers. 

Mani Bahia, a performer at the concert and lead singer of local band Mani Bahia and the Mob, said it is important to highlight woman-led bands during Women’s History Month and Pride Week. Bahia added that considering upcoming “anti-trans” speakers coming to campus, the event was a great way to boost LGBTQ+ pride.

“I think it’s always a great thing when anyone who is being spoken against can stay focused and continue to do what is getting them toward their goal,” Bahia said. “And I think with Women’s History Month happening, it’s great that [Pitt is] having these woman-led bands coming in, and get a little light to shine. It’s a positive coming out of what might have been a negative situation.” 

Mani Bahia and the Mob closed the concert with a rhythmic R&B performance, joined by local artist Clara Kent. They concluded with “Sunday Morning,” a vibey hit from Mani’s recent release, “Inferno.”

Aidan Dean Dunn, Pitt Tonight’s talent acquisition manager and a senior public and professional communications major, came up with the idea of an outdoor concert in celebration of Women’s History Month. 

Spectators watch the Pitt Tonight Benefit Concert celebrating women’s empowerment month Saturday on the Cathedral of Learning lawn. (Nate Yonamine | Senior Staff Photographer)

“We were already setting up the show to celebrate Women’s [History] Month. We were going to support Rainbow Alliance in general,” Dunn said. “Then all this stuff happened with the speakers coming to campus and all the protests. Then it just seemed even more pertinent to provide a space to celebrate.”

Ben Asciutto, Pitt Tonight’s executive producer and a senior film and business dual major, said this is the first benefit concert Pitt Tonight has ever organized. As a large-scale event, the organization wanted to give Rainbow Alliance a large platform.

“Given the situations on campus in terms of the speakers that have been coming here, whose views don’t align with what the Rainbow Alliance is advocating for and what everyone at Pitt Tonight is advocating for, we wanted to get [Rainbow Alliance] an even bigger platform to spread the message,” Asciutto said.

Dunn said live music has the power to bring people together. 

“We’re really happy to be providing a spot to celebrate, and to be happy, have fun, listen to music and come together to celebrate what Pride Week should be. Everyone can come together and appreciate it and have fun and enjoy music,” Dunn said. “[Music] is a communal thing, and doing shows and stuff here in Oakland has reinforced that. It’s cool to see live music, people come together.”