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TPN’s picks for the best upcoming concerts

By The A&E Staff

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After a typical end-of-year concert dry spell to close out 2014, the early months of 2015 reveal a manifold forecast of artists storming Pittsburgh. Here are some of The Pitt News’ most anticipated shows of the new year.

Hamilton Leithauser — Jan. 15, Club Cafe

Hamilton Leithauser, crooning frontman for the disbanded group The Walkmen, will be making a quick return to Pittsburgh at Club Cafe. Leithauser, who recently opened for Spoon at the Carnegie Library of Homestead back in September, will continue the campaign in support of his first solo record, Black Hours. If you missed Leithauser’s September performance, January will offer another opportunity to see the indie-rock and lounge-friendly singer, who will be joined by special guest Ben Collier, as well as backing members of The Walkmen, The Shins and Fleet Foxes. — Jack Trainor

Motion City Soundtrack — Jan. 24, Mr. Smalls

Minneapolis-based Motion City Soundtrack announced a 10-year anniversary tour of their breakout sophomore album, Commit This to Memory, which will span almost two full months of shows across the United States. They’ll schlep their blend of punk, pop, indie flair and Moog synthesizers to Mr. Smalls on Jan. 24, where they’ll commemorate 10 years of approximate success by playing Commit This to Memory, featuring their most successful track, “Everything is Alright,” straight through. Maybe knowing the set list in advance is a turnoff, but it shouldn’t be a deterrent considering Motion City Soundtrack’s goofy and, often, comic stage performances. — Stephanie Roman

Sleater-Kinney — March 1, Stage AE

Pittsburgh’s Stage AE is the penultimate stop on the first wave of Sleater-Kinney’s reunion world tour. After a 10-year album drought, these hugely influential Washington punk girls revived their riot grrrl clashing and thrashing for No Cities to Love, a new album due out Jan. 20. Its first single, “Bury Our Friends,” is available on YouTube, and its truly raw sound indicates that Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss are reinvigorated and prepared to melt faces.  — SR

Ariana Grande — March 10, Petersen Events Center

In 2014, Ariana Grande became more than just a Nickelodeon star. In 2015, she’ll be taking the album that made her a bona fide pop star on the road. Her Pittsburgh stop is smack in the middle of Pitt’s spring break, but if you’re still around campus, the venue couldn’t be more convenient. She’ll undoubtedly be testing out her titanic top 40 hits, “Break Free,” “Love Me Harder” and the immortal early 2000s-nostalgia trip, “Problem.” — Shawn Cooke

Perfume Genius — March 27, Warhol Theater

Now that Too Bright, the third studio album by Mike Hadreas’ solo project Perfume Genius, has successfully landed on best-of-2014 lists from The A.V. Club to Rolling Stone, he’s kicking off his biggest tour to date. He stops by the Andy Warhol Museum on Friday, March 27 with Norwegian provocateur Jenny Hval, as part of the museum’s sound series. Hadreas’ deeply personal lyrics unfurl various struggles with identity atop instrumentals that can just as easily stroll along with stately piano figures as snarl with industrial synthesizers. – Dan Willis

They Might Be Giants — April 16, Mr. Smalls

Alternative rock lifers They Might Be Giants have written songs about many things: Alice Cooper, marching cephalophores, the inbred regality of upstate New York. But did you know that they wrote a song about Pittsburgh’s own Mr. Smalls Theatre, as well as its predecessor The Electric Banana? You can expect to hear that song and many other bizarre adventures new and old on Thursday, April 16, when they take over Millvale’s venue (the innermost point of the G in their attempt to spell out “TMBG” in tour routing). — DW

 

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TPN’s picks for the best upcoming concerts