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Springsteen statement on North Carolina cancellation

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

BruceSpringsteen01Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette photoBruce Springsteen is hearing it from both sides on social media Friday about his cancellation of a North Carolina concert on Sunday night over the passing of the state's anti-LGBT law.

 

As his full statement notes, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act goes beyond being "a bathroom law" and extends to the rights of LGBT people in the workplace.

 

Here's what he posted:

 

"As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2—known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act—dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase."

Most of the tweets are in support of his decision. Others are concerned about who all is in the bathroom. You do have to feel a little sorry for the N.C. fans who are missing a pretty great tour.

 

 

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Rex Theater to reopen Friday after fire damage

Written by Scott Mervis on .

It will be business as usual Friday for The Rex Theater, which has been closed since a fire broke out atop the building on April 1.

The blaze, caused by a defect in the rooftop air conditioner, did minimal damage to the building, according to Rex management.

The Rex, at 1602 East Carson St., will resume operations with the King of the Burgh 8 show on Friday and the band Cabinet on Saturday.

Patrons who had purchased tickets to any of the cancelled shows from the past week can obtain a full refund at the point of ticket purchase.

Management said it is "grateful to the Pittsburgh Fire Department for their prompt and fearless response to the fire, which insured that the damage to our theater was kept to a minimum. We also thank our staff, who worked tirelessly to prepare the theater for its reopening, and to our patrons for their patience with the interruption to our schedule."

Ben Penigar, of Grey Area Productions, told the PG, "The outpouring of support from live music fans, musicians, local residents, and industry peers has been overwhelming. It's nice to know how many people are rooting for us."

 

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Three Rivers Arts Festival lineup lacks edge

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

lakestreet"We're supposedly one of the most hip cities in the country right now -- why can't the music at our annual downtown festival get more diverse, more modern, and more adventurous?"

That was the gist of at least one reader email reacting to the announcement of the Three Rivers Arts Festival lineup:

June 3: Michael Franti & Spearhead/Caroline Rose

June 4: David Grisman Sextet

June 5: IBEYI

June 6: The Mendelssohn Choir and Steven Hackman

June 7: Leftover Salmon

June 8: Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires/Peter Wolf

June 9: Beth Orton

June 10: Guster

June 11: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

June 12: Lake Street Dive

Booked by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, once again it features performers who fit the format of radio sponsor WYEP, which means its rootsy and adult-oriented and solid and ... well, pleasant. Most of it is designed for a nice night in the park, with nothing that rocks too hard or is too dissonant to go with funnel cake and kettle corn.

Michael Franti & Spearhead on the opening night (June 3) and the Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires/Peter Wolf bill on the second Friday night (June 8) will be rousing shows with three fiery frontmen.

The excitement drops off after that.

Beth Orton offers a pretty chill form of electronic pop/rock, and the one time I saw her, in 2012, the crowd at Rosebud rudely talked right over her. They'd better crank the volume to make this one work.

Lake Street Dive, which will draw big on the closing Sunday night, is the epitome of an easy-listening-at-work YEP band. Guster goes down pretty smooth as well, although we need to keep an eye on that possible jam with Mayor Peduto they've been tweeting about.

Why TRAF dedicates a whole Saturday to bluegrass I have no idea. Yeah, it's meant to be played and listened to outside, but a whole day for a niche genre rooted in the '40s is overkill and takes away from other tastes that could be served. And, in case you didn't get enough banjos and mandolins, they've added another bluegrass band on top of that with Leftover Salmon three days later.

Two nights are devoted to classical music, one of them being the fusion style of Steve Hackman (not to be confused with Steve Hackett). The one show coming up from under the radar is IBEYI, French-Cuban twin sisters doing soul/electronica who are also booked at Coachella.

Now for the not represented: hip-hop, country, metal, punk and (young) rock, for starters. The metal crowd is used to being passed over at TRAF, as metal has the potential to scare nice people away. But it does attract a lot of others who love music as much anyone else. (Deafheaven, perhaps?). Same with hip-hop, which is sometimes represented by local artists (like Formula 412 or Jasiri X), but not this year. We're up to our necks in bro-country around here, but anyone along the line of Kacey Musgraves or Sturgill Simpson would brighten up TRAF. (The Trust does a separate JazzLive International Festival with the Chick Corea Trio, Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet and more June 24-26.)

What I miss the most in this lineup is that one vintage punk/post-punk act a la Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, The New York Dolls, Tom Verlaine or even the Baseball Project or Kaiser Chiefs (all past TRAF acts). I do understand that vintage acts don't grow on trees and there's lots of competition from local clubs (Flag, the B-52s and Violent Femmes are all booked elsewhere this spring/summer), but isn't Iggy Pop around?

Last year, they had Jenny Lewis, Alvvays and Benjamin Booker (which got rained out). Before that, they had Jake Bugg. This year's there's no young, hungry rock band to fit that mold. And there is no shortage of those.

Also Franti himself will sing: "Everyone deserves music."

 

 

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Batman v Superman soars to $424 million worldwide in first weekend

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

batman-superman-mag-3-6“Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice” was No. 1 by a mile – and many millions – for the Easter weekend with an estimated $170,100,000.

Its worldwide take was $424.1 million, the top superhero opening of all time and fourth biggest industry opener, Warner Bros. reports.  

“Zootopia” held onto the second spot with “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” in third. Here are the weekend estimates from comScore:

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” -- $170,100,000.

“Zootopia” -- $23,138,000, for $240,548,000 to date in North America.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” -- $18,116,075.

“The Divergent Series: Allegiant”-- $9,500,000, for $46,605,496.

“Miracles From Heaven” -- $9,500,000, for $34,127,249.

“10 Cloverfield Lane” -- $6,000,000, for $56,010,797 since release.

“Deadpool” -- $5,000,000, for $349,472,050.

“London Has Fallen” -- $2,926,000, for $55,614,857.

“Hello, My Name Is Doris” -- $1,700,925, for $3,268,689.

“Eye in the Sky” -- $1,001,202 in very limited release, for $1,723,309.

“Batman v Superman” was the biggest March debut and helped to set a new record for the overall Easter weekend, with a combined gross of all films in the marketplace around $254 million, topping Easter 2015’s $224 million, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore.

Easter fell a week later a year ago and was powered by “Furious 7.”

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Listen to PG podcast about Batman v Superman movie

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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