The Dark & Retrofuturistic Perturbator comes to Spirit Hall

 

This Tuesday, Mr. Smalls Presents will be bringing Perturbator to Spirit Hall. Formerly a metal guitarist, James Kent found a unique market in the cross between electronic music and metal. With five studio albums and multiple EPs released since 2012, Perturbator has gained great success in this niche genre, as well as a loyal following from metalheads.

Having grown up in a musical household, some of Kent’s earliest memories are of him playing with his parents’ synthesizers. Kent told Diabolique Magazine that being raised by musicians who also doubled as music critics helped introduce him to a bulk of musicians while also teaching him that all music can be appreciated and enjoyed. His other early music experiences include picking up guitar at age 11 and proceeding to play in a variety of metal bands up until pursuing what is now Perturbator.

“The thing that drew me to electronic music is the fact that you can make electronic music and you can make something sound complete all by yourself,” said Kent to Noisey. Perturbator is a solo electronic project lead by Kent that has allowed him to compose entirely on his own, using synthesizers and drum machines, but still enables him to live within the realm of metal. He describes his sound as, “80’s inspired, Dark and Retrofuturistic.” Perturbators’ latest release, New Model, was a surprise EP that he says, “puts the listener in the point-of-view of an omnipotent AI — the New Model — a piece of human technology so advanced that it transcends concepts such as life, death, time, space, sense or language.”

Catch Perturbator as he takes over Spirit Hall this Tuesday at 9 PM. Doors will be at 8 PM with tickets available the night of. To purchase tickets in advance, head to http://ticketf.ly/2ySehpd.

The Weekend Lineup

Today kicks off a weekend of Mr. Smalls Presents events that will suit a wide variety of interests and music tastes. Beats Antiques, an electronic and performance art group known for their mesmerizing live shows, will be the first take over the Theater tonight with doors at 7 PM and music starting at 8 PM. 

If it has ever been a dream of yours to belt hits from All Time Low, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and more then come out tonight to Pop Punk Live Band Karaoke, featuring The Emo Band! You’ll have the opportunity to take the lead on your favorite pop punk hits and have a real, full band backing you! This party will be taking place in The Funhouse tonight with sign up and doors at 9 PM and show starting at 10 PM.

Post-hardcore band, Emarosa, will be opening our Saturday night at Cattivo at 6 PM. In addition, the Funhouse will also be presenting Tribute Fest VII at 8 PM. Tribute Fest is an annual project where local Pittsburgh musicians form one-off super groups to perform as their favorite bands. Saturday’s featured bands will include Motorhead, System of a Down, Deftones, and Coheed & Cambria.

This Sunday, watch as Mr. Smalls Theater is completely transformed into a real school of magic at 2 PM for Wizard U! From crafting potions and wands to dueling against other freshmen, there is something fun for every adult wizard in this magical, interactive world.

That same night, Tei Shi, an indie-pop artist based out of NYC, will hit Cattivo at 7 PM. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, a D.C. rock band lead by singer/songwriter Ted Leo, will follow to close out this weekend of excitement.

Tickets are still available on Ticketfly.com for these listed events!

This Weekend In Millvale – Millvale Days & Ben Sollee!

Mr. Smalls Theater & Funhouse will be at the epicenter of all excitement and fun this weekend as Millvale celebrates their 24th annual community event, Millvale Days! Opening the festivities tomorrow at 6 PM, locals can enjoy viewing a parade of vintage cars cruising around town along with a performance from The Shiners at Double L Bar. Activities coming this weekend also include vendors, beer tasting, wrestling matches, volleyball and horseshoe tournaments, and a pizza eating contest.

Along with that massive array of activities to come, The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls will be featuring the four following stage locations: Main Stage (Grant & North), AcoustiCafe Stage (GAAP Park), Double L Stage (307 Grant Ave.), and the Welcome Stage (near Cousin’s Lounge). Over thirty of Pittsburgh’s favorite musicians, including Ferdinand the Bull, Jim Donovan & The Sun King Warriors, and Liz Berlin, will be taking the stage in the days to come.

To add to this town-wide party, Mr. Smalls will be presenting Ben Sollee & Kentucky Native this Saturday night in the Funhouse. Sollee is a revolutionary and multitalented celloist, composure, singer-songwriter, and is currently touring on his latest release Ben Sollee & Kentucky Native. This album, released just last month, pulls inspiration from many cultures to create its strong Bluegrass foundation.

Pittsburgh locals will not have to battle boredom this weekend with this great range of events to choose from. Millvale day’s kicks off Thursday at 6 PM. Tickets will be available at the door for Ben Sollee & Kentucky Native this Saturday, with doors opening at 7 PM and music starting at 8 PM.

BREWTAL BEER FEST 2! TO TAKEOVER MILLVALE

This coming Saturday, September 9th Mr. Smalls Theater & Funhouse will be home to Brewtal Beer Fest 2! This one-day fest is back and bigger than before with 30 breweries, 10 bands, and 2 stages. The line-up includes a selection of metals finest and is headlined by the highly anticipated, Baroness.

Widely renowned progressive metal band from Georgia, Baroness, has been on the constant rise since forming in 2003. Known best for their meticulous, melodic arrangements and impressive album art (done by Baroness’ own, John Dyer Baizley), each release has found great critical success. Their astounding single, “Shock Me,” off their 2015 release, Purple, secured a well-earned 2017 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance. Fresh off their Purple Summer European tour, Baroness is set to dominate Mr. Smalls Theater Stage and will also unveil their exclusive brew in collaboration with DC Brau.

So, are you a fan of metal and craft beer? If so, come out to Millvale this Saturday to see the literal blend of your two favorite things. Bands will be contributing more than just music, as each have teamed up with featured breweries to create their own, one-of-a-kind brews. These collaborations will ONLY be available the day of the fest. This is something you do not want to miss!

VIP doors open at 1:30 pm, followed by GA doors at 2:30 pm, and music starts at 3:00 pm. Tickets ranging from $30-$75, VIP admission still available.

Tickets can be found here.

Enjoy the Dreamy Sounds of Wilsen!

On Tuesday, August 29th, Wilsen will be coming to the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls Theatre with special guests String Machine! Formed in 2013, Wilsen has spent years making a name for themselves in the music industry with their ethereal folk sound. The trio, including bassist Drew Ardnt and guitarist Johnny Simon, is fronted by London native Tamsin Wilson who is the brains behind their melodies and words. However, while Wilsen’s music may seem effortless, Wilson sometimes struggles with the writing process due to her nature.

A self-proclaimed “extroverted introvert,” Wilson has found that she feels at home being by herself in a big city surrounded by other people. When it comes to writing her music, however, Wilson prefers that nobody be present. “I was nocturnal for a while. Some of that was out of necessity. I was living with three people…and I couldn’t seem to be as creatively independent when I knew that they were moving around. When everyone was asleep, I felt like time stood still or something. It was so freeing.”

These moments of solitude and clarity led to plenty of self-reflection, however, which can be seen in Wilson’s writing. Combined with Ardnt and Simon’s music talent, Wilsen has been able to create a dreamy sound that resonates with their audiences.

Doors open at 7:00 pm and the music starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are still available and can be found here! Come out and enjoy this beautiful show! Hope to see you there!

The Homeless Gospel Choir record release party!

On Friday, August 18th, The Homeless Gospel Choir, also known as Derek Zanetti, will be celebrating the release of his new album “Normal” with a concert at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls! The concert will also feature special guests Rue and Jack Swing.

Zanetti is a protest singer-songwriter from Pittsburgh who found his place in the punk movement at an early age. When he was young, Zanetti never truly belonged. “I felt weird. I was in sixth grade. I was chubby. I was getting beat up. I didn’t fit in anywhere particularly. I was always longing for unity and togetherness, and I never found my niche anywhere.”

Then in 1994, Zanetti’s life changed when a fellow misfit kid handed him a cassette of Green Day’s “Dookie.” Despite the fact that his strict parents forbid the album, Zanetti had found his place. “I remember that feeling of hearing it for the first time. I had never heard anything like it before, I never heard anyone get angry before. It was different than anything I’d heard on the radio…I listened to ‘Dookie,’ and I felt like something else good is out there and I should go look for it.”

Now, twenty-three years later, Zanetti is making his own punk albums with the message that his audience is not alone. He also spreads this message through his performances, striving to create a community among his fans. “Everybody should be able to come and feel like they belong, or find friendship…If you feel like you’re weird and you don’t know anybody and you can’t relate to anybody, there’s a whole room filled with you guys.”

On his newest album “Normal,” to be released August 18th, Zanetti tells the story of his misfit childhood and finding solace in punk music. “It tells the whole tale of this young person who is always conflicted and trying to find hope and trying to find belonging and does so in this group of weird misfit punk kids. And it talks about living in Pittsburgh…and finding companionship in peculiar places.”

Zanetti will be performing “Normal” in its entirety during his show at the Funhouse.

Doors open at 7:00 and the show starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $10 and can still be found here. Come out and celebrate the release of this new album with a fun concert! Hope to see you there!

For a sneak peek of the new album, watch the video for the title single “Normal” below!

A Fairy Tale Ending: Andrew and Emily Bowman Wedding

On Saturday, August 5th, Mr. Smalls Theatre was pleased to be the host of a lovely wedding for Andrew and Emily Bowman. From start to finish, the couple’s special day was beautiful and filled with loads of love and fun. Mr. Smalls Theatre, regularly host to a slew of concerts, was transformed into a romantic setting for Andrew and Emily to celebrate with their friends and family.

For Andrew and Emily, hosting their wedding at Mr. Smalls Theatre added an extra special touch to their big day. In 1984, Emily’s parents were married at St. Ann’s Church which was later turned into Mr. Smalls. Thirty-three years after her parents said “I do”, Emily and Andrew were able to celebrate their day in the same venue.

Thank you, Emily and Andrew, for letting us host your special day! We hope it was a day you will never forget!

Would you like to have your wedding at Mr. Smalls? The Mr. Smalls staff will transform the theatre into the perfect setting to say “I do” with chairs facing the stage as the couple exchanges vows. Afterward, while guests enjoy cocktail hour in the Funhouse, the staff will change the theatre into a reception hall complete with tables and a dance floor.

If you would like to celebrate your wedding at Mr. Smalls Theatre, please email our Events Director Shaunden Smith at shaunden@mrsmalls.com for more information.

The Wild Reeds bring their beautiful harmonies to The Funhouse!

On Friday, August 4th The Wild Reeds will be coming to the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls with special guest Angela Autumn! Fronted by three women, The Wild Reeds has a unique sound that revolves around their three part vocal harmonies. Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva, and Mackenzie Howe share the duties of lead vocals throughout their set while playing an array of supporting instruments such as the harmonica and the acoustic guitar. They are also joined by Nick Jones on the drums and Nick Phakpiseth on the bass.

The Wild Reeds began to form in college when Lee and Silva met. They then added Howe into the mix to create their signature harmonies. All three women are songwriters as well with each one bringing their own individual writing styles to their music. The ladies feel that this creates a special “fourth voice” for their band. Howe says, “What brings us together is the three part vocal harmony. When we’re all singing together, it really becomes one unique voice.”

With their sophomore album The World We Built, released in April 2017, The Wild Reeds have been able to showcase their ever changing sound. Says Howe, “Our sound has evolved as we have evolved as people. We’ve also grown as musicians and it’s allowed us to explore new instruments and sounds. This new record is a much more accurate depiction of what we sound like live. It’s got more punch and depth.” The band has also garnered quite a bit of buzz with NPR saying, “It’s somewhat rare to find three singers so in sync as The Wild Reeds’ Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva and Mackenzie Howe. Rarer still is the trio’s songwriting skills…”

The Wild Reeds ultimately hope that their music and live performances can make an impact on their audiences and affect their lives for the better. “We’ve learned that people are just looking for authenticity. If we’re vulnerable, people feel it,” says Howe. “We always want to put on a show that has energy and leaves peoples feeling more hopeful than when they arrived.”

Doors open at 8:00 pm and the music starts at 9:00 pm. This is an 18 and over event. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the doors. You can still find tickets here. Don’t miss out on this awesome show! Hope to see you there!

Come Out TOMORROW And Support Out Of The Blue & Real Life Music Camp!

Tomorrow Friday, July 28th Out Of The Blue will be reuniting at Mr. Smalls Theatre for a rare appearance with special guests Liz Berlin Band,  Real Life Music Campers, and more!  Out Of The Blue formed in the 1990’s in State College and cultivated a large fan base and reputation as the quintessential party band in the area. The band found success in the Pittsburgh music scene when they won the Graffiti Rock Challange, which was a career-defining accomplishment, in 1993. After their win, one local magazine stated, “These college kids have a genuine passion for quality music and they’ve learned their lessons well. There’s a maturity to their sound that belies their true ages…”

As Out Of The Blue garnered more buzz, they began to play with other famous local Pittsburgh acts including Rusted Root. This is how Out Of The Blue bassist Mike Speranzo met Rusted Root’s Liz Berlin, his future wife and business partner.  After Out Of The Blue graduated from the college scene, the band members moved onto different projects. For Speranzo, this meant opening Mr. Smalls Recording Studio with his wife in March of 1997. Since the creation of the recording studio, Speranzo and Berlin have gone onto several other business ventures including opening Mr. Smalls Theatre and Funhouse as well as founding a non-profit called Creative.Life.Support.

Through Creative. Life. Support, Speranzo and Berlin host the Real Life Music Camp each summer.  During the camp, aspiring young musicians gain knowledge and experience from music industry professionals, including Berlin who shares her life experiences with Rusted Root.  Throughout the week-long camp, the campers work on original music, have band photo shoots, and ultimately walk away with a full band press kit.  The musicians are also mentored by these professionals who teach about every aspect of the industry from concert booking to web presence. At the end of the week, the campers will also have the opportunity to perform live on the Mr. Smalls Theatre stage as one of the openers for Out Of The Blue! This is sure to be a jam-packed show you won’t want to miss!

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the music starts at 7:00 p.m. Entrance for the Real Life Music Camp show is free and guests are welcome to stay for the remainder of the show! So if you would like to come and support the kids, the Out Of The Blue show will be free.  Otherwise, tickets for the Out Of The Blue show are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can still be found here. We hope to see you TOMORROW for this exciting show!!

 

Lady Parts Justice League’s Vagical Mystery Tour coming to Pittsburgh!

On Wednesday July 19th, the Lady Parts Justice League will be coming to the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls with their Vagical Mystery Tour! Lady Parts Justice League (LPJL) was founded in 2015 by Lizz Winstead, co-creator and head writer of The Daily Show. Since its creation, LPJL has stood by its mission to use humor to destigmatize abortion and fight for reproductive rights in the United States.

Lady Parts Justice League found their name after a 2012 incident that occurred in the House involving Lisa Brown, a former Michigan state representative and well-known advocate for abortion rights, and the Speaker of the House. While fighting against a transvaginal ultrasound bill, Brown was banned from the speaking on the floor by the Speaker of the House for using the word vagina as he deemed it too offensive.  When Brown asked what word she should use instead, the Speaker suggested a less offensive term such as “lady parts.” This incident inspired LPJL to take up Brown’s fight and use “lady parts” in their name.

Among the many ways Lady Parts Justice League fights for reproductive rights is through an annual touring comedy show.  This year’s show is entitled the Vagical Mystery Tour. The show consists of, “a coven of hilarious and witty feminist comedians and writers who use humor and pop culture to expose the haters fighting against reproductive rights.” The Vagical Mystery Tour uses a variety of diverse voices to spread the word about reproductive rights as well as fight against sexism, racism, and homophobia.

In addition to touring with their show, Lady Parts Justice League provides much needed support to local clinics. Self-described as, “the USO meets Habitat for Humanity for abortion clinics,” LPJL supports clinics through a variety of ways including volunteering as clinic escorts, putting up fences, and painting murals.

Each show includes an assortment of special guests with this show featuring Joyelle Johnson (Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), Leah Bonnema (IFC Comedy Crib), Buzz Off, Lucille (Upright Citizens Brigade), and Jill Sobule.

Doors open at 7:00 pm and the show starts at 7:30 pm. This is a 21 and over event. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the doors. Tickets can still be found here. You won’t want to miss what is sure to be a hilarious night! Hope to see you there!