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.
Under the sprawling roof of First Niagara Pavilion, music greats such as Billy Joel, Rush, and Jimmy Buffett have all taken over the stage as fans throughout the amphitheater space watch, transfixed. Whether enjoying the show from the open-air pavilion or the verdant lawn, concertgoers demonstrate their love for the performers by dancing along to the music or holding up lighters engraved with the lead singer’s astrological sign.
Multiplatinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-winning quartet Third Day’s stirring Southern rock thrills multitudes on its Make Your Move spring tour. One of the most popular Christian bands of the A.D. era, Third Day has moved millions of fans with hits such as “Cry Out to Jesus” and “Love Song,” as well as hundreds of tumbleweeds with its tour bus. With a sound that evokes Lynyrd Skynyrd in its Sunday best, the band tenderly testifies while rocking through a hook-laden marathon live show.
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.