The senses are stuffed with aural and visual excess as English tribute act Brit Floyd recreates the sonic mind expansion and visceral enlightenment of a real Pink Floyd show. The band of highly trained virtuosos and a quintet choir of chanteuses does justice to its subject like a jury of smitten rock critics, nailing every note and nuance of Pink Floyd’s signature sound. Rollicking through all of The Floyd’s epic oeuvre, the British group performs a catalog of timeless hits from landmark prog-rock albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, and Wish You Were Here. The elaborate stage setup replicates The Division Bell tour, replete with metamorphic lasers and lighting, avant-garde screen projections, and a mammoth ocular stargate, giving fans the closest thing to seeing a Pink Floyd show without being miniaturized and injected into their uncle’s subconscious.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1896, and its reputation was as big as its sound right from the start. Andrew Carnegie was an early backer, and reportedly claimed that it was the best orchestra in the country. More than a century later, the organization still enjoys its status as a nationally renowned organization. And the PSO continues to take pride in its acclaim—perhaps expanding on Carnegie's earlier view, current Music Director Manfred Honeck called the company "one of the world's finest orchestras."
The long-lived PSO makes its home in an equally historic venue. Converted from an opulent movie palace in 1971, when Americans swore off movies in favor of high culture, Heinz Hall proves itself an exceptional music venue. Fine acoustics please ears, while eyes take in glittering chandeliers and glints of gold leaf.
A nonprofit arts organization, Pittsburgh Musical Theater has energized the tapping of toes for more than two decades. The historic Byham Theater dates back to 1903, when the venue was originally erected as the Gayety Theater, and now fills its flashing marquee with Broadway shows, dance troupes, and films.
Every weekend, Twin Hi-Way Drive-In’s dual screens come to life with double-feature showings from a schedule of current films. Viewers tune their radios to the audio track’s frequency, directly transmitting the movie’s dialogue and soundtrack to their car, or fiddle with the knob to recast Ira Glass as the lead in Die Hard. The concession stand dispenses movie-night treats, such as hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas. On Saturdays, the drive-in hosts classic-car shows, where owners can show off their ’67 Mustang or their ’66 GTO.
With raucous pomp that fills the aisles with smiles, irascible rockers Paul Revere & the Raiders feast the ears and eyes to an elevated concert experience packed with gonzo humor and a litany of hits on their 2012 tour. From being the first rock act signed to Columbia Records to defeating Great Britain in a battle of the bands, ace pianist and gregarious “mad man of rock ‘n’ roll” Paul Revere has led his crew of party mongers through adventures in sound and spectacle since 1958. The band barnstorms though garage-rock stompers such as “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” and the No. 1 smash “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” while decked out in their signature matching colonial outfits, tri-corner hats, and functioning muskets, creating a slapstick American Revolution you can dance to. Described by Letterman’s Paul Shaffer as “the greatest show band in the history of rock 'n' roll,” the extroverts covert the lovingly renovated Palace Theatre into a romper room of unapologetic silliness with their outlandish sight gags, jokes, and spry pop songs that never drop their dukes.